In quest of one of the most powerful, yet elusive biomarkers of our time – tumour-derived Circulating Endothelial Cells (tCEC) –
X-ZELL has developed a three-part platform technology allowing researchers to analyse tissue and blood samples at a whole new level of detail and empowering them to pose the kind of research questions they’ve never been able to ask before.
Perfected in a real life laboratory environment as part of our daily workflow, all platform devices continue to prove themselves on the international research circuit and as part of our ongoing investigation into the potential of tCEC as novel biomarkers for clinically significant, early-stage cancers.
Since 2019, two of the system’s three core modules are commercially available (for Research Use Only) – the X-ZELL Cryoimmunostaining™ Suite as well as the corresponding microscopy toolkit (learn more and order here).
In 2020, they will be complemented by the production version of the X-ZELL hMX™ Cell Separator, which is set to launch in Q4’20 in both Asia and Europe.
Going forward, X-ZELL will gradually upgrade the image acquisition module (Module III) by automating the slide scanning process and deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically identify and visualise atypical cells.
In a second step, the X-ZELL AI will be able to cross-reference the findings with our ever-growing database of cancer cell images, dubbed X-ZELL Cloud Atlas.
MODULE IA – Proprietary Cell Lysis
Cell lysis is the first step to clearing the blood from healthy cells and exposing rare, unwanted cells. To obtain the best possible yield and purity, X-ZELL has developed a unique process to free the sample from red blood cells whilst retaining eight out of ten cancer cells, using proprietary buffers exclusive to X-ZELL.
MODULE IB – hMX™ Magnetic Cell Separation
High-gradient magnetic separation has established itself as the gold standard of cell separation, offering the highest magnetic field gradients available. However, if left untreated, its internal ferromagnetic matrix leads to high non-specific cell retention during separation.
Our patented, buffer-optimized, high-gradient magnetic cell separation (hMX™) system avoids non-specifc binding by competitively blocking non-specific binding sites. With flow channels several hundred micrometres wide, it provides optimal recovery of large cells and even cell clumps.
MODULE II – Cryoimmunostaining™ SUITE
Comprised of two high-performance devices, the X-ZELL CryoFixator™ and the X-ZELL CryoStainer™, X-ZELL’s patented Cryoimmunostaining™ Suite allows researchers to apply up to nine fluorophores at a time to cells fixated on standard laboratory slides – making it one of the most powerful cytology tools in the world today. Available for Research Use Only.
MODULE III – Automated Microscopic Analysis
As opposed to competing technologies, X-ZELL’s rare cell detection technology is able to provide users with solid visual evidence of the target cell or cell clump – in turn enabling classic cancer pathology at the single cell level.
To visualise all key characteristics of cancer cells – including as aneuploidy, polyploidy, as well as the expression of stem cell, mesenchymal, epithelial, cell proliferation and apoptotic markers – we recommend the use of a semi-automated widefield fluorescence microscope featuring a standard high-pressure mercury vapour arc-discharge light source, state-of-the-art monochrome CCD or sCMOS cameras as well as optimised filter sets available through X-ZELL (contact us for a full list of available upgrade kits).
Using X-ZELL’s filter kit and proprietary software, standardized image acquisition times of as little as 50ms per channel are possible.