Environmental Sample Processor
Project Manager/Lead Engineer: Scott Jensen
Lead Scientist: Chris Scholin
The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) is an instrument that collects discrete water samples autonomously, concentrates microorganisms, and automates application of DNA (or other) molecular probes to enable identification and quantification of particular species captured in situ, subsurface. The instrument transmits results of DNA probe array based assays in real-time to a shore based location for processing, interpretation and dissemination. In addition, the ESP archives discrete samples for nucleic acid, microscopic and toxin analyses for verifying real-time data from the probe arrays as well as facilitating discovery based analyses in the laboratory.
The purpose of this project is to develop a second generation ESP (2G ESP). The new ESP will build on the same design concepts already validated in the existing units, incorporating changes to make it much more robust, compact and user friendly. The overall goal is to produce a system that can be successfully deployed for a variety of applications on a routine basis by a team of trained technicians, thus making it accessible to a much larger group of users than is possible at present. A major design effort being undertaken is to reduce the size, complexity and power consumption of the instrument. There will also be an effort to provide space and appropriate electrical, software and fluid connectivity to support the addition of future sample and analytical modules. Testing of the first in situ 2G ESP is projected for August 2004.