"The global 3D cell culture market is rapidly increasing the use of 3D tissue and tumor models, called spheroids or organoids. These 3D co-cultures better replicate drug effects in vivo by mimicking natural extracellular matrix, cellular physiology, cell-cell interactions, and drug transport limitations. Widespread use of spheroids as a drug screening system has been impeded by the lack of techniques for rapidly analyzing the response of this system to drug exposure. Current systems rely on microscopic analysis of single spheroids held in stationary culture (e.g., on top of, or embedded in agar). Not only is this microscopy process slow (~1 spheroid analyzed per second in the fastest automated systems) but maintaining spheroids in a stationary culture produces large and irreproducible gradients, as well as inconsistent and time-varying drug concentrations in and around the spheroids.
Flow cytometry has long been the standard for many forms of cellular analysis. However, traditional flow cytometers contain a single particle stream with an analysis rate of 50,000 events per second; large particle analysis, rare cell event monitoring, and large volume analysis is either time-consuming or impossible. BennuBio Inc. has developed a transformational analytical system, the Velocyt®, that addresses the challenges of flow cytometry by delivering technology that can analyze samples regardless of particle size or sample volume.
The Velocyt has a unique flow cell design, which enables large particles to be analyzed. Currently, particles up to 300 µm in diameter can be processed. While outstanding for assessing single cells, most traditional cytometers are unable to analyze particles greater than 40 µm and are limited to measuring 50,000 cells (events) per second. The Velocyt operates at speeds up to 100x faster than traditional flow cytometry, due to multiple, parallel flow streams, versus traditional, single stream. Particles are aligned by acoustic standing waves instead of sheath fluid; lack of sheath fluid coupled with our patented fluidics path means samples are processed and can be returned for downstream analysis unaltered and undiluted. In addition, the Velocyt® has a patented optics path that is robust and simple. This makes the Velocyt® a reliable instrument that is very user-friendly.
By developing the Velocyt, researchers will now be able to accelerate their studies by having a multi-parametric, high-throughput analyzer for their spheroid and organoid analysis. The Velocyt® system will also transform workflows; by culturing spheroids in 3D vs 2D environments, researchers can develop more robust models and analyze their results faster and with more consistency. With this new technology comes the opportunity for the discovery of new, efficient, and automated solutions to complete studies with precision and speed, accelerating the timeline from idea conception to patient treatment."