Sample Prep TechnologiesKnowledge Foundation’s 10th International
Sample Prep Technologies
Sample Preparation for Virus, Toxin & Pathogen Detection & Identification
June 28-29, 2016

Sample Prep Technologies is an internationally recognized event for experts in sample preparation for detection and identification of viruses, toxins and pathogens. In its tenth year, this conference is designed to address the major issues and current state-of-the-art in the technologies related to the important phases of real-world sample preparation. Innovative sample prep and target enrichment can significantly increase the sensitivity and repeatability of the testing. Novel robust sampling and bioforensic techniques will be presented in applications for biodefense, field and point-of-care biomedical and clinical applications, food and water testing, and environmental and agricultural sampling.

Final Agenda


12:15 pm Registration


1:40 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Michael Heller, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Bioengineering and Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego


Kurt_SchaecherLt. Col. Kurt Schaecher, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Division of Medicine, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)

This brief is a summary of the 2 different time periods during the Ebola Outbreak response; July-August 2014 and November 2014 to January 2015. I describe the steps taken to set up  a clinical diagnostic laboratory focused on generating results from patients for outbreak control and the differences between the two different time periods.

2:15 Tissue Prints for High Quality RNA and DNA Samples without Damaging the Original Tissue

Sandra Gaston, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Tufts Medical Center, and Scientific Director of the TMC Biorepository, Director of Urological Research, New England Baptist Hospital

Our laboratory has developed a set of tissue print technologies that offer an innovative and practical approach to obtaining high quality RNA and DNA from biopsies and other “high value” specimens without compromising pathology diagnosis. In this presentation, we will describe how tissue print technologies have allowed us to take a “biopsy focused” approach to cancer biomarker discovery and validation.

2:45 System Integration as a Critical Requirement for Microfluidic Sample Processing

Maxim Shusteff, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Microfluidic Sample Preparation Project, Lawrence Livermore National Lab*

In order to exploit the advantages and benefits of microfluidic technologies, at least equivalent effort and attention must be devoted to system-level design and integration, as to the microfluidic device itself. Here, we present platform-level design considerations for microfluidic sample processing, and their implementation in two example systems in which a microfluidic device is embedded. *With contributions from Erika J. Fong.

3:05 Rapid Vaccine Technologies - Therapeutics for Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases

Willy Valdivia-Granda, Ph.D., CEO, Orion Integrated Biosciences

3:25 Biological Sampling and Detection in a Functional Training Exercise Using a Non-Threat Surrogate Material in Place of Attenuated Biothreat Agents

Nancy J. Lin, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineer, Biomaterials Group, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division, Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology

3:45 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

4:15 Engineered Protein Nanopores for Challenging Tasks in Molecular Diagnosis

Liviu_MovileanuLiviu Movileanu, Ph.D., Director of Structural Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics Graduate Program, Director of Undergraduate Program in Biophysical Science, Syracuse University

Protein nanopore-based sensing elements represent a pressing demand in molecular biomedical diagnosis. Here, I will present a strategy for improving the stability of a redesigned protein nanopore using ferric hydroxamate uptake component A, an outer membrane protein of E. coli. Future membrane protein design developments will serve as a platform for the integration of robust protein components into devices.

4:45 Purifying High Molecular Weight DNA from Challenging Samples

Thomas_LumThomas Lum, Manager, Auroro Product Specialist, Boreal Genomics

A major challenge in nucleic acid sample preparation is the separation of DNA and RNA from contaminants that co-purify when using common extraction methods. Here we present a unique method for the separation of nucleic acids based on the nonlinear response of long, charged polymers to electrophoretic fields. We will also discuss examples of user applications that have been enabled by the Aurora system using SCODA technology.

5:15 End of Day

5:30 Suggested Dinner Workshop*



8:00 am Morning Coffee


8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Alexis Sauer-Budge, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation and Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University

8:30 Rapid Phenotypic Methods for Diagnosing Infections and Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing

Alexis_Sauer-BudgeAlexis Sauer-Budge, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation and Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University

Traditionally, bacterial pathogens have been identified using culture-based methods that can take several days to obtain results. This can lead to physicians making treatment decisions based on an incomplete diagnosis. To decrease diagnosis time, we are developing novel devices and methods for isolating, concentrating, and detecting dilute viable pathogens and coupling these with novel downstream detection modalities.

