Inflammation and Fibrosis
Our unique technologies and services provide researchers and pharmaceutical companies with novel techniques for the study of inflammation. Whether you are in basic research and discovery, model selection, or compound screening, Visikol is strategically positioned to help you accelerate your research.
Fibrosis is the pathological overaccumulation of excess connective tissue as a result of imbalances during the body’s healing processes following an injury, whether chronic or acute, from activated myofibroblasts. The shift from appropriate wound healing to pathological fibrosis occurs as the rate of extracellular matrix deposition outstrips the rate of degradation. This results in thickened less elastic tissue, scar formation, reduced organ function, and ultimately organ failure. Epidemiologic data shows that nearly 45% of all deaths in the developed world are attributed to chronic fibroproliferative diseases and with only two drugs approved by the FDA for treatment, there is clearly an unmet clinical need.
Fibrosis affects every organ in the body, but it can be commonly found in the lungs (i.e. pulmonary fibrosis), the eye (i.e. macular degeneration) and the liver (i.e. non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). Although the causes are not always known exactly, they can be broadly grouped into reactions to continuous stimuli, for example an autoimmune response, chronic disease, or long-term exposure to pollutants and toxins.
The epithelial mesenchymