Quantifying the stem cell revolution
Goal: Improve healthcare by improving a rapid point-of-care system for the preparation of autologous regenerative cells from human lipoaspirate.
Outcome: The students developed Cellculator, an operation room friendly one-click solution for stem cell counting, providing accurate results in less than a minute. These stem cells are used for regenerative cell therapies.
Stem cells can transform into different cells. Thus, medical treatments with the biological all-rounders have tremendous potential to support regenerative processes in the body. The start-up InGeneron has found a solution to extract stem cells out of human fat tissue. However, in order to bring their product to the market, the amount of retrieved stem cells has yet to become measurable. Therefore, our MPD team consisting of four students with backgrounds in Business Administration, Management & Technology, Electrical Engineering and Computational Science had the exciting task to develop a cheap and fast device to count the cells at point-of-care. After a quick dive into the biology of stem cells and interviews with doctors, the team decided to build a prototype, called the Cellculator, consisting of a case and an application. To produce an enlarged picture of the stem cells, a case was 3-D printed, consisting of a microscope and built in LEDs with fluorescent light, to make the stem cells visible. On top of the case a smartphone is placed, which takes images through the microscope and automatically counts the number of stem cells by means of an image recognition algorithm.