LightSpeed Genomics’ advanced optics for microparticle sequencing

Overview: LightSpeed is developing an advanced optical method to accelerate microparticle-based sequencing. Its financing history is concerning and it is unclear if its efficiency increases will go far enough.

Background: LightSpeed Genomics (formerly Solametrix) is a stealth-mode company. In January 2007, it completed its first financing round, including investor Rockhill Partners, followed by debt and strategic equity investments, and subsequent acquisition in February 2009 by Macrogen Corp and Korea Technology Investment Corporation[1]. Its technology was licensed from MIT[1] and a leader in the sequencing field, George Church, is a scientific advisor to the company[2].

LightSpeed is developing custom optics in combination with microparticle arrays, reaction sequences, and an image processing and sequence-information-tracking schema based on light interference phenomena. Its technology would increase the rate of sequencing for a microparticle approach by capturing data from a larger field of view. The larger field of view would reduce time-consuming sample and detector rearrangement. Importantly, the method enables detection of very small features by indirectly detecting the optical information from these fine features as coarser-scale patterns that can be observed in the aforementioned large fields of view[3].

Example of microparticle and excitation light patterns, which produce light emission pattern (from LightSpeed's US 2009/0061526)

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Copyright © Bruce A. Schiamberg 2010. All rights reserved.

[3] US 2009/0061526