Microdroplets are micron-sized droplets of water in oil or oil in water, held together by hydrophilic and hydrophobic forces. They are generated in microfluidic channels on droplet generation chips and each comprises an extremely small, self-contained reaction volume in which a set of reagents can interact.
Utilising our proprietary Cascade Reaction we are able to convert the presence of a single nucleotide in a microdroplet into an intense optical signal, allowing rapid sequence detection using consumer-level electronics. The tiny reagent volumes involved mean that consumable costs are kept very low.
When a nucleotide is incorporated into a growing DNA or RNA strand by a polymerase, pyrophosphate (PPi) is released.
Pyrophosphorolysis is the reverse of the polymerisation reaction in which pyrophosphate reacts with the 3' nucleotidemonophosphate (NMP or dNMP), which is removed from the oligonucleotide to release the corresponding triphosphate.