Proprietary GSS technology extracts genomic barcodes from microbial DNA as it flows through a microfluidic chip at 10 million base pairs per second. Complex biological specimens can be scanned to detect and identify strain types, as well as determine the molecular serotype of pathogenic organisms, in just under five hours, days faster and at lower cost than current techniques. GSS can be applied to advanced research in microbial genomics, food and pharmaceutical product safety, and clinical infectious disease diagnostics and infection control.
Under GSS, an automated sample preparation system extracts genomic DNA from a biological sample (e.g. enrichment broths from complex biological specimens, clinical specimens, food samples).
DNA is cut into large fragments and labeled with two fluorescent tags that recognize frequently occurring 6-8 base-pair sequences, and is then linearized in a microfluidic device. Linearized DNA fragments in the size range 100-300 kilobases flow at 10 megabases/sec past a detection system, where the fragment length and spatial pattern of tags along each DNA fragment is recorded. This tag pattern on each fragment, which is based on the underlying DNA sequence, creates a genomic barcode. The combination of genomic barcodes for a specific organism creates the organism's genomic fingerprint.
The genomic barcode of each fragment passing the detector is compared to patterns in a database to enable identification of the bacteria, including the seroytype or specific strain type, from which the DNA fragment is derived. Genomic fingerprints in the database can be generated from a known sequence or by measurement in the system. GSS analyzes samples directly; neither PCR nor other amplification techniques are used. Current sample-to-answer time is under five hours.