Ken Tsukii, Akihiro Murakami, Toru Takahashi and Jie Xu
As we enter the "post-genome sequencing" era, great importance attaches to techniques for analyzing single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are expected to make a crucial contribution to achieving tailor-made medical treatment. This makes it desirable to realize a system that fully automates the process of SNP analysis.
The Production Engineering Development Center has therefore embarked, together with FI-Techno and Precision Systems Science, on a joint project for development of a fully automated DNA analyzer, and has achieved a number of significant technological results relating primarily to DNA detection. By developing a system for transmitting genetic information by means of fluorescence-marked microbeads and a proprietary high-sensitivity detection system that takes advantage of fiber-optic technology, we have developed a unique DNA information analyzer capable of high-speed and high-sensitivity analysis of SNPs. We are now manufacturing an apparatus capable of fully automated analysis of SNPs that can be used in clinical diagnosis applications.