Bringing Sanger Sequencing into Your Lab

Expanding Options for Sanger Confirmation with SeqStudio™

We’re sure you’ve heard it by now – there’s a new kid in town when it comes to Sanger sequencing. After years of industry updates focused mainly on Next Generation Sequencing, Sanger is getting a little bit of the love it deserves. Our previous blog outlines the benefits of Sanger in clinical labs, biopharma labs, and for NGS confirmation. Read it here:  New Sanger Sequencing Applications – Sanger Confirmation for NGS.

Modernizing Sanger Sequencing

In our current environment, with the prevalence of high-throughput sequencing and genetic variations being introduced via CRISPR/CAS9, Sanger has truly become the “spell check” of the genome. This “gold standard” for sequencing is used for validating results from NGS, confirming cloned inserts or mutated sequences, identifying disease-causing genetic sequences, targeting small regions, and more.

In May, Thermo Fisher Scientific introduced a new capillary electrophoresis (CE) system designed to offer a low-throughput, cartridge-based system for Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis. The Applied Biosystems™ SeqStudio™ Genetic Analyzer was designed to fill the need for an affordable and easy-to-use CE platform.

The SeqStudio is being touted for its potential use in oncology research, genome editing, species identification, human cell line authentication, and more. The benchtop unit performs both Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis, has a smaller price point, is cloud-enabled and does not require a specialist to operate. Polymer and buffer come pre-loaded in a removable cartridge which can last for months, which means scientists or labs can complete their runs separately, without worrying about another team’s usage of consumables (even if it is a shared machine).

Increasing Access to Sanger Sequencing

The SeqStudio will help expand access to Sanger sequencing. It is a boon for NGS labs and biopharma research facilities who use Sanger for NGS confirmation, CRISPR/CAS9 confirmation, plasmid/clone confirmation, and cell line authentication. It is a crucial for these facilities to confirm work (Was the correct gene inserted? Was a mutation created?) before they can move on to the next step in the research or manufacturing process. The ability to bring Sanger to more, smaller labs will increase lab turn-around times as confirmations can be performed in-house, instead of sending samples out to specialized labs or dedicated CE experts.  Bottlenecks can be created when sending samples out for analysis—the ability to have real-time, cloud accessible data, produced in-house, will enable faster decision making and speed research timelines.

Due to Sanger’s low throughput and targeted sequencing, the amount of information generated is small enough to be read and evaluated on spreadsheets. Disparate lab sequencing systems increase the potential for errors in data comparison, especially if the work has been outsourced. The new SeqStudio is cloud-enabled, which means labs using the Thermo Fisher Cloud or operating an informatics platform such as the Platform for Science, can natively store all data in the same platform (regardless of sequencing technology), reducing errors caused by transcription or spreadsheet manipulation. When Sanger applications run on the same platform as NGS workflow, this allows sequencing information to be compared directly, in a traceable, reportable way within the informatics platform.

Core Informatics is hard at work, creating SeqStudio applications for our Platform for Science Marketplace. We will have more information when the SeqStudio becomes widely available this fall.