Future demands for understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases will create a need for DNA sequencing platforms that are faster and significantly more cost effective than the alternatives currently available. It is the aim of this project to develop methods and components for a sequencing-by-synthesis approach with the potential of fulfilling these needs. The core group of three biotech SMEs, located in Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania, have essential and unique competencies for developing these new DNA methods and components but some key elements are missing and need to be found outside these companies.
Steps involvs development of four dNTPs with blocked 3'-end, isolation and selection of a DNA polymerase that accepts these, a microfluidic device as reaction chamber, bioinformatics and validation of the system.
The SMEs represent extensive experience in the area of DNA arrays with spotted primers for mutation detection, organic chemistry of modified nucleotides, and isolating and selecting DNA modifying enzymes. The areas where additional expertise is needed are i)DNA polymerases interaction with modified dNTPs, ii)microfluidics, iii)bioinformatics, specifically related to primer selection and handling the DNA sequence information generated. Three RTD performers from Germany, Sweden and Estonia with excellent knowledge in these three (i-iii) areas will take part in the project. It is expected, that with the support of this CRAFTproject, the SME group will succeed in this development of the new approach, based on an array platform with thousands or more of oligonucleotide features. The major technical risk concerns the identification of a DNA polymerase that accepts the modified nucleotides, and the possibilities to improve its performance.A positive outcome of the project must be followed by commercialisation that will involve the development of a fully functional and marketable product. For this phase the SME group may choose to involve other parties.
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