Tekmill Partners with the Broad Institute to Expand COVID-19 Screening Program

Category : Research Park
Posted on: March 9, 2021

CHAMPAIGN — Tekmill is providing pre-analytical robotics to streamline the intake and the initial processing of samples for pooled COVID-19 testing as part of the Broad Institute Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP), the company announced today.

Tekmill, a design engineering and contract machining/fabrication firm, is located in the University of Illinois Research Park.  The Broad Institute is a  biomedical research institute launched by a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and its affiliated hospitals, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Broad is a national leader in the fight against COVID-19 and in the development of high-throughput diagnostic platforms. Tekmill, an Illinois small business, is now partnering with the Broad Institute to significantly expand its screening program.

Since March of 2020, the Broad Institute has processed COVID-19 diagnostics tests for more than 130 colleges and universities and is now processing pooled COVID-19 tests for Massachusetts K-12 schools.

The Tekmill system processes up to 10,000 pooled tubes, each containing 10 anterior swabs, per day. Thus, a single Tekmill robot supports COVID-19 screening for 100,000 people per day.

The Tekmill system receives pooled tubes in bulk, automatically loads and de-caps them, dispenses reagent into the tubes, and then racks them for downstream automated fluid handling. The robot incorporates computer vision and barcode reading to track samples and prevent errors.

For more information and a video, visit Tekmill’s announcement here.