Rapidly evolving genomic technologies have spawned the Tm/Luminex Universal Array Platform, capable of reading 10,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) per hour. Distributed by Luminex of Austin, Texas, the system is the product of a partnership between Luminex and Tm Bioscience of Toronto. Luminex pioneered multiplexed, bead-based genotyping with LabMAP™ (now called xMAP™).1 Tm Biosciences recently developed the Universal Array, an arbitrary set of nucleotide sequences for analyzing multiple sets of SNPs in a single tube with a minimum of assay-specific optimization.

xMAP relies on a proprietary process of dying polystyrene microspheres (beads) with differing quantities of two spectrally distinct fluorochromes. As a result, each microsphere has a unique spectral signature, which corresponds to the specific test being carried out on that bead. If a patient's sample reacts with a DNA probe on the bead, a third fluorochrome is also detected. The beads are sold in sets of 100 different...

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