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SLAS Europe 2024 honours products with most impact

Swiss Seed Biosciences SA and UK-based Cryologyx Ltd have won the SLAS Europe Product Award 2024 for product developments with transformational potential for the sector.

Two companies were selected by the SLAS Europe 2024 jury from 13 applicants and six finalists as winners of this year’s Product Award in Barcelona: Switzerland’s SEED Biosciences SA from Epalinges and its product Dispen3D and the UK’s Cyrologyx Ltd (Coventry) with its product PlateReady. According to SLAS CEO Vicki Loise at the award ceremony, the market opportunity, potential impact on the automation sector, originality of the product and the proof of concept of the products, which have been on the market for no more than a year, were assessed.

EFPL spin-out SEED Biosciences’ Dispen3D is a novel impedance-based single-cell dispensing and cell seeding system designed to handle shear-sensitived 3D cell models including spheroids, organoids and tumoroids with pressures below 0.2 psi, comparable to manual pipetting in high throughput. The DISPENCELL-derived new product assures monoclonality in emerging applications such as spheroid-based lead optimisation, personalised and regenerative medicine. Currently, the industry standard for handling organoids and spheroids involves manual processes that are cumbersome and not very efficient in throughput, hardly reproducible and slow. On the other hand, more complex, specialized equipment may not be readily accessible and is highly expensive.

CryoLogix PlateReady uses cryoprotectants called Cryoshield to revolutionise research with cryopreserved cells. Today, cells are stored frozen in suspension and must be cultured for days or weeks before they can be used in an experiment. As a result, a cell biologist has to devote significant time to cell preparation and the routine maintenance of cell lines rather than other valuable operations. CryoLogix’s PlateReady™ featuring cryopreserved cell cultures is designed to simplify the freeze–thaw process while maintaining high cell viability and functionality post-thaw. PlateReady incorporates cryopreserved cells using Cryoshield™ that enable very high cell recoveries and cryopreservation of cells in non-standard formats. This approach ensures the cryopreserved cells work just as well as freshly cultured ones in terms of survival, function and response to drugs within 24 hours post-thaw. “Our PlateReady products enable a major shift in how cell biology and cell-based assays are approached in the lab, said Dr Tom Congdon co-founder and CEO of CryoLogyx.

Among the finalists were LPKF with its product Arralyze, a single-cell glass-based microfluidic platform with the ability to create deep wells that physically immobilises cells, which is particularly beneficial for single-cell screening applications. Further finalists includes CellDynamics with its PL8 platform that integrates label-free quantification of organoid structure with automated liquid handling processes; CYTENA with its product UP.SIGHT, a single-cell dispensing and imaging system, which eliminates the need for multiple devices, saving valuable time and resources; and  Yokogawa with its product CellVoyager CQ3000, a high-content analysis system that captures high-definition 3D microscopic images of live cell cultures at high speed over long periods, with minimal damage to cells.

The 5thannual European conference of the Society of Lab Automation (SLAS, 19,000 members) attracted several hundreds of Europe’s most prominent automation specialists, globally active exhibitors and small innovative companies. One of SLAS ultimate goals is to improve networking and buidling a strong base for collaboration across sectors integrating several disciplines important to push life sciences automation.