Vacuum Device for Biological Sample Collection


Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing business partners interested in developing and commercializing Venturi Vacuum Device for Biological Sample Collections. A device that utilizes a venturi-based vacuum system, and integrated sterile syringe that prevents cross contamination during the collection of epithelial cells, pollen grains, environmental, agricultural and other biological samples.

This novel, multi-use device has the ability to collect dry and liquid samples, by employing a polycarbonate filter or cotton gauze to trap samples as a vacuum is simultaneously applied to the modified common sterile syringe with a needle/suction cup adapter. Traditional sample collection techniques such as swabbing and tape lifting are capable of successfully collecting epithelial cells and pollen grains. However, these techniques are not quite as successful at releasing the DNA from biological samples upon lysis. Utilization of a filter has proven more successful in both collecting cells and releasing the DNA than other sampling matrices.

This device has the unique ability to collect a wide array of sample types onto the polycarbonate filter without downstream interference or adherence of the DNA to the sampling matric which is critical for successful trace evidence analysis. The vacuum device is capable of collecting cells deposited by individuals touching objects. The efficiency of DNA recovery is sufficient enough to obtain useful DNA profiles. The device is also capable of collecting alternative sample types that are relevant in the forensic, environmental, and agricultural fields.

  • The device has applications in biological sampling for trace amounts of cellular and other difficult to access materials including pathogens and pests and forensic trace materials.
  • Other potential applications include sampling of single hairs, gunshot residues, trace plant materials, environmental materials and volatile organic compounds.
  • Provides increased recovery efficiency representing a significant improvement over traditional biological sampling methods.
  • Offers a non-invasively sample collection methodology for metabolomics and DNA analyses of agricultural pests without physically damaging trees which avoids attracting other damaging pests.
  • Offers applications for the collection of trace biological samples of agricultural and forensic relevance.

For additional information about this technology opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Garami at or by phone at 305-348-0008 and ask about record IP 1533.