Dobson awarded University of Florida Industry Partnership agreement

Jon Dobson, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Dr. Jon Dobson (PI) on being awarded a University of Florida Industry Partnership (UFLIPS) agreement between UF researchers and 42Bio.

42Bio’s system, developed at UF, with funding from the NIH, is based on a novel design concept that employs high-gradient magnet arrays and planar-flow separation chambers.

Magnetic cell and biomolecule separation is used in biomedicine to label biological entities and separate them from fluid samples for research for therapeutic use. Current magnetic separation methods are effective for certain bioseparation applications, and the development of improved systems continues apace, primarily due to the size of the cell and biomolecule separation market. For cell separation alone, the use of separation technologies to isolate biomolecules and target cells from a heterogeneous cell population is expanding rapidly.

The team proposes to develop, test, and benchmark scalable, high-throughput magnetic cell separation systems based on novel magnet arrays and planar-flow separation chambers that are capable of handling flow rates and volumes that are orders of magnitude higher than those currently in use. In proof-of-concept work, initial prototypes of the 42Bio system removed magnetic particles and cells suspended in water at efficiencies above 95% at flow rates more than 1,000 times higher than the current market-leading magnetic separation system.

The 42Bio system also eliminates sample clogging when separating cells and biomolecules from unprocessed whole blood, a significant advantage over current magnetic separation systems, which require pre-processing.

The scope of this project will focus on design modification and optimization of 42Bio’s two magnetic separation systems. Design modifications will be informed by computational models developed in the Dobson lab, along with input from experimental runs.

The focus of this work will be to expand on the proof-of-concept studies that were conducted primarily on magnetic particles suspended in water and optimize and test the system under the condition relevant to commercial research and clinical applications.

42Bio is comprised of:

  • Jon Dobson, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer
  • Peter McFetridge, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer
  • Blanka Sharma, Ph.D., Co-Founder
  • Cherry Chang (UF BME External Advisory Board Member), CEO
  • Shannon Brown, Ph.D., (UF BME alumna), Vice President, Research
  • Isaac Finger-Baker, (UF MSE alumni), Vice President, Development

The UFLIPS program promoted early to late-stage technology development and commercialization through collaborative research opportunities between UF researchers and high technology energy companies in Florida.