Automated Screening of Nucleic Acid Devices
The automation of PCR, Gibson assembly, transformation, and miniprep executed by Hamilton robots will drastically reduce hands-on time and increase throughput of DNA samples. PhD students in Dr. Alexander Green’s lab will use these cloned samples to survey the space of potential RNA devices, which can provide a framework for predicting the optimal region of a transcript for diagnostic targeting.
High-throughput Sequencing for Microbiome Research
Partnering with the BU Microbiome Initiative, the pilot project led by Dr. Daniel Segre will focus on automating the detailed characterization of hundreds of microbiome samples from around the world using Next Generation Sequencing capabilities. DAMP lab’s robots will help prepare sequencing libraries in a high-throughput fashion to significantly reduce time at the bench as well as costs, ultimately enabling BU researchers to ask questions currently beyond reach in the field.
Determining the microbial carrying capacity of Arabidopsis thaliana
This project aims to resolve the quantitative relationship between plants and bacteria by leveraging the high-throughput processing capacity of the DAMP Lab. Using DNA isolation and qPCR, The Larkin Lab seeks to understand how many microbes a plant can support and how microbial engineering efforts for this quantitative relationship. If successful, this collaborative effort between the Larkin and DAMP labs will produce novel insights to the field of plant-microbial interactions and establish a robust and reliable pipeline that will expedite the rate at which these contributions occur.
Systems Cytomics: High-throughput Platform for Analysis of Adaptive Immune Responses
For this pilot project, the DAMP lab and Dr. Adriana Tomic’s lab aim to establish a high-throughput robotic platform combined with AI to develop a novel assay to interrogate adaptive immune cells and their properties, including polyfunctionality, cross-reactivity, TCR clonality, and specificity. This 'Systems Cytomics’ assay will enable the evaluation of the quantitative and qualitative aspects of adaptive immune cells in protective immunity that can be applied to many different diseases and immunotherapies, and will speed up the discovery of vaccine candidates.
High-throughput Hydrogel Production
For this pilot project, the DAMP lab’s liquid handlers will be put to use, developing a high throughput method for preparing hydrogels with tunable biophysical properties for tissue engineering applications. Researchers in Dr. Joyce Wong’s lab will be able to design varying multi-well plates to investigate cell-material interactions in order to probe different disease states across different cell types as well as hydrogel compositions, ultimately informing downstream therapeutic applications.
Automated iPSC-cardiomyocytes Culture and Differentiation Workflow
In collaboration with the BU CELL-MET Engineering Research Center, the overall goal for this pilot project is to develop an automation platform to provide a standardized and high-throughput workflow for the culturing and differentiation of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. This workflow will save valuable time and resources for researchers in Dr. Christopher Chen’s lab as well as the researchers in the CELL-MET Engineering Research Center, and allow scientists to focus on ideas rather than repetitive lab protocols.