Current tube-based methods for collecting whole blood RNA such as PAXgeneTM have a number of limitations including need for access to phlebotomy, temperature controlled transport, and relatively large volumes of whole blood. No solid-matrix based methods for obtaining RNA from whole blood currently exist. Our goal is the development and implementation of a solid, matrix-based approach for obtaining and stabilizing both RNA and DNA from whole blood, which would address these limitations. In conjunction with investigators at General Electric, we have prototyped an initial platform, term RNA Stabilization Matrix (RSM). In the current proposal we plan to expand upon our initial work in four areas: (1) We plan to develop automated methods using liquid handling robotics for extracting RNA from RSM;such methods will increase throughput as well as decrease variability associated with manual processing. (2) We plan to develop methods allowing for whole transcriptome analysis using RNA isolated from RSM;this will be performed by RNAseq, using an Ion Torrent Proton sequencer. (3) We plan to develop methods for extracting DNA from RSM. (4) We plan to develop methods allowing for whole exome analysis using DNA isolated from RSM, this again will be performed using an Ion Torrent Proton sequencer. Introduction of such a platform will allow for market expansion and reduce the cost shipping samples for our current commercial product (Corus CAD), as well add increased flexibility to our clinical research efforts. Additionally, the opportunity exists to commercialize RSM, allowing access to this innovative technology to the broader research community.
The proposed research will develop technology allowing for easier collection and transport of RNA and DNA from whole blood. Such technology will allow for the development and application of diagnostic tests for human diseases in populations and environments where such tests are not currently feasible.