High Throughput Tissue Sampling

Request Number REQ3326879
Due Date January 6, 2017
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
High Throughput Tissue Sampling
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing the Altria Group, invites proposals for technologies that will enable high throughput sampling from tissue cultures.


NineSigma’s client, Altria, is interested in technology that supports high throughput sampling and sample tracking for tissue cultures.  This technology would be used internally to support gene modification work.  Altria would like to automate the process by which tissue cultures are sampled and evaluated.  Ideal solutions will be able to take samples from an array of cultures in a way that allows the rest of the sample to continue growing.  The tissue cultures to be sampled have an average surface area of roughly 0.25-0.5 cm2. Desired sample size is flexible and may range from 1mm2 up to ½ of the original culture size.  The samples collected will be subject to PCR and subsequent sequencing.


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Perform high throughput sampling of tissue cultures while:
    • Tracking each sample as sample moves through system
    • Maintaining sterility/preventing cross-contamination of samples
    • Sampling in a manner that maintains the viability of the remaining tissue sample
  • Sample at a rate of >30 samples/hr
  • Sample size: ranging from 1mm2 up to ½ of original culture
  • Have a footprint that is compatible with standard lab conditions (functional sampling part of equipment must be able to fit in a hood)
  • Be readily demonstrable

Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Successful demonstration of the proposed technology in a client specified setting.


Approaches accompanied with strong supporting data are preferred.  Conceptual solutions are not of interest.


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to: 

  • Automatic colony pickers
  • Other robotic sampling applications


Approaches not of interest



Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
Items to be submitted

Responses from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome.


Appropriate responses will be submitted via the online Response Form and will address the following:


  • Description of proposed approach including
    • Technical maturity
    • Discussion of performance:
      • Rate of sampling
      • Ability to avoid cross-contamination
      • Tracking capabilities
    • Approximate cost
    • Examples of other situations where this approach has been used
  • Supporting data (tables, graphs, images, etc)
  • Team expertise and relevant previous work
  • Intellectual property status of proposed material


Area of Interest
Request Priority
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