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18 Feb 2020

Sphere Fluidics expands to increase supply of surfactant for droplet microfluidics

Investment in resources to meet demand for large-scale supply of patented biocompatible surfactant.

Sphere Fluidics has announced an investment in the production and supply of its proprietary biocompatible surfactant, Pico-Surf, for reliable and highly stable droplet generation and processing. Sphere Fluidics will expand operations to meet demand for large-scale commercial supply of its high-performing surfactant for use in a wide range of microfluidic application workflows.

Pico-Surf is a high-quality and animal-origin-free biocompatible surfactant optimized to support the formation of aqueous solution-in-oil picodroplets. Sphere Fluidics aims to increase production of Pico-Surf by three-fold in 2020, while maintaining its industry-leading standards, through significant investment of resources in manufacture and quality control processes, and workforce. As part of the company's range of specialist chemicals, Pico-Surf is designed to work effectively and flexibly across a broad range of microfluidic systems, including the Sphere Fluidics' proprietary single cell analysis platforms and applications, such as molecular biology assays, cell secretion assays and cell growth studies.

The unique and patented molecular structure of Pico-Surf stabilizes droplets, and retains and protects their cellular and molecular contents over a wide range of temperatures and biological conditions, helping to ensure high cell viability for improved assay performance. Droplets generated using Pico-Surf show low end point interfacial tension and critical micelle concentration in comparison to other commercially available surfactants. The purity and quality of the surfactant also enables a more efficient droplet sorting process at low voltage. The ready-to-use surfactant is available in large batches or made-to-order with ensured lot-to-lot consistency.

Dr Marian Rehak, Vice President of Research and Development, Sphere Fluidics, said: “We are enthused by the increased demand for Pico-Surf, and eager to mobilize its production to meet demand. While doing so, we will ensure its very high-quality control standards are maintained, meaning researchers can continue to rely on Pico-Surf to create droplets that are stable and reproducible.”

Rob Treanor, Director of Operations, Sphere Fluidics, commented: “Sphere Fluidics’ world-leading expertise in picodroplet technology has enabled the development of an ever-growing range of high-performing patented consumables, vital for the successful use of microfluidic systems. All our consumable products have been designed to be platform-agnostic, so they work effectively with a number of microfluidic systems.”

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