Direct Multiplex Imaging (DMI) is a new hybridization technology considered as a disruptive innovation from previous fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) assays. Similar to traditional FISH assays, DMI is a molecular diagnostics tool for the direct identification and differentiation of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast or fungi, even from challenging patient samples.
MetaSystems Indigo is the first company to combine a novel DNA-based hybridization technology with automated assay evaluation to enable high throughput sample processing. The DMI technology uses molecular DNA beacons as probes for the identification of pathogens. DNA beacons are hairpin-shaped structures that consist of a probe sequence (loop) and 3’ and 5’ ends (stem) that carry a fluorophore and a quencher. The loop sequence is complementary to a target sequence. When hybridization occurs, the stem opens and a fluorescent signal is emitted that can be detected by fluorescence microscopy. Unbound probes remain in a closed configuration and their signal is quenched.
The evaluation of the assay is performed with a flexible automated scanning platform, which images and analyzes the processed slides and archives the results. A robot independently manages the transport of slides to and from the scanning module. Visual presentation is supported by a customer interface allowing clear and reliable interpretation of results. The total time to run the assay including analysis, LIMS compatible report preparation and automated archival storage is 35 minutes. New results, when in the continuous mode setting, are available every 5 minutes. The Multiplex assay for simultaneous identification of multiple bacteria directly from positive blood cultures is already available and an assay for respiratory samples is under development.