Indie Lab is a federally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so any and all donations are tax deductible and will go directly to supporting a community response to covid-19. For more information on the lab, please visit our website at www.indielab.co
Indie Lab is uniquely positioned to expand covid-19 testing apparatus in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We currently have a team of 25 people locally building the effort, and are in communication with other labs around the world, but we need your help!
The current CDC testing protocol uses quantitative PCR analysis for detection, and recent developments around Rocheexpanding testing are continuations of that testing methodology. Roche's COVID-19 tests were approved by the FDA on Friday, March 13. We are in contact with Chai Bio to begin acquiring/building and deploying qPCR systems using open-source plans. To expand the rate of testing we are working with Opentrons to place high-throughput sample extraction equipment in Richmond to meet the same 10,000/day sample capacity presented by Roche on Friday. This is in line with the methods described by Opencell Bio in London, UK in tandem with Opentrons. We can both build and receive Opentrons built systems (1 week lead) once we have adequate placement arranged.
In addition, we are looking to assist in the validation of rapid CRISPR-based detection with Mammoth Bio. Also, we areassisting with sample trials and validation to move the process through approval. The bottleneck in RNA extraction kits (such as those made by Qiagen) makes it essential to expand testing capabilities to new platforms and this is a highly promising candidate.
We're working to finish an O2 generator prototype rapidly to enhance local oxygen supplies and have fabricators available to build essential components. We have connected with an international project working on the same systems to crowdsource the plans, source code, and other necessary items, though we already have most of what we need. It may be more worthwhile to source whole systems at this point, but we're looking at all of our options and want to be prepared in case of shortages that are described in outbreak regions.
We're working with local and international groups to enhance local production of ventilators and sorely lacking n95 masks, as well.
We're organizing collection logistics with community groups, establishing testing locations to safely collect, transport, and store samples. Richmond residents are already reporting that they are turned away from tests despite being symptomatic because of Virginia Health Department policy. We wish to test as many residents as possible and collect as much data for later analysis to assist with containment.
All of this takes time, money, and additional physical resources that we currently lack. We are asking this community to help us reach success. In addition to financial donations here or Patreon (patreon.com/indielab), We need help with:
- grant writing
- support to access CLIA certified, BSL2 laboratory space. With enough support physical building is not out of the question.
Indie Lab is run by Executive Director John Slavin, PhD 2009 a graduate of Purdue University's analytical chemistry department. He has postdoctoral experience as a visiting scholar at Northwestern University and postdoctoral associate at The University of Wisconsin- Madison. His research background is in biomolecular analysis, nanotechnology, sustainable and open-source technologies, electronics waste recycling, and climate change mitigation. He is founder of Librecycle! and research director of TMM Industries.
JoEl Meeks-Matous is a patented researcher in nanotechnology and advanced materials. He serves as secretary of the organization and is founder of TMM Industries.