Fluxion Biosciences, a leading developer of microfluidic systems for cellular analysis in life science research, today announced that it has received a $200K grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the development of a rare cell isolation platform for diagnostic and research applications. The Phase One Small Business Innovation Research Grant will enable Fluxion to further develop its innovative microfluidic platform. The endpoints of this research include enhanced methods for detecting circulating tumor cells that appear in very low concentrations in the early stages of cancer.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cells that detach from a primary tumor and circulate throughout the bloodstream. These cells are part of the metastasizing process that leads to the progression of the disease. It is widely believed that the detection of CTCs in the blood is an important factor in monitoring an individual’s baseline condition and ongoing response to therapy. Despite the high value of this information, these tests are rarely performed due to the difficulty in tracking CTCs, which can appear in as little as one in one billion blood cells. This newly awarded grant is focused on the development of a microfluidic system that enhances the detection ability of CTCs as well as other rare cell types. The principal aims of this grant include the design of novel microfluidic systems for magnetic-bead based cell separations and the associated control instrumentation.
"We are excited to receive this NCI grant for this compelling application of our microfluidic technology," said Carolyn Conant, Ph.D., project leader for the grant. "The ability to detect and isolate rare cells can have a profound impact in the fields of oncology, immunology and neonatal care."
Fluxion Biosciences provides cellular analysis tools for use in critical life science research and drug discovery applications. Fluxion’s proprietary microfluidic platform enables precise functional analysis of individual cells in a multiplexed format. Fluxion’s systems meet the rigorous demands of life science and drug discovery scientists by providing an intuitive, easy-to-use operating system for single-cell biology.