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.

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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.

 


PCR Visualized

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.

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Our Process

 

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.

 

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These three stages are repeated 50-55 times, doubling the number of DNA copies each time.

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