Microbubbles Float Through Their First Flow Cytometry Conference
As we discussed in a previous post, Akadeum recently attended the GLIIFCA 2016 meeting. John Younger, our CTO, gave a great talk to introduce Akadeum’s cell sorting technology, which generated some fantastic conversations. In the following days, we had a lot of attendees coming up to our booth asking, “So what are these microbubbles I heard about?”.
Questions About Microbubbles and How They Are Used for Cell Sorting
Probably the most common question though was about the material that microbubbles are made of and how they are used for cell sorting. If you are wondering as well, they are actually made of a glass shell filled with gas. John once quite aptly described them to me as the world’s smallest Christmas ornaments.
So these Christmas-ornament-like hollow glass spheres are coated with antibodies, allowing the bubbles to specifically—and with high affinity—bind to target cells. As these microbubble-cell complexes float to the surface of the sample, the cells not attached to microbubbles sink. This is how we exploit the buoyant forces of microbubbles to perform cell separation.
Some Great Ideas from the Conference
Once people understood how the microbubbles work, they quickly thought of many ways to use them. It was rewarding to see attendees light up and really engage with the concept of buoyant cell separation. They of course had a lot of other interesting ideas and questions.
One attendee thought of using the Red Blood Cell Depletion Kit microbubbles to enrich for rare circulating endothelial cells. Another wanted to use them to capture pathogens in food safety testing. Do any interesting applications come to mind when reading this? If so, go ahead and leave a comment below or contact us directly!
Visit Us in October at NECyto 2016
Due to the response at GLIIFCA 2016, we will be going to another meeting on October 13th–the New England Cytometry meeting at the Ragon Institute in Cambridge, MA. For those of you in the Boston area, be sure to come to the NECyto 2016, and say hello. I’ll be giving out more demo microbubble bottles like at GLIIFCA, and letting people know about Akadeum’s Microbubble Evaluation Page.
If you have any ideas or questions, feel free to email me directly.