Nebraska Patent of the Month – August 2022
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a well known laboratory technique used to rapidly amplify millions (or even billions) or small segments of DNA. This allows a small sample of DNA to be studied in detail. This lab technique absolutely revolutionized the scientific world. Since then, various optical detection systems have been developed that use fluorescent probes and dyes that ensure the signal intensities will be proportional to the reaction products in the PCR.
Streck, Inc. has been working to further advance the industry, improving the efficiency and reliability of well known processes and instrument tests. As a part of this mission, the company has developed devices that support this real-time PCR.
This device uses a combination of light sources, detectors, waveguides, and filters to achieve real-time PCR. The design is made to be compact, occupying minimal space and therefore employing less hardware per sample. The use of a thermocycler instrument improves the PCR efficiency, allowing the simultaneous amplification and quantification of the nucleic acids. The design positions the sample block between opposing thermoelectric devices, allowing the sample to receive light without it being blocked by the thermoelectric devices. This design has proven to allow for the PCR analysis of a sample with a significantly reduced read time as well as reading multiple light wavelengths at once. While PCR as a whole revolutionized the scientific community as a whole, it also opened up a whole new world for engineering and innovation of the test itself.
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