FluidFM: Cytosurge's journey from hollow AFM probes to precision genome engineering

P. Behr
Cytosurge AG,

Keywords: FluidFM, startup, entrepreneurship, CRISPR, RNA-seq, microfluidics, genome engineering


FluidFM (Fluidic force microscopy) is a technology that combines the advantages of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and the versatility of microfluidics to enable precise manipulation and handling of single cells and femtoliter amounts of liquids. It is being successfully commercialized by the Swiss company Cytosurge. In this talk, co-founder and CEO of Cytosurge, Dr. Pascal Behr, will share his story of how he and his team developed and commercialized FluidFM technology for various applications in academia and biopharma industry. What originally started at ETH Zurich with just an idea for a force controlled micro-pipette ultimately sparked the development of FluidFM technology as we know it today. Successful commercialization of deep-tech innovations is an intricate endeavor and clearly a long-play game. It requires entrepreneurs to solve many challenges in parallel – and not seldomly necessitates several strategic pivots along the way. In this talk I am going to share some of the challenges we faced in making hollow AFM probes and integrating them in a full-stack instrument solution all the while maintaining full focus on the specific needs and problems faced by our clients. At the beginning all we wanted to do was to build another AFM instrument that can handle hollow microfluidic cantilevers, however, what we ultimately created was something entirely different. In this talk I would like to invite you to revisit some of the key moments in Cytosurge's history and the breakthroughs we achieved along the way as we continue to go beyond imaging with AFM technology. We will highlight how we went from a technology driven idea to building a portfolio of instruments and services designed to help scientists in academia and biotech industry to implement advanced genetically engineered cell lines. Finally, we will share our vision for the future of FluidFM and how this unique nanotechnology approach is poised to make significant contributions in areas like precision medicine and synthetic biology.