Press ReleasesSphere Fluidics’ Pico-Mine platform chosen by Biosyntia to accelerate synthetic biology and metabolic workflows

  • Platform selected to accelerate precision fermentation workflows, to support more sustainable and cost-effective manufacturing for active ingredients in vitamins and bioactives
  • Early results demonstrate significant savings in time and resources applicable across a wide range of synthetic biology applications

20 June 2023 -- Cambridge, UK, and Copenhagen, Denmark -- Sphere Fluidics, a company developing single cell analysis systems underpinned by its patented picodroplet technology, today announced Biosyntia, a biotechnology company focused on synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, has adopted the Pico-Mine platform within its workflows. The platform was chosen by Biosyntia to harness its ultra-high-throughput, picodroplet-based screening capabilities, to accelerate development of novel industrially-relevant cell factories and advance bio-based production of nutritional ingredients.

By developing tailored processes based on biocatalysis, Biosyntia’s technologies enable production of complex chemical compounds by fermentation, to support more sustainable and cost-effective manufacturing processes for active ingredients in vitamins and plant-derived bioactives. One of the company’s unique approaches to develop state-of-the-art cell factories for precision fermentation is the use of genetically encoded biosensors. However, traditional uses of these tools, such as flow cytometry cell sorting, are based on sensing internal product concentrations. Droplet-based screening capable with Sphere Fluidics’ picodroplet incubation platforms allows miniaturisation of the fermentation process to the nanolitre scale, with direct sensing of extracellular product concentrations, and easy single cell isolation of improved production strains.

Within the first months of using the Pico-Mine platform with Biosyntia’s proprietary B-vitamin biosensor, the company has been able to identify improved genetic variants of its leading B-vitamin production strain at unprecedented speeds, which are now in upscaling processes for precision fermentation of sustainable and natural B vitamins. The technology will be applied to further molecules, beyond B-vitamins, and will be fundamental to Biosyntia's R&D strategy moving forward.

Pico-Mine is a semi-automated platform from Sphere Fluidics’ range of single cell analysis systems, designed with additional flexibility to support earlier-stage research, harnessing the company’s proprietary picodroplet technology. It facilitates multiple custom-built functions to be integrated into complex workflows, including cell encapsulation in picodroplets and subsequent incubation, splitting, injection and sorting. Pico-Mine enables precise analysis and sorting of large libraries in a matter of hours, at low cost.

Hans Genee, chief scientific officer and co-founder, Biosyntia, commented: “With the advent of synthetic biology, the introduction of genetic diversity in microbes has become routine. However, the identification of rare and improved phenotypes, such as vitamin production and secretion, from a large mutant library remains a challenge and a general bottleneck for the industrial biotechnology industry. Picodroplet screening is a game-changer and with Sphere Fluidics’ Pico-Mine in our lab, we are now able to test 1,000-fold more strains within the same timeframe and with a fraction of the resources. From what I have already seen, I expect to see significant impact across a wider portfolio of projects.”

Ravi Girdhar, director of Sales - EMEA, Sphere Fluidics, added: “Our Pico-Mine system provides scientists with the ultimate flexibility to adapt picodroplet technology to their individual research needs. We have worked collaboratively with the Biosyntia team to support and drive forward their R&D goals, enabling them to explore genetic diversity at unprecedented speeds. It is very exciting to see these results already being realised and we expect many more to come.”

About Sphere Fluidics
Sphere Fluidics develops and manufactures single cell analysis and monoclonality assurance systems to enable researchers to find, analyse and isolate the most valuable cells, with ease and speed. Sphere Fluidics’ proprietary picodroplet microfluidic platforms are designed specifically for single-cell screening and isolation, allowing users to encapsulate and analyse single cells within a picodroplet, while maintaining viability. Harnessing this technology, the company’s range of novel microfluidic tools facilitate leading-edge research and accelerate biotherapeutic discovery and development, cell therapy and synthetic biology workflows, streamlining the journey of discovery in labs, globally. Sphere Fluidics is based at Granta Park in Cambridgeshire, UK. The company has also internationalised its business via a global network of distributors. Visit:

About Biosyntia 
Biosyntia is an industrial biotech company developing bio-based manufacturing processes with all critical capabilities for success in-house – stretching from microbial engineering, fermentation optimisation, product purification, formulation to sales. The company has 20 scientists and business development staff which operates from Biosyntia’s lab and offices in Copenhagen, Denmark. Biosyntia focuses especially on developing more natural and sustainable processes for active ingredients used in beauty and nutrition such as vitamins, antioxidants and similar ingredients. The company has developed proprietary technologies such as Biosynthetic Selections, which dramatically reduce the risk, cost and time for developing fermentation processes. The Company has won more than 15 business awards, including being one of the most innovative SMEs in Europe. For more information, please visit:


Human-Centred Design: From Inception to Integration

IPT sat down with Dr Chris Vincent at PDD, to understand more about the digital innovations that are leading design and whether technologies like Extended Reality (XR) can be beneficial to the process


The Importance of Temperature Control in Pharmaceutical Analysis

As technology within the analysis sphere continues to evolve, temperature control is becoming increasingly important for drug discovery and research


Providing Support Throughout the Patient Journey

Concierge services are critical to helping patients navigate technology and other logistics in a decentralised clinical trial. How best can they be implemented?