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UB spinoff Cytocybernetics tests new biotechnology to enhance drug safety screening

PBR Staff Writer Published 22 September 2015

A spin off company of University at Buffalo (UB), Cytocybernetics is testing a new biotechnology to enhance drug safety screening.

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The new biotechnology, dubbed the Cybercyte, is designed to cut in half the time and money required for preclinical trials.

Cytocybernetics claims that the new technology could rapidly bring new drugs to market for treating heartburn, allergies, mental disorders and other maladies.

The cybercyte electronically expresses currents in cells being examined using whole cell patch clamp and IK1 in induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiac myocytes.

UB said Cybercyte produces a synthetic IK1 with electronics and computers linked to cells to solve the spontaneous beating problem.

It differentiates between types of muscle cells in the heart that respond differently to stimuli.

Cytocybernetics founder Glenna Bett said "It's really Star Trek technology. The electronics essentially become part of the cell and its function. By interacting with the cell during each beat, we can extract much more detailed and reliable information."

Cytocybernetics has received a $241,933 Small Business Technology Transfer award from the National Institutes of Health and a $50,000 award from the State University of New York's Technology Accelerator Fund.

It has also received funding from the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology.


Image: Randall L. Rasmusson, PhD (left), and Glenna C. Bett, PhD, founded Cytocybernetics, a company testing technology to make preclinical drug trials more efficient. Photo: courtesy of University at Buffalo.