It is a sterile wet-vacuum. Collection solution is sprayed onto the surface while simultaneously being vacuum off of the surface. It creates a "mini-hurricane" that loosens the DNA material which is transferred to the collection bottle and later concentrated onto a filter. Here is a short video describing the M-Vac.
Collection. The M-Vac uses wet-vacuum principles to cause the DNA material to release from the substrate and to capture the cells. DNA free buffer is sprayed directly onto the surface while simultaneously vacuum is applied around the spray pattern to collect the buffer with the suspended particles and transfer it into a sterile collection bottle. The impact of the solution and the force of the vacuum develop a turbulent environment that helps break free DNA containing cells to be suspended in the solution and collected with the vacuum.
Discovery. The M-Vac allows DNA material to be collected from porous areas that are difficult, if not impossible, to reach otherwise. It addition, the M-Vac collection is scalable to large surfaces, increasing the probability of discovering DNA material randomly located on the surface.
Concentration. The sample collected by the M-Vac is concentrated using the M-Vac support equipment and a sterile filter. The solution including the DNA material that has been captured is poured through a concentration filter and the filter is sent to the lab for further processing. The DNA is extracted from the filter at the lab with standard industry extraction kits and processes. The same that are used with the swab or other collection methods.
This unique collection method is both more sensitive and scalable so collecting minute amounts of DNA is very feasible even when it is spread over a large surface area.
Here is a short video describing the system and a case it helped move forward. It is from the perspective of one of the inventors.
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