Low Cost Modular Tissue Microarray Instrument

Period of Performance: 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2016


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Micatu, Inc.
Painted Post, NY 14870
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant: The objective for the Phase I study was to design and build a low cost Tissue Microarray (TMA) device that would meet market demands for high quality, fast TMA construction. To that end Micatu Inc. has successfully developed a production ready TMA device and kit (MicaArray) that has successfully demonstrated H&E stained TMAs featuring 90% alignment of sample cores to the recipient block, 95% sample core perpendicular placement, and 100% compliance to required TMA sectioning count. Micatu's Phase II development program will continue on these successes and rapid progress to provide an affordable, turnkey instrument suite that further expands investigators' ability to construct their own TMAs without resorting to expensive core laboratory facilities as well as allow for the efficient, reliable, and low cost construction of TMAs for validation and use in research and clinical settings. This will foster a proliferation of applications in fields such as pathology, histology, IHC controls, and cancer diagnosis, having major medical impact. The MicaArray vision represents a simple, yet powerful concept based on seamless integration, precision fabrication, and optimization of tools for constructing TMAs. The Phase II research plan will refine the novel alignment template that registers and guides the coring needle at highly precise intervals, design and build a novel, ergonomic, and versatile coring and injection needle with a threaded needle system that allows for a single handle for both extraction of the donor block cores and injection into recipient block, prove out with design verification testing a low cost rugged construction of the MicaArray device using machinable or injection molded plastic for volume production and manufacturability, provide a custom low cost mold for casting TMA blocks, design build and install an integrated Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC)/Heater that can directly heat and cool donor and recipient blocks thereby providing a new, powerful, and heretofore unavailable capability to electronically control and devise thermal cycling sequences that are optimum for both paraffin and cryo (frozen) embedded TMA construction, and commercialize the MicaArray kit at a sales price that is 30x less than any commercially available instrument. Key words to identify the research or technology: Tissue, microarray, staining, paraffin, cryo, recipient block, donor block, template, Coring Needle, TMA Brief summary of the potential commercial applications of the research: Micatu, Inc. research plan provides commercialization potential to the academic, clinical and research markets