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ProKyma Technologies

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ProKyma Technologies Limited has made a breakthrough in the automated handling of magnetic particles.

We are using the company’s unique approach to magnetic particle handling (the KymaSep module) to develop instrumentation & consumables for the In Vitro Diagnostics and Life Sciences research sectors.

KymaSep utilises a dual force approach combining ultrasound with magnetic fields to hold, wash, manipulate and resuspend the magnetic particles, overcoming the restrictions seen in other attempts to automate the process.
 
KymaSep can be applied across the wide range of diagnostic and life science applications that utilise magnetic particles, including specific cell isolation, immunoassay, DNA capture, blood grouping or flow cytometry. It also shows promise as a core module to simplify and miniturise the instrumentation in next generation clinical analysers.

ProKyma’s own focus lies in developing an improved blood test for Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC's) to improve detection of early metastasis of cancers and subsequent monitoring of the response to therapy. We are happy to discuss interest and licence opportunities outside of this core area.

A spinout from Dstl Porton Down, ProKyma was formed to exploit Dstl’s research into separation technologies. The company’s expertise lies in the use of high frequency ultrasound along with magnetism to manipulate, concentrate and purify biological cells from complex samples – a technique that has diverse applications in the clinical, food, environmental and pharmaceutical sectors.

 
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Video Animation

Magnetic particles are widely used for isolation of analytes, cells or DNA which have been bound to the surface.

KymaSep is a unique approach. The dual force of magnetism working with a standing wave caused by high frequency ultrasound is extremely efficient in pushing the magnetic particles into clumps. The ultrasound force exceeds the magnetism, holding the particle clumps suspended in the middle of the chamber.

Switching off the ultrasound allows the magnetic fields to pull the particles to the floor of the chamber away from contaminant and compounds that can interfere, e.g. in PCR amplification reactions

The chamber dimensions ensure laminar flow, so that the flow rate is fastest in the middle, but very slow at the walls of the chamber. This allows vigorous and rapid washing, with minimal loss of particles.

Activating the ultrasound pushes the particles into the cleaned-up liquid. At this stage additional reagents can be washed through e.g. for an immunoassay reaction, followed by multiple washing stages and substrate additions.

Deactivating both the ultrasound and magnetism allows the particles to be released and collected at the exit of the chamber.

 
 The animation video was produced for ProKyma by Ivan Gaskell
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