LabAutomation 2009 Showcases CryoXtract's Novel Robotic Technology
Dale Larson, the principal investigator whose team developed the initial technology while at Harvard Medical School, presented initial proof of principle data and described the prototype his team is currently designing. “Freezing samples is a ubiquitous method of preserving the fidelity of samples during long-term storage,” explained Mr. Larson, who currently is Director of Biomedical Engineering at the Draper Laboratory. “The problem for researchers is that current methods of processing these frozen samples require thawing before aliquots can be prepared, which is detrimental to the fidelity of the specimens and is time consuming. We developed a sampling technique not unlike the ice-coring methods geologists use when sampling layers of ice in a glacier and created a system that provides excellent conditions to drill the full depth of the tube, makes critical samples available for research, and leaves behind a sample that has not been compromised.”
Conceptually, the technology is a specialized core drilling system that uses a hollow tube with a cutting profile at its distal tip to cut a core from the frozen specimen under cryogenic conditions. The core will remain in the tube when the needle is withdrawn. The robotic system will position the needle over an empty destination cryovial and deposit the core in it. In addition, a computerized system allows the robot to recognize automatically areas that have been cored and report if there is no more room to extract aliquots.
The initial testing successfully demonstrated that the robotic system maintains samples below -50 degrees celsius, maintains volumetric uniformity, ensures no carryover between samples, and delivers hands-free operations. The applications for the robotic system are various and include serum and plasma, cells, small molecule compounds in DMSO, and frozen tissue.
Larson’s team is now designing a next generation robotic system to demonstrate the sample processing throughput that can be achieved and to provide a first generation user interface. This system will be deployed in the Rhode Island BioBank at Brown University for thorough testing in the spring.
About CryoXtract, LLC
CryoXtract is developing a robotic frozen sample aliquotter system that allows for the retrieval of multiple frozen samples from a single vial without going through a freeze-thaw process. The Company’s novel automation technology will improve frozen sample processing, protect the viability of frozen samples after cores have been extracted, and improve lab economics. CryoXtract has been funded by Allied Minds, Inc., a private investment corporation. For more information, please visit www.CryoXtract.com
About Allied Minds, Inc.
Allied Minds is a seed investment company creating partnerships with select universities to fund corporate spin-offs resulting from successful early stage technology research. By providing corporate development support as well as funding, Allied Minds aims to guide early stage companies to commercial success, thereby generating value for all stakeholders. For more information, logon to www.alliedminds.com
For more information;
Jorge de Dios,
Vice President, Allied Minds Inc.