Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

AUG 2017

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

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Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | GENengnews.com | AUGUST 2017 | 9 GEN What is the biggest obstacle that investigators try to overcome when they use live-cell imaging? Dr. Banks Cellular processes are dynamic. They can last a fraction of a second or take weeks to complete, depending on how they respond to intracellular and extracellular events. Cell processes that have highly vari- able kinetic profiles can frustrate researchers who rely on fixed-cell workflows, which are best at capturing points in time, not spans of time. Furthermore, fixed-cell workflows re- quire the use of different cells for each time point in a kinetic profile. Live-cell imaging allows researchers to follow these processes in both time and space in the same cells. Dr. Appledorn Over the last few years, re- searchers working with complex cellular systems have recognized the need for more physiologically relevant data and deeper, more meaningful insight into cellular func- tion than what is achievable with conven- tional endpoint assays. This has brought live-cell imaging and analysis to the fore- front in both academic and commercial laboratories, where relevant phenotypic measurements of biological processes are required. The main difficulties include: • Maintaining an environment that is consistent throughout an assay's time course. • Analyzing the images and movies that are acquired. • Completing experiments with sufficient throughput. • Finding reagents that are truly non-perturbing to the biology of the cell. Dr. Shumate The significant capital invest- ment and technical expertise required have been obstacles. Traditionally, live-cell imag- ing has been done on a standard inverted microscope with an acrylic enclosure or environmentally controlled stage. Etaluma offers microscopes that can withstand the temperature and high humidity inside typi- cal cell-culture incubators and hypoxia workstations. The challenge was to provide laboratories with an economical way to eliminate reliance on core facilities or large, expensive imaging instruments. Many of our operators are graduate students and laboratory associates; imaging specialists are no longer required. Dr. Schneider Biological systems are in- credibly complex, dynamic, and subject to extreme variability, especially in individual cells as part of a population of cultured cells. Long-term continuous analysis with single- cell resolution is critical to understanding this functional heterogeneity and the mo- lecular mechanisms governing cell fate. The challenge is creating stable, manipu- latable, more in vivo-like cellular environ- ments that provide high consistency of per- formance while minimizing culture artifacts and permitting continuous visual measure- ment. Further, while high-powered imaging platforms exist, they are quite complex and difficult to operate properly. They impose a steep learning curve and constitute a signifi- cant barrier to new user adoption. Dr. Boettcher Many scientists are reluctant to try live-cell imaging because they believe that it is difficult. Although there is more variability in live-cell assays as opposed to fixed-cell assays, there is also, potentially, a richer supply of information. For example, live-cell imaging systems can support high- throughput screening and provide function- al readouts such as cellular movement, mor- phological changes over time, or long-term toxicity data for drug discovery. Live-cell imaging and high-throughput screening were combined in studies per- formed by Daniel V. LaBarbera, Ph.D., an associate professor of drug discovery and medicinal chemistry at the University of Colorado. Using the Operetta CLS High- Content Analysis system, Dr. LaBarbera studied the mechanisms controlling the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in 3D colorectal cancer organoids. Simple • Convenient • Efficient • Safe Lenti – Experience the Beauty! Focus on discovery, not DNA delivery Lenti Particles and Plasmids are Both Available Lenti-shRNA Lenti-ORF Lenti Packaging Kit © 2017 OriGene Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. origene.com/lentiviral See Roundup on page 10 Drug Discovery

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