Product News: Biosearch Technologies Acquires Majority Stake in LightSpeed Genomics to Aid Development of StellarVision™ Gene Expression Platform

26 Sep 2013

Biosearch Technologies, Inc. (Biosearch) is a leading supplier of sophisticated oligonucleotide components to the rapidly growing molecular diagnostics industry. Biosearch has acquired a majority stake in LightSpeed Genomics, Inc. (LSG), a Santa Clara, California-based company developing an innovative optical detection solution for the life science and diagnostics industry based on its proprietary Synthetic Aperture Optics™ (SAO™) technology. Biosearch and LSG are collaborators on the development of StellarVision™, a next generation gene expression platform optimized to work seamlessly with Biosearch’s Stellaris® RNA FISH assays to detect and quantify single molecule RNA targets within individual cells.

“The synergy of Stellaris assays with StellarVision provides a paradigm shift in gene expression analysis,” comments Marc Beal, Director of Corporate Development and Licensing at Biosearch. “Current gene expression systems destroy cellular integrity then rescue messenger RNA with multiple amplification steps to provide an indirect “average” of expression. In contrast, StellarVision directly interrogates single cells, single molecules, and quantifies mRNA, lncRNA and viral RNA while imaging hundreds of cells with statistical significance in a single large field of view.”

LightSpeed’s Synthetic Aperture Optics (SAO) technology is a fundamentally new optical detection paradigm that enables massively parallelized optical detection. The technique combines coherent interferometric illumination (similar to synthetic aperture radar) and computational image reconstruction (similar to computed tomography) to achieve ultra-high resolution that is far beyond the native resolution of the lens and the camera. Unlike conventional optical detection, resolution can be independently improved without affecting the field of view, working distance, and depth of field, thereby providing a unique mechanism to build a high-speed scanner for ultra-high density imaging. The SAO-based StellarVision gene expression analysis instrument can analyze hundreds of cells simultaneously within a single field of view using a 20x air lens, but with resolution comparable to 100x oil immersion lens or higher.