From micro sieve to single cel platform
VyCAP, a University of Twente spin-off company, began its developments with a point-of-care device to characterize meningitis in 2011. “Since 2014, our focus has been on the development of the Puncher system,” CTO Joska Broekmaat – who joined the company in 2015 – says. “It is a promising technology that was plagued by one critical issue: we could not guarantee the reproducibility and stability of the platform. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.”
FOCUS ON QUALITY AND STABILITY
In recent years, the team worked tirelessly to improve its products. “We wanted to develop a reliable method for the selection and isolation of individual cells.” After extensive research and development, the team has now built a stable Puncher platform and matching disposables. “The Puncher has already demonstrated its value in laboratories in academic hospitals in the Netherlands and abroad,” Joska says. “With the help of software, the platform can select the right individual cells and then isolate them one by one. For example, by isolating individual cancer cells found in a patient’s blood, we can learn more about the disease progression and perhaps select a more effective treatment.”
VyCAP used various incentive schemes for its product development. The international INTERREG-project made a significant contribution to the ongoing development of the Puncher platform. By collaborating closely with end-users and suppliers in the Netherlands and Germany, the company was able to realize a technically superior platform with a focus on the end-user. With help from the HighTech Fund, the team was able to acquire the necessary production equipment in recent years. For the past few years, the spinoff has earned a profit with the sale of its products.
VyCAP and Novel-T
“Joska and the team at VyCAP are highly driven,” Roy Kolkman says. They are translating their technology into practical applications and go all-in whenever they see an opportunity worth seizing. At the same time, they operate in a difficult field. “
Read more about VyCAP entering a new market amd why single-cell analysis is a million-dollar business in the latest article.