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FEMTO Pulse™

 
 
FEMTO Pulse™ Automated Pulsed-Field CE Instrument
Introduction
Winner of a 2016 R&D 100 Award, the FEMTO Pulse Automated Pulsed-Field CE Instrument is shattering analytic barriers for nucleic acid separation and detection. Using a pulsed-field power supply, the FEMTO Pulse is the first ever parallel capillary electrophoresis instrument able to resolve DNA smears and DNA fragments through 200,000 bp. With a meticulously designed optical detection platform unprecedented sensitivity is achieved, detecting nucleic acids into the lower femtogram range.



 
 
Dilution series of a 300 bp fragment showing the 5 fg/µL sensitivity of the FEMTO Pulse Automated Pulsed-Field CE Instrument using the Ultra-Short Capillary Array (22-40). Concentrations listed are after dilution into the sample well.
 
 
The FEMTO Pulse is a versatile instrument with various applications across many research disciplines. Capable of separating large DNA fragments and smears, BAC clones, total RNA, and small RNA with unmatched speed, the list of potential applications of the FEMTO Pulse goes on and on. The researchers’ imagination is the only limiting factor for the FEMTO Pulse.
 
 
Overview
Agarose gel electrophoresis lacks the capability to resolve DNA fragments and smears starting around 20 Kb, in a phenomena termed, "limiting mobility". Functionally, limiting mobility results in the co-migration of large DNA fragments in excess of the size threshold as they are unable to migrate in a size dependent manner. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) ameliorates these issues by alternating the direction of the electric field. This technique uses an agarose gel to separate fragments up to 10 Mb in size. While PFGE is a powerful technique, enabling the visual analysis of large DNA fragments and smears – including intact genomic DNA – it is time consuming, requiring days of preparation time, significant amounts of genomic DNA, and electrophoresis times between 15 and 24 hours. The FEMTO Pulse Automated Pulsed-Field CE Instrument accelerates this workflow significantly, decreasing preparation time and completing pulsed-field capillary electrophoresis (PFCE) runs in approximately 1 hour

The FEMTO Pulse is equipped with a pulsed-field power supply, enabling pulsed-field capillary electrophoresis (PFCE). The power supply is additionally capable of supplying constant voltage for the separation of nucleic acid fragments and smears that do not require PFCE. To separate large nucleic acid smears and fragments, the FEMTO Pulse periodically changes the direction of the electric field by 180° in a specific type of pulsed-field electrophoresis called field-inversion electrophoresis. Alternating the electric field in such a manner overcomes limiting mobility, forcing the size dependent separation of large DNA fragments and smears.

An optimized optical system facilitates the detection of nucleic acid samples down to 5 fg/µL. A general overview of how nucleic acids are detected on the FEMTO Pulse is as follows; an LED light source (470 nm) passes through the capillaries in the detection window, exciting the dye intercalated into the DNA or RNA molecules. The emitted fluorescence then passes through a camera lens and specific band pass filters and spatially imaged onto a CCD detector providing results in real-time.
 
 
FEMTO Pulse™ Video
 
 

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