A scientific study at Florida International University has shown the viability of Pressure BioSciences' (OTCQB:PBIO) new two-step, PCT-enhanced method for the selective differential extraction of male or female DNA from mixtures of sperm and vaginal epithelial cells recovered from cotton swabs.
The study, published in 'Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry', a peer-reviewed scientific journal, by Dr. Deepthi V. Nori and Dr. Bruce R. McCord of the Department of Chemistry, Florida International University, focuses on PBI's new technique to extract biological fluids from cotton swabs with high recovery, using PCT combined with alkaline lysis:
"This new method has shown decreased processing times and higher yields while using inexpensive reagents on a semi-automated platform. Although there is still work to be done, results to date indicate this PCT-based technique is a promising new method for extraction of DNA from forensic evidentiary materials, including rape kits," said Dr McCord, who was the study's principal investigator.
The new method presents an alternative to the recovery of biological samples such as body fluids for forensic analysis using cotton swabs, as is commonly done. Indeed, this does not allow for an easy recovery of samples such as DNA after a sexual assault for example. Samples may get trapped in the swab's cotton fibers, resulting in a loss of precious evidence.
Complications with cotton swab based sample recoveries have generated a backlog of over 400,000 untested rape kits, which prevents the courts from trying perpetrators, which may have allowed some rapists to remain free. The backlog only grows as some 180,000 new assault cases a year are reported.
"We believe this novel, PCT-dependent method represents a potential breakthrough in the recovery of high quality DNA from cotton swabs. Next steps will be to optimize and streamline the method. To that end, we have begun discussions to formalize the relationship between PBI and Dr. McCord/FIU into a mutually-beneficial collaboration agreement. We believe that by combining capabilities, knowledge, and our shared interest in an effective outcome,
We can more efficiently move this method down the path to potential commercialization," said PBI's president and CEO, Richard T. Schumacher.
"Future commercialization of this novel, PCT-based method could potentially provide significant new business channels for PBI in important forensic applications, such as touch DNA and rape kit testing. We believe the forensics market consists of hundreds of labs in the US, performing thousands of tests on a routine basis. Thus, in addition to instrument sales, we also see the potential for single-use consumables and other reagents that are proprietary to our PCT platform," added Schumacher.
PBI develops 'must-have' tools in life sciences research as renowned proteomics and genomics. The company makes and sells proprietary laboratory instrumentation and associated consumables to the estimated $6 billion life sciences sample preparation market.
Shares of the company were trading steady at 0.25 cents on Tuesday.