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Microbubbles Float Through Their First Flow Cytometry Conference

Updated on Jan 4, 2020


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, “What are these microbubbles I heard about?”

How Microbubbles Are Used for Cell Sorting

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 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 13—the New England Cytometry (NECyto) meeting at the Ragon Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For those of you in the Boston area, be sure to come to NECyto 2016 and say hello. We’ll be giving out more demo microbubble bottles like at GLIIFCA.

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