SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Silicon Biosystems, Inc., a provider of specialized molecular and cellular biology technology, announced today that Baylor College of Medicine has agreed to purchase the company’s DEPArray™ technology for use in research programs related to prenatal diagnostics and molecular oncology.
The decision to acquire the DEPArray™ technology at Baylor College of Medicine has been led by Dr. Arthur Beaudet, chairman of the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor. Beaudet’s group has been investigating methods to identify fetal cells circulating in maternal blood with an aim towards establishing prenatal diagnostic applications based on a maternal blood sample rather than requiring invasive and dangerous amniocentesis procedures to obtain fetal cells.
“We have had good early indications that we will be able to use the DEPArray™ technology to identify and collect the rare fetal cells from a maternal blood sample,” said Beaudet. “Finding and collecting intact individual fetal cells could provide many advantages as we look towards possible diagnostic applications since, in addition to being better for the patient, it may help avoid many of the intellectual property issues associated with fetal DNA detection in maternal blood.”
Beaudet also sees the applicability of the DEPArray™ technology to other research programs at the College which are similarly challenged with the molecular characterization of rare cells, such as those investigating circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Silicon Biosystems’ patented “moving DEP cage” technology is the only system to go beyond cell enumeration and make the isolation and automated collection of pure individual cells possible.
“We’re very excited about the research Dr. Beaudet’s team will be undertaking,” said Bob Proulx, president and GM for Silicon Biosystems, Inc. “Getting our platform into the hands of users that can expand the applicability to include prenatal cells in addition to CTCs will be a great validation of our product in the market and we look forward to helping them achieve groundbreaking research.”
About Silicon Biosystems
Silicon Biosystems, Inc. was formed in October of 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Biosystems, S.p.A. based in Bologna, Italy. The company manufactures and sells the DEPArray™ platform which is based on the principle of dielectrophoresis to isolate and manipulate cells in suspension with a microelectronic array. The approach, patented by Silicon Biosystems, offers the unique ability to control individual cells and micro-particles inside a disposable cartridge. The DEPArray™ platform makes it possible to find, sort, select and separate individual cells for further analysis or culturing. Silicon Biosystems is one of the most innovative start-ups in the field of "lab-on-a-chip," based on active substrates, as testified by a number of awards and recognitions. For more information on Silicon Biosystems visit http://www.siliconbiosystems.com.
About Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the only private medical school in the Greater Southwest, is recognized as a premier academic health science center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. The Institute for Molecular Genetics was created in 1985 and renamed Department of Molecular and Human Genetics in 1994. The department offers various research, clinical, and training programs in molecular and human genetics to graduate, medical, and postdoctoral students. For more information, visit Baylor College of Medicine’s Web site at www.bcm.edu.