We aim to commercialise a new, patent-protected concept to measure mechanical properties of biological cells with flow-cytometer-level throughput and establish its standard application in modern drug development and medical diagnostics. Mechanical properties have recently proven to be a physiologically relevant indicator to determine the state, function and type of biological cells. Analysing mechanical parameters provides a novel method to identify physiological or pathological changes. However, mechanical cell properties are currently not accessible for large-scale applications demanding high-throughput. We developed, designed and realised a hydrodynamic cell stretcher, a microfluidic-based device for analysing mechanical cell properties at rates above 100 cells per second and therefore three orders of magnitude faster than other existing methods. In the proposed project, we want to identify, test and validate the most promising applications of hydrodynamic cell stretching in clinical and pharmaceutical research.
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