Portable Cell Maintenance System

Period of Performance: 08/10/2004 - 03/22/2005


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Agave Biosystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Cornell University
426 Phillips Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Institution POC


Cultured cell-based biosensors offer insight into the physiological action of the agent of interest, which is an advantage over other types of sensors. The development of cell-based biosensors that are field-portable would increase their utility in toxicology and environmental monitoring. One of the most significant issues hampering the development of field portable cell-based biosensors is the maintenance of optimal cultured cell environment under field conditions. A key technology to overcoming this issue is the use of microfluidic systems. A microfluidic based systems would allow assaying small quantities of sample while optimizing storage and transport conditions by minimizing the overall systems size and fluid monitoring requirements. In this Phase I, Agave BioSystems and Cornell University propose to develop a cell maintenance system (CMS) with integrated pH, osmilarity, CO2 and temperature sensors to support multiple vertebrate cells and cell types under field conditions. In addition, a microfluidic cell cartridge suitable for use in hand-held devices and fabricated from biocompatible materials will be developed that is inexpensive and disposable. The proposed CMS would maintain vertebrate cell viability and sterility through transport, storage, and testing and be compatible with interfaces for acquisition and analysis of cell signaling data relevant to toxicity identification.