ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new cell screening and analysis technology that accelerates tissue-processing rates by up to 100-fold is nearing market, boosted by a $1.5 million venture investment in local startup BennuBio.
The company is commercializing a University of New Mexico breakthrough in flow-through cytometers, or cell meters, which are used to rapidly analyze millions, and often billions of cells for medical diagnostics and drug discovery.
Today’s cytometers can process only about 10,000 cells per second because tissue samples are pushed through cytometers one at a time. In addition, when screening complex conglomerates of cells, the process slows down to 100 cells per second.
BennuBio’s technology processes up to 10 tissue samples through a cytometer simultaneously, allowing researchers to screen up to 100,000 cells per second for simple tissue samples. For the more complex conglomerates, it can screen up to 10,000 cells per second, or 100 times more than today’s technology, said BennuBio President and CEO Steven Graves, a UNM chemical and biological engineering professor who developed the technology.