Technology

The Signal-to-Noise Ratio Challenge

Food samples can contain many trillions of food and other cells for every individual pathogen cell.  Distinguishing pathogen cells in this immense bio-diversity is a signal-to-noise ratio challenge, where the “signal” is the pathogen cells of interest and the “noise” is all of the other cells in the sample.  The signal-to-noise ratio must be increased for reliable pathogen detection.  That requires increasing the signal or decreasing the noise.

Legacy Systems: Increase the Signal

For more than 30 years, the industry has been increasing the signal in food testing by culturing pathogenic bacteria to grow the number of cells by more than a trillion-fold; increasing the signal.  Culturing has numerous advantages; only handful of cells are needed, it works on large complex samples, and only live cells will culture.  After culturing, DNA analysis is used for pathogen detection.  There are two big disadvantages to culturing; it is a slow process that requires many hours or days, and culturing pathogenic bacteria should only be performed in a lab with proper safety precautions and trained personnel.

SnapDNA Solution: Decrease the Noise

SnapDNA has invented proprietary processes that rapidly capture only live pathogen cells while allowing all the other cells in the sample to be washed away.  RNA/DNA analysis is then used for pathogen detection.  The total time from sample to answer, takes place in just over one hour.

The results are quantitative.  SnapDNA targeted cell capture is far more specific than culturing, enabling more specific RNA analysis and fewer errors than legacy systems.

The system has no inherent limitation on sample size, allowing for greater statistical significance of test results.  The system can be operated almost anywhere, by almost anyone.  Since the system does not culture bacteria, testing can be done in a food production environment with automated testing and instant access to cloud based data.

Simple  |  Elegant  |  Proven