Pressure BioSciences announced this week that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the American Registry of Pathology, and the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop pressure-based methods to improve biomolecule extraction from archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples.
The millions of FFPE tissue samples contained in archives around the world are a potentially valuable resource for the study of disease progression and response to therapy. However, because FFPE preparation can make biomolecule extraction difficult, improved extraction methods are needed.
PBI's sample preparation technology uses cycles of hydrostatic pressure from ambient to ultra-high levels to control biomolecular interactions. Carol Fowler, senior research associate at the American Registry of Pathology, has been studying the use of the company's technology on FFPE samples. Preliminary results show that pressure-based extraction methods can extract twice the number of unique proteins from FFPE tissue as conventional methods, she said in a statement.
The company will also be working to develop pressure-based methods for improving the quality and speed of the FFPE tissue-preparation process. According to Fowler, early results show that pressure-based methods increased the rate of formalin penetration into tissue by more than seven-fold, while preserving morphology.
Given the large number FFPE tissue samples in storage worldwide and the large additional number processed each year, PBI's pressure-based extraction and preparation methods could represent a significant opportunity for the company, PBI president and CEO Richard Schumacher said in a statement.
"These newly developed pressure-based methods have become a primary focus for PBI going forward," he said.