Improving Peripheral Blood Processing – Introducing a Novel, Automated Alternative to Reagents and Centrifugation

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Preclinical, Laboratory Technology, Fundamental Research,
  • Friday, May 15, 2020

The critical upstream processes of cell sorting and concentration have remained largely unchanged for decades. Researchers have relied on permutations of the 100-year-old centrifuge, 50-year-old density gradient media, or 30-year-old bead approach. While one can manipulate speeds, antibodies and concentrations, the underlying limitations of manual handling, e.g. excessive cell manipulation, labor-intensiveness and performance inconsistency have persisted.

At the same time, as today’s cell and gene-driven research environments are increasingly dependent on downstream highly sophisticated (and high-priced) analytical tools such as mass cytometry and single-cell profiling, upstream sample preparation has taken on critical significance. Sensitivity to red blood cell, platelet and reagent contamination have only increased and reliance on artificial cell populations such as PBMCs, which lack the influential granulocyte component, limit our understanding of in vivo biology.

 In mass-cytometry and flow cytometry, significant contaminants can decrease the ability to capture critical target events. Furthermore, scRNA sequencing, a high cost analysis, also benefits from low impurities. The calls for a more stable, time-efficient, reliable, high-yield, automated cell processing solution for sample preparation have only grown louder.

In response to this need, MicroMedicine has developed a novel, microfluidics-based system for cell differentiation, selection and concentration. This innovative approach, called Sorterra, is a label-free, automated, easy-to-use and train system, which does not involve centrifugation. As a result, Sorterra offers improvements in dedicated labor time, cell yield and purity, consistency and reliability. 

MicroMedicine’s Sorterra technology isolates the complete set of white blood cell sub-populations including lymphocytes, granulocytes and monocytes, which provides a more biologically representative sample of in vivo white blood cell components. Sorterra processes volumes ranging between 3-75 mL of anti-coagulated peripheral blood, requiring less than five minutes of hands-on-time and 10-35 minutes of processing time depending on the input volume. Typical performance with a 40 mL peripheral blood sample delivers >99.9% red blood cell and platelet depletion and a 30% improvement in lymphocyte yield compared to a standard density gradient method.

This webinar presentation will provide cutting edge researchers who need to process peripheral blood an overview of this new system’s underlying technology, capabilities and performance. In this webinar, researchers and decision makers will come away with a greater understanding of this new approach and how they could best incorporate this valuable new solution into their workflows.


Melanie Scully, PhD, Applications Team Lead, MicroMedicine

Melanie Scully has a diverse research background that includes hormone signaling in cancer, leukocyte cell interactions, neutrophil transmigration and hypoxia-induced signaling in IBD. She has a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado, Denver where she used mostly cell culture model systems to study signaling pathways in endometrial cancer. After graduate school, Scully became a scientist in a biotech start-up working to identify and develop automated cell-based assays for basic research, diagnostics and drug development. As the Applications Team Lead in the Research & Development Department at MicroMedicine, Scully and her team work to inform product strategy through applications and workflow development.

Message Presenter

Nirav “Rav” Sheth, VP, Commercial Development, MicroMedicine

Nirav “Rav” Sheth brings over 15 years of experience developing and commercializing novel health care technologies. His responsibilities have spanned multiple technical and commercial functions across multiple disease states and across multiple phases of the health care continuum, from interventional to digital health. At MicroMedicine, Rav leads all aspects of commercial market development.  Rav’s academic background includes degrees in engineering and management from Columbia University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

  • People who work in Immuno-oncology/Human Immune Monitoring/Academic/Flow Cytometry Core Labs that process human whole blood
  • People who process or oversee people who process peripheral whole blood for PBMC isolation
  • People who conduct or oversee flow cytometry work
  • People who work in related areas who would like to discuss microfluidic capabilities in general
  • Titles: Translational Medicine, Lab Manager, VP/Senior Director/Director Research and Development, Scientists, Researchers

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, attendees will learn about:

  • Overview of a new technology for peripheral blood processing
  • Performance data for an automated, label-free, microfluidic-enabled whole blood processing technology for white blood cell isolation

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MicroMedicine’s new Sorterra Cell Isolation System is an easy-to-use, automated, label-free, microfluidics-based technology for the separation of white blood cells (WBCs) from 3-75 mL of whole blood. Sorterra leverages inertial focusing to enable efficient, repeatable and gentle separation of target cells. Results from a 40 mL blood sample include: >99.9% removal of red blood cells and platelets, 95% WBC purity, >98% viability and when compared to density gradient methods, 30% more lymphocytes. Sorterra is intended for use in research and clinical research laboratories.

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