Clinical diagnosis, which is useful in diagnosis and prognosis of illness, has been practiced widely and routinely in the world. There are in-vivo and in-vitro diagnoses in this field, and the in-vitro diagnosis methods are largely separated to biochemical testing, immunological serum testing and genetic testing, and the biochemical and immunological serum testing, which used for a long time, have been already mostly automated, and all processes after sample setting are carried out and the results outputted automatically in a single apparatus.
In contract, as for genetic testing, only infectious disease tests such as of viruses and certain genetic tests have been put in practical application. Furthermore, the development of full automation in genetic testing has lagged far behind those of biochemical and immunological serum tests due to complexity of detection technology and difficulty of gene handling even though automation of each testing process is relatively automated. Genetic tests require extraction of the genes such as DNAs from samples; nonetheless, automation of this process had been delayed.
PSS focused on magnetic particles already practically used as an ultimate immobilization material in automating immunological serum tests and studied automation of the extraction process needed for genetic tests. As a result, PSS invented a control technique of magnetic particles, by using a device based on a conventional X-Y-Z-axis robot-type pipetting machine, which has a specially-shaped plastic disposable tip and a magnet automatically detachable outside the tip. The technology is Magtration® Technology.
In this device, a sample is first drawn up into a specially-shaped tip, which is loaded into a nozzle. The sample is then dispensed into a well containing reagent and mixed by aspirating and dispensing repeatedly. The magnetic particles can be effectively separated and captured on the inner wall of the pipette tip by a magnet that comes into contact with the tip at the region with optimal diameter during aspirating or dispensing operation.
Moving the separated particles to the next well and repeating the aspirating/dispensing operation can lead to effective re-suspending or washing of the magnetic particles. Eliminating the risk of cross-contamination was achieved by operation without bubbling or scattering because the tip end is immersed in the liquid during this process.
Thus, Magtration® Technology has characteristics of a magnetic particle separation method that handles target substances only, and simple run devices using automatic processes.
Magtration® is a term we newly created, of which derived from abbreviating "Magnetic Filtration". It is PSS original technology to automate the reaction process of magnetic particles. The automation of nucleic acid extraction mediated by magnetic particles had been thus far unsatisfactory because of the difficulty of integrating several key factors on one device. These difficult factors include the capturing efficiency (a key point of the particle controlling process), the re-suspension efficiency of the next process, preventing contamination and others. PSS solved these problems successfully by incorporating its proprietary Magtration® Technology in an extremely simplistic device which was originally used as an automated pipetting station.
Magtration® Technology is characterized by the adoption of a magnetic particle separation method that handles target substances only, and simple run devices that eliminate risks in automatic processes.