Chicago, IL. November 8, 2004. Arryx, Inc. announced today that it has added an infrared (IR) product to its line of BioRyx(R) 200 optical trapping systems. The BioRyx(R) 200 IR system extends Arryx’ proprietary, three-dimensional holographic laser tweezer technology into the infrared portion of the spectrum. Arryx’ easy-to-use real-time trapping software allows users to create a variety of infrared traps and simultaneously monitor and record fluorescence from a broad range of dyes. This gives researchers in biology and nanotechnology the unique ability to manipulate hundreds of microscopic objects, from blood and cancer cells to DNA and nanotubes, independently and simultaneously in three dimensions.
One of the initial applications of their technology is going to be the sorting of bull sperm to select cow gender in order to reduce the number of less valuable male cows (only females can make milk).
Arryx’ next product is its cell-sorting equipment, the CelRyx(TM) system. The initial applications of CelRyx(TM) system are designed to increase productivity and profitability in the cattle and dairy industries, by sorting cattle sperm for viability and gender selection, and the blood-bank equipment industry, by processing blood components.
"We have a partnership with a company involved in artificial insemination for cattle. With this system [expected to be out in 2005], you put cattle semen in one end of the machine and sorted cells (come) out the other," he said.
A physicist who was at the University of Chicago made scientific advances that made the laser tweezer technology feasible.
But it took David Grier, then a University of Chicago physicist and now director of the Center for Soft Matter Research at New York University, to develop the method to control multiple items at one time with a single beam. His technique involves splitting laser beams into multiple "beamlets," which operate on the nano level to control as many objects as desired.
For information and background on the scientific and technical work that led to the implementation of laser tweezers, feel free to browse Dr. David G. Grier's Web site: http://physics.nyu.edu/grierlab/.
It is not clear whether Arryx's technology will ever be offered for sex selection of human offspring. Another company, Microsort, already offers human baby sex selection services using a different technology. Microsort's approach is not 100% accurate and requires in vitro fertilization (IVF). So it has some downsides. Note that Arryx is going to offer sex selection for cows. My guess is their approach is cheaper since it would have to be for animal husbandry. If Arryx's technology could sort a larger number of sperm then it opens up the potential for initiating pregnancies with artificial insemination without IVF and without the need to harvest eggs to use in IVF.
Eventually much easier and lower cost pre-conception sex selection technologies will be available for human use. As it stands now cheap ultrasound technology and selective abortion are already causing large excesses in male births in Taiwan, China, and India. Imagine what will happen worldwide as costs and risks of sex selection drop.
Arryx has also made a deal with a company called Haemonetics to developed their technology for blood processing. Their technology looks promising for all sorts of manipulations of large numbers of small things simultaneously.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2004 November 28 09:50 PM Biotech Reproduction|