The basic working principle and several areas of application of RT-DC are now being presented in the internationally renowned journal Nature Methods. Amongst other applications, the scientists demonstrate the mechanical fingerprinting of the different types of cells contained in a drop of blood within a few minutes. Due to the very high throughput of RT-DC, even white blood cells, which are greatly outnumbered by the red blood cells by roughly 1:1000 can be reliably characterized. This is important because white blood cells constitute an important part of the immune system. Any characteristic change in their mechanical fingerprint could in future be used by medical doctors for a faster and better quantitative assessment of the health of patients.
The advent of this new and super-fast cell mechanical screening technology has already now been met with spectacular reception on a local, national and European scale. For one, the Diploma thesis by Philipp Rosendahl from the team of Prof. Guck, which laid the technological basis of RT-DC, has just been recognized with one of four Georg-Helm Prizes as an outstanding student thesis at the TU Dresden in 2014. Prizes by the German Society of Cytometry for valuable research contributions, and by the innovation support project CrossClusterCooperation-Saxony, as well as many scientific collaborations across Europe testify to the significant impact RT-DC already has in science and industry. The European Research Council supports commercialization with one of its “Proof-of-concept” grants. Also the State of Saxony has realized the potential of RT-DC early on and fosters the project through funding specific for the translation of basic research results into applications in biotechnology and life sciences.