Ultrafast Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Tests – A White Space Waiting to be Monetized

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests have found extensive applications in diagnostic laboratories the world over. So much so, that these tests are regarded as the most reliable technique for accurately identifying the presence of pathogens, viruses, and bacteria; for the diagnosis of highly infectious diseases such as Ebola; in agricultural science; forensic science and so on. Thanks to this expanding scope of applications, it is expected that the global PCR market will report a CAGR of 6.6% from 2014 to 2020, by which year it is expected to be valued at US$9.6 billion.

PCR was invented in 1983 by Kary Mullis, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993. Since then applications of PCR have expanded robustly. Although it is regarded as the gold standard in testing, the limitations of PCR came to the fore during the recent Ebola epidemic in Western Africa. Because results from a PCR, which identifies genetic signatures, can take anywhere between 12 to 24 hours, the WHO approved a less accurate but far more rapid test for Ebola. But a new breakthrough could put PCR tests back in the reckoning.

Browse Market Research Report of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Market: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/pcr-technologies.html

A PCR Test That Provides Results Within Minutes, Not Hours, is the Answer 
This white space, which essentially results from the long turnaround times of PCR, could potentially be filled in by an ultrafast photonic PCR recently developed by bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley. The new test is poised to take the applications of PCR tests to all-new levels. Although the applications of PCR are already quite exciting, range as they do from studying the genetic makeup of mummies and dinosaurs and identifying infectious and hereditary diseases early on, they cannot currently be used for point of care (PoC) diagnostics because of their relatively delayed results.

Browse Market Research Press Release of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Market: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/pressrelease/pcr-technologies.htm

How the new ultrafast PCR technology was developed: 
  • Researchers at the UC Berkeley used LEDs as a source to heat electronics on the interface of a DNA solution and a thin gold film (which performed the function of a light-to-heat converter). 
  • The researchers noted that the heating speed of the solution was 55 degrees F per second, whereas the cooling rate was 43.9 degrees F per second.
  • Because the delay in PCR test results stemmed from the relatively long time it takes for heating and cooling the DNA solution—a process that is achieved through thermal cycling—the new ultrafast cooling and heating cycles will make all the difference.
According to the team of researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, their new ultrafast photonic PCR system is not only low-cost, but it is also extremely fast and highly sensitive. The endeavor was supported extensively by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as Korea’s National Research Foundation.
Thus, it now only a matter of when and not if this new PCR test can find uses in emergency rooms in hospitals and disease-stricken areas of rural Africa or Asia.

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