From the University of Surrey comes a new cell separator that could revolutionize cancer research and Alzheimer's. The outstanding part is that the machine had a humane genesis, made of foil and epoxy glue. One of the purposes of the new process, in fact, is to get cellular separation at a fraction of the current cost. This would make some therapies for fatal diseases more accessible and many stem cell research.
Cell separation is critical to medical research. It ranges from the separation of red blood cells from white blood cells to the separation of different types of stem cells. It is used to identify the cells to be used in regenerative therapies, but also for biochemical and material science related processes. At the moment, however, the process is complex and very expensive.
A team from the University of Surrey developed a cell separator that uses 3D electrodes and a low-cost chip. Thanks to a small electrical charge, the chip allows the passage of only one type of cell and blocks all others. The principle is similar to that used in printed circuits and makes separation 10,000 times faster.
The invention came after years of research and the first prototype consisted of foil paper and epoxy glue. Despite the fact that the present car is a bit more complex, it has maintained the originality of the original project. The new cell separator costs one-hundredth of the traditional ones and the used agents cost just as little. In addition, it does not use chemical markers, so it is possible to reuse the cells for therapeutic purposes.