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Wastewater Analysis Using Microbubbles

There exists a strong need for simple but sensitive technologies and workflows to enable environmental monitoring for communicable disease agents.

Nearly everything about human behavior leaves a signal in biological fluids like urine, stool, or blood. As a result, sewage has emerged as an efficient pooled sample source that can enable monitoring of infectious agents within a community.

Akadeum’s microbubbles are overcoming barriers to rare target capture from complex matrices such as wastewater by using an innovative approach: field-deployable, buoyant, functionalized microbubbles.

Microbubbles that are specifically functionalized to capture nucleic acids overcome the inherent limitations of other separation technologies like magnetic bead-based separation, freeing the capture of nucleic acids from traditional volume and equipment restrictions. Microbubbles offer entirely new benefits and utilities by leveraging floatation-based capture reagents, allowing for the creation of new efficiencies and workflows.


Using Microbubbles in Wastewater Samples for Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Viral RNA

Microbubble-based nucleic acid extraction employs a positive selection protocol in which the microbubbles bind to the desired target – for example, SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA – isolating and enriching the analyte for downstream genomic analysis. The microbubble extraction can directly interrogate large fluidic volumes of unfiltered sewage samples to increase RNA capture for downstream processing, with enhanced sensitivity in samples that were able to avoid preprocessing steps such as the removal of nucleic acid-rich solids for faster, efficient and effective workflows.

Nucleic acid recovery, measured through Qubit analysis after processing wastewater samples with Akadeum microbubble-based extraction.  Both RNA (Panel “A”) and DNA (Panel “B”) were measured to determine the affect of “no cleanup” versus “cleanup” protocol variations. The No Cleanup protocol permits faster and simpler workflow with higher analyte recovery.

Akadeum microbubble-based RNA extraction technology increases sensitivity by retaining the RNA that would otherwise be lost by preprocessing. Using microbubbles for nucleic acid extraction in wastewater samples allows for the full interrogation of large fluidic volumes using a process that is easily scalable, allowing for easy integration into existing protocols. This process can also be automated, allowing for increased throughput and accurate detection in a true “walkaway” workflow that uses a standard liquid handling robot.


Ready to Learn More? Download Related Resources.

To download Akadeum’s Poster Nucleic Acid Extraction with Microbubbles from Wastewater Produces Simple and High-Yield Workflows that was presented at the SETAC Europe 32nd Annual Meeting, simply fill out the form below:

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