Akadeum Life Sciences Advances Next Generation Cell Isolation Technology

April 2018

Ann Arbor-based biotech company, Akadeum Life Sciences, has demonstrated its groundbreaking microbubble technology in human and mouse tissue—allowing for fast, easy removal of target cells.


Akadeum Life Sciences, Inc. announced today it has successfully demonstrated use of microbubbles for isolation of human T-cells and mouse B-cells. As a result, the company is also announcing that it is running a closed beta testing program with key thought leaders in immunology, cancer, and stem cell research.

Additionally, Akadeum scientists will be presenting data on using microbubbles to deplete red blood cells in liquid biopsy samples at AACR (American Association of Cancer Research).

Coauthors of the research presented at AACR include Steve McClellan, BS, MT (ASCP) of the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute; Ebrahim Azizi, PharmD, PhD; and Max Wicha, MD of the University of Michigan. These experts in cancer biology study circulating tumor cells, which are cancer cells that travel freely through the bloodstream. Much of their effort and time are directed toward the challenge of isolating these very rare and important cells from patients’ blood.

In order to examine circulating tumor cells for research or medical care, cancer specialists must first sift through tremendous numbers of normal cells. It is common for normal cells to outnumber cancer cells in patient blood samples by a billion to one. Although this is challenging, isolating circulating tumor cells has the potential to improve current cancer diagnostic and treatment response monitoring tools.

McClellan, the lead author of the poster presented, explained, “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack; microbubbles enable that like no other cell isolation technique.”

Dr. John Younger, CTO of Akadeum, added, “It is quite remarkable to see that microbubbles—a technology that does not require magnets or columns—can provide such high purity in such a simple process. We are excited to be putting this faster, easier product into users’ hands.”

This development and user testing was one of the goals of Akadeum’s most recent round of financing. The round was closed in 2017 with a syndication of $1.7 M that included Silicon Valley firms like Agilent Technologies, Genoa Ventures (previously 5 Prime Ventures), BioInfleXion Point, and eLab Ventures. Other investors included University of Michigan’s MINTS (Michigan Invests in New Technology Startups), Detroit Innovate Fund (part of Invest Detroit), and local angel investors.

In the midst of these lead products, Akadeum is also developing a suite of products that use its award-winning microbubble technology to separate cells, proteins, nucleic acids, and food pathogens. These products work by capturing cells and then gently floating them to a fluid surface where they can be easily extracted. This allows for entire separations to be performed within a tube or well plate, and without a magnet—a significant simplification over existing approaches.

To learn about Akadeum, its microbubble technology, and the closed beta program, visit or email

About Akadeum Life Sciences, Inc.

Akadeum Life Sciences, a lean biotech startup, is located in Ann Arbor, MI. Founded in 2014 by Brandon McNaughton, PhD and John Younger, MD, Akadeum was established to create the next generation separation technology and to fundamentally change the way that isolating cells and other biological targets is approached. Akadeum’s approach and strategies are unusual among the life science industry in that lean methodology is implemented. Inquiries into Akadeum’s methodologies, microbubble technology, and microbubble evaluations can be found at