Reduce the Environmental Impact of Nucleic Acid Extraction

40000.00 EUR
Review deadline: 
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The main goal of this challenge is to reduce the environmental impact of nucleic acid extraction (isolation of DNA and RNA while DNA/RNA is concentrated and impurities are removed). The established gold standard nucleic acid extraction methods generate large amounts of plastic waste. Additionally, hazardous chemicals (for environment and human) are used for most nucleic acid extraction workflows:
 Flammable solvents (e.g. ethanol, isopropanol)
 Phenol and chloroform, and other halogenated solvents
 High salt reagents (e.g. guanidinium salts)
 Detergents (REACH Compliance e.g. exclusion of Triton x-100, NP-40)

The product is a cardboard box containing all components and instructions how to extract nucleic acid from diverse sample materials. Common format is 50 nucleic acid extractions per box (dimension: 165 x 202 x 128 mm). Each box contains several plastic bottles (4 or more bottles with volumes of 1 – 500 ml; Polypropylene or Polyethylene) containing buffers and reagents which are used during the nucleic acid extraction process. Additionally, the box contains one to six plastic bags (Polyethylene) with 50 plastic vessels (1.5 – 2 ml tubes) each; some parts might be packed individually into plastic blisters for single use (e.g. 50 individually blistered tubes).

Current nucleic acid extraction methods that produce too much waste (non-biodegradable):
 Use of multiple plastic consumables (e.g. plastic spin columns, collection tubes, reagent vessels, plastic pipette tips) per nucleic acid extraction
 Packaging concept: plastic bottles as well as plastic bags used
 Hazardous chemistry used for efficient lysis of complex sample material and depletion of contaminants; alcohols used for binding and washing of nucleic acids

For the full information, please check the pdf document below. For submitting your innovative solution, please register (or login if you already have an account) and then you will find a submit solution button below on this challenge page.

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