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Hamilton, Pacific Biosciences Partner on Automating DNA Sample Prep

NEW YORK – Hamilton and Pacific Biosciences said on Thursday that they have collaborated on the development of an automated solution for PacBio's Circulomics high molecular weight DNA sample prep product.

The firms have completed and will release a method for running the Circulomics Nanobind KF CBB Big DNA Kit on Hamilton's Nimbus Presto liquid handling platform. DNA molecules obtained range in size from 50 kb to more than 200 kb, with most being more than 100 kb, and extraction time for 96 samples is a few hours.

Financial and other details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

"Sample preparation is often overlooked and underappreciated. For long-read sequencing, however, high DNA quality is critical," Jeffrey Burke, senior director of R&D at PacBio, said in a statement. "By adapting our Nanobind technology for use on the Nimbus Presto Assay-Ready Workstation, we have provided users with a high-throughput method for obtaining high molecular weight DNA from a range of sample types," including cell, blood, and bacterial samples.

Initially, the companies will release the method for cells and bacteria, with blood and tissue extraction coming later. Achim Ott, VP of robotics at Hamilton, added that automating DNA extraction is a "first step and key element" for end-to-end automation of long-read sequencing, especially for potential clinical applications.

PacBio acquired Circulomics, a Johns Hopkins University spinout, in August 2021 for an undisclosed amount.

Hamilton has also partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific for automated DNA extraction from forensic samples.