GNA Biosolutions – ultra-fast laser heating of nanoparticles
Heating and cooling has been the bottle-neck of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) since its invention about thirty years ago. All approaches so far require time-consuming, repetitive heating and cooling of the entire sample. Usually, this is achieved by a heating block or a stream of air that causes a heat transport in and out of the sample. However, the poor thermal conductivity of the PCR solution as well as of the reaction vessel severely limit the heating and cooling rates in conventional PCR. GNA Biosolutions employs a radically new approach to PCR, with heating and cooling rates that are many orders of magnitude faster than any PCR so far. This is achieved by adding laser heated nanoparticles to the solution, which function as the world’s smallest thermal cyclers. This local heating technology drives GNA’s new PCR amplification (Laser PCR) and fluorescent-free DNA detection (NANOSTOVE).
Laser PCR enables heating and cooling ramps on a microsecond time scale. After the elongation of the primers, a laser pulse locally heats up the nanoparticles, thereby denaturing the newly formed DNA double strand. As the reaction remains at the productive temperature of the polymerase virtually the entire time, the cycle duration can be kept as low as 3 seconds. Laser PCR allows us to have 1000000x shorter PCR temperature ramps by laser-heating of nanoparticles in comparison to the conventional PCR with its global heating process. Overall, the PCR cycles with Laser PCR are about 10 times faster. GNA’s nano-heating technology also provides a robust read-out for Laser PCR that minimizes any sample preparation. The plasmonic nature of the detection avoids common problems of other technologies, such as background fluorescence, photobleaching, or quenching stemming from the sample matrix.
GNA Biosolutions GmbH was incorporated in 2010 as a spin-off from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich. GNA Biosolutions is headquartered in Martinsried (Germany) and Managing Directors are Joachim Stehr, Federico Bürsgens and Lars Ullerich.
More about GNA Biosolutions : www.gna-bio.com