VereChip™ Technology

The VereChip™ is a Lab-on-Chip which is designed, developed, and manufactured by STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM). The innovative silicon chip combines Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) with microfluidics which enables the integration of multiplexed nucleic-acid amplification and detection in a single device. The chip is intended to address the qualitative identification of multiple extracted nucleic-acid analytes, through a multiplexed PCR amplification followed by hybridization on a medium density microarray. This allows the combination of up to hundreds of tests in a single reaction. ST is the worldwide leader in MEMS and developed the chip utilizing its technology and intellectual property to deliver ease of use combined with rapid, accurate, and cost effective testing.

The integrated silicon heaters, temperature sensors and miniaturized 25μl volume allow the PCR module to perform the rapid heating and cooling cycles required for highly reliable, end-point PCR. The PCR module is thermally driven by the proprietary instruments and software to allow fast and programmable temperature ramps and control to +/- 0.1C.

The microarray module is used to detect the amplified labeled DNA sequences through hybridization on a medium density microarray composed of up to 400 spots. The microarray module includes a set of control probes at fixed positions, as well as specific probes located according to the requirements of the application. The microarray module is connected to the PCR module and is also thermally driven by the instruments and software. After hybridization, the microarray module is read in a few seconds. The layers below the silicon surface where the microarray is built up form a specially designed optical stack which enhances the hybridization signal and increases the overall system sensitivity.

The microfluidic integration of the PCR and hybridization modules ensures that system operation does not require highly-trained personnel, and greatly simplifies the typical lab procedures.

A proprietary surface chemistry is used to ensure biocompatibility for efficient amplification and hybridization that provides highly reliable and repeatable results.

This technology represents the future of multiplexed molecular testing, bringing the benefits of miniaturization, integration and automation to many applications in the areas of clinical, bio-terror, food and agriculture, forensic, oncology, personalized medicine, and custom solutions.

General

  • Appearance: 3” x 1” plastic board with silicon-based microchip mounted
  • Size: 25 x 75.5 mm ± 0.2 mm
  • Reaction site thermal controls Integrated sensor and heaters at each site
  • Reaction chamber thermistors calibrated to ± 1.0 °C using National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-traceable standards
  • PCR reactor volume: 25 μl
  • Hybridization reactor volume: 30 μl
  • Liquid loading system: micropipette on inlets
  • PCR/hybridization reactor sealing system: clamp based

PCR Module

  • Nucleic acid type: DNA/RNA
  • DNA amplification capability: multiplex PCR/RT-PCR
  • Labeling dye, fluorescence emission range: 670 to 730 nm

Microarray Module

  • Array capability: up to 400 spots
  • Current Array geometry: matrix of 6 x 21 spots (126 spots)
  • Average spot size: 120 μm
  • Typical spot-to-spot distance (pitch): 250 μm
  • Probe feature: DNA oligonucleotide
  • Control probes: 26 fixed positions
  • Specific probes: 100 available positions