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Akadeum Life Sciences and Agilent Technologies Announce Viral DNA/RNA Wastewater Surveillance Solution

Published on Jan 9, 2024

Partnership uses Akadeum’s revolutionary microbubble technology for viral processing.

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, Jan. 5, 2024Akadeum Life Sciences, Inc., announced today an innovative solution for the detection of viral DNA/RNA in wastewater, developed from a collaboration with Agilent Technologies, Inc. which started in October 2019.

Wastewater surveillance monitoring has become an important method for mass screening of communities, offering an early warning system for emerging infectious diseases like SARS-CoV-2. The solution—the Agilent Viral DNA/RNA Wastewater Prep Kit, together with qPCR detection—promises to track viral load within a community with higher sensitivity and in a shorter time period.

The extraction kit isolates target molecules for detection using Akadeum’s revolutionary buoyant, functionalized microbubbles. These novel, proprietary microbubbles are customized to capture nucleic acids, including SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA.

Microbubbles do not have the same volume and equipment restrictions as magnetic bead-based separation methods. As with other use cases like cell and gene therapy, there is beauty in the simplicity of microbubbles. The microbubbles can simply be mixed into the sample, where they latch onto the target (viral RNA) and, using gravity alone, float it to the top of the sample for further processing and analysis.

Brandon McNaughton, PhD., Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Akadeum, comments: “We are excited to be working with Agilent on the next generation of sample preparation. By utilizing the power of microbubbles, fast and efficient extraction of nucleic acids from large volumes of highly complex samples is now a reality—and this is just the beginning of what is possible.”

David Edwards, Vice President and General Manager of Agilent’s Chemistries Division added: “We’re pleased with the outcome of this collaboration. The Viral DNA/RNA Wastewater Prep Kit enables faster, simpler sample preparation and analysis of total wastewater samples without requiring pasteurization or filtration of solid components prior to nucleic acid purification and subsequent analysis.”

Alternative methods use larger wastewater sample volumes and require pasteurization and the removal of suspended solids; these factors increase the amount of time spent on processing the sample. The Agilent viral RNA/DNA Wastewater Extraction Kit only requires 3 mL of raw wastewater and provides higher sensitivity per analyzed volume and a fast turnaround. The results make it possible to track the viral load within a community in a much more valuable, impactful time window.

About Akadeum Life Sciences, Inc.

Akadeum Life Sciences was formed to solve long-standing sample preparation problems in research, diagnostics, and cell therapy markets with a novel flotation-based target isolation platform technology. Without the critical step of separation (isolating biological targets like DNA, proteins, or cells from biological samples), many diagnostics and therapies would not be possible.

More than a solution to a single problem, this elegantly simple platform technology is disrupting the separation market—from nucleic acid extraction to cell isolation. Akadeum was the first to commercialize BACS™ (buoyancy activated cell sorting) Microbubble kits for cell isolation applications. In parallel, Akadeum is also establishing industry partnerships. Akadeum’s kits are for research use only.

Inquiries into Akadeum’s products, technology, or partnership opportunities can be made at

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