Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $150,000)
The Southwest Louisiana Criminalistics Department (under the Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Office) DNA Unit is requesting funds to purchase the MaxPrep and Maxwell 48 Robotic Systems, as well as the validation of the systems by an outside company.
The two robotic systems will work together to provide a fully robotic system from sample extraction preparation through extraction and quantification setup to amplification setup. The robotic system will allow for the analyst(s) to be able to perform other necessary tasks. This will increase the amount the analyst(s) will be able to do, which will increase the throughput of the laboratory.
Using robotic systems will also decrease the chance of contamination, which will decrease the time of troubleshooting the events and amount of downtime from troubleshooting. The decrease in downtime will decrease any backlog in the department.
The DNA Unit is also requesting funds to have the robotic systems validated by an outside company. The time saved from validation will allow the analyst(s) to perform casework and not work on the validation. This will continue the workflow, which will not allow for the increase in backlog that would occur if the validation was done by the analyst(s) of the laboratory. The laboratory is also requesting funds for a POP-4 polymer pouch, which will be used during the validation to obtain the validation results. This validation will be performed more quickly than done in-house. This means that the goals of the robotic system (decrease the backlog and increase throughput) will start sooner than if done by the SWLCL analyst(s).