The University of Limerick’s Stokes Institute have announced a research collaboration with GenCell Biosystems, Irish high-potential start-up biotechnology enterprise, to develop thermal control solutions for next-generation genetic analysis technology. Genetic testing technology is used in a wide range of industries including; drug discovery, agricultural biotechnology, medical genomics and molecular diagnostics. The global DNA diagnostics industry is estimated to be worth US$10 billion*.
Temperature control is a vital factor in effective genetic analysis. By partnering with Stokes Institute, GenCell have developed a technology which will deliver highly accurate temperature control resulting in faster and more cost effective genetic analysis for the global market.
Dr. Kieran Curran, Founder and CEO of GenCell, explains the rationale behind the collaboration: “GenCell products are based on a novel microfluidic technology or synthetic cells, which provide an ideal environment to perform highly sensitive genetic testing. We have been working on a wide range of challenges – microfluidic manipulation, biology, optical interrogation – and it is critical to maintain close control of temperature to perform genetic reactions important to modern biology. The Stokes Institute offers unrivalled expertise in thermal control techniques, and they also have a deep understanding of the microfluidic phenomena that underpin our technologies. GenCell is focussed on building a successful Irish biotech company and collaboration with the Stokes Institute definitely delivers a technological edge to help compete better internationally.”
The collaboration, which focuses on GenCell’s unique Composite Liquid Cell (CLC) technology, is supported through Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Partnership Scheme. Limerick based company, GenCell currently employs 26 highly skilled engineers and scientists.
Dr. Jeff Punch, Director, Stokes Institute, added: “GenCell have created a unique microfluidic technology that offers compelling advantages for a wide range of applications in the biosciences. The collaboration is a wonderful opportunity for us to apply our expertise in the thermal sciences to an industrially-relevant challenge. This collaboration supports highly skilled jobs in the Limerick region and is an example of applied research supporting Irish industry to compete internationally.”
For further information about GenCell Biosystems go to www.gencellbio.com and Stokes Institute go to www.stokes.ie
*DNA Diagnostics US$10bn (BCC research 2008 figures)