Ann Arbor Startup Creates Product for Quicker Cell Capture for Research


Akadeum Life Sciences, an Ann Arbor-based startup, has secured $1 million in financing to advance its work on reducing the time and cost associated with the process of separating cells for diagnostic and research purposes.

“Rapidly refining product design based on customer response has greatly accelerated our understanding of the technology’s strengths and near-term applications,” says John Younger, the chief technology office of Akadeum.

Younger says from blood to food to medicine, the current method of separating those cells called cell soring is not only time consuming and expensive, it can potentially damage the cells. He says Akadeum’s new product introduces microbubbles into the biological samples to attract target cells, such as T cells (a type of white blood cell that is important to the immune system), B cells (a type of white blood cell that secretes antibodies), or cancer cells. After a few minutes, the microbubbles float the target cells to the top of the sample, allowing for their capture and removal.

The company, founded in 2014, will use the money to continue to develop its product, and increase its sales and marketing efforts. The financing round was led by Michigan eLab, a technology venture capital fund based out of Ann Arbor, along with Detroit Innovate, Invest Michigan, University of Michigan’s technology startup investment initiative, and patent attorney Jeffrey Schox.

“What truly excited us at Michigan eLab was not only the disruptive nature Akadeum’s BACS microbubble solution has on the market, but the intense customer focus the founding team had, including embracing lean startup methodologies typically found in software companies,” says Doug Neal, managing director of Michigan eLab and a Akadeum board member.

Akadeum will add two new employees, a principal scientist and a director of sales. Another round of financing is planned next year.