Study Published in Nature Biomedical Engineering Demonstrates the Unique Capabilities of Torus Biosystems Donut PCR System

July 6, 2021 10:00 UTC

Precision syndromic testing at the point of care is within reach

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Torus Biosystems, Inc., a point of care molecular diagnostics company spun out of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, today announced the publication of performance results for its Donut PCR system. The full manuscript, titled Highly multiplexed rapid DNA detection with single-nucleotide specificity via convective PCR in a portable device, is published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Study authors, including Dmitriy Khodakov, Ph.D. and David Zhang, Ph.D., reported on the development of a novel qPCR-based detection platform that can precisely detect and quantify multiplex DNA/RNA targets simultaneously in a rapid and easy to operate point-of-care system. “Detection of specific nucleic acid sequences is the key for delivering precision medicine,” said Dr. Khodakov, co-inventor and Principle Scientist at Torus Biosystems, “We noted that with molecular technologies to date, the greater the multiplexing capabilities, the slower the time to result. Our objective was to eliminate this trade-off by rapidly delivering high multiplex results as well as accurate quantitation and reliable recognition of single-nucleotide differences.” The publication describes the authors’ design and performance validation of a portable device employing a toroidal (i.e., donut-shaped) PCR system that achieves high multiplex target detection with single-nucleotide discrimination and precise result quantitation in less than 30 minutes.

Performance of the prototype donut PCR system was validated through a series of experiments involving the detection of microbial agents. The study authors developed a multiplex identification panel for 15 species of bacteria, including the most common ESKAPE pathogens. The system correctly identified targeted bacterial strains with high specificity in test and mixed samples of clinical isolates.

Other system performance highlights include demonstration of an analytical dynamic range of at least 4 logs, accurate quantitation, robust signal-to-noise ratios, single-base resolution of similar targets, ability to discriminate related SNP targets, and rapid detection of high multiplexing targets (30 targets).

"Historically, highly multiplexed DNA detection has been difficult to achieve in a rapid turnaround setting," said David Zhang, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University, co-founder of Torus Biosystems, and senior author of the study. "The Donut PCR system, which serves as the basis for Torus's Synestia™ platform, allows scalable, rapid, accurate, and affordable detection of many pathogens, enabling syndromic testing."

About Torus Biosystems

Torus Biosystems, a spinout from the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, is on a mission to transform patient lives by delivering breakthrough innovations in infectious disease diagnostics. The Company is currently developing syndromic testing solutions based on the integration of novel technologies, including qPCR and microarray technologies, that enable rapid, quantitative, and highly multiplexed detection of microbial pathogens, resistance genes and host immune-response markers that ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes. Learn more about how Torus Bio can help clinicians deliver better patient care, combat antibiotic resistance, and promote antimicrobial stewardship by visiting the website at and connecting on social media @Twitter and @LinkedIn.

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Jackie Lemaitre
Mobile/text: 978-494-3317

Source: Torus Biosystems, Inc.

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