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Hamden Startup Launches Tissue-Freezing Device


Hamden Startup Launches Tissue-Freezing Device


Hamden-based medical-device startup Vanessa Research Inc. (http://vanessaresearch.com/) said Monday it has launched a first-of-its-kind product aimed at "batch cryopreservation" — the freezing of multiple tissue samples simultaneously.

Called Seal 'N Freeze, the device includes a disposable plastic tray with four separate molds that fits into a compact cryopreservation box. The compact design aims to accommodate the space limitations of a typical lab, the company said.

Former Yale University researcher Dr. Dmitry Kravtsov, now vice president of research and development at Vanessa, developed the idea out of frustration with the amount of time his staff was spending freezing tissue samples individually.

He said standard procedures involve using forceps to hold the sample above a beaker of a freezing medium and repeating the process for each additional sample.

"Every lab should be run like a business, and the time that staff spends just standing, waiting for one sample to freeze is a loss of productivity," Kravtsov said in a statement. "It can really add up for any team that performs cryopreservation on a somewhat regular basis."

The frozen samples are used in cryostat sectioning, a procedure that allows pathologists to perform quick microscopic analysis of specimens. The U.S. cryostat market is worth an estimated $1 billion annually, the company said.

Seal 'N Freeze began as a project of the Quinnipiac University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with funding from CTNext, a subsidiary of the state's venture capital arm, Connecticut Innovations Inc.

Headquartered in Hamden, Vanessa Research also has offices in Farmington; London; Budapest, Hungary; and Navarre, Spain.

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