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Efficient R&D Platform

R&D's great challenges exist because developers, by definition, deal with unknowns. Much R&D only extends what is already known, but still requires real-world confirmation of implicit assumptions. Visionary R&D takes on many more unknowns.

The Saigene UAP/SHA platform can help reduce risks by providing a robust assay strategy with rapid turnaround during testing. SHA-R&D Kits provide strips of biotinylated prongs, reagents, and microtiter plates. The developer can devise biotinylated molecular capture probes that can bind to the desired target molecules in the sample. Probe types include oligonucleotides that bind with cellular nucleic acids, or antibodies that bind to the epitopes in the sample constituents.

To perform an assay, the Universal Assay Processor uses a strip of 12 prong positioned above a 96-well microtiter plate. 

The prong strip provides 12 streptavidin-coated "dipsticks" that link to the user's biotinylated molecular capture probes. The microtiter plate contains reagents and washes used in a sequence of reactions that first capture the targets of interest and then build an assay "sandwich," with the capture probe and its target as the "filling" between the prong and a molecular signal complex.

The automated processor's assay program controls the arm that carries a prong strip to move the strip over one row of microtiter wells and then dip the prongs into the wells and agitate the prong strip. A heater block beneath the microtiter plate provides temperature regulation.

After completing a step for one microtiter well row, the processor raised the prong strip and moves to the next row in a sequence and repeats the dipping action. In this way, the prongs build a coating "sandwich" that adds layers as the prongs move from one row of reactant wells to another.

Our SHA-R&D Kits include pre-coated biotinylated probe strips, microtiter plates, and all reagents needed to create custom assays. You only need to provide your own biotinylated oligo or other molecular capture probes.

Detailed instructions describe how to prepare and troubleshoot your custom SHA kits.

Following our instructions, you then develop a program for the UAP to process the assays. As with any other assay design, you can adjust various process steps to achieve the best tradeoffs across  your different probe requirements.

You also make tradeoffs between individual assay replicates, multiplex capacity, and internal controls.

Universal Assay Processor (UAP) showing prong strips and microtiter well plate in position. A robotic arm holds the prong strip. The arm moves horizontally to position the prong strip above a row of wells. It then moves vertically to dip the prongs into the wells and agitate them. The prongs carry the assay "sandwich" as a coating that build layers when the processor moves from one row of reactant wells to another.

For organism identification, analysis with the UAP/SHA system using oligo probes that hybridize with rRNA offers important advantages over current practices and alternative methods—

  1. Probe design can include virtually any taxonomic level from species to broad family with high specificity when required. Broad methods such as ATP detection cannot indicate nor guide effective biocide selection.

  2. Requires only a crude lysate: does not involve nucleic acid purification or amplification. SHA tolerates high salt and other constituents in complex field samples than can interfere with DNA and immunoassay analyses.

  3. Detects live organisms because only live cells continuously synthesize ribosomes, which have high turnover. Effective biocide treatment can lead to high content of DNA from dead cells, confounding interpretation when using DNA analysis. Similar confounding occurs with immunoassays.

  4. Fast analysis,  typically requiring less than 75 minutes after sample prep. This enables near-real-time response for field sample analysis and intervention decisions at the moment of need.

  5. Provides either qualitative color readout (present/absent) by eye or semi-quantitative abundance reporting by a standard plate reader.

  6. Bench instrument and pre-filled assay kits require only minimal laboratory skills and training.

  7. Cost-effective, enabling frequent monitoring of results for effective management of problems associated with harmful organisms.

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