Biotech startup develops single-cell printer

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Spotted: Biotech company Cytena has developed a single-cell printer that can isolate individual cells and dispense them one at a time. The ability to analyse single cells is essential in the development of biopharmaceuticals, and in cancer and stem cell research.

The German startup describes its technology as based on an “inkjet-like principle.” Cell samples are loaded into a dispensing cartridge. Small samples are displaced into a nozzle where an image is taken of each sample. A super-fast image processing algorithm counts the cells in each image and classifies them according to criteria such as size and shape. Tiny droplets are then ejected from the nozzle onto a storage plate, and any droplet containing more than one cell is redirected into a waste container.

Cytena recently raised £3 million in a Series A funding round. The new capital will be used to further develop the single-cell printing technology and to expand sales.

Takeaway: Many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies are already customers of Cytena, but the company hopes to use the new funding to expand sales globally. Cell printing technology like this is essential to the rapid development of new treatments, as it allows the control and isolation of individual cells. In the future, similar technologies could be used to tailor drugs and treatments to individual patients. Springwise has tracked the growth of personal genomics testing startups and other advances in genomics like the link between healthy gut bacteria athletic performance. Cytena’s technology could open up new areas for genetic innovations.


Company founded in: 2014

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