Cell Disk: Tool for Faster, More Efficient Biopsy Processing

Cell Disk is a novel device for performing cytological and histological processing of patient biopsies that uses a removable bottom cap to concentrate the cell pellet and results in more efficient reading of slides developed from the pellet.


Fine needle aspirate (FNA) biopsies are a commonly accepted method for extracting tissue specimen. The tissues or cells are collected and fixed to produce a cell block for histological and cytological testing.

Current methods for collecting a cell block requires draining the excess liquid after centrifuging by pouring it out the top of a standard centrifuge tube. This process often creates a separated cell pellet that has to be scraped out of the tube or a limited amount of sample for analysis.

The resulting slide usually requires the user to move the slide around to view the entire slice created from the cell pellet and may not provide sufficient data for analysis. This result can produce subsequent, and sometimes costly, testing or inaccurate diagnoses.


Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have developed Cell DiskTM, a novel device for processing cell samples taken during fine needle aspirate biopsies. Cell Disk features an innovative design that minimizes cell loss throughout the process of creating the cell block.

The technology features a removable cap section with a concave area to concentrate the cells out of suspension. Located at the bottom of the tube, the fins in the cap allow for controlled supernatant draining leaving the cell pellet intact and easy to remove.

This compact cell pellet produces a slide that requires less manipulation, improving efficiency and accuracy in analyzing the sample.

Competitive Benefits

  • Cell Disk creates a more defined cell pellet that is easier to remove from the tube—minimizing cell loss in transfer step
  • More compact cell pellet results in less area to view under microscope and more efficient analysis of slice
  • Effective means of holding and transporting sample

Application Fields

  • Fine needle aspirate biopsies for histological and cytological analysis
  • Extraction of tissue specimen from pap-smear fluid, urine, spinal fluid, thoracic fluid, bone marrow specimen, etc.

Stage of Development

  • A prototype has been designed and tested on surgical pathology specimens in Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Cytopathology laboratory.


Shaozhou Ken Tian, MD, Pathology
Pathology, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Kim R. Geisinger, MD, Pathology
UNC Chapel Hill Medical Center


US Patent 9557251

Licensing Contact

John Druga, MS, MBA
Licensing Director, Center for Technology Innovation & Commercialization

Hear From the Inventor

Reference #: 12-47

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