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nCounter Analysis System for miRNA Studies

A novel microRNA (miRNA) analysis system has been recently announced by NanoString Technologies. This product will be used for miRNA studies that will have primary application areas in the cancer, stem cell, development biology, and neurobiology research fields.

NanoString nCounter Analysis System

The product was introduced during the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. It includes a multiplexed assay that profiles the human miRNA transcriptome within a tube.

MicroRNAs are single-stranded, non-coding and minute RNA molecules that have recently created a lot of interest among the scientific fraternity by virtue of their roles in key biological and tumor formation processes.

NanoString, a privately held company dealing with life sciences, which markets a total solution to identify and count a wide range of target molecules present in the biological samples, has launched this product that extends the application range of its nCounter Analysis System, a total automatic user-friendly target profiling system. The assay kits incorporate all consumables and reagents needed for conducting gene expression and miRNA experiments. Besides these novel miRNA assays, assays for copy number deviations are also being developed by the company. The company provides off-the-shelf and customized assays that can be used for gene expression analysis.

The Assay Kits help researchers in conducting multiplexed, direct digital recognition and counting of miRNAs with single-base resolution, eliminating the requirement for PCR amplification. They empower researchers in profiling 700 plus human-viral and human miRNAs having sensitivity and specificity at the fraction of the cost of qPCR.

A well-known miRNA researcher, Dr. Carlo Croce, informed that a revolutionary breakthrough was achieved in the miRNA research technology by NanoString. Now researchers can analyze miRNAs in cancer and various diseases using this powerful tool, besides developing therapeutic and diagnostic strategies for lessening the harmful effects of abnormal expression of miRNAs. Croce had participated in a preliminary access program dealing with the nCounter Analyst System’s Human miRNA Expression Assay Kit during the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Nucleic Acids Shared Resource, which was directed by Dr. Hansjuerg Alder.

NanoString Technologies’ acting CEO Wayne Burns, revealed that this solution closes the existing gap between the requisite qPCR performance and the multiplexing capability of current microarrays at reduced cost and complexity. He added that scientists will now be able to analyze chemically critical molecules in a cost-effective, efficient and comprehensive manner.


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