Technology developer Demcon has announced a new investment into the Limburg-based startup Cryosol-world. The Maastricht University spinoff’s system, known as the Vitrojet, is used to freeze samples to improve microscopy with better quality and a higher yield, which the Enschede company believes can accelerate research into major diseases like cancer or TB. The funds are designed to assist Cryosol further developing its technologies in anticipation of its market release in the coming year.
Current scientific research is looking at the role that proteins play in diseases by studying them using electron microscopy (EM). This takes place at very low temperatures (cryo-EM), for the proteins are first frozen in order to obtain a sharp image. Proteins must be frozen extremely fast, in a process known as vitrification, to obtain the best-quality samples/preparations. Recently, Maastricht researchers have successfully automated the vitrification process, which has resulted in the Vitrojet, offering a 90 percent yield and better-quality samples.