The Future Is Here

Filter like a Pro with the most advanced eDNA sampling system on the market Buy Now

Standardize your workflow

Our computer-controlled pump makes sampling more replicable with user-defined sampling parameters

Sample volume (L)
Maximum pressure (-PSI)
Target flow rate (L/min)
Filter clogged alarm (L/min)

Improve sampling efficiency

Maximize species detection with Smith-Root eDNA filters

Filter rapidly for best use of field time

Minimize risk of contamination with a published method

Order Filters

Optimized for mobile sampling

eDNA is not standing still and neither should you. We designed the backpack model for continuous, mobile eDNA sampling. Generate spatially-integrated eDNA samples for maximal species detection.

GPS track for each mobile sampling transect
ml/m output shows filtered volume per meter distance
Triplicate sampling with the Smith-Root Trident pole

Customize for your application

Handheld and backpack models

Multiple filter pore sizes available

Regular and self-preserving eDNA filters

Telescoping pole and trident pole options

Lithium-iron and lead-acid batteries

Supported by science

Our team of scientists and engineers work continuously to provide the best possible support for the Smith-Root eDNA Sampler user community.

Software updates are issued regularly, and units can be upgraded remotely via the USB port.

Research publications with eDNA Sampler

Gasparini, L., Crookes, S., Prosser, R.S. & Hanner, R. (2020) Detection of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) using environmental DNA in riverine systems. Environmental DNA, 2, 321-329.

Pope, K.L., Goldberg, C.S., Nelson, N.L., Cummings, A.K., Seaborn, T. & Piovia‐Scott, J. (2020) Designing environmental DNA surveys in complex aquatic systems: Backpack sampling for rare amphibians in Sierra Nevada meadows. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 30, 1975-1987.

Skinner, M., Murdoch, M., Loeza-Quintana, T., Crookes, S. & Hanner, R. (2020) A mesocosm comparison of laboratory-based and on-site eDNA solutions for detection and quantification of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in marine ecosystems. Environmental DNA, 2, 298-308.

Thomas, A.C., Howard, J., Nguyen, P.L., Seimon, T.A. & Goldberg, C.S. (2018) eDNA Sampler: A fully integrated environmental DNA sampling system. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9, 1379-1385.

Thomas, A.C., Nguyen, P.L., Howard, J. & Goldberg, C.S. (2019) A self‐preserving, partially biodegradable eDNA filter. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 10, 1136-1141.

Thomas, A.C., Tank, S., Nguyen, P.L., Ponce, J., Sinnesael, M. & Goldberg, C.S. (2020) A system for rapid eDNA detection of aquatic invasive species. Environmental DNA, 2, 261-270.


The pore size to use will depend on the organism you want to detect and the level of suspended particulate in the water you are sampling.

0.45 µm = Microbial studies such as fish pathogen detection or microbiome analysis.

1.2 – 5.0 µm = Fish, macroinvertebrates, bivalves, etc. (Metazoan studies).

We generally recommend 5 µm filters because they work well in a wide range of sampling habitats. 5.0 µm filters will actually capture slightly less eDNA per liter of water collected than 1.2 µm filters, but 5.0 µm usually allows for a much larger water volume to be filtered prior to clogging. The net effect is that 5.0µm filters will capture more total eDNA if the water volume is maximized.

Yes. We designed the Smith-Root eDNA filter housing to be compatible with a wide range of filter membrane materials. Please contact us if you do not see the pore size or material you want to use. Minimum orders may apply.

A wide range of sample water volumes have been used in the eDNA literature. Generally speaking, the goal is to maximize water volume per sample to increase species detection sensitivity, and also to standardize the water collected per filter sample within a study. However, the amount of water that can be collected at given pore size varies substantially between different habitats. A pilot study can be done to determine the realistic sample volume for your study system (please see the eDNA Sampler manual for details).

Filter samples of 1L – 5L are common water volumes for the eDNA Sampler system. We also recommend a minimum of 0.5 L per sample for the Smith-Root eDNA Sampler. If you cannot achieve 0.5 L per filter sample, we recommend increasing the eDNA Sampler pressure threshold or increasing the filter pore size.

New tools are currently in development to help with eDNA study design. The required number of samples will depend on the desired species detection probability, eDNA assay sensitivity, environmental factors, and other technical details. If you are interested in using the Smith-Root eDNA lab services, we can offer you guidance on study design in collaboration with our partner laboratory Precision Biomonitoring.

Online resources are also available for estimating your species detection probability under different sampling designs and assay variables.

For new studies we recommend a flow rate of 1.0 L/min as a starting point. When the water has a very high particulate load, a lower flow rate is recommended (e.g. 0.5 L/min) to help maximize the volume filtered prior to clogging. Higher flow rates (e.g 1.4 L/min) can be advisable when using multiple filters in the system (triplicate sampling) because the flow rate at each filter equals the displayed value divided by the total number of filters.

eDNA Sampler Specifications

Minimum Flow Rate 0.1 L/minute
Maximum Flow Rate 1.4 L/minute
Maximum Measurable Volume 999.9 L
Volume Accuracy > 90% at 0.1 L/minute or higher flow
GPS System Compatibility GNSS (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou)
Number Of Channels 72
GPS, GLONASS Sensitivity -167 dBm
GPS Position Accuracy 2.5 meter
Ports 0.25 inch ID Tubing
Priming Vacuum Approx. 5 psi
Maximum Wetted Vacuum 14 psi (96.5 kPa)
USB 2.0
Log File Format Comma Separated Values (csv)
Sampler Battery 9.6Ah 12.8V LiFePO4
Sampler Battery Life 6 to 8 hours
Remote Control Battery 1900mAH 1.2V NiMH
Remote Control Battery Life Approx. 4 hours
Size and Weight
Sampler Size and Weight Height: 16 in. (40.64 cm)
Width: 15 in. (38.1 cm)
Depth: 9.25 in. (23.5 cm)
Weight: 16.2 lb. (7.35 kg) without battery or remote control
Backpack Sampler Size and Weight Height: 30.5 in. (77.5 cm)
Width: 16.4 in. (41.65 cm)
Depth: 15 in. (38.1 cm)
Weight: 24 lb. (10.89 kg) without battery
Sampler Battery Weight 3 lb. (1.36 kg)
Remote Control Size and Weight Height: 4.7 in. (11.94 cm)
Width: 2.5 in. (6.35 cm)
Depth: 0.94 in. (2.39 cm)
Weight: 0.4 lb. (181.5 kg)
Remote Control Battery Weight 0.1 lb. (45.4 g)
Telescoping Pole Size and Weight with Bipod Length: 41.5 to 144 in. (105.41 cm to 365.76 cm) adjustable
Depth: 5.25 in. (13.34 cm)
Weight: 7 lb. (3.18 kg)

Specifications subject to change without notice.