Pressure BioSciences Aims for Improved Sample Preparation

Whether used to discover genetic biomarkers or analyze a food-borne pathogen, sample preparation is a vital aspect of scientific research. The process of sample preparation involves breaking open biological samples to retrieve nucleic acids, proteins or other biomolecules. However, the technology for sample preparation often does more harm than good. Current extraction methods such as heat or electrical charge can alter or destroy biomolecules.

Pressure BioSciences seeks to improve sample yield with its novel technology platform, known as pressure cycling technology (PCT). PCT alternates between low and high hydrostatic pressure (the pressure exerted by a liquid when it is at rest) to safely extract DNA, RNA, proteins or small molecules from samples within minutes. The technology has been shown to recover nucleic acids and proteins intact.

The South Easton, Mass.-based company holds 24 patents, including 5 that were issued last month. PCT has applications in genomic and proteomic sample preparation, pathogen inactivation and protein purification. The company also uses PCT in products for soil and plant biology, counter-bioterror, forensics, mass spectrometry and biomarker discovery. Pressure BioSciences markets its products to a variety of organizations, universities and companies. The company counts Novartis, Merck, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FBI, and Harvard Medical School among its clients.

Related video: Richard Schumacher, CEO and Founder of Pressure BioSciences, discusses his company at the 2010 OneMedForum in San Francisco.

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