High throughput microfluidics-based replicative lifespan determination in yeast cells

SCHEME: Proof-of-Concept

CALL: 2019

DOMAIN: BM - Life Sciences, Biology and Medicine





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: microfluidics, aging, replicative lifespan determination

START: 2019-08-15

END: 2021-02-14

WEBSITE: http://www.uni.lu

Submitted Abstract

Our patent pending, breakthrough, high-throughput technology for determining longevity of yeast cell will empower researchers and biotech industry to leverage the full capacity of yeast as a production and research organism in a market worth over $4.1B.The single cell organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae is employed for the production of a huge variety of goods, reaching from food (beverages and baked goods), and food supplements (flavours, sweeteners, amino acids, etc.) to high value goods (pharmaceuticals) and even bioethanol. Targeted genetic modifications (metabolic engineering) and breeding are used to increase the performance of industrial production strains by optimising cell properties such as alcohol formation, stress tolerance, single cell size or the production of CO2. Expectedly, the lifespan of an individual yeast cell is finite. As many other cells, yeast cells age and undergo modifications in terms of physiology, morphology and gene expression during that process. Thus, cell age plays an important role in the performance of the cell in industrial production processes and is a powerful optimisation parameters. However, the determination of the cell age (more precise: the way in which a single cell ages) has hardly been considered as a parameter of strain engineering so far. The difficult and expensive determination of cell age of a single strain can cost up to 4 000 € and take up to 15 days using the conventional “gold-standard” method. Additionally, as yeast has some surprising similarities (homologues and orthologues) with mammalian (including human) cells, it makes yeast an effective to model human diseases, e.g. in the context of drug repurposing. However, the laborious and low-throughput methods of current yeast lifespan determination limits its usefulness as a model also in fundamental and applied research on ageing.Thus, there is clearly an imminent need for an automated, simplified, stand-alone, high throughput and integrated system for lifespan determination in yeast overcoming the highlighted limitations. It is our aim to make yeast cell age an easily deductible parameter in every potential research and production setting. Removing the time and price barrier, we will help to leverage the full capacity of a precious and widespread research and production organism.We have invented an innovative microfluidic technology to track the replicative lifespan in yeast in a way that reduced the workload by more than 92 %. This PoC project will allow us to unleash the potential of this technology in industrial biotechnology settings and validate the technology with strategic partners to accelerate its commercial launch.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics purposes. Find out more in our Privacy Statement