Key advantages of the technology for new applications

  • High throughput: sort envelope rates of 43,000 / second for Highway1 (beta stage), and 2.5 billion / hour for Highway16 (proof-of-concept stage);
  • Safe, sterile and enclosed: no contamination, cross-contamination or exposure to lab atmosphere;
  • Practical: compact, automated instrument, walk-away operation

Some examples of our data are below.

Highway1: sorting in purity mode from PBMCs

The major phenotypes of peripheral blood can be sorted with excellent purity.

Highway1: sorting in Enrichment Mode

Demonstration of enrichment mode sorting at high rates. T cells were sorted from diluted buffy coat using a no-wash no-lyse protocol, showing enrichment from an extremely rare population with output purity exceeding theoretical (Poisson) purity. Reticulocytes were sorted from enriched whole blood at an extremely high rate (48,000/s), with output purity matching theoretical purity. Yield in both cases is around 80% in sort1. The remaining 20% is not lost but is retained in the sort0 output, and can be further separated if desired.

Highway1: T cell viability and activation

There is no measurable impact of sorting on T cell viability and activation. T cells sorted by Highway1 have higher viability than the non-treated control (due to selection of live T cells), equal response to anti-CD3/CD28 activation, and equal CD4/CD8 ratio in culture over two days.

Highway1: Gentleness — no impact on growth and viability of common cell lines

The gentleness of Highway1 can be shown by sorting several common cell lines that are known to be sensitive to conventional cell sorting. After sorting, cells were put back in growth media and monitored over several days. Growth resumed in the sorted cells at the same rate as the controls. Sample preparation: cells were harvested and resuspended in HBSS + 0.1% Poloxamer 188 (Pluronic F-68) with no further media supplements. Key: NT (non-treated by sorter), syringe (pressurised input of sorter), sort1 and sort0 outputs.

cell therapy

Cell therapy is moving from crude cell products to defined cell products, while genetic control over T-cell function is becoming ever more sophisticated. Translational researchers seeking to manufacture sophisticated new cell therapies have so far not been able to draw on a suitable cell sorter for therapeutic applications.

We are developing GMP versions of our instrument for therapy manufacturing.

single cell ‘omics prep

Depending on your single cell workflow, you may be analysing 102 – 105 cells. But a tissue may contain billions of cells. You need a cell sorter to pre-select cells for analysis. There are already affordable solutions for cell barcoding and sequencing for the individual lab. Why, then, does your lab lack a cell sorter?

phenotypic screening

You may have thousands (or even millions) of compounds to screen in millions (or even billions) of cells. But how can you select the rare subpopulation that shows a positive phenotype? Until now, phenotypic screening has been limited by the sort rate and practicalities of current sorters.


Until now, it hasn’t been possible to sort pathogen-containing cells in Biosafety Level 2 labs because jet-in-air sorters produce aerosols. Our instruments handle biohazards in an enclosed cartridge without the aerosol risk.

Do you have another application challenge for us?

Please contact us.