Cytena, a company acquired by CELLINK in 2019 that develops single-cell printers and microbioreactors for inline cell production, is set to unveil the next evolution of its bioprinting technologies next January 25th. The company will hold a webinar on January 28th to further illustrate the technology’s capabilities.
CELLINK Co-founder and CEO Erik Gatenholm welcomed the innovation as truly paradigm-shifting saying the companies “intend to change the world of medicine.” The recent speed of innovation and growth a CELLINK make this a credible claim.
Cytena was founded in 2014 as part of the Institute for Microsystems Technology (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg. The company, which specializes in single-cell technologies, is primarily known for selling solutions for handling biological cells as well as its patented single-cell printer technology, which is capable of isolating and dispensing single sells in a “documented, gentle and sterile” process.” Since launching the printer in 2015, cytena has become well known in the biomedical field, as many of the top pharmaceutical companies rely on its single-cell printers to produce clonal cell lines for manufacturing biologicals.
Single-cell bioprinting technology works similarly to inkjet technology. The system generates miniature, free-flying droplets from a microfluidic chip. Inside the chip (part of the dispensing cartridge) all sample cells are stored. The system works as a direct displacement dispenser, meaning that a droplet can be generated on demand. A microscope objective lens and a camera are used to look into the chip, directly at the cells. An image of the cells is taken in the nozzle or the lower part of the chip and where droplets are ejected from.
Once an image has been captured, an image–processing algorithm detects all cells immediately. It counts the cells and classifies them according to morphology, including size and roundness. Then a droplet is generated and everything that is inside the nozzle is ejected in this droplet. The system does not control the droplet’s consistency, but it identifies what the droplet contains. The data is then used to separate droplets with single cells.
To sort the droplets, a pneumatic shutter system located directly under the nozzle is used. When a droplet that contains a single cell is generated, it is allowed to pass onto the substrate. All empty and multiple cell droplets are captured by the shutter and disposed of.
In August 2020, Cytena GmbH and its affiliate cytena Bioprocess Solutions Ltd., part of CELLINK Life Sciences, began a collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop a new generation of plate-based microbioreactors that can improve the efficiency of cell line development workflows. Cytena, which focuses on developing and commercializing innovative single-cell isolation and cultivation technologies, says that its collaboration with AstraZeneca will also explore machine learning algorithms for enhanced single-cell cloning.
This collaboration leverages Cytena’s recent technological advances in the field of single-cell isolation and bioprocessing to increase efficiency and shorten timelines in the discovery and production of therapeutic antibodies. Therapeutic antibodies are biopharmaceuticals widely used in the treatment of cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases; they are also used for targeted drug delivery.