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CytoRecovery has been busy developing new technology to improve cell separation capabilities for cell biology research.

Their focus is to support life science research by providing new technology to rapidly separate and recover live cancer and other cell subpopulations from biological samples in their native state, which enables unbiased, downstream cell biology analytics. CytoRecovery’s technology recognizes that all cells have a unique “biophysical fingerprint” which means different cells behave differently in an electric field, termed dielectrophoresis. CytoRecovery’s cell separation is rapid, and their proprietary cell separation system provides a new tool for unbiased cell recovery.


CytoRecovery’s most important application of their biophysical fingerprinting technology is their development of a revolutionary, tiny “microchip” with the ability to separate and recover different types of cancer cells. For example, they work to recover cancer stem cells and subpopulations of cells found in complex, cancerous tumors. Cancer stem cells are “self-renewing” cells that are present in very small concentrations, less than one tenth of 1%, but have the ability to cause recurrence of the cancer after treatment. Additionally, tumors are complex mixtures of cells that contain some cells that will resist treatment. To improve treatment outcomes, these cancer cell subpopulations, need to be recovered and tested for better understanding of disease progression. When these cells spread and become resistant, new treatments can be developed, but the cells often adapt and become resistant again causing a vicious cycle. If these can be separated out, then therapies against them can be tested upfront when the cancer is first being treated. This is important, as doctors need to make sure the right treatments are being prescribed, at the earliest possible time, for the cancer patient.

The technology being used is unique in its ability to recover populations of specific cells based upon their biophysical properties in a sterile environment and without impacting the cells, enabling their maintenance and viability for further analysis and use in biomedical research. As the technology does not use cell markers, cells are recovered in their native, unbiased state, and previously undetected or rare cell populations can be recovered. This is a powerful tool for advancing the new understanding of the tumor microenvironment and cancer disease progression.

CytoRecovery plans to have their first products available for researchers next year.

Steve turner, CEO says, “We chose the VTCRC for our office location primarily because of the proximity to Virginia Tech and scientists with whom we collaborate.”

To learn more, visit them at

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