CellKey prototype

This evening, Sciex had a product launch party for the CellKey instrument, inviting those of us who had worked on it at both Signature and Sciex to come by and see the prototype instrument. It was great to see a bunch of the old gang again, and catch up on what people are doing.

It was also great to see the instrument in real life. I was on the project from its beginning at Signature, when a biologist and an engineer got me to modify some software for them so they could study what would happen when they dosed cells with drugs. Two years at Signature, another two and a half years at Sciex, and it’s gone from an experiment in a back room to a product released by a multinational corporation. Quite the ride.

It’s also pretty gratifying to see how the final production version of the software turned out. I did a lot of the prototype software, as well as a lot of the algorithm development, and even went along on several customer visits with the user interface team to help gather requirements for the production software. I was on the team that helped to design the production software, but never got to see it in action, so that was neat. Especially when my former coworkers told me that my analysis algorithms are still working well.

In case you care, the CellKey ™ instrument is, to quote the website, “a label-free, universal, functional cell based assay technology that allows the measurement and analysis of receptor activation in live cells.” In other words, you have a plate of cells, you add reagents to them, and you can see what happens via the “Cellular Dielectric Spectroscopy” technology. Check out the video on the website for the marketing description.

Also, you should be aware that: