Biotech Manufacturing — Raindance Success Story

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Columbia Tech

Biotech Prototyping and Contract Manufacturing for dPCR Lab Equipment OEM, RainDance

RainDance Technologies is a leading innovator in the field of complex genetic research. The company develops extremely sensitive, non-invasive liquid biopsy equipment capable of providing accurate, cost-effective results for the early detection of rare cancers, viruses, and genetic abnormalities. They came to Columbia Tech for prototyping and contract manufacturing services during the design phase of their RainDrop® Digital PCR System, which was named one of the Top Ten Innovations of 2014 by The Scientist.

Prototyping Alpha Units of RainDance Biotechnology

Initially, RainDance sought Columbia Tech for product engineering support on the development of cable drawings and the prototyping of cables and printed circuit boards to support alpha units they were building. They also required contract manufacturing for small value added electro-mechanical sub-assemblies that would be included in the RainDrop design.

raindance-technologies-insideColumbia Tech’s experienced manufacturing engineering services team provided drawings for the cables and printed circuit boards that were designed for manufacturability (DFM) right from the start to guarantee the expedient and cost-effective production of them to ensure great reliability when assembled into the final dPCR system. Columbia Tech continued on to produce the cables and PCBAs that were then sent to RainDance for assembly.

As the number of orders increased, RainDance requested that Columbia Tech increase their involvement in the production process by manufacturing higher level subassemblies for the RainDrop product. Columbia Tech provided cables, printed circuit boards and power supplies for the dPCR system, and performed operational tests at the lowest level of complexity before sending the completed subassemblies to RainDance for final system integration.

DFM of RainDrop Lab Equipment for Scalable Manufacturing

RainDance then brought their dPCR alpha systems to trade shows, where the innovative liquid biopsy equipment was quickly embraced by institutions for use in a variety of complex genetic analysis applications. The RainDrop Digital PCR System is a nucleic acid detection and monitoring analysis system that assists in medical research applications. These applications include low-frequency tumor allele detection, gene-expression, and viral quantification. It is a third-generation, digital-droplet-based PCR instrument and uses fourth-generation microfluidic logic chips.

The RainDrop dPCR system is incredibly sensitive, with a power limit detection range of 1 in 20,000 to 1 in >1,000,000. It can generate up to 10 million picoliter droplets, which is 10,000x better than other existing PCR methods. Each tiny droplet envelops a single molecule, allowing researchers to quickly identify which droplets contain target DNA markers and how many are present. The RainDrop System allows researchers to make more advanced analyses with multi-colored markers and intensity-per-marker methods; this is far more useful than the limited scope of single-color-per-marker PCR systems.

raindance-technologies-inside-2As the demand for the product grew, RainDance realized they did not have the facilities, or vast technical resources needed to seamlessly scale and meet rapidly growing product demand while simultaneously developing other new innovative products for the market place. After assessing multiple manufacturing scenarios they turned to Columbia Tech for complete turnkey manufacturing. Columbia Tech performed a final DFM effort on the RainDrop System to help enable the most efficient and scalable production at the lowest possible cost. Many repeatable human processes were automated to reduce labor time and improve reliability, thus enabling the fastest allowable turnaround time, ensuring that RainDance never missed a market opportunity. The relationship has continued to grow and prosper to include other key products in the Raindance portfolio.

Flexible Biotech Manufacturing from Concept to Commercialization

With passion, focus and support from the experienced Caring Associates Team at Columbia Tech, RainDance was able to bring their innovative idea into the real world with a cost-effective and scalable design. Columbia Tech provides collaborative product engineering and design support time after time to ensure the most efficient designs and manufacturing procedures deployed properly for rapid scalability on complex capital equipment. This allows clients to remain focused on further innovating proprietary technologies to bring additional solutions to market with greater velocity.

Whether a client requires product design support, subassembly production, or full turnkey device manufacturing and global fulfillment, Columbia Tech can help! From concept to commercialization, Columbia Tech allows their customers to bring innovative ideas to market cost effectively and at WARP SPEED™.

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