Life Technologies Corporation, a provider of innovative life science solutions, announced that it has launched its Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) sequencer, the first product to use semiconductor sequencing technology. The sequencer is shipping to select sites in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
The Ion PGM sequencer’s unprecedented speed, scalability and affordability are driving strong interest in the system around the world and as a result, delivery priority will be given to customers ordering multiple units.
Ion Torrent, a business unit of Life Technologies, has invented and brought to market a fundamentally new semiconductor device that enables chemical signals to be directly translated into digital information for the first time. Ion semiconductor sequencing is a disruptive technology because it brings the entire design, fabrication and supply chain infrastructure of the semiconductor industry—a $1 trillion investment—to bear on the challenge of DNA sequencing. The semiconductor has radically changed every industry it has touched, from the microprocessor enabling desktop computing to the CMOS imager, enabling digital photography and replacing film cameras.
“Point-and-shoot digital cameras opened up photography to everyone because they were fast, cheap and easy — and people saw the results immediately, so they quickly became better photographers,” said Dr. Jonathan M. Rothberg, founder of Ion Torrent. “That’s what Ion is doing for DNA sequencing. The Ion PGM sequencer gives you results in two hours, and it’s affordable and easy to use, so researchers can make decisions in a timely way and can get to publication quicker.”
The PGM sequencer augments Life Technologies’ broad portfolio of DNA sequencing instruments, a market first revolutionized with the introduction of the Applied Biosystems 3700 Genetic Analyzer, which enabled the initial sequencing of the human genome. The current 3500 Series Genetic Analyzers are the gold standard for forensics, and the 3500Dx model for molecular diagnostic applications in Europe and Asia, while the SOLiD System’s unparalleled accuracy makes it the ideal researchers’ choice in large-scale next-generation sequencing.