TTP Plc, Cambridge, UK, an independent technology and product development company, and Sphere Fluidics, Cambridge, UK, which provides single cell analysis systems underpinned by its patented picodroplet technology, have launched the Cyto-Mine single cell analysis system. The Cyto-Mine system automates single cell analysis, sorting, imaging, and dispensing to help boost throughput and sensitivity throughout the biopharmaceutical discovery process.

Sphere Fluidics approached TTP to address the challenges associated with the development of a highly complex laboratory instrument and microfluidic cartridge. In less than 3 years, the partnership has delivered the Cyto-Mine instrument, based on proprietary algorithm software and optical hardware from Sphere Fluidics, which enables single cell compartmentalization and fluorescence-assisted sorting. The instrument is compatible with the Cyto-Cartridge, a disposable microfluidic biochip that integrates Sphere Fluidics’ core technology in picodroplet generation and sorting for cellular applications with TTP’s dispensing technology. The Cyto-Cartridge allows single cells of interest to be dispensed into individual wells of a microtiter plate for biopharma discovery, cell line development, and monoclonality assurance. This enables a step change in throughput for biopharma applications.

The Cyto-Mine system is the first integrated device to automatically perform all of the techniques routinely used in the biopharmaceutical discovery and development workflow, in a single compact GLP-compliant system that fits in a standard biological safety cabinet. Traditionally, up to three different items of equipment would be required for each step, resulting in a costly and time-consuming process, using up valuable lab space and increasing the risk of sample contamination.

The Cyto-Mine system can reportedly deliver up to 10 million tests in a single day compared to other systems on the market that deliver 10,000 tests in 3 weeks. The high-throughput instrument uses Sphere Fluidics’ patented picodroplet technology to encapsulate a single cell in growth media and trap secreted molecules, such as antibodies, from the cell as it grows. Since each cell is compartmentalized in the disposable Cyto-Cartridge, monoclonality is assured, and the unique workflow enables selective screening of single cells to find rare lead candidates.

Frank Craig, MBA, PhD, Sphere Fluidics.

Frank Craig, MBA, PhD, Sphere Fluidics.

“TTP has a world-class reputation for excellence in developing highly complex instrumentation effectively,” says Frank Craig, MBA, PhD, CEO and director at Sphere Fluidics. “Their multidisciplinary team is highly experienced and were able to deliver in a variety of areas from optics to fluidics, from software to systems integration, very quickly. This, coupled with their commercial acumen and drive to bring our idea to reality, made them the ideal partner.”

For more information, visit Sphere Fluidics.