The next generation of library preparation solutions for DNA sequencing
Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, there have been a slew of significant technological developments that have allowed the sequencing of entire genomes for just a few thousand dollars. However, for many labs, the availability of high throughput, cost-effective sequencing technologies has shifted the bottleneck to sample preparation. Fortunately, the recent development of state-of-the art automated library preparation solutions is overcoming the last major bottleneck in the NGS workflow, giving even the smallest of labs access to fast, reliable and repeatable sequencing.
NGS is now a standard tool in academia and clinical research. Its superior sensitivity and specificity mean that NGS is slowly but surely taking the place of many legacy technologies used for exploring numerous diseases at the molecular level. However, prior to sequencing a DNA sample, it must first be fragmented, end-repaired and ligated to specific adaptor sequences. Traditionally, this has been achieved via manual means, requiring repetitive pipetting protocols that are time consuming, costly and error prone. The introduction of automation has been a game changer for laboratory processes in general, but especially in the area of sequencing. It has drastically increased the speed, accuracy and repeatability of NGS library preparation, while reducing costs.
As revolutionary as these state-of-the-art technologies are, until now they have mostly been exclusive to high throughput labs for several reasons. Firstly, the high cost of purchasing these solutions has restricted their use to large-scale, well-funded labs with corresponding high levels of throughput. Secondly, although these technologies significantly reduce processing time, there is still a notable amount of manual labor involved in reagent preparation and loading, as well as the need for in-house automation expertise to write complex scripts. Additionally, these solutions are often physically too large for small labs, where floor space is at a premium.
Boosting efficiency in low throughput labs
Fortunately, affordable solutions for low throughput library preparation – such as the Tecan MagicPrep™ NGS* system – have been developed specifically to address these issues. This benchtop instrument combines automation, software, scripts, reagents and consumables into a single integrated workflow, and is small enough to fit into even the tightest of lab spaces. It can significantly increase process efficiency by offering complete, walkaway automation of multiple samples simultaneously, without the need for an external computer. All the necessary reagents and consumables are housed in plug-in cartridges to virtually eliminate manual pipetting and increase repeatability, resulting in mean success rates of over 99%**. The system’s optimized scripts ensure no specialized programming knowledge is necessary, allowing even inexperienced users to set-up a library prep run in under 10 minutes.
The next generation
Genetic sequencing has come a long way since the Human Genome Project, with technological advancements significantly boosting throughput and efficiency, all while reducing cost. In fact, the cost of sequencing an entire human genome has fallen by a factor of a thousand over the last decade due to these innovative solutions. Thankfully such automated systems are no longer exclusively reserved for large throughput labs, and affordable benchtop solutions now offer smaller labs a route to more reliable and repeatable results. Be sure to book a remote demo to find out how the Tecan MagicPrep NGS can enhance library preparation in your lab.
*For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
**Success rate is based on mean internal data. Sample quality and variability may have an impact on the success rate. For more information, visit tecan.com/magicprep-ngs/reliability
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