London, UK, 12 October 2010 Plasticell, the biotechnology company specialising in high throughput screening for stem cell differentiation, announces the launch of its second generation CombicultTM 10,000-Plex Screen capable of rapidly screening up to ten thousand cell culture media combinations. At the same time, the company is pleased to announce that it has won the Frost & Sullivan 2010 European Technology Innovation Award for its first generation platform. In a market survey of key competitors, CombiCultTM was ranked the leading technology in terms of uniqueness, impact and relevance to the industry.
CombiCultTM is an innovative, bead-based high throughput screening system for fast discovery of stem cell differentiation protocols. All types of stem cells, including embryonic and adult stem cells, can be used on the CombiCultTM platform. During screening, beads seeded with stem cells are shuffled randomly through differentiation media, with the consequent discovery of the best performing combinations of growth factors and chemicals. Plasticell’s animated video, illustrating the technology, can be viewed at http://plasticell-technologies.com/technology_animated.php
The upgraded CombiCultTM system features new custom-built disposable labware for stem cell culture, allowing scientists to carry out all bead manipulations and media changes in a single device. In addition, the workflow now features integrated modules for automated bead sorting and fluorescent label deconvolution. Novel proprietary bioinformatics software has been added for data handling and analysis. The various enhancements eliminate the need for technically skilled operators while increasing screening throughput.
Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at University College London commented on the performance of the new system: ‘Our group at UCL has beta-tested improvements to the CombiCultTM system and we have noted substantial increases in the speed and ease with which data is generated and analysed. We have used CombiCultTM numerous times for the rapid determination of novel and efficient protocols for ES cell differentiation. The second generation system is a remarkably powerful screening method, specifically for stem cell differentiation, which has clear advantages over both manual and automated processes.’
‘We are extremely pleased with the speed and ease with which the new system has discovered and optimised new serum- and protein- free media formulations for the differentiation of various cell types’ said Dr Lilian Hook, Principal Stem Cell Scientist at Plasticell. ‘The company is currently in discussions to out-license several proprietary, high performance and GMP-compliant media discovered in this way.’
Dr Yen Choo, CEO of Plasticell remarked: ‘We have invested significantly over the past two years in developing further enhancements to our original product offering, resulting in a higher throughput, more user-friendly CombiCultTM system that is no longer dependent on technically skilled operators. This will enable Plasticell to increase its work throughput in-house, as well as to export the technology off-site to clients’ research facilities. Whilst we already service a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, we are intent on stepping up our marketing of the new CombiCultTM system, with the aim of building alliances with industry partners who presently lack in-house HTS capability for the discovery of new and improved stem cell differentiation protocols.”
Plasticell is a biotechnology company that specialises in using massively parallel screens to differentiate stem cells.
Our proprietary technology, Combinatorial Cell Culture™ (CombiCultTM), allows us to test cell culture variables in random combinations to discover optimal laboratory protocols for the differentiation of adult or pluripotent stem cells.
We provide services to, and form strategic alliances with, industry partners to produce high value cell lines for drug discovery and cell therapy applications.
For more information visit the Plasticell website: www.plasticell.co.uk