Cell Disk: Tool for Faster, More Efficient Biopsy Processing

Cell Disk is a novel method for performing cytological and histological processing of patient biopsies. Current methods are hindered by cell loss during specimen processing, resulting in a limited amount of tissue for analysis. Insufficient tissue collection produces costly subsequent testing and can potentially result in inaccurate diagnoses. Cell Disk features an innovative design, which minimizes cell loss and allows for immediate processing of the cell block.

Invention Summary

Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have developed Cell Disk, a device that collects cell samples taken during fine needle aspirate (FNA) biopsies.

The technology features a paraffin stage configured to fit onto a standard laboratory conical vial in which the specimen is deposited. The stage of cells is removable for use in histological and cytological analysis for biopsy of suspicious lesions and for performing pap smear testing of cervical tissue. Cell Disk can also be used to concentrate cell suspensions for further applications.

Competitive Benefits

  • Cell Disk is a sterile, simpler design that fits into a standard 50 mL conical vial
  • This device streamlines biopsy analysis by eliminating unnecessary bulky processing systems.
  • Cell Disk allows for added sample planes to section through
  • The technology is inexpensive and eliminates large capital equipment investments
  • Large potential market of suppliers (hospitals, research institutes and pathology labs) exists for this innovation


  • Collection of fine needle aspirate biopsies for histological and cytological analysis
  • Concentration of cells in suspension taken from pap-smear fluid, urine, spinal fluid, thoracic fluid, bone marrow specimen, etc.
  • Effective means of sample collection and transport from external sources

Stage of Development

  • The prototype has been tested on surgical pathology specimens in Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Cytopathology laboratory
  • Preliminary data show improved overall sample collection when compared to standard practice FNA processes


  • FNAs are a commonly accepted method for extracting tissue specimen, which is collected to make a tissue or cell block.
  • Tissue/cells are collected and mounted to produce a cell block to be used for histological and cytological testing.


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

Kim R. Geisinger, MD
UNC Chapel Hill Medical Center


PCT Filed − PCT/US12/47619

Licensing Contact

Charlie Shaw, PhD

Reference #: WFU 12-47

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