The technology, called BioLevitator, is an automated single-unit incubator and centrifuge and one of the first 3-D cell culture systems. It allows researchers to grow more cells in less time than two-dimensional systems and is closer to a natural in vivo environment. Through its efficiency, it also reduces the use of harsh chemicals and lab ware, making it safer for the environment than other systems.
BioLevitator was developed with support from U.Va.'s biomedical engineering student internship program and launched from the Darden School of Business Batten Business Incubator.
"The benchtop size and microprocessor-controlled and -monitored environment, coupled with innovative use of magnetic fields to maintain cells in suspension, makes the BioLevitator an innovative product in a very traditional field," said Dr. Shawn Levy, one of the magazine's judges.
The cell culture system was invented by U.Va. pathology professors Robin A. Felder and John Gildea, and was commercialized following incubation in the Darden Business School and mentorship in the T100 Alumni Mentoring Program [http://www.virginia.edu/vpr/industry/T100.html], under the direction of the Office of the Vice President for Research.
The technology, the centerpiece of Charlottesville-based Global Cell Solutions, is currently being sold around the world for a variety of applications, including stem cell research.
"Many of the needs for culturing a variety of cell types and performing complex drug discovery analysis have been met by this U.Va. invention," said Uday Gupta, president and CEO of Global Cell Solutions and a 2004 graduate of the Darden School. "The market response confirms this honor and we are very excited about the future."
"The University of Virginia has rapidly become a nationally prominent generator of new technology-based ventures," said Thomas C. Skalak, U.Va. vice president for research. "This accomplishment is a tribute to the company's leadership team and the University's collective efforts to encourage innovation and to identify novel solutions for the marketplace."
Aimed at a growing market for improved ways to grow stem cells and research cells, the technology already has demonstrated remarkable improvements in cell growth and in vivo-like qualities.
"We needed a new approach to growing human cells that reproduced conditions found in the human body and allowed for more productivity," Felder said. "The BioLevitator is addressing this need."
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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