X-ZELL hMX™ technology now available for research use

Singapore, September 2021 – X-ZELL’s widely recognised high-gradient magnetic Cell Separator (hMX™) is now available to researchers worldwide.

Previously exclusive to X-ZELL, the patented system is part of the company’s single-cell diagnostics platform, which is capable of isolating and visualising individual atypical cells from a small 10mL blood sample.

According to X-ZELL’s Head of Engineering & Product Development, Sven Strache, the technology is crucial to the routine discovery of next-generation biomarkers for early cancer detection and has set a new standard for white blood cell depletion from whole blood.

“High-gradient magnetic cell separation is the gold standard in the cell separation space. The basic idea is to label cells – typically suspended in liquid media – with paramagnetic surface markers and route them through a flow channel with a magnetic gradient strong enough to remove them from the sample,” he explains. “X-ZELL’s hMX™ technology is built on the same principle, albeit optimised for the removal of white blood cells from whole blood.”

According to Strache, X-ZELL’s hMX™ system is capable of achieving cell depletion rates of 99.9 per cent while still retaining nine out of 10 tumour-associated or otherwise atypical circulating cells concealed in the blood sample.2

“What’s different about our solution is the Separator’s patented cooling system. By performing the depletion at a specific temperature we maximise target cell viability and minimise structural and functional damage,” says Strache.

“In addition, we placed a lot of emphasis on the flow channel design to increase overall flow rates and avoid micro-vortices, which often lead to cell loss – especially when target cells are large or clumped.”

Part of the X-ZELL hMX™ system are patented buffers and reagents that are especially gentle on the sample and were designed to avoid non-specific binding, a phenomenon where non-target cells are labelled and extracted from the sample.

According to X-ZELL Founder & CEO, Dr Sebastian Bhakdi, the result is a highly reproducible cell separation process slotting neatly into the company’s award-winning Single Cell Detection workflow.

“The hMX™ system is the first technology module we developed to support X-ZELL’s research into circulating atypical cells,” he notes. “After perfecting it over thousands of experiments, it’s amazing to finally see it released to the research community. 

“In combination with the Cryoimmunostaining™ Suite premiered in 2019 it will make for one of the most powerful cytology tools in the world.”

According to Bhakdi, the first generation of the hMX™ Cell Separator will be exclusively offered in combination with the Cryoimmunostaining™ Suite.1

1Unless otherwise stated, X-ZELL products and services are for Research Use Only and not for therapeutic or diagnostic use.
2Preparatory steps may include isolating the target cells using X-ZELL’s proprietary Lysis Assay.


Sebastian Grote
Head of Strategy, Marketing & Communications


About X-ZELL
Ranked among the top three most innovative health technology start-ups in the world, X-ZELL fuses next-generation cell detection technology with cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence to isolate and visualise ultra-rare cells in blood and frozen tissue. In 2017, the company made global headlines when it demonstrated the ability to routinely locate tumour-associated Circulating Endothelial Cells (tCEC) in small, 10mL blood samples. Widely considered one of the most promising biomarkers for the early detection of clinically significant cancers, tCEC had previously been classified as undetectable in clinical routine. From its headquarters in Singapore, X-ZELL is aiming to make affordable tCEC-based cancer screening accessible to patients around the globe.  


Next-generation cytology

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