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U Florida and Cyntellect Collaborate to Unlock Mysteries of Cancer Stem Cells

The University of Florida has entered into a research agreement with life sciences company Cyntellect. The university's Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research will work with the company to focus on a variety of research areas including the purification and analysis of cancer stem cells (CSCs), rare cells believed to be directly involved in propagating cancers. The collaboration will include use of Cyntellect's LEAP system to purify these CSCs and their progeny without disturbing them from their growing environment--an effort intended to improve scientists' ability to study the natural properties and responses of these cells.

CSCs may generate tumors through the stem cell processes of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple cell types. Such cells are proposed to persist in tumors as a distinct population and cause relapse and metastasis by giving rise to new tumors. Development of specific therapies targeted at CSCs holds hope for improvement of survival and quality of life of cancer patients, especially for sufferers of metastatic disease.

Laser-Enabled Analysis and Processing (LEAP) is an automated system for high-throughput cell analysis and versatile laser-based cell manipulation. Under the agreement, the university will gain access to LEAP, and Cyntellect will receive payments and commercial rights to discoveries under the collaboration.

The collaboration follows on the heels of a LEAP system purchase by the university's McKnight Brain Institute earlier this year.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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