Two research collaborations, one with the synthetic biochemistry team at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the other with the Centre for Synthetic Biology and the department of bioengineering at Imperial College, London, have Sphere Fluidics working at the cutting edge of mass spectrometry (MS) and synthetic biology. MS is the technique of choice for characterizing proteins and chemicals and for distinguishing nuances between metabolite concentrations in biological samples. Following atom ionization, the masses of the molecules and their derivatives can be determined. However, compared to other technologies used to characterize biological samples such as genome sequencing, MS is a lowthroughput process. Sphere Fluidics’ picodroplet technology now provides a high-throughput approach for analyzing single cells or a few hundred picoliters of fluid containing the molecules of interest. The technology platform is already used to support a number of applications in the academic and biopharmaceutical research communities.
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