A Beverly startup working on an improved way to isolate cells for research is planning to do its next experiment more than 200 miles away — straight up.
Quad Technologies LLC, a MassChallenge company founded last year, has received a grant worth about $1 million to study the effects of microgravity on the manufacture of its separation technology on the International Space Station.
Brian Plouffe, the company’s chief scientific officer and one of its two full-time employees, explained that the company makes so-called magnetic microbeads, which are about 40–60 microns in diameter. Such microbeads have been used for decades in cell separation, such as to isolate stem cells in human blood. While the exact method to make them is proprietary, Plouffe explained that it’s similar to the way water drips from a faucet.
Plouffe said he and Quad’s CEO, Sean Kevlahan, are both graduates of Northeastern University, and have raised about $125,000 from friends and family to date. He said they plan to seek sales and marketing help from larger companies in the industry so they can continue to focus on the science of the product.