How Our System Works
The Acu-POLARIS Detection System
The Acu-POLARIS on-farm pathogen detection system dramatically decreases delays and inaccuracies that occur in current culture-based methods. Our detection system will give you same day results, so that within 3 hours, informed management can begin, saving you lost revenue. The Acu-POLARIS detection system includes an easy-to-use interface that walks the user through the process step-by-step, eliminating errors. No internet connection is required and instructions are offered in multiple languages.
How does it work?
The technology our system uses to detect mastitis-causing pathogens is called real-time PCR. The Acu-POLARIS detection system includes an easy-to-use interface and app that walks the user through the real-time PCR process step by step, eliminating errors. No internet connection is required and instructions are offered in multiple languages.
What is PCR?
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology tests for the presence of specific bacteria. A part of the pathogen’s DNA is amplified through heating and cooling cycles. If the pathogen is present, the assays will generate more light with each cycle, and the real-time PCR machine measures the light.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), is a process that can turn a single copy of a gene into more than a billion copies in a few hours. This process allows us to detect mastitis causing pathogens in very small samples of milk. When using real-time PCR, the DNA of the pathogen you are testing for must be present for our assay to detect it. It is either there or it is not, resulting in a positive or negative result. There is no guessing.
How does real-time PCR work?
The principles behind every real-time PCR, whatever the sample of DNA, are the same. Six core ‘ingredients’ are required to set up a PCR:
- The DNA template - the target pathogen's DNA that will be copied, if the pathogen is present
- Primers - short stretches of DNA that start the real-time PCR reaction
- dNTP’s - Nucleotide Bases, (ACGT) are the building blocks of DNA and are needed to make a new strand of DNA
- Taq Polymerase - an enzyme that helps add the new DNA bases
- Buffer - ensures the right conditions for the polymerase chain reaction
- Probe - Flourescently labeled stretch of DNA that specifically binds to the target DNA, and creates the signalthat the machine reads
Real-time PCR involves a process of heating and cooling called thermal cycling, which is carried out by the machine.
- There are three main stages:
- Denaturing - when the double-stranded template DNA isheated to separate it into two single strands.
- Annealing - when the temperature is lowered to enable the DNA primers and probes to attach to the template DNA.
- Extending - when the temperature is raised and the new strand of DNA is made by the enzyme.
These three stages are repeated 50-55 times, doubling the number of DNA copies each time.