NanoCellect Biomedical Awarded $1.5M Federal Grant to Advance Imaging Flow Cytometry Technology

News | October 4, 2019

San Diego, Calif., October 4, 2019 — NanoCellect Biomedical Inc., a leader in the development and manufacture of microfluidic cell sorting solutions for cell-based assays, today announced it has received a $1.5 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant through the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to continue its development of imaging flow cytometry technology to sort cells based on high-content 3D image features. This grant confirms NanoCellect’s completion of a successful Phase I program to develop novel imaging flow cytometry technology, expanding on an ongoing, multi-year research collaboration between the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and NanoCellect to advance the single cell analysis technologies.

Although flow cytometers have massive statistical power, they produce little or no information about cell morphology or the location of organelles”, said Will Alaynick, PhD, a founder of NanoCellect Biomedical, Inc. “Extending from our WOLF platform, NanoCellect has developed a method of spatial-temporal transformation to provide flow cytometers with cell imaging capabilities. This program represents an important scientific validation, and we’re delighted to receive this Phase II NIH grant to expand the scientific boundaries of cellular analysis to enable new discoveries and improve biomedical research.”

The goal of the Phase II research is to demonstrate a high-throughput flow cytometry system that can sort cells based on high-content 3D images. For each cell flowing in a microfluidic channel, the system will produce cell tomography from spatially resolved fluorescent and scattering signals at a rate of 1000 cells per second. Each multi-parameter 3D cell image will be reconstructed, hundreds of image features will be extracted, and cells meeting the user-defined criteria will be sorted for ongoing single-cell analysis.

The proposed system combines the strengths of high throughput cell analysis and sorting capabilities of a fluorescence-activated cell sorter with a high-content 3D imaging microscope to offer biomedical researchers unprecedented features and capabilities to analyze, classify, and isolate cells at single cell resolution. This technology is anticipated to transform cell phenotype-genotype studies, greatly accelerate cell atlas efforts, CRISPR screens, and enhance studies of highly heterogeneous biological samples such as tumors, immune cells, and brain.

This SBIR Grant enables the ongoing co-development by UCSD and NanoCellect to deliver a novel technological platform that adds a new dimension to what we can learn at the single cell level and further progress the field of single cell genomics.  Biomedical researchers will be able to advance phenotype studies and cell type discoveries.  Additionaly they will be able to link gene expression studies to cell phenotypic characteristics at high throughput, and at single cell resolution.

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