Kinetic River to develop microfluidic module to support label-free flow cytometry

The flow cytometry instrument being developed would ultimately enable purification without the use of fluorescent labels.

Content Dam Bow Online Articles 2019 03 Kinetic River Uc Davis

Custom flow cytometry instrumentation developer Kinetic River (Mountain View, CA) has been selected by the University of California, Davis (UC Davis; Davis, CA) as a subcontractor on a National Science Foundation (NSF; Alexandria, VA) research grant. Prof. James Chan, the principal investigator on the NSF grant, is leading the effort at UC Davis to develop a label-free approach to identify stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (SC-CMs).

SC-CMs are laboratory-grown heart cells that can be potentially used to treat patients with heart disease or heart failure, and to screen drug candidates for toxicity. For maximum effectiveness, samples containing SC-CMs must be purified by removing the undesired cell types, but no current purification technique is sufficiently reliable. Chan's project involves the development of a label-free optical technique to accurately and efficiently identify SC-CMs in flow. The instrument being developed would ultimately enable purification without the use of fluorescent labels.

Chan chose Kinetic River as collaborators on the project because of the company's experience in developing microfluidic modules, optical interrogation subsystems, and custom flow cytometers. The company will support this project by designing and building a custom microfluidic control module for the cell analyzer, and by assisting with optical interrogation architecture and design.

Related: Kinetic River receives new Phase I SBIR grant for flow cytometry technology

"We have long recognized our common interests in using advanced optical techniques to unlock new capabilities in cell analysis," says Giacomo Vacca, Ph.D., president of Kinetic River. "Working together on this project will give us the opportunity to extend our impact and support an ambitious research program with great clinical potential."

"This project will benefit significantly from Dr. Vacca's expertise and knowledge in flow cytometry and single cell analysis," Chan says. "In addition, I look forward to learning from Dr. Vacca's experience in business development and product commercialization, which is aligned with the project's goal of evaluating the commercial potential of NSF-funded research."

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