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World’s First Automated Pulsed-Field Capillary Electrophoresis System from AATI Wins R&D 100 Award

FEMTO Pulse™ rapidly determines quality and quantity of large fragment DNA and RNA sequences

by Advanced Analytical Technologies
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FEMTO Pulse Automated Pulsed-Field CE InstrumenANKENY, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI) received an R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine for the FEMTO Pulse Automated Pulsed-Field CE Instrument. As the only automated pulsed-field capillary electrophoresis system on the market, the FEMTO Pulse won the award for its ability to separate and analyze large nucleic acid fragments—up to 165,000 base pairs—with high efficiency and sensitivity. The R&D 100 Awards recognize the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year. Commonly known as the “Oscars of Invention,” the awards have recognized pioneering technology for more than 50 years.

Successful next-generation sequencing (NGS) is reliant upon the construction of quality NGS libraries. Synthesis of these libraries, from short-read sequencing to the latest long-read sequencing applications, depends on several critical quality control (QC) checkpoints. While sequencing technology has advanced, QC methods have stagnated, limiting their application in new NGS technologies. The FEMTO Pulse fills a niche in NGS workflows, capable of quantifying and qualifying challenging samples, from initial QC steps to final library validation.

“NGS systems are now starting to analyze fragments over 50,000 base pairs, and most labs tell me they have little starting material for preparing a library and need to be able to assess its size. These are precious samples,” said Steve Siembieda, AATI’s vice president of commercialization.

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With sequencing moving to larger and larger fragments, AATI saw a need for a completely new analytical instrument design. The result is the FEMTO Pulse, the first device of its kind to feature a parallel capillary electrophoresis platform with a pulsed-field power supply and enhanced optical sensors.

These features allow for the following benefits as compared to methods such as agarose based pulsed-field gel electrophoresis:

  • Run times of about one hour, versus 14-36 hours
  • Measuring samples with concentrations as low as 5 fg/µL
  • Using less sample for analysis
  • Accurately sizing fragments as large as 165,000 base pairs

These improvements enable the FEMTO Pulse to push the boundaries of nucleic acid detection and fragment sizing, impacting applications such as: single-cell nucleic acid analysis, PCR-free preparation of NGS library preparation, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone sizing, and exosome analysis. In addition, the instrument can perform standard analyses.

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