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Spring 2022 Newsletter

Spring 2022 Newsletter

The Passing of a Giant and the Latest Kinetic River News

As spring nears, and with CYTO 2022 just around the corner, I want to share with you some of the latest news from Kinetic River.

One of the most exciting things that has happened since the last newsletter is the completion of a major milestone with our Arno technology. Based on our proprietary time-resolved techniques, we have enabled 12-color, compensation-free flow cytometry (more on that below).

We have had some distinguished visitors to the lab and have paid visits to some of our notable customers and friends in Europe.

Finally, we have mourned the loss of Howard Shapiro, one of the most prominent, larger-than-life characters in the flow cytometry community.

Keep reading to see more about what we have been up to.

All the best,

Mourning a Passing

Kinetic River Remembers Cytometry Giant Howard Shapiro

Kinetic River, along with the entire flow cytometry community, mourned the death of Howard Shapiro. Howard, who passed away on November 10, 2021, had an immeasurable impact on multiple generations of flow cytometrists through his go-to reference book, Practical Flow Cytometry. He will be remembered fondly as a mentor and friend to all who was generous with his time and advice.

ISAC President Jonni Moore had some poignant reflections on what Howard meant to the community on the ISAC website. In her article, Jonni announces that ISAC will honor Howard at CYTO 2022 with a memorial.

Celebrate Howard’s contributions to the field by reviewing his insightful and also humorous Laws of Flow Cytometry.

Howard will be sorely missed.

Latest Kinetic River Happenings

Results from a 12-marker assay on commercial mononuclear cells performed on the Arno using only two lasers (405 and 488 nm) and six fluorescence detectors. None of the measured parameters needed to be compensated for spectral spillover. Each detector collected emissions from two markers; the detected emissions were then separated by fluorescence lifetime using proprietary algorithms. Boxes and red arrows indicate the gating procedure for isolating cell subpopulations.

Time-Resolved Arno Technology Enables 12-Color Compensation-Free Cytometry

We are proud to announce that, after the successful completion of a Phase II SBIR project, we have achieved a major development milestone with our patented time-resolved Arno technology. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the competitive $1.5-M grant was awarded to Kinetic River by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which fosters research focused on development of innovative biomedical platforms.

By discriminating fluorescent markers not only by their color but also by the decay of their fluorescence emissions (their “lifetime”), the Arno avoids the issues of spectral spillover that hamper existing flow cytometers. We have also demonstrated a doubling the number of markers measurable per detector, paving the way to tripling them and greatly expanding the multiplexing capability of similarly equipped analyzers.

Dr. William Telford of the National Cancer Institute, who collaborated on these experiments, said: “We performed benchmark measurements on a spectral cytometer using the exact same fluor-antibody conjugates as on the Arno compensation-free analyzer, and the results were very much in agreement. In some cases, the Arno was able to distinguish fluor contributions even where the spectral cytometer struggled due to the near-complete spectral overlap between fluorescent emissions.”

Read the story on “Compensation-Free Flow Cytometry Poised to Benefit Users, Manufacturers.”

Read the press release →

Kinetic River Issued its First Patent in Japan

We are proud to announce that Kinetic River has been issued its first Japanese patent: Patent No. 6,941,053 “Particle analysis and sorting apparatus and methods.” It was a lengthy process, but well worth it as Japan represents an important segment of the global flow cytometry marketplace.

This marks our company’s fourteenth patent overall (twelve in the U.S., one in China, and now one in Japan), and it further broadens our patent portfolio as the first patent outside the U.S. for our Arno compensation-free flow cytometry platform. Our latest patent extends the reach of our IP coverage in time-resolved technologies.

Read the press release →

Many thanks to Ashley Sloat and Alisa McCarthy of Aurora Consulting LLC for their outstanding work on developing and expanding our patent portfolio.

For reference, our patents fit into the following families of intellectual property:

  • Time-resolved technologies, including the Arno (compensation-free flow cytometry), Danube (direct fluorescence lifetime measurements) instruments, Colorado (automated autofluorescence removal), and Tiber (label-free cancer cell detection)
  • Extremely high-throughput flow cytometry (Loire)
  • Label-free flow cytometry (Yangtze)
  • Modular, customizable systems (Potomac)

Congratulations to our President and Founder, Dr. Giacomo Vacca, who now holds 64 patents.

To view his full list of patents, visit his bio.

Giacomo Vacca Named to the Editorial Advisory Board of BioPhotonics

Dr. Giacomo Vacca has joined the editorial advisory board of BioPhotonics magazine.

