PCA (Pulse Controlled Amplification) is a next-generation nucleic acid amplification technology (NAAT) for a range of molecular diagnostic applications. Conventional molecular testing involves discreet lysis, sample purification and amplification steps which involve complex reagents. PCA includes an intrinsic target capture capability that facilitates nucleic acid purification, and makes going from sample to answer simpler
In conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based amplification, reactions must cycle through different temperatures , which means thermal cyclers and fans need to be built into PCR instruments to achieve heating and cooling. In PCA, thermocyclers in the instrument are substituted by microcyclers in the consumable. Microsecond pulses mediate instantaneous heating, enable passive cooling, and allow for detection of amplified nucleic acids in 10 minutes or less.
Typical instruments for molecular testing tend to be complex and delicate laboratory bound devices – that often require significant investment. In contrast, PCA-based instruments can be made with low-cost, mass-produced, ready-to-assemble components. Furthermore, PCA technology scales from high throughput to single test chips and portable battery-operated instruments.