Instrumentation

Simplest Ever Hardware for Molecular Diagnostics 

The novel approach and chemistries that underpin Lumora’s technology have enabled the development of the current generation of instruments that are the simplest ever for molecular amplification and detection. 

LumoraScene2 sm

Lumora’s Clinical Workstation

Prior to the acquistion by ERBA Mannheim, Lumora has developed and commercialised two versions of hardware to perform mdx; a small instrument (PDQ) that can run 1-96 samples at a time or a high throughput platform (Bison) that can run 96 – 1536 samples and image down to a nL

Both instruments have low manufacturing cost as there are no expensive thermocyclers or optical components and no moving parts. The PDQ has been adopted by a number of Lumora’s commercial partners and the Bison is used in research collaborations.

PDQ2-96wellreader MDS 96 well reader PCRun reader 16 well Bison 96 - 1536

PDQ - Small Instrument (1-96 samples)

The PDQ is probably the simplest ever instrument for closed tube, real-time amplification and detection assays. The portable nature of the instrument makes it ideally suited for use in decentralised settings in clinical and non-clinical applications. The PDQ is straight-forward to manufacture, easy to use, low maintenance and can be battery operated. 

Underneath its casing the PDQ platform consists of a heater block for isothermal reactions and an array of "off-the-shelf" photodiodes for real-time bioluminescent reading, making it incredibly robust yet keeping the manufacturing cost remarkably low. An algorithm for data interpretation provides automatic interpretation of results by on-board software for users, whilst sample data can be inputted & transferred quickly using the full colour touch screen and the built in SD card reader.

The 3M MDS and the Biogal PCRun are based on Lumora’s PDQ

BISON - High Throughput Development System (96-1536)

The Bison shares many of the simplicity and cost benefits of the PDQ whilst being configured to read a much higher number of samples. The Bison is a high throughput instrument capable of imaging high density arrays of simultaneous reactions, using the popular microwell plate format. As with the PDQ, there are no moving parts underneath the shell, the Bison relies on a CCD camera to image the BART reactions. 

The Bison is commercially available and in use in Lumora’s research collaborations as well as being routinely used at Lumora in assay development. It's used for screening primers for inclusivity, exclusivity and general performance characteristics. The instrument is available for research applications and development collaborators for external development activities.

In addition, this digital camera based system has also been used with 1534 well plates in proof-of-concept studies for Digital BART

Next Generation – fully integrated devices 

ERBA Molecular approach to molecular diagnostic assay development has focused on simplifying the work flow by reducing the complexity of the chemistry. The reduction in the chemistry complexity has enabled the early stage development of much simpler, fully integrated devices. It is anticipated that with this approach a much more cost effective, fully integrated device with a pathway to CLIA waivability is achievable in the near term.

Fully integrated Cartridge  Fully Integrated Cartridge (exploded)   Cartridge reader

ERBA Molecular is currently exploring a number of technical solutions for the splitting of samples to enable automated detection of multiple pathogens in parallel. This will offer significant benefits in areas such as respiratory infections and sexual health screens.

Next Generation Quantification & Digital BART

In addition, we are adapting the image sensing Bison platform to concepts for digital analysis, which will enable absolute quantification in applications such as rare mutation detection and copy number analysis. Digital BART has the potential to transfer these research applications into routine diagnostic procedures by dramatically reducing the cost and complexity of associated instrumentation.

 

Summary

ERBA Molecular has developed and commercialised two generations of hardware that are able to perform Bioluminescent Assays in Real-Time. Through the development of these multiple instrument platforms Lumora has gained a thorough understanding of both the technology capabilities and user requirements  of our customers and commercial partners, enabling us to support partners in their specification of products. Our experience can mean that the instrument development for new product release is no longer a major hurdle and systems can be rapidly brought to market.

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