Electrophysiology is everywhere
Analyse. Separate. Diagnose. Electrically.
Your cells. Electrically.
Cell electrophysiology tells you a lot about cell function. From resting membrane potential, to cytoplasm conductance and membrane capacitance, understanding the ionic role in cell function and dysfunction can provide the missing link in biological research. But the only way of directly taking measurements like these was patch-clamp; expensive, highly skilled and complex, and ten cells a day if you're lucky.
Enter the 3DEP. No bigger than a desktop PC. Useable by anyone with a hour's training. Low-cost consumables. No labels to interfere with your measurements. Any cell type is just as easy - from bacteria to platelets to mammalian cells to cancer to giant cardiac myocytes.
And it is fast. Ten cells a day? Try twenty thousand in ten seconds. A new measurement every couple of minutes. This is what we call ten-second electrophysiology.
The world's fastest cell separator. Label-free.
The 3DEP uses our patented DEP-Well technology to move cells at multiple frequencies; the direction they move at a given frequency depends on their electrophysiology. But what if you have a mixture of cells that move in different directions at a characteristic frequency? Then you can separate them. And then some.
A high-throughput FACS will sort at 20,000 cells per second and top out at 20 million and leaves fluorophores in your cells. MACS is faster but can only separate on surface markers, and leaves you with beads stuck to the surface. Cell losses can be up to 50% of target.
Our Deparator will separate at 150,000 cells a second and top out at a billion. Cell losses are below 10%. All label-free and in a compact benchtop device designed to fit inside a safety cabinet with minimal airflow disturbance, and using only a low-cost consumable.
Diagnosis like you've never seen before.
Cells become diseased. Healthy cells become cancer cells. Blood cells become infected with malaria, macrophages with tuberculosis. Other diseases affect cell surface, others the membrane potential, others the morphology.
Electrophysiology changes faster than molecular biology. Cells beginning apoptosis change potassium levels almost instantly; caspases and other molecular markers follow hours behind. The 3DEP can determine IC50s ten times faster than MTT.
But it can also detect subtle differences in membrane potential and cell morphology that characterize diseased state. For example, the 3DEP can identify oral cancer from brush biopsies with 92% sensitivity and 95% specificity (based on >100 participants). Bladder cancer works just as well. And samples don't need to be taken at point-of-care; they can be posted to a central lab for processing days after collection, keeping running costs down.
We have other disease markers we'll be able to share with you soon - watch this space.