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SELECTBIO Conferences Lab-on-a-Chip and Microfluidics: Companies, Technologies and Commercialization


Our Oceans, Our Health: Technology for In-Situ Sample Analysis of Coastal Waters

James Birch, Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

Humans depend on and are influenced by the ocean. Obvious impacts are food production, weather, and climate.  Less obvious may be the contributions of plant and microbial communities; for instance, 70% of the oxygen in our atmosphere comes from phytoplankton photosynthesis.  

Despite this importance to all life, the oceans have proven quite difficult to study, in part because access can be difficult and costly.  At MBARI we are designing, testing, and deploying instruments that address these access issues. The analytical side of these instruments is modeled after the tools and techniques derived from the biomedical diagnostics and research industries.  Coupling these analytical techniques with traditional oceanographic sensors that characterize the physical, chemical and optical properties of ocean waters has led to the concept of the ‘ecogenomic sensor’, a device that can apply molecular analytical techniques in situ.  

The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) was built with this idea in mind.  The ESP currently employs low-density DNA probe and protein arrays to assess in near real-time the presence and abundance of specific organisms, their genes and/or metabolites.  In addition, a 2-channel real-time PCR module supports deployment of a variety of user-defined master mixes, primer/probe combinations and control templates. The ESP can also be used to preserve samples for a variety of laboratory tests once the instrument is recovered, including metatranscriptomic analyses of natural microbial populations.  Typically deployed as a mooring, the ESP is being further developed to fit within an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, adding never-before-seen mobility to ecogenomic sensors. This presentation will highlight the architecture of the ESP and the analytical methods used onboard the instrument, results of recent shallow and deep water field deployments, and an outline of the exciting future of the ESP in ocea

Add to Calendar ▼2016-09-26 00:00:002016-09-28 00:00:00Europe/LondonLab-on-a-Chip and Microfluidics: Companies, Technologies and