SCREEN and AFI Develop Industry-first System for Label-free Cell Sorting and Analysis
Kyoto, Japan – July 7, 2021 – SCREEN Holdings Co., Ltd. and AFI Corporation have successfully completed their joint development of ELESTA® CROSSORTER®, an advanced industry-first system for label-free cell sorting and analysis. ELESTA® CROSSORTER® combines three highly desirable features for sorting of cells enabling label-free, damage-less and contamination-free processing. The two companies are scheduled to launch the new system on July 7.
Three Key Features
As research in the areas of regenerative medicine and cell therapy has progressed in recent years, there has been an increasing need for damage-less cell sorters that allow specific cells to be recovered alive. In relation to clinical applications that involve utilizing cells in the human body, it is desirable to sort cells continuously without using labels such as antibodies (label-free), and to prevent the risk of contamination by microorganisms and other elements (contamination-free).
In response to these market requirements, SCREEN and AFI have developed ELESTA CROSSORTER, a highly advanced system enabling label-free cell sorting and analysis. ELESTA CROSSORTER combines proprietary imaging and analysis technologies already employed by SCREEN in its well-regarded cell scanner systems as well as AMATAR®, an innovative electric filter using microflow channels and electrodes that has become one of AFI’s core technologies.
ELESTA CROSSORTER also incorporates a dedicated chip integrating both size-based1 and electrical property-based2 approaches to cell separation. This chip allows the system to recover cells in a live state and process them without causing damage. In addition, making all channels disposable eliminates the need for cleaning each time, enabling cell sorting with minimal risk of contamination.
Going forward, SCREEN and AFI expect demand for label-free cell sorting and analysis systems to increase rapidly in the areas of regenerative medicine and biopharmaceutical discovery and development. The two companies look forward to further expanding shared applications for their respective technologies as they work to both grow their business and support the continuing development of these important fields.
|1.||Precise control of the flow within the microchannels enables the sorting of cells that are either larger or smaller than the standard size. Only cells that exceed the prescribed size move to separation based on their electrical properties.|
|2.||Applying AC voltage to the electrodes as cells flow through the microchannels causes them to react to the electrical field and move onto the electrodes. As a result, cells can be sorted according to differences in characteristics such as their type and state.|
Comments by Takaharu Enjoji, President of AFI Corporation
At AFI, our core concept is to enable only specific required cells to be extracted intact from a multitude of other cells. Our products offer advantages for a wide range of fields thanks to their use of AMATAR® technology, which I believe represents the pinnacle of our filter research. As well as regenerative medicine and clinical testing, these fields include sorting of rare cells and microbial testing of food, beverage and pharmaceutical products. Everyone at AFI is committed to supporting the continuing development of the life science industry.
Comments by Masahiro Joshi, Senior Corporate Officer of SCREEN Holdings Co., Ltd.
We have dedicated our life science business to helping to improve the quality of life (QOL) of every individual. In the areas of regenerative medicine and biopharmaceutical discovery and development, there is a growing need for enhanced label-free measurement and observation of cells. This has led us to focus our efforts on this segment as we work to develop and launch a variety of systems. I hope we will be able to expand our collaboration with AFI in the future and make further contributions to the improvement of each person’s QOL.
AFI was established in 2013 and is currently headquartered in Kyoto City, operating as a venture company led by Kyoto University. AFI has previously commercialized ELESTA® PixeeMo®, a system for monitoring microbial contamination that incorporates the company’s advanced AMATAR® filter technology.
To date, AFI has mainly been active in the quality control field, especially in relation to researching rapid microbial testing of food and beverages. The company hopes to use the recent development of ELESTA CROSSORTER as a stepping stone to expand its operations into the area of advanced medical applications. Going forward, AFI also plans to develop new products that will enable it to contribute to the wider life science field, including the resolution of environmental issues.
SCREEN Holdings Co., Ltd.
The SCREEN Group traces its history back to the Ishida Kyokuzan Printing Works, a lithographic printing shop founded in Kyoto in 1868. It offers numerous production systems, technologies and services that enjoy world-leading market shares in the electronics and printing industries. The company also endeavors to create new businesses with the core technologies that have been cultivated over many years as its cornerstone. In the life science business, SCREEN has developed high-throughput, 3D cultured cell scanners and a system for the scanning and analysis of cellular morphologies, providing devices that are capable of rapidly measuring and analyzing the proliferation and morphological changes in cells without the use of test reagents.
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