Kino Discovery is building an end-to-end solution for single-cell research

By Samantha Black, PhD, ScienceBoard editor in chief

September 20, 2021 -- Kino Discovery is working on a tissue sample-to-cell solution to make personalized medicine a reality. The early-stage startup was founded by University of California, Irvine professor Jered Haun, PhD, and is a competitor in the inaugural BioTools Innovator contest. We spoke with Haun as part of our coverage of the competition.

The company's disposable microfluidic device leverages hydrodynamic fluid flow to rapidly digest and disaggregate tissue specimens into single cells. The high-throughput system is automated and can be used for drug discovery and development. Kino's technology, according to Haun, reduces tissue processing time from four hours to 10 minutes with complete tissue breakdown while preserving cell function.

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The goal of Kino Discovery, Hahn explained, is to automate the single-cell analysis process using the company's microfluidics technology. This technology can be applied to many downstream processing steps, including cell sorting, cell capture, and even full cell analysis, Haun said.

Kino Discovery is one of 10 semifinalists that have the chance to win $200,000 in cash prizes in the BioTools Innovator accelerator contest, with the list of semifinalists released in late July. All semifinalists are assigned a mentor and will complete a curated curriculum designed to help them secure additional funding and elevate their companies. The field will be narrowed to four companies in early October. The four finalists will present at a live finale on October 14, 2021, where the audience will help decide the winner.

Stay tuned and follow along as we get a behind-the-scenes look at these companies as they race toward the finish!

Note: The BioTools Innovator accelerator contest is sponsored by Research Corporation Technologies and BroadOak Capital Partners, investors in's parent company, Science and Medicine Group.

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