The overall market size for nucleic acid sample preparation for research and the four applied markets of food testing, cosmetics, veterinary medicine, and molecular diagnostics total $5.7 billion in 2012 and with a moderate CAGR of 10 % is projected to $9.7 billion in 2016 12-5. Extraction of nucleic acids from tissue has become a crowded field yet sample preparation and isolation of RNA still relies heavily on manual steps. Providing a rapid, automated system for tissue preparation and RNA isolation is an unmet need. We have a unique cell and tissue lysing system, the microHomogenizer (mH), which is a low cost, disposable and rapidly effective homogenizing unit. It consists of a disposable motor and vane that attaches to a pipette tip. This facilitates ready adaptation to any robotic liquid handing system for automation and multiplexing. We are poised to multiplex eight samples at a time for homogenization in a microtiter format, thereby enabling automation of the subsequent RNA extraction protocol for 96 samples at a time. The extraction system of 100? mono-dispersed beads packed into small columns facilitates extraction protocols that transcend the need of a centrifuge. This enables rapid automation of the extraction protocols in a microtiter format, up 96 samples at time.
We have a low cost disposable system of tissue homogenization, the microHomogenizer, and disposable columns for RNA extraction (RNAExpress columns) that will be adapted to liquid handler platforms, enabling multiplexing in a microtiter format and walk-away automation.