PNA Technology

Unique Molecular Diagnostic Platform

Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) Probes

Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) molecules are DNA mimics in which the negatively charged sugar phosphate backbone found in DNA and RNA is replaced with a non-charged polyamide or “peptide” backbone. PNA probes contain the same nucleotide bases as DNA, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T) and follow standard Watson-Crick base-pairing rules while hybridizing to complementary nucleic acid sequences.

The synthetic backbone provides PNA probes with unique hybridization characteristics. While DNA probes must overcome a destabilizing electrostatic repulsion between negatively charged backbones, the non-charged PNA backbone enables rapid and highly specific binding to nucleic acid targets.

The unique characteristics of PNA allows for shorter probes and combined with the hydrophobic nature of the peptide backbone, enables PNA probes to more easily traverse the hydrophobic core of cell membranes.


Identification by Whole Cell "Molecular" Analysis

PNA Technology

Bacteria and yeast produce an abundance of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) that contain regions of highly conserved, species-specific genetic sequences. Those rRNA sequences are ideal targets for molecular probes and enable very fast and accurate identification of bacterial and yeast pathogens.

QuickFISH and PNA FISH® employ fluorescent-labeled PNA probes to target the species-specific rRNA sequences in a highly sensitive and specific Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) assay that enables whole cell visualization of the target pathogen(s) using fluorescence microscopy. The assay requires only limited sample prep as cells don’t need to be lysed to isolate genetic material, allowing for a simple test procedure with visual results that match Gram-stain morphology.