Digital PCR experts at Ghent University join hands with Stilla Technologies

(20-05-2019) Renowned Digital PCR experts at Ghent University join hands with Stilla Technologies to expand the frontiers of Crystal™ dPCR using the Naica™ System.

Ghent University has signed a collaborative agreement with Stilla technologies. Stilla’s Naica system, a dPCR equipment, offers multiplexing to detect multiple target genes in a single assay with high precision and accuracy. In this collaborative project, the two parties will be joining hands for the next 3 years to provide numerous opportunities for training, research, and exploring novel applications of dPCR to researchers across the world.

Digital PCR (dPCR) is a novel method for precise quantification of nucleic acids. This collaboration would benefit the dPCR users worldwide in the form of hands-on training courses, webinars, and seminars in addition to the existing courses on dPCR available at Ghent University. Most importantly, this partnership will lead to optimization and validation of Naica based assays to a broad range of experiments and provide a platform for interested users to validate their samples on the Naica system with the help of the Ghent University team of dPCR experts.

A team of eminent multidisciplinary researchers at Ghent University (Prof. Ward De Spiegelaere, Prof. Jo Vandesompele, Prof. Linos Vandekerckhove, Prof. Olivier Thas, and Dr. Wim Trypsteen) plans to investigate a wide range of research questions including increasing the multiplexing capacity of the system, improving the efficiency of measurement of reverse-transcription using different kits available in the market, and the development of a data standard for dPCR among many other research studies.

Prof. Ward De Spiegelaere: “Through this collaboration, we can validate our data analysis tools on the 3-color digital PCR system. Since the Naica system allows us to work with the raw data, we will be able to fine-tune our data analysis pipelines to further increase the quantitative accuracy of digital PCR experiments.”

The currently available software, ddpcRquant developed at Ghent University, for dPCR will be updated to accommodate data analysis from the Naica system software, Crystal™ Miner, for universal adaptability across research labs. The goal of this partnership is to ultimately incorporate dPCR as a standard lab commodity in research laboratories owing to its ease of use and wide range of applications. The Stilla Naica system is up and running at Ghent University as of May 2, 2019, offering new opportunities to dPCR users for training, research, and collaboration. 

dCPR at Ghent University

Digital PCR @ Ghent University is a consortium of research labs combining their expertise from biomedical sciences and statistics to advance the development and dissemination of novel applications and methodology for dPCR platforms. They work on several dPCR platforms including the Bio-Rad QX100, Bio-Rad QX200, and Stilla Naica System. Currently, researchers from four research groups are collaborating on dPCR projects on different applications such as HIV, genetics, oncology, and statistics.