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Sphere Fluidics

A microfluidics breakthrough

Brief

A radical new dispensing method was needed by Sphere Fluidics to eject single picoliter volume droplets (picodroplets) on demand during analysis – without destroying the encapsulated cell in each picodroplet in the process.

Our long track record of expertise in microfluidics, optoelectronics and picodroplets made us the product engineering partner of choice for the Cyto-Mine® dispenser development.

Approach

Four months from concept to delivery. That was the challenging time frame in which to understand the requirement, come up with an invention – a world first – manufacture the microfluidic biochip, implement the rig and test it in the laboratory.

With the cell biology expertise of Sphere Fluidics on the end of a phone, we set to work on freeing up the bottleneck that was preventing the client’s revolutionary idea becoming a reality. Combining our skills and experience did the trick.

The result is a cartridge incorporating multiple lab-on-chip components – and a system including optics, microfluidic circuits, high-speed automation of valves and high-precision embedded software for system timing.

And yes, all in the space of four months.

Benefit

Sphere Fluidics has the first ever single cell analysis instrument capable of dispensing single picodroplets on demand – with each cell alive and secreting antibodies on delivery to the microwells.

The cartridge and system are designed for continuous operation and high throughput – tens of thousands of picodroplets per cartridge.

“We faced a difficult problem but we knew Cambridge Consultants gave us the best possible chance of making it work – and it did work!” said Dr Frank F Craig, CEO of Sphere Fluidics. “This will be revolutionary for the biopharmaceutical discovery and development market.”