Flow cytometry instrumentation maker Kinetic River (Mountain View, CA) has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The competitive Phase I grant was awarded to the company by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which fosters research focused on development of innovative biomedical diagnostic and therapeutic platforms.
The SBIR grant is helping to fund the development of Kinetic River's Tiber cell analysis technology, which is aimed at distinguishing cancer cells from normal cells without any expensive fluorescent markers. The Tiber system leverages the company's fluorescence lifetime technology, for which two U.S. patents have already been awarded, with more U.S. and international patents pending. By measuring the intrinsic signatures of biomolecules involved in cellular metabolism (such as cofactors NADH and FAD), the system aims to eliminate the need for expensive antibody-conjugated fluorescent markers for detection and identification of cancer cells. This approach translates proven, but slow, fluorescence lifetime methods from microscopy to the high-speed realm of flow cytometry.
A successful demonstration of feasibility will enable further development of the Tiber technology into a standalone analyzer for the laboratory. Applications of this label-free cell discrimination capability range from cancer diagnostics and cancer treatment monitoring to tumor heterogeneity studies and drug development. Because it will not use expensive reagents, the Tiber analyzer is expected to drastically reduce operational costs.
For more information, please visit www.kineticriver.com.