The Discipher system provides true decentralisation of advanced molecular and cellular testing. The system provides an integrated solution replacing the steps that are typically carried out in a molecular laboratory setting. Leveraging on 30 years of optical disk development, a highly sophisticated instrument is made available at a groundbreakingly low cost (target end user prices in the range of $300-$500). The Discipher system consists of an instrument, sofware and single-use assay devices (discs).

The system provides liquid handling via centrifugal microfluidics. It has the capability to accurately control the temperature and measure reactions either in real-time mode or in high-resolution, sub-micron imaging mode. A range of disposable assay devices are available, tailored to different specific applications.

The application development space currently includes assays for environmental monitoring, veterinary diagnostics and human diagnostics.

“Within the framework of the program, we are currently looking for assay developers and providers of complementary technology”

Application space

  • Nucleic acid assays based on continuous real-time monitoring of isothermal amplification protocols
  • Immunoassays including competitive assays and ELISA-based assays
  • Cellular assays based on either direct cell visualisation or enhanced visualisation using secondary labels, such as microspheres
  • Chemical and medical chemistry assays such as determination of metabolites , cholesterol levels, etc

The Discipher system High resolution scanner instrument for measuring ELISA assays and monitoring real time DNA amplification

Unique differentiating features of the platform

Versatility The system provides essential functionalities of a core laboratory: liquid handling, centrifugation, temperature control, real-time monitoring of reactions and high- resolution, microscope-type imaging.

Affordability The low system cost enables decentralisation of assays as well as a large end user base providing a solid foundation for future expansion.


Commercialisation model and strategic partnership program

The Discipher system is being commercialised via a model that provides opportunities for partner contributions at various levels of the value chain.

LingVitae and Plarion cover the platform development and manufacturing, while activities addressing assay development and marketing and distribution are open for partners. LingVitae and Plarion are releasing in December 2011 the Developer’s Tool Kit (DTK) version of the instrument, and launching the program for strategic partnerships. With in the framework of the program, we are currently looking for:

    • Assay developers, with or without existing market channels, interested in developing a new assay, or transferring an existing assay onto the platform.
  • Providers of complementary technology in areas such as sample preparation, surface modifications, etc, to further expand the capability of the platform

Technical capabilities

    • Automated,end user-independent liquid handling based on centrifugal microfluidics
    • Continuous real-time monitoring of progress of biochemical and molecular reactions via various detection chemistries that interfere with the transmission of light
    • High-resolution imaging of biological and other structures, including blood cells and microspheres down to 1 μm in ze
    • Various sample preparation procedures, including cell fractionations, pelletizations and others
  • Parallel processing of multiple enabled through availability of a large real-estate space on the assay device .


LingVitae, Plarion, KTH to Develop DNA-Based POC Diagnostics for Optical Disk Platform

Partners LingVitae and Plarion have teamed up with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology to develop new DNA-based point-of-care diagnostics based on the firms’ optical disc-based Discipher diagnostics platform. Under terms of the collaboration, LingVitae and Plarion will transfer prototype versions of the platform to the KTH researchers, and support development of assays by customizing the disposable assay discs. The Discipher platform is an integrated, walk-away diagnostics instrument designed to carry out assay steps typically carried out in a molecular laboratory. The overall system comprises the instrument, software, and single use discs, and carries out automated, user-independent liquid handling via centrifugal microfluidics.

The fully temperature-controlling platform can carry out continuous real-time monitoring of molecular reactions using optical detection chemistries, or provide high-resolution imaging of biological and molecular structures. A range of sample-preparation procedures can be carried out including cell fractionation or pelletization.

LingVitae claims applications of the platform include nucleic acid assays based on continuous real-time monitoring of amplification, ELISA and other competitive immunoassays, sub-micron imaging, DNA sequencing, and blood/chemical analyses.

Development of the Discipher system has been funded in part by the EU’s Framework Seven Program, through its support of the Digital Sequencing consortium led by Norwegian firm LingVitae, Plarion, and the KTH, which aims to develop a low-cost third generation DNA sequencing instrument based on optical disc technologies used in DVDs. U.K.-based partner Plarion has specialist expertise in optical media, thin-film coatings, and optical disc drive technologies.

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Monitoring of DNA amplification in real-time
Quantitative ELISA assayse
High-resolution microscopy

Real-time monitoring of DNA amplification

High-resolution imaging of 1-5 μm beads

Centrifugal microfluidics