Bio-Techne, Minneapolis, has expanded the automation capabilities of its Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD)-branded RNAscope in situ hybridization (ISH) technology with the launch of several new and updated assays.

The developments increase access to and use of RNAscope, and improve the system’s overall robustness and ease of use. The company’s continued investment in automation builds on successful agreements with equipment providers, and is driven by Bio-Techne’s desire to facilitate drug discovery and development via rapid, easy, and accurate gene expression detection and localization.

The new RNAscope VS duplex kit, developed for Discovery Ultra automated IHC/ISH slide staining systems from Roche, delivers simultaneous in situ detection of two RNA species on an automated platform. The assay enables experiments such as colocalization studies and gene-expression profiling in specific cell types identifiable with known markers. Such dual staining is notoriously difficult to achieve with traditional ISH, particularly on automated staining systems.

According to Bio-Techne, the company’s patented signal amplification and background suppression technology make it possible for the RNAscope VS duplex assay to deliver unrivalled specificity and sensitivity with clean signals, enabling researchers to pinpoint gene expression at single-molecule sensitivity.

Bio-Techne has also released enhanced formulations of its single-plex assays, providing improved signal-to-noise ratio and robustness. The RNAscope VS universal HRP and AP assays, developed for the Discovery Ultra, integrate with Roche’s mRNA universal software for increased usability, with additional protocols enabling dual staining with immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence.

The updated RNAscope 2.5 VS reagent kit-brown and -red assays for the Discovery Ultra T deliver permanent and more intense staining. These enhanced properties make the assays suitable for archiving and when anticipating low copy target gene expression (1–20 copies per cell).

RNAscope ISH is used by major pharma and biotech companies and leading research institutions in drug discovery, translational research, and the development of clinical and companion diagnostic tests.

“Automating our assays is essential for those working in drug discovery and development to have easy access to our RNA ISH technology,” says Tom Olenic, vice president and general manager of Advanced Cell Diagnostics. “With this in mind, we are keen to continue to expand our capabilities in this area, enabling greater adoption of our technology across more application areas thanks to the increased flexibility that our new and updated assays deliver.”

For further information, visit Advanced Cell Diagnostics.