The European Innovation Council’s (EIC) Pathfinder Open 2022, established under Horizon Europe, the EU’s primary funding program for research and innovation, has approved Sphere Fluidics’ participation in 3DSecret, a four-year research project. 3DSecret is supported by the company’s patented picodroplet technology, which it uses to create single-cell analysis systems.

The consortium, led by the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), has been granted €3.4M with the goal of creating cutting-edge technologies to study the stochastic patterns underlying metastasis at the single-cell level and forecast the course of disease.

From four European nations (Portugal, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom), 3DSecret brings together multidisciplinary expertise in microfluidics, nanosensors, artificial intelligence (AI), cell genomics, and transcriptomics.

In support of the development of the consortium, Sphere Fluidics is contributing its proprietary picodroplet technology.

a 3DSecret-chip, an integrated microfluidic device, enables the repeatable and controlled generation of 3D spheroids from individual cancer cells.

In order to identify the cells that cause metastasis and underlying patterns, a further multi-parametric analysis of the datasets will integrate Raman spectroscopy, DNA and RNA sequencing, and AI modeling. The future development of novel cancer management strategies and diagnostic approaches will be guided by these discoveries.

With its Pathfinder program, the EIC encourages the high-risk/high-gain and transdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that drive technological breakthroughs. It also supports the investigation of ambitious concepts for fundamentally new technologies. With a budget of €10.1 billion, the EIC is able to fund game-changing ideas at all stages of development, from early-stage research to proof-of-concept, technology transfer, and start-up funding and SME scale-up.

In October, funding was given to 3DSecret (www.3dsecret.eu).