9:00 System for Rapid Isolation and Detection of DNA/RNA/Exosome Biomarkers: “Sample to Answer” Molecular Diagnostics

Mike_HellerMichael Heller, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Bioengineering and Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego

New AC dielectrophoretic (DEP) microarray devices now allow rapid isolation and detection of important circulating cell free (ccf) DNA, ccf-RNA and exosome biomarkers directly from hematological and solid tumor cancer patient blood, plasma and serum samples. This new DEP technology combines sample preparation and biomarker detection into a viable “sample to answer” solution for molecular diagnostics.

9:30 Developing Biospecimen Evidence-Based Practices

Helen_MooreHelen M. Moore, Ph.D., Chief, Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch, Cancer Diagnosis Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute has led the way in developing Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources, sponsoring new research in Biospecimen Science, and building groundbreaking research biospecimen collections including postmortem biospecimens for the NIH GTEx program. New projects to build evidence-based best practices for frozen and FFPE tissues will be described.

10:00 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

10:45 High Efficiency Plasma Separation and Smartphone-Based Molecular Diagnostics at Point-of-Care

Changchun_LiuChangchun Liu, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania

Rapid diagnosis of pathogens and diseases at the point-of-care is critical for prompt and appropriate therapeutic intervention. In this talk, I will present our recent efforts towards the development of an integrating point-of-care molecular diagnostics system, including high efficiency plasma separators, integrated microfluidic devices for nucleic acid extraction and endpoint quantification, and smartphone-based molecular diagnostics.

11:15 Smartphone-Operated Handheld Microfluidic Liquid Handling System for Biodetection

Zhenyu_LiZhenyu Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Engineering & Applied Science, The George Washington University

Microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip technologies have enabled sophisticated liquid manipulation. However, most current microfluidic platforms still rely on off-chip infrastructures such as pressure sources, computers and high voltage generators to achieve their functions. In this talk, I will present a smartphone-operated handheld microfluidic liquid handling system which can automatically perform all the sample mixing, incubation and washing steps of a bead-based immunoassay without human intervention.

11:45 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

12:15 pm Networking Luncheon


1:40 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Michael Connolly, CEO, Integrated Nano-Technologies

1:45 3D Microfluidic Combinatory Chip for High-Throughput Drug Screening

Weihua_GuanWeihua Guan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Despite the great progress on microfluidic based high throughput drug screening, many challenges still exist such as handling sequential assay steps and facile, automatic multiplexed sample loading. To tackle this challenge, we have developed a novel and low cost 3D microfluidic combinatory chip with arbitrary assay steps and minimal hands-on requirement. We applied this paradigm-shifting technology to drug-resistant Malaria parasite and the results are compared with conventional assays.

2:05 Sample to Result Molecular Food Safety Test in 30 Minutes for $10

Vincent_GauVincent Gau, Ph.D., President, Genefluidics, Inc.

Currently, there are no accurate and economical ways to address food safety at the point of sale locations, such as fast food chain stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. Our technology enables rapid identification of unique sequences of targeted foodborne pathogens by ordinary food handlers. Overall, our technology is a powerful and efficient way to rapidly and accurately identify foodborne pathogens at an affordable price.

2:25 Biostabilization Methods in Sample Preparation, Banking, Storage, and Shipment: Comparison of Different Approaches

Igor I. Katkov, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Celltronix

Biostabilization is an essential part of any bioprocessing, which includes banking, storage, shipment of biological sample as they trend to perish/degrade over the time if not properly biostablized. This presentation will discuss the basic thermodynamics and compare all approaches and their pro’s and con’s particularly for the biodefence applications

2:45 High Throughput Simple Sample Preparation for Rapid High Resolution Glycan Analysis by Capillary Electrophoresis on DNA Sequencers

Jenkui_LiuJenkuei Liu, Ph.D., Senior Staff Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

We developed a rapid glycan analysis process including simple high throughput sample preparation, automatic purification of glycans with magnetic beads, three fluorescent dyes, high throughput capillary electrophoresis, and rapid data analysis software. Analysis of 96 samples with profiles and relative quantities of glycans can be finished in 9 hours, in contrast to the current 5 days.

3:15 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

4:00 PANEL DISCUSSION: Challenges and Opportunities in Advanced Sample Preparation


Michael Heller, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Bioengineering and Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego


Michael Connolly, Ph.D., CEO, Integrated Nano-Technologies

Maxim Shusteff, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Microfluidic Sample Preparation Project, Lawrence Livermore National Lab

Dave Alberty, CEO, InnovaPrep

Innovative sample prep and target enrichment can significantly increase the sensitivity and repeatability of clinical tests. The panel will explore novel robust sampling and bioforensic techniques in applications for biodefense, field & point-of-care biomedical & clinical applications, food & water testing, and environmental & agricultural sampling.

5:00 Close of Conference