Long Term Storage and Precision Dispensing of Precious Liquids
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Integrated disease phenotype and cellular genotype research is advanced by testing hypotheses using stored aqueous samples of DNA, cDNA or other precious liquids from subjects with known characteristics. Many life science laboratories store thousands of such aqueous samples for years or decades, and these researchers rely absolutely on accurate inventory knowledge and known provenance of the samples. The methods used today for storing these precious liquid samples are ad-hoc and prone to contamination and mis-identification. This reduces the productivity and satisfaction of researchers in a variety of ways. The goal of this project is to develop a system for long term storage of precious liquids in standardized containers with machine-readable identification for positive and unambiguous identification of their contents. An automated precision dispenser which does not require pipette intrusion will ensure sample integrity while dispensing microliter aliquots of precious liquid. An interface between the automated dispensing equipment and the laboratory database will maintain accurate inventory control and allow improved experiment planning. This system will greatly increase the efficiency and reduce the error rate of genomic research by ensuring that the precious liquid samples are contamination-free, maintain their concentration levels, and are correctly and positively identified. When completed, the system will be commercialized by marketing it to life-science laboratories, forensic laboratories and hospitals. Technical innovations in this program are the patented design of the standardized storage container; a novel and proprietary means for dispensing 1 ul drops without contamination, and the container identification method and database interface protocols. During Phase 1 of the project, prototypes of the disposable container with machine-readable ID will be designed and built (Specific Aim 1), the proprietary new drop dispensing technology will be developed (Specific Aim 2), and software interface protocols for communicating between the system and the laboratory database will be planned (Specific Aim 3). As each prototype is built, it will be alpha tested in an operating life-science laboratory. During Phase 2, a fully automated system with direct interface to the user laboratory database will be constructed. Public health will directly benefit from the results of the proposed work by reducing or eliminating a major impediment to optimal utilization of precious liquid DNA, cDNA, and other precious liquid source materials which form the bedrock of research linking phenotype and genotype. Compared to present methods, this technology will greatly improve research efficiency by reducing contamination and labor costs in handling samples. The database interface will allow researchers to address interesting outlier samples much more easily during the research process, and permit them to address their complete sample sets more readily when planning experiments.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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