The specific aim of this Phase IIb (Phase II competitive renewal) SBIR proposal is to advance the prototype systems we developed under our Phase II grant into commercial production. Our product will be used to automatically track samples in laboratory and biobank freezers. Most of these samples are stored in vials. Between 200 and 500 million such vials are sold each year, representing a total market of about $200M. Today, the state of the art for sample tracking is 2D barcoded sample vials. This method falls short on many fronts, resulting in sample degradation, lost samples, and up to thousands lost person hours per year. In our Phase II studies, these major problems were successfully addressed. We developed RFID tags that reliably function at ultra low temperatures. We can reliably attach these tags to sample vials and to the boxes that hold the vials. Each tag has a unique ID and is readable by electronics incorporated into the freezer. The freezer reports its contents through a secure network to a sample database that can be accessed by authorized lab personnel. Our system overcomes all of the challenges mentioned above and the system is affordable, as detailed in the Commercialization plan. In short, by providing real----time knowledge of the location of every sample, our product provides a solution that increases sample integrity and reduces the manpower needed to maintain a biobank. We have received excellent feedback from several well----known labs that tested our RFID tagged vials and box mappers in Phase II. In addition, we have presented our work to numerous laboratories and based on their feedback, there appears to be a large market need. We have identified a clear roadmap that will lead to the development of a successful commercial product from our Phase II prototype.
Our specific aim i s to advance the prototype systems we developed under the Phase II grant into a commercial product. To accomplish this specific aim, we will carry out the following tasks: Task #1: Design &produce commercial grade components. Task #2: Establish quality control methods. Task #3: Establish full scale pilots for testing our product. At the end of this Phase IIb, we expect to have a fully commercial product with sales on the order of $3.8M by the end of the Phase IIb.
The number of archived biological samples is very large and ever growing. Maintaining large collections of these samples is fraught with difficulties arising from inadequate labeling technologies, the inability to automatically locate the samples and a lack of robust connection between the physical sample and archiving software. We propose to develop a system to electronically track large collections of samples kept at low temperatures. Such a system will contribute greatly to the ability of institutions of all kinds to maintain their sample banks by reducing human error, having real----time information about a particular sample's location and by tracking each sample's access by personnel.