Genetic analysis is the driving force behind """"""""Personalized Medicine"""""""" and has become an essential tool in advancing all areas of biology, medicine, and behavioral biology. This project will provide instrumentation to streamline sample preparation needed for genetic sequence analysis. Currently, multiple instruments are used in sample preparation for genomics analysis. The major focus of the R&D effort in this field is in methods for sequencing (e.g., Next Gen Sequencing, etc.), with very little advancement being in the area of sample preparation prior to sequencing. Microsonic Systems Inc. has developed a patented piezoelectric transducer chip that produces bulk ultrasound waves with lateral vortices;called BLU"""""""" (bulk lateral ultrasound) energy. The transducer ultrasound output is incrementally controllable and can aid in all steps in DNA library prep from cell lysis through PCR. Our approach combines multiple capabilities into one multifunctional fully-integrated instrument platform that improves sample prep process efficiency, thus saving time and money. Microsonics intends to bring to market an 8-position, and subsequently in Phase II, a high-throughput 24-position, robotic sample preparation platform that will enable all of the steps of sample prep to be completed on one instrument in a traceable sample vessel (standard 2D bar-coded plastic tubes). The company currently has a prototype of an 8-position, Personal DNA Sample Preparation Instrument (ST30), which includes a centrifuge and integrated temperature control. The user-friendly interface is an Android powered touch-screen, from which the user can operate the different applications (apps), driven by Microsonics'patented BLU energy. The first app will be for DNA shearing.
The specific aims for SBIR Phase I are 1) to finish development of the instrument and bring it to the marketplace by first quarter of 2015 with a DNA shearing app that improves the accuracy of shearing targets and reduces sample loss;2) add an additional app by third quarter of 2015 that decreases hybridization time in protocols used for high throughput sequencing;and 3) by first quarter of 2016, show that BLU energy can be used to perform many of the multiple-steps needed in high-throughput sequencing library prep, from genomic DNA to sequencer ready molecular library.

Public Health Relevance

This project will provide instrumentation to streamline sample preparation needed for genetic sequence analysis. In the era of personalized medicine this will be necessary so that genetic sequence information can be rapidly made available to aid treatment strategy decisions of health care providers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Smith, Michael
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Microsonic Systems, Inc.
San Jose
United States
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