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August 7, 2002
Olympus Launches MF10S System
for SNP Typing Analysis
World's first commercial system based on single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy is capable of high-speed SNP typing analysis in just a few seconds
MF10S SNP typing analysis system
MF10S SNP typing analysis system
Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. (President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) has completed the joint development of the MF10S SNP typing analysis system with Evotec Technologies GmbH (CEO: Dr. Carsten Claussen; Hamburg, Germany). SNP typing (Note 1) promises to be an important tool in the study of drug responses and the detection of disease-associated genes. The company plans to start taking orders for the system in Japan from the end of August 2002 and will make the product available in overseas markets in due course. The MF10S system employs single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (Note 2), a technology that not only permits high-speed measurements relative to existing techniques, but also facilitates inexpensive, high-precision analysis. The principal target market for sales includes universities, other academic research institutions, pharmaceutical firms and contract research organizations, all of which are expected to use this kind of equipment in researching future tailor-made medicines.
Main Features
  1. High-speed analysis with high sensitivity and low noise
  2. Low running costs
  3. No pre-analysis sample washing required
  4. Simple and user-friendly operation
Product Background
The study of individual differences by means of the phenomenon of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) is widely expected to be a promising approach in identifying useful genetic markers that could be employed in the analysis of drug responses and the detection of disease-associated genes. A variety of investigative techniques and equipment have already been developed for the purpose of SNP typing. The MF10S is the world's first kind of commercial equipment to apply single molecule fluorescence detection method to SNP typing. This allows precise measurements to be made both rapidly and cheaply.

The MF10S system is specially designed for SNP typing. The high reliability of the data it produces has already been demonstrated by means of extensive testing with earlier versions of the system at an affiliate of Olympus Optical, NovusGene Inc. (President: Toshio Sofuni; Hachioji City, Tokyo) and at the University of Tokyo Human SNP Typing Center (Location: The University of Tokyo Hongo campus; Director: Prof. Katsushi Tokunaga, Department of Human Genetics Graduate School of International Health, the University of Tokyo).

The development of several innovative system applications is also currently underway. Such advances will include a design that enables all reactions to happen in a single tube (Note 3), thereby permitting even quicker analysis. Olympus hopes such development work will eventually make a significant contribution to a society in which medical treatments can be tailor-made.

Details of Main Features
  High-speed analysis with high sensitivity and low noise
    The confocal laser optical system (Note 4) with a high-sensitivity fluorescence detection device permits measurements in an extremely small volume of around 1 femtoliter (1 fL = 1 x 10-15 L). Complementary or non-complementary primers are first amplified via the PCR method (Note 5). The system then undertakes the analysis of the fluorescent-labeled primers (Note 6) prepared in this way by capturing interactions at the level of single molecules through the measurement of translational diffusion coefficients. The MF10S operates at low noise, detects fluorescent signals with extremely high sensitivity, and can perform highly accurate measurements rapidly (each sample requires only a few seconds). Large numbers of samples can be measured in sequence using a specially designed plate with 384 wells.
  Low running costs
    Improved system design minimizes the use of reagents and other consumables (such as glass-bottomed microplates and distilled water), thereby contributing to low running costs. It is no longer necessary to use reagents after PCR.
  No pre-analysis sample washing required
    The time-consuming steps required with conventional analytical methods such as sample purification after the PCR reaction or pre-measurement substrate washing are not necessary with the MF10S system. Fluorescence signal measurements can be performed directly on the sample solution.
  Simple and user-friendly operation
    Tricky pre-measurement optical adjustments, such as pinhole alignment, are all done automatically by the system. Once the sample plate has been set in place and the measurement wells have been specified, the analysis can be conducted immediately.
    1. SNP typing
    SNP stands for "single nucleotide polymorphism," which means variation in single nucleotide that occurs only once in every 300-500 DNA sequences. The study of such variations in nucleotides can yield genetic markers that could signal a person's susceptibility to a certain disease, or else provide clues as to the likely response to a drug and its possible side-effect profile. By analyzing and sequencing ("typing") SNPs, researchers hope to investigate the relationship between SNPs, disease-associated genes and drug responses. This approach is expected to be extremely valuable in genomic novel drug discovery and tailor-made medicine.
    2. Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy
    This technology is used to analyze molecules interactions in solutions that provide and environment similar to that in a living organism. A confocal laser optical system is used to observe the behavior of the molecules that make up living organisms in ultra-microscopic fields measuring approximately 1 femtoliters (1 fL = 1 x 10-15 L). The system measures amplification products from primers with fluorescent labels at the individual molecule level. The system was developed jointly with Evotec Technologies GmbH (CEO: Dr. Carsten Claussen; Hamburg, Germany).
    3. Single-tube reaction set-up
    Conventional SNP typing techniques require a multitude of steps to prepare a sample for measurement from the original DNA material. Development is currently underway of a more advanced SNP typing system, in which all that is required is to add the original DNA material to a single tube where the measurement sample is prepared and all reactions occur.
    4. Confocal laser optical system
    A system of optics that uses a pinhole at the point of focus in order to exclude all light except that from the focal position. This arrangement generates much better S/N (signal-to-noise) ratios than those produced by conventional methods for reading fluorescent signals.
    5. PCR amplification of complementary or non-complementary primers
    First, DNA primers with base-pair sequences that are either complementary or non-complementary to the sequence to be detected are prepared and amplified using the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) method. SNP detection works by analyzing the presence or absence of amplified DNA in the measurement sample.

    6. Fluorescent-labeled primer
    A synthetic DNA primer that is labeled with a fluorescent substance. The MF10S system uses two different colors of fluorescent-labeled primer for SNP typing.
    7. Translational diffusion time
    A physical coefficient for a molecule that increases in line with its molecular size.
Overview of Evotec Technologies GmbH
Address : Schnackenburgallee 114,C22525 Hamburg, Germany
President & CEO : Dr. Carsten Claussen
Year of foundation : 2002, before division of EvotecOAI AG, founded 1993
Nature of business : Evotec Technologies offers innovative solutions for complex life science applications. The company provides seamless integration of hardware, software and bioware modules, combining cutting-edge technologies for measurement, miniaturization and automation. It employs around 60 people at three locations in Germany (Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Berlin).
Main Specifications
Analysis Method
Single molecule fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS)
Measurement Parameters
Concentration, translational diffusion time, mean fluorescence brightness
Laser Wavelengths
543 nm, 633 nm
External Appearance
Bench-top device measuring W660mm x H405mm x D550mm
approx. 90kg
Automated Adjustment
Focal position, confocal optical system, correction of objective lens etc.
Input voltage = single-phase AC 100V-240V; power consumption rated at 600VA
Proprietary software running on Windows 2000 O/S
PC, monitor
Glass-bottomed microplate (96, 384 wells/plate), distilled water
*Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. was changed to OLYMPUS CORPORATION as of October 1, 2003.
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