Enabling Faster, Higher Throughput COVID-19 Testing and Reducing Lab Waste!

What a Waste…

Think about the amount of plastic waste clinical laboratories produce each year. Back in 2015, a team of scientists from the University of Exeter calculated that research institutions collectively generate up to 5.5 million metric tons of plastic waste each year. Fast forward to 2020 in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic and it’s not a stretch to imagine multiplying that already substantial number by 100x or even 1000x globally due to the need for large scale testing. One of the most plastic-intensive steps in COVID-19 testing is the RNA extraction which typically uses 8-12 pipette tips for every sample. With some labs able to process up to 100,000 samples per day or more, that results in a lot of waste.

We Can Do Better

Plastic waste produced in COVID-19 testing can be significantly reduced in a couple of ways:

  1. Eliminate the viral RNA extraction step entirely
  2. Pool samples together

Mawi DNA Technologies has developed a modified version of our iSWAB-Microbiome collection technology, already being used by labs worldwide for collection and long term room temperature stabilization of viral RNA samples. This product is called iSWAB-Microbiome-EL, where EL stands for “Extraction-Less”. iSWAB-Microbiome-EL has been specifically designed to eliminate the RNA extraction step in the COVID-19 testing workflow, allowing researchers to perform direct RT-PCR on individual and pooled samples. iSWAB-Microbiome-EL is compatible with both swab or saliva collection.

Here is a simple analogy; imagine harvesting oil from the ground and instead of having to go through an expensive chemical-based and time-consuming refinery process, you can put it directly into your car. With this in mind, it’s clear how iSWAB-Microbiome-EL can benefit labs in multiple ways:

  1. Significantly reduce plastic waste
  2. Increase throughput by reducing processing time
  3. Save hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars annually

Please contact us at sales@mawidna.com for more information or to request samples.