The RainDance ThunderStorm™ System is a fully automated high-throughput targeted sequencing solution; it enables researchers to process more samples per day and generate higher-quality data faster than ever before. The system features true walkaway capabilities allowing for minimal hands-on time. It automatically processes up to 96 samples and accesses up to eight different primer panels. The device combines exceptional performance and a proven technology platform to deliver unprecedented sample throughput with the most desirable running economics. Its applications include GWAS follow-up, medical genetics, somatic mutation analysis, and epigenetics.
Design considerations included creating a “family” look to the existing design of corresponding products and careful user studies into how researchers would efficiently interact with the device. The PI team was careful to balance the needs of the scientific and engineering teams with the needs of the user. The loading and unloading of samples needed to be efficient and simple. Access to the samples was key and was emphasized in the basic product architecture throughout. Concept exploration netted out several breadboards which were utilized with users so the interface could be studied, and the final design is centered around these interactions and touchpoints. The ThunderStorm™ System is a relatively large unit and its visual size was another design consideration. The color palette and color breaks were carefully considered to minimize the perceived size.
The fast turnaround of samples and simple workflow of the RainDance ThunderStorm™ System support the brand’s goal of applying simplicity and speed to solve complex biological problems. The ThunderStorm™ System won the 2012 red dot design award for its design excellence.