InnovaPrep LLC: Detect Pathogens Proactively with Rapid Sample Concentration
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The wastewater management facilities and municipalities fight a constant battle monitoring the ever-growing pool of deadly pathogens. Adding to the woes, the latest SARS-CoV-2 has brought these utilities to the front and center of the war against the COVID-19 pandemic. In tackling the deadly pandemic, it pays to monitor whole communities proactively rather than test each person, which is time-consuming. However, for this, a non-invasive early-warning tool is needed in order to take appropriate remediation measures. Unfortunately, the current sampling techniques are complicated, sloppy, and expensive. And the investments for innovation in analysis have only started to pour in.
Turning the corner for wastewater treatment facilities is InnovaPrep, a visionary bio-surveillance company that believes in striving to support the healthy living of humans and animals. InnovaPrep offers automated pre-analytical solutions and sample preparation technologies for modern microbiology, specifically useful for monitoring waterborne pathogens. The company’s flagship solution The Concentrating Pipette (CP) Select is a small benchtop instrument that uses dead-end filtration on high-flow single-use pipette tips to capture target particles.
Many of its clients from the wastewater management facilities domain have confirmed that The CP Select rapidly and efficiently concentrates SARS-CoV-2 from raw influent wastewater samples. One public wastewater treatment plant—the treated wastewater of which is used to replenish an aquifer—in Virginia with a state-of-the-art microbiology laboratory compared InnovaPrep’s method against five other common sample concentration methods for the concentration of six viruses from 100 mL of raw influent. The CP Select outperformed the other methods including polyethylene glycol model and celite based methods. Further, the speed of concentration and the ease of use easily beat traditional methods. For secondary clarifier effluent, similar results were reported, and the InnovaPrep Large Volume Concentrator kit was used to process 100 liters, for secondary concentration using the CP Select. This powerful combination of techniques tremendously improved the detection limit for those viruses. This customer was one of the first in the US to report the outbreak of Coronavirus in wastewater in early March, even before clinical testing affirmed the presence of the deadly virus.
Detecting dilute microorganisms such as SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater is like finding a particular needle in a haystack of needles. With a small footprint, The CP Select eases laboratory workflow and reduces time to result as well as labor cost regardless of the number of samples under test. The solution uses an automated recovery process, termed Wet Foam Elution, to enable efficient extraction of the particles from the filter membrane in seconds. It can also administer very precise and controlled amounts of foam that produce filter elution volumes as low as 200 microliters. The process maximizes the target’s concentration, thereby exponentially improving the limit of detection for trace pathogens. “Industry requires that target organisms are detectable at very low concentrations from about 10 copies per 100 milliliters of influent to as little as 120 copies per 100 liters of effluent. This is only achievable with robust concentration—InnovaPrep concentration technologies can bridge this gap faster, easier, and better than common methods allow,” says Ann Packingham, Director of Marketing at InnovaPrep.
InnovaPrep is currently scaling up its manufacturing efforts to counter COVID-19 and cater to an ever-increasing global distribution network. The company is also working to integrate its systems with the analytics platform of leading multinational diagnostics firms. At a time when the current pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis might have already altered the wastewater management scene forever, replenishing aquifers and reservoirs with treated wastewater effluent will require more treatment plants to install microbiology labs onsite. “With such opportunities lying in wait, InnovaPrep is proactively working with industry partners and striving to gain access to more grants to support its several ongoing and future projects that can help the wastewater domain stay ahead of the challenges,” concludes Ann.
Description InnovaPrep is engaged in product development, manufacturing, sales, service, and related out-licensing of a collection of novel technologies enabling rapid detection of biological particles and pathogens. Their core business is biological sample collection, concentration and preparation. The company has commercialized a collection of market-disruptive platform technologies for rapid, automated concentration of biological particles. InnovaPrep’s 35 pending and awarded patents apply to highly efficient collection, recovery, and concentration of biological particles from air, surfaces, and liquids. Their elution process underlies many of these patents and enables recovery of particles from filters, membranes, surfaces, and objects
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