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About Us

Delivering excellent service to
New Zealanders since 2017

Illumiscreen started delivering non-invasive pre-natal testing in 2017. At the core of our service is to provide an accessible service that is conducted in New Zealand for the next generation of Kiwis.

Our testing is performed on specialist equipment that is used to perform Illumiscreen testing only. Our team of experienced scientists perform the Illumiscreen service. Testing is performed at our fully accredited medical laboratory in Auckland using gold standard methods.
Our service is supported by expert clinical oversight
from Dr Carol Siu.

Overview of the Process

  • The expectant mum visits one of our
    150 collection centres
  • A blood sample is collected
  • The blood sample is transported to Mount
    Wellington, Auckland   
  • Processed
  • The results are reviewed by our clinical team
  • Results are shared with the medical referrer
  • The medical referrer discusses the results
    with the expectant parent/s

In-depth Breakdown

Once the sample is received in the laboratory we need to extract the DNA from the blood. This is done by spinning the sample at high speeds and at a low temperature, once completed the blood sample separates into several layers. 

The top layer now present in the tube is made up of a substance called plasma, this contains the DNA we require. We extract this out of the sample tube, separate enough to test and then store any excess plasma at -80 degrees Celsius. 

DNA contained in the plasma is required to go through a process to remove any unwanted substances and cellular debris, allowing a pure sample of DNA to be collected. 

Once the DNA is collected a process is undertaken to prepare the stands of DNA for a process known as sequencing. This involves more purification steps and modifications of the DNA to allow each patients DNA
to be identified as belonging solely to that person. 

Once DNA has been prepared it is ready for sequencing. This involves the DNA being read in order from start to finish, as you would read a book. Once sequenced, if any abnormal DNA is present, it can be identified. The process of identifying abnormalities by reading the patients DNA is done using algorithms and specialised computers/software.