Microfluidic Array Partitioning technology: applications of digital PCR in oncology

Jenni Bernier & Christina Bouwens


Utilizing the Combinati Absolute Q platform to identify underlying mechanisms of drug resistance in metastatic breast cancer with Luminex multiplex PCR chemistry

In a large fraction of ER+/HER2- metastatic breast cancers, treatment with aromatase inhibitors fails due to emerging resistance. A key mechanism of this resistance is associated with missense mutations in the gene encoding the estrogen receptor (ESR1). Precise, quantitative detection of these mutations could be used to monitor disease progression and potentially guide therapy.

Digital PCR (dPCR) has gained popularity in recent years, particularly in cancer research, due to its high degree of sensitivity and quantitative precision. However, broad implementation has been hindered by constraints of current systems, including complex workflows, long time to results, and limited ability to multiplex.

In this webinar, we will present the development of a novel digital PCR platform, Absolute Q, as well as the creation of a multiplex assay for the simultaneous, quantitative detection of 11 ESR1 drug resistance mutations in metastatic breast cancer in a single reaction.

Highlights of this webinar include:

  • Introduction to Microfluidic Array Partitioning (MAP) technology for digital PCR
  • Demonstration of a multiplex assay to identify and quantify 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the ESR1 gene in a single sample
  • Utility of using the Absolute Q, a 4-color digital PCR platform with a walkaway workflow, in translational oncology research

Speaker Info

Jenni Bernier

Jenni Bernier is a Scientist III in the Advanced Technologies Group at Luminex Corporation. She has been focused on developing new technology and assays for Luminex since joining the company in 2015. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University.

Christina Bouwens

Christina Bouwens is a Senior Application Scientist at Combinati. She has a background in digital PCR assay development and next generation sequencing technologies with specific focus on applications to cancer biology and precision medicine. She was the recipient of the 2018 AMP Technologist Award, and has contributed to 11 peer-reviewed publications in the Oncology space – including 2 first authorship’s utilizing digital PCR technology for personalized circulating tumor DNA detection and monitoring.