With the tagline “Bringing Light to the Life Sciences,” BioPhotonics is the global resource for research, business and product news and information for the biophotonics community. The publication focuses on the intersection of photonics and life sciences and is the industry’s only stand-alone print and digital magazine.

Check out the January/February 2022 issue.

Opinion Piece in Laser Focus World

Giacomo Vacca has published an opinion piece in Laser Focus World. “The Opposite of Theranos” highlights how the fallout from Theranos has negatively impacted the field of blood diagnostics, and Silicon Valley startups in general.

Indeed, the vast majority of entrepreneurs are, in fact, the opposite of Theranos:
“There is nothing inherently wrong with aiming to radically reinvent an entire industry. Many entrepreneurs are trying to do just that, and some are succeeding. However, they are not, overwhelmingly, ‘the next Theranos.’ They—we—are not pretending to run a test on their machine while secretly running it on another. They tend to welcome independent testing of their innovations, because they understand that the more people see for themselves that they’ve made a breakthrough, the better.”

Read the article in Laser Focus World

Read the article on our website →

Photo Gallery Updated on Kinetic River Website

We have spent some time updating our photo gallery on our website. We have a lot of new pictures to share including some cool images from the National Museum of Archeology in Naples, Italy (where some of the above images were taken).

See the journey of our modular, customizable flow cytometer, the Potomac, from assembly, to shipment, to installation in the lab of Dr. Romeo Bernini at the National Research Council in Naples (where the instrument is being used to excite autofluorescence in human cells for biomedical applications and in cyanobacteria to monitor water quality).

See the full gallery here →

Latest Visits

Kinetic River Hosts Bill Telford of NCI and Carlos Lee of EPIC

Kinetic River hosted some distinguished guests in our Silicon Valley labs. Back in October, Dr. William Telford of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda visited us. Bill was one of the first adopters of our modular, customizable flow cytometer, the Potomac, and earlier last year, we delivered two Tuolumnes (our custom-built quad PMT amplifier modules) to his laboratory at NCI.

Bill brought his own homemade, portable flow cytometer that he developed through his Make Your Own Cytometer endeavor. In the photo above, you can see him assembling it in our lab. That’s our own Rich Hanson (observing) and Alan Chin (background, seated).
Learn about Dr. Telford’s Flow Cytometry Maker Lab →

During his visit, we incorporated Kinetic River’s Tuolumne compact quad amplifier module and our data acquisition module, Panama, into the system. Panama is the instrument control and data acquisition software that drives all of Kinetic River’s instruments. Find out more about the full capabilities of the software and the care that went into its design:
Get to know our Panama software →

More recently, after a very productive and thought-provoking Photonics West, we hosted Carlos Lee, Director General of the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) at the Kinetic River lab. It was a pleasure to show Carlos the innovations we have been hard at work on. Carlos had been kind enough to invite Kinetic River Founder and President Giacomo Vacca to speak at an exclusive industry event hosted by EPIC.

Dr. Vacca Visits Italy

Dr. Vacca made a trip to Italy in November. Making the most of his time there, he visited Potomac customer Dr. Romeo Bernini at the National Research Council in Naples. He was checking on the instrument, which is custom designed to operate with three all-violet/UV lasers, including an external 266-nm deep UV laser. The system is being used to excite autofluorescence in human cells for biomedical applications and in cyanobacteria to monitor water quality.

Giacomo also visited the Istituto Mario Negri in Milan where he presented a talk entitled “Pushing the Envelope: Nanoparticle Flow Cytometry,” in which he covered some of the challenges of that demanding application and how Kinetic River is overcoming them. If you speak Italian, you can watch the talk here.

Employee Spotlight

Ellie Gorina, Office Administrator Extraordinaire

Meet Ellie Gorina, our Office Administrator extraordinaire. Ellie has significantly improved our overall flow (pun intended) through her critical thinking, anticipation of challenges, and attention to detail. She brings three decades of administrative experience to our team. Originally from Ukraine, Ellie holds a degree in Journalism from the Ukrainian Academy of Publishing and moved to the US in 1991.

With Ellie’s expertise, Kinetic River runs like a well-oiled machine. She addresses not just the needs of the company, but those of our customers and employees as well. Just a few examples of where Ellie’s efforts have a huge impact:

  • Administrative management of our grants
  • Keeping our newsletter distribution list current
  • Managing ordering and receiving

Thank you, Ellie, for providing your day-to-day support and for keeping things running smoothly!


Stay Updated on LinkedIn

Do you have a LinkedIn account? If so, we would like to keep you updated via that channel as well.

To start following our LinkedIn posts, you can click + Follow on the Kinetic River page.



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