Visikol originally began a little over four years ago focused entirely on providing researchers with reagents to image tissues in 3D such that they could move beyond traditional 2D histopathology and study tissues intact in their entirety. These products have now been used by over one thousand research labs, and in the last few years Visikol has transitioned into a contract research organization through which it provides pharmaceutical and biotech companies with advanced imaging, digital pathology and cell culture services. These advanced imaging capabilities include confocal and light sheet microscopy, multiplex fluorescent slide scanning, high content analysis and most recently X-ray microCT imaging. “Our core mission as a company is to provide researchers with tools and services that allow them to transform tissues into quantitative datasets and then to be able to mine these datasets for actionable insights. We saw a gap in the market where researchers at companies wanted image-to-insight solutions and we have been filling this gap with best-in-class services,” described Visikol CEO Michael Johnson, PhD.
The most recent addition to this portfolio of services is Imaging Mass Cytometry, which is a highly powerful imaging modality for acquiring high-plex data. The need for this technology has grown out of the study of immuno-oncology (IO) therapeutics where researchers are working to assess the interplay between dozens of immune cell subtypes in the context of IO therapeutics. IMC enables researchers to ask and answer ever more complex questions about how the immune system interacts with cancer cells and how therapeutics can be leveraged to modulate this response. This and other studies where assessment of the tissue heterogeneity is important, such as in cancer, immune-mediated and infectious diseases, can also benefit from data produced by IMC.
Furthermore, IMC enables researchers to image up to 37 parameters at a time and because metal tags are being used instead of fluorophores, problematic autofluorescence is nonexistent and results are crisper, particularly for certain tissue types such as lung, liver and neural tissues. When preciseness is increased by using the innovative IMC Cell Segmentation markers solution from Fluidigm, results can be even further improved.
“We teamed up with Fluidigm to provide our Clients with IMC as a service as we felt it was a novel approach that enables our Clients to answer questions that they cannot effectively answer today and provides some unique benefits over conventional multiplex fluorescent slide scanning,” described Visikol Head of Services, Erin Edwards, PhD.
Through the relationship, Visikol’s Clients will continue to send tissue blocks or slides to the company but will now have the option to acquire IMC data from their slides as well. Visikol will work with the Clients to design panels comprised of Maxpar® or custom metal conjugated antibodies and will then work with Fluidigm to ablate and image the samples. Once the imaging data is generated, Visikol will leverage its extensive image analysis and data sharing software to analyze the data and share it with their Clients. To the Client, the workflow will be seamless, and the Client will now have access to an unprecedented array of imaging-based endpoints for their tissues.
“We are very pleased for the opportunity to partner with Visikol as they are a highly focused, advanced imaging CRO. Our Hyperion Imaging System complements their client workflow and data analysis pipeline very well. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Visikol and identify novel research areas through which the technology platform can be leveraged,” said Andrew Quong, Fluidigm Chief Science Officer.
Visikol is a contract research organization (CRO) focused on advanced drug discovery that is leading the fields of bioimaging, bioinformatics and image analysis. We conduct end-to-end drug discovery services that include both 2D and 3D in vitro models and assays, 3D whole mount tissue imaging, digital pathology and custom drug discovery projects. Visikol offers a portfolio of drug discovery services ranging from 2D and 3D cell culture model and assay development to in vitro screening, animal tissue histology and automated image processing. The focus of these services is to transform tissues into images and ultimately into quantitative datasets that can be mined for actionable insights that help our Clients make more informed decisions during the drug discovery process. Additionally, Visikol manufactures and sells a suite of tissue clearing reagents and 3D immuno-labeling kits. These products allow researchers to easily and rapidly image whole tissues and 3D cell culture models in 3D instead of traditional 2D sectioning. For more information about Visikol or its services, please visit our website at visikol.com.
Fluidigm is an industry-leading biotechnology tools provider with a vision to improve life through comprehensive health insight. We focus on the most pressing needs in translational and clinical research, including cancer, immunology, and immunotherapy. Using proprietary CyTOF® and microfluidics technologies, we develop, manufacture, and market multi-omic solutions to drive meaningful insights in health and disease, identify biomarkers to inform decisions, and accelerate the development of more effective therapies. Our customers are leading academic, government, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and plant and animal research laboratories worldwide. Together with them, we strive to increase the quality of life for all. For more information, visit fluidigm.com.
Fluidigm, the Fluidigm logo, CyTOF, Hyperion, Imaging Mass Cytometry, IMC and Maxpar are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fluidigm Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Fluidigm products are provided for Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.