WaferGen is going to launch the human MicroRNA panel for its service for gene-expression profiling using its SmartChip real-time PCR system. The human MicroRNA panel provides a comprehensive human microRNA panel of 885 microRNAs on a single SmartChip.

The company claims that its SmartChip service offers customers the use of its proprietary SmartChip real-time PCR system that utilises pathway-specific gene panels to discover and validate new biomarkers.

Cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment are important potential clinical applications of microRNA profiling. The new Human MicroRNA expression profiling service will use the human genes from the new miRBase version 14.0 sequence database, providing researchers with the latest, up-to-date-sequences, said the company.

The WaferGen SmartChip service for the human MicroRNA panel will be broadly available in the first quarter of 2010. It is targeted at scientists involved in the discovery and validation of molecular biomarkers. The 5,184 nano-well SmartChip uses a small amount of biological material to query a thousand genes in a single sample, enabling discovery of biomarkers while saving researchers time and money.

The initial product to be run on the SmartChip platform is the SmartChip human oncology gene panel that provides pathway based gene expression profiling for Oncology. The 27 built-in controls in the human oncology gene panel and the 12 built-in controls in the human MicroRNA panel offer added quality assurance to the results, said the company.

David Gelfand, chief scientific officer and one of the pioneers of PCR at WaferGen, said: “The Human MicroRNA Panel assures that the latest and most comprehensive information is made available to researchers by providing the ability to quantitate 885 microRNAs on a single SmartChip. The SmartChip design allows WaferGen to quickly incorporate newly released sequences giving researchers the ability to stay up to date with the latest discoveries.”