Cambridge University research group employs Fluidigm’s EP1 genotyping system for cancer studies

16 February 2009

The Cancer Research UK Centre for Genetic Epidemiology, University of Cambridge, based at Strangeways Research Laboratory has purchased a Fluidigm EP1 genotyping system to conduct cancer research and disease association studies.

The Fluidigm EP1 system gives the efficiencies of integrated fluidic circuit (IFC)-based high-throughput genotyping in a desktop-sized configuration.

The Centre for Genetic Epidemiology is using high-throughput SNP genotyping to identify and verify genetic variants that can underlie susceptibility to various cancers. Cancers that are being investigated include breast, ovarian, colorectal, prostate, and melanoma.

The lab uses an automated process with sample tracking and quality control. The Centre has successfully completed its validation experiments on the EP1 system using real samples and will now move forward using the system in its large genotyping studies.

“With a high-throughput genotyping lab already in place here at Strangeways, Fluidigm’s integrated fluidic circuits offered us an exciting new technology where we could use reliable TaqMan chemistry with the added ability of assaying 96 SNPs at a time,” said Craig Luccarini, Senior Technical Officer, Strangeways Research Laboratory.

“Piloting of the EP1 system generated data of good quality and the system fitted well in our lab as a robust process, capable of genotyping thousands of DNA samples, all at a competitive cost per genotype.”

“The Centre for Genetic Epidemiology is undertaking important research focusing on understanding the determinants of common disease and how to prevent them. Their work can make a noteworthy difference in people’s lives,” said Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm president and chief executive officer. “We believe the attributes of our EP1 system can help them speed toward the answers they seek.”

Strangeways Research Laboratory is known for its exploration surrounding identification and prevention of common diseases with a genetic component. They use a wide range of disciplines relevant to a given field, and bring together researchers in epidemiology, molecular genetics, bioinformatics, statistics and public health. This interdisciplinary approach is a particular strength of Strangeways Research Laboratory.

Fluidigm’s EP1 system, combined with the company’s IFCs called dynamic arrays, provide superior data quality, a fast and easy workflow, and significant cost savings for high-throughput SNP genotyping studies. The EP1 system delivers SNP genotyping results with better than 99 percent call rates and 99.75 percent or greater accuracy. All of this is achieved with an easy-to-use, high-throughput workflow that can provide up to 9,216 data points per IFC with results in just four hours.

The EP1 system, which includes the IFC Controller, Stand-Alone Thermal Cycler and End Point Reader, provides over 27,000 genotypes a day. By adding more IFC controllers and thermal cyclers to be used in conjunction with a single EP1 Reader, laboratories can generate more than 200,000 genotypes in a day using TaqMan chemistries.

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