Highly sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 by Crystal Digital PCR™

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • CEO, Stilla Technologies
    Biography
      Rémi DANGLA has acted as CEO and co-founder of Stilla Technologies, a start-up leading innovation in the field of digital PCR since 2013. Rémi has grown the company through multiple international funding rounds (latest round: $ 22M Series B in 2020) . He has been developing innovative droplet microfluidic tools for molecular biology since 2009, exploring both the fundamental underlying physics and the addressable applications such as digital PCR.

    Abstract

    The current gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis is based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Recent studies suggest limitations of RT-qPCR in the detection of SARS-CoV-2, possibly leading to false-negative results. Development of robust and sensitive laboratory tests is of primary importance. Digital PCR is a promising approach to address this challenge, in particular the Crystal Digital™ PCR workflow from Stilla Technologies. To confirm this hypothesis, a SARS-CoV-2 detection kit was developed on the Naica™ System. The assay exploits the system’s unique 3-color 3-channel detection capability to provide a highly sensitive and internally controlled SARS-CoV-2 assay. The targets are two distinct regions (Nucleocapside (N) and ORF1ab genes) of the SARS-CoV-2 positive-strand RNA genome, and an endogenous PCR reference detecting a human housekeeping gene. On-going studies performed in China and France confirm that Crystal Digital PCR allows to 1) reliably classify non conclusive high Ct results obtained in RT-qPCR and 2) uncover false negative results in RT-qPCR. The assay is therefore a promising complementary tool to improve Covid-19 testing and our response to the pandemic.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Discover how a unique droplet microfluidic technology automates the digital PCR workflow

    2. Understand how Crystal Digital PCR addresses key limitations of RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 detection and quantification


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