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Chaque projet soutenu par Gebert Rüf Stiftung est présenté sur le site web de la fondation avec en particulier les données de base du projet. Par cette publication, la fondation informe sur les résultats du soutien accordé et contribue à la communication scientifique au sein de la société.


DispenCell 2.0 – one click, one cell


The project management is responsible for the content of the information provided.


This project, funded by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, is supported by the following project partners: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV); Ecole d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL)

Données de projet

  • Numéro du projet: GRS-080/17 
  • Subside accordé: CHF 71'000 
  • Consentement: 15.01.2018 
  • Durée: 04.2018 - 10.2019 
  • Champs d'activité:  DesignPlus, 2013 - 2018

Direction du projet

Description du projet

Patients suffering from cancer are all different. The same is true for the cells that make the cancer as they all respond to drugs differently. This is why it is so difficult to find a cure for these patients. Looking at the patient’s own diseased cells and studying how they react to drugs individually offers hope to find more personalized and efficient cures. Yet, isolating single cells from a tumor with current methods is a difficult task that takes a lot of time and money making it impossible to scale for every patient.
We, at SEED Biosciences SA, provides scientists with a new tool called DIspenCell to enable them to isolate single cells as easy as point and click. To reach that goal, we develop a new type of pipetting robot coupled to a smart tip. It uses impedance spectroscopy to detect and record the isolation of single cells. With such tool, the process becomes much more simple, reliable and affordable reducing a validation time from 5 months to zero.
Single cell isolation is essential to develop new cures not only for cancer but also for cardivascular, autoimmune or neurodegenerative diseases. This is why SEED’s ambition is to become a door opener to personalized medicine so that efficient treatments against devasting diseases can be found for all patients.

Quelles sont les particularités de ce projet?

The project is highly innovative because it was designed conjointly with key opinion leaders in the field of biotechnology and regenerative medicine. We invented a new generation of pipetting systems that makes use of the latest development in impedance-based sensors and microfluidics. According to the statement "small is beautiful", our technologies will revolutionize the way researchers will isolate single cells. In the future, our game-changing pipetting systems will also benefit other applications, including cell-based assays (drug screening); single-cell omics (cancer diagnosis); and inline monitoring (biotherapeutics).

Etat/résultats intermédiaires

Since the start of the Gebert Ruef Stiftung project, we achieved the development of a prototype that consists of i) a pipetting robot for automatic single cell dispensing; ii) a disposable kit to prevent contamination; and iii) a laboratory information management system (LIMS) for data storage and analysis. The solution is now being tested by key opinion leaders in the academia and in the industry to demonstrate the value proposition.
The conclusion of the pilot studies are that the new cloning method using an engineered pipetting robot is efficient, cell-friendly and user-friendly. Above all, it is compliant with regulatory affairs guidelines as it disposable and provides a traceable record of the cell isolation.
Given the high success of the project, a company was created under the name SEED Biosciences SA with the objective to bring the technology to the market.

Revue de presse


Personnes participant au projet

Laboratory of Microsystems 4, EPFL
David Bonzon, project leader and cofounder
Prof Philippe Renaud, head of laboratory

Department of Experimental Surgery, CHUV
Dr Ariane Rochat, chief scientist
Prof Yann Barrandon, consultant

SEED Biosciences SA
Dr Georges Muller, CEO and cofounder

Dernière mise à jour de cette présentation du projet  13.11.2020