By using this website, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device. These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors both on this website and other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Cookie Policy.



Replacing Biologically-Derived Reagents with Synthetic Cells

Development of Non-Biohazardous p24 Antigen Expressing Synthetic Cells as a Reference Control Alternative to HIV+ Donor Samples


A Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company came to Slingshot Biosciences, Inc. to explore assay strategies for detecting the reduction in HIV reservoir proviruses in patients living with HIV. They were interested in using HIV-1 p24 expression as a marker for translation-competent HIV-infected cells1. Flow cytometry provides a practical and rapid way to monitor anti-retroviral therapy and better predict disease progression compared to laborious methods such as PCR2.

However, the traditional approach of using HIV-infected cells as reference controls in flow cytometry studies pres- ents enormous bio-safety risks to lab personnel, which results in the need for costly bio-safety equipment and segregated lab space. Moreover, patient donor blood can introduce variability and limit consistency in results when used as a reference control, as no patient sample will be exactly the same. Low or variable expression of p24 antigen in patient samples also poses an additional challenge to reproducible results.

To address these challenges, Slingshot Biosciences partnered with the pharmaceutical company to engineer a p24-expressing, non-infectious synthetic T-cell mimic that could safely, reproducibly, and conveniently be used as a cellular reference control for detecting p24 antigen-positive T-cells in HIV+ patients.

The World’s First Customizable, On-Demand Synthetic Cells

Synthetic cells are poised to change the face of healthcare—improving global access to diagnostic technologies, increasing the accuracy and precision of assays, and introducing quantitative capabilities for legacy instruments.

  • Level-up from solid-core beads
  • Customizable to any cell population–even rare diseases
  • Consistency that reduces your costs
  • Rapid, on-demand manufacturing that saves you time
  • Cold-chain shipping and storage are things of the past

Download the guide to learn more about TruCytes and other synthetic 5 cell solutions.



Life Sciences

Cell Therapies


Instil Bio
Sana Biotechnology
bluebird bio
Beckman Coulter
BD Biosciences


The Most Advanced and Ideal Cell Control

The Slingshot platform is the world’s first on demand, synthetic cell design platform to address the industry’s reliance on and limitations around biologically-derived cellular controls.