What if extracting vital information from biological samples didn't require complicated tools or expert technicians? What if it was as easy as pressing a button?
In 2023, a scientist can sequence a genome within a day thanks to advancements in sequencing technology. DNA readout technology has come a long way, but one step in the sequencing process remains virtually the same as it did two decades ago: sample preparation.
Performance, scalability, and consistency are just some of the challenges biologists face during the antiquated sample preparation process. With the new reality of the $200 human genome, if these challenges are left unaddressed, it’s inevitable that sample prep will become an accelerating burden to labs. We believe that significant innovations are needed in sample prep to unlock the true utility of genomics.
What began as a simple exploration of manipulating colored droplets on a printed circuit board at the MIT Media Lab in 2016, has since evolved into “solving the sample prep bottleneck” in sequencing. Today, we’re at a pivotal moment in Volta’s history as we’re preparing to launch our first commercial instrument in the first half of 2024.
We have built a sequencing technology agnostic platform that can handle a wide range of raw biological samples and deliver sequenceable molecules - all at the push of a button. This has required reinventing the full stack of technologies – hardware, software, chemistry, and biology. The culmination of years of R&D is a family of technological innovations that goes far beyond sample prep, allowing us to envision a world in which a single instrument automates the majority of biological workflows done in a lab.
None of this would have been possible without the exceptional employees who dedicate themselves to this mission everyday. As Volta advisor and Illumina co-founder John Stuelpnagel recently told our team during a fireside chat, “To do extraordinary things, you have to put in extraordinary effort.” We’re proud of the extraordinary effort that goes into Volta every single day. With big plans for 2024, we’re excited to unveil more of what we’ve been working on.