Tide Microfluidics has created a lab-on-a-chip device to empower ultrasound contrast agents to increase the contrast in medical ultrasound images by around 20 times. The startup is selected out of 1900 applications for EU Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 grant.
The startup will receive €50.000 in seed funding and an additional €70.000 worth of mentoring and coaching. If it succeeds to pass this first phase it will be eligible for another funding round of a maximum of €2.5 million.
Tide Microfluidics is a spin-off from the University of Twente, East Netherlands. The company was founded by Wim van Hoeve in 2011. Hoeve build the scientific foundation of his company during his PhD research on the formation of microbubbles. The company was awarded the Coms2014 Young Technology Award in Salt Lake City and won the 2nd prize in New Venture 2014.
In medical diagnostics ultrasound contrast agents are used to enhance the contrast in ultrasound images. The contrast agents, microbubbles smaller than a red blood cell, are injected in the patients bloodstream. The key is to make microbubbles of the perfect size. A size that precisely matches the operating frequency of the ultrasound equipment. This is the chief innovation of Tide Microfluidics technology: the ability to control the size of microbubbles.
For the patient the technology means a more accurate diagnosis and lower required dosage. It enables physicians to obtain a clearer view of the structure of the organ such as the liver, kidney and the heart.
The startup will use the grant to further develop it’s business model for a bedside ultrasound contrast agent production machine and to grow the company.
Photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)