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 | | AUGUST 2017 | 11 ed control of reagent addition, microscopy, and environmental conditions suitable for kinetic experiments spanning seconds to weeks. This has brought live-cell imaging to the non-microscopist. New innovations will be found in image analysis and fluores- cent probes. As an example, we have been working with Montana Molecular, which is developing a range of biosensors for moni- toring multiplexed second messengers in real time. Dr. Appledorn Although live-cell imag- ing and analysis has typically focused on making relatively simplistic measurements of cell morphology or cell structure, it will soon be tasked with assessing complicated life-sustaining functions in multicellular bi- ological systems (such as spheroids, organ- oids, and organ-on-a-chip devices). Tight regulation of environmental factors, such as oxygen tension, and innovations in media formulation and cell feeding, will also be required to make the best models and the most relevant measurements. As more of these models are developed and put into use, demand for non-perturbing, live-cell re- agents will rise. Reagents will be needed for generically labeling cells, as well as for mea- suring cellular metabolism and dissecting secondary messenger signaling pathways. Dr. Shumate Two innovations are mak- ing a big impact. First, 3D models such as spheroids are being rapidly adopted, as are spheroid-holding disposable labware. When these models are subjected to micros- copy, subsequent analysis typically requires the acquisition of Z stacks and the decon- volution of data. Second, physiologically relevant oxygen levels, such as hypoxia, are revealing behavior not seen in traditional cell-culture incubators. In addition, we think that the micros- copy modes used in the research setting will migrate to the screening setting. Techniques that were performed on a few cells will be automated for parallel testing. Look for super-resolution techniques, optogenetics, the monitoring of faster signaling processes, and the use of micropipette physical inter- actions to move into live-cell imaging. Dr. Schneider Biological systems are dy- namic and highly specialized, requiring unique environmental contexts to accom- modate myriad cell types and applications. Microfluidic-based methods provide the best control of microenvironments. Life is also a highly coordinated 3D system with temporary checkpoints and controls; sig- nificant advances in the 'ease of use' of 3D culture platforms are required for basic and applied research. There's also a need for machine-based algorithmic learning to assist in deciphering the multitude of parameters in each image set. Ultimately, image analysis could be per- formed in real time and linked directly to ma- nipulatable environmental control for fully automated long-term culture and analysis. Dr. Boettcher We see two trends—first, the growing complexity of models (such as models that combine multiple live-cell types); second, the longer duration of live- cell experiments. Keeping cells alive and healthy during imaging over extended peri- ods remains one of the greatest challenges. Stain-free imaging modes such as digital phase contrast therefore gain importance. Also, next-generation probes, surfaces, and media that minimizes light-induced damage during imaging are to be expect- ed. Yet another trend is the development of microfluidic cell-culture devices, vessels for keeping the cell environment as physi- ological as possible over extended periods. Such devices could, for example, allow or- gan-on-chip-based experiments to run for weeks. Drug Discovery Automating genomic discovery JUST IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES WITH AUTOMATED CRISPR ANALYSIS Fragment Analyzer ™ is the only automated instrument for the analysis of CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing events. Accelerate your scientific discovery using a streamlined process for easy identification of both individual and pooled gene mutations. More at AATI-US.COM Keeping cells alive and healthy during imaging over extended periods remains one of the greatest challenges . — Dr. Boettcher, PerkinElmer

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