A New Approach To Flow Cytometry, "nanocytometry"

Tech ID: 17511 / UC Case 2005-075-0

Abstract

Conventional flow cytometry has made valuable contributions to cancer diagnosis and management as well as to the understanding of fundamental cancer cell biology. Flow cytometry is used routinely in the clinical diagnosis of the hematologic malignancies; in tumor immunology to define lymphocyte subsets; and in basic research to facilitate cell separations based on the expression of particular proteins or phospholipids at the cell-surface. However, it does require a large sample of cells and usually requires labeling.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new approach to flow cytometry; the researchers call it "NanoCytomerty." The novel technology uses an integrated microfluidic chip which can adapt to sort cancer and other types of cells based on their cell-surface protein expression. The technology allows for significant improvements over conventional flow cytometry, because the system permits label free signal detection, extreme reproducibility and sensitivity, and cell separations using very few cells.

By developing a more sensitive technique to perform cell separations, in addition to one that relies on fewer cells, we anticipate that NanoCytometry could provide an important new technology applicable to cancer. For instance, NanoCytometry could be used to improve upon physicians' ability to detect minimal residual disease states and upon a scientist's ability to study cell populations that occur in very small numbers such as stem cells. Nanocytometry builds upon previous work which includes an all-electronic technique for detecting the binding of unlabeled antibody-antigen pairs (US Patent Appl. # 10/056,103).

Applications

Cancer diagnostics, cancer and stem cell research, clinical diagnostics.

Advantages

Reproducibility, sensitivity, extremely small sample size.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Reference for National Filings WO2006124340 11/23/2006 2005-075
 

Patent Pending

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Other Information

Keywords

analytical, screening, detection, cellular assay, biochip, combinatorial biology, screen, target

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