Breakthrough in Chip Design for Large Pollen07.10.2014 11:28
Amphasys’ patented “lab-on-a-chip” technology enables efficient and reproducible determination of pollen viability, ploidy and developmental stages of microspores. With the new extra-large 250 μm chips the technology can now be applied to almost any pollen species, including maize and cotton.
Plant breeders know by experience that pollen quality is influenced by many factors like temperature, light and chemical agents. Amphasys provides a standardized, reliable and easy-to-use method that allows a constant monitoring of pollen viability.
A microfluidic chip equipped with microelectrodes constitutes the heart of the technology. This high-sensitivity sensor measures changes of the electrical resistance of the fluidic medium when a cell or another particle passes through the applied alternating current field.
In order to ensure highest possible sensitivity Amphasys has developed a number of chips with different channel dimensions. The new 250 μm chip was specifically developed to enable measurement of very large pollen grains from plants like pumpkin, maize or cotton. In combination with the other chips the whole range from these very large cells to extremely small cells like bacteria can now be analyzed.
“We can’t wait to try the new chip with the larger channel,” states Iris Heidmann, senior scientist at Enza Zaden. “The current chip in combination with Ampha Z30 works very well in our hands, but for us it will also be very important to analyze the pollen quality of species with a size above 30 μm on a routine base which was not possible before”.
“The wave of interest we get from our customers proves that there is a real need in the seed industry for easy and reliable pollen analysis,” says Dr. Marcel Ottiger, Executive Partner and Co-Founder of Amphasys. “We are excited and proud that our ‘lab-on-a-chip’ solution can help our customers to further improve their breeding processes and production results.”
Amphasys is a Swiss high-tech company providing premium-quality, label-free solutions for analysis of single cell characteristics such as cell size and morphology, viability (apoptosis), or cell differentiation. The patented, chip-based technology eliminates time-consuming, complex sample preparation steps like cell labelling and the need of expensive laboratory infrastructure.