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Bristol spinout developing innovative acoustic technology to move cells secures £450,000 funding

Impulsonics team members Amanda Franklin, Luke Cox, and Ximena VastoImpulsonics

Press release issued: 2 May 2024

A University of Bristol spinout company that is developing cutting edge technology which uses acoustic waves to move cells inside sterile containers without touching them has closed its first funding round.

Set up by Dr Luke Cox, Dr Amanda Franklin, Dr James Armstrong and Professors Bruce Drinkwater and Anthony Croxford, Impulsonics is a spinout company which developed out of the Ultrasonics & NDT Group at the University of Bristol. 

Despite advances in biotechnology, cell culture automation remains a highly manual field. By utilizing acoustic manipulation, the Impulsonics team are developing a unique biotech platform which will help automate a number of the processes for scientists which are currently time-consuming and expensive.

Impulsonics’ technology will enable a massive reduction in complexity of key processes for researchers studying cells, and in turn will enable low cost, highly efficient systems for critical pain points such as cell passaging (the highly repetitive process where cells which have filled their current container must be moved to a new one).

This will enable a transformation of lab-scale cell culture techniques into a reliable industrial process suitable for 21st century healthcare and drug discovery applications. This will be especially critical given the rise of AI in drug discovery which demands large volumes of high quality data, far beyond what current processes can yield.

“This is a really exciting time for us,” said Dr Luke Cox, CEO and Co-Founder of Impulsonics. "We're already seeing a demand for more reliable, scalable processes across the sector and that is exactly what our technology promises to deliver. Our unique approach builds on well-established industrial technologies from the aerospace and infrastructure sectors and will help to re-imagine workflows in biotechnology.”

Impulsonics has received investment from SFC Capital, British Business Investments, the University of Bristol and private angels. The funding will enable Impulsonics to accelerate development and testing, boosting the company’s mission to turn pioneering scientific innovations into scalable approaches for research and healthcare.

“There’s never been a more exciting time in biotechnology,” said SFC Investment Executive Ed Stevenson, “and Impulsonics fills a critical gap of scalability in a way that nobody else is tackling it. We were impressed by their innovative approach and are excited to be backing Luke and the team on their journey.”

Further information

About Impulsonics: Impulsonics Ltd is an award winning spin-out from the University of Bristol Ultrasonics and Non-Destructive Testing Research Group building on over a decade of deep research and leveraging world-leading expertise in acoustics. They are on a mission to make biotech automation simple and scalable so scientists can focus on the problems that matter.

About SFC: SFC Capital is the UK’s most active seed-stage investor, providing seed capital and support to promising British startups. By combining their leading investment funds with their angel syndicate, they have created a unique model that provides investors with diversified exposure to high-potential SEIS and EIS-qualifying businesses. Since 2012, SFC has invested in over 450 startups and partnered with the likes of British Business Investments to support innovation across all UK regions. To learn more about what they do and see their portfolio, visit

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