During our early user focus group polling, it became clear that merely publishing a list of the
reagents needed to implement the published polony sequencing and upstream protocols was
not going to be adequate. Users strongly preferred that complete reagent kits be provided,
and Dover Systems has responded. We have worked closely with both the Church
Laboratory and our very innovative team of suppliers to develop complete kits for both the polony
sequencing protocol, and all necessary upstream protocols (paired-end-tag library construction,
emulsion PCR/bead capping, and bead enrichment). We will also be performing the task of
loading of forward primers onto the beads, providing ready-to-use beads along with the reagent
kits. In keeping with the Church Lab vision of open, affordable sequencing, we have partnered
with our suppliers to deliver a very low cost PCR polymerase, as well as both 5’ and 3’, license free,
“Freedom Fluors”. We have invested in initial scale-up efforts to be able to deliver the initial
kits at affordable prices, but we plan additional investments, and anticipate that kit prices will fall
significantly as demand builds.
Reagents are stored within the instrument in a readily removable, Teflon-coated, cooled reagent
block (this is in addition to uncooled bottles that hold water, wash, 0.1M NaOH, and 6M Guanidine
HCL). This block has chambers for 26 individual reagents, each of which has a dedicated syringe
tube and valve port. The initial G.007 biochemistry does not use all of the chambers, as it requires
only twenty cooled reagents; the additional chambers are present simply to provide flexibility
for future sequencing protocols, or extensions of the current protocol. Users have the choice
of pipetting kit components directly into the chambers in the block (a labeled template helps to
avoid errors), or using an upcoming reagent block that directly accepts the kit vials (again, a visual
template directs the loading). Later this year, we hope to be able to deliver kits in single-piece,
film sealed, vacuum-formed plastic drop-ins that will further simplify kit loading. The syringe
tubes in our manifold have sharpened tips in anticipation of this, and puncture the sealing film
when the manifold is lowered.
Despite our position as the supplier of complete kits to enable the Polonator, we need to
emphasize that this is a totally OPEN system. All reagents are published, and users are free to
purchase them from whomever they prefer*. If users can find a better or lower cost supplier, they
are strongly encouraged to do so, and then share their findings with the entire user community.
Open evolution is the accelerant that will drive this platform forward. Please join us!
* Users must, however, respect and follow the licence agreements of third-party component or process suppliers