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Developing and commercializing a DNA sequencer

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1 Author(s)
Evans, T. ; Beckman Coulter Inc., USA

A few years ago, Beckman Coulter was faced with a dilemma: How do they define, design, build, test, and validate a product for a market that is new to them, has huge potential, and is dominated by their competitors? The market, of course, was DNA analysis, and the solution to the dilemma turned out to be an interesting mix of practices and philosophies that led to cost-effective, timely development and commercialization of the CEQS/sup TM/ 2000 DNA Analysis System. The CEQ 2000 was originally conceived to provide high-level automation to the DNA sequencing market. Because DNA analysis includes more than just DNA sequencing, market validation studies occurred concurrently with R and D activity in order to compress the development schedule. It was realized very early in the development phases of the program that flexibility in the hardware, software, and chemistry would ultimately dictate the longevity of the CEQ 2000 in the marketplace. Realizing that close collaboration among disciplines was necessary for success, two strategic implementations were adopted for the CEQ 2000 project: 1) a systems engineering group was established to identify and track system and subsystem requirements, and 2) system development was broken into well-defined stages designed to build upon one another.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 4 )