Redbud Labs developed a technology, called STR™BeadPak, that enabled high-performance sample preparation in microfluidic chips. By using their proprietary technology for microfluidic mixing, combined with industry-standard chemistry, Redbud demonstrated the potential for assays up to 1,000x faster than competing approaches.
To make this technology available to the life science industry, Redbud Labs developed a fully integrated system for molecular sample preparation. (Sample prep is where a raw sample—say, a nasal swab—is lysed and purified to extract a target analyte—say, the RNA from coronavirus.) Sample prep is a slow process with many pipetting steps, and in many labs, it is still performed manually. NAxtract was designed to automate this workflow, improving speed and consistency, without sacrificing quality.
Redbud Labs approached Trig after development of their initial functional prototypes. We were asked to develop a visual design for NAxtract. Redbud Labs required a product enclosure that was inviting and unintimidating, yet communicated the power, reliability, and utility of the underlying technology.
Finding The "Feeling"
Efficiency in the lab is critical to performing valuable sample preparation and testing, especially if there's a large amount of samples to run. The NAxtract makes that process even simpler by automating the prepping procedure. With the potential to be an incredible benchtop asset, Redbud Labs was very clear in regard to the “feeling” they wanted the new product to evoke in the laboratory—it was important it communicated both approachability and power. As was our previous experience designing a product with Redbud Labs, they were a great client to work with (and fun!) throughout our iterative design process in which we were able to uncover the right amount of emotion in the product form to be interesting yet intuitive.
At the onset of the process, Redbud Labs developed an early functioning prototype built as an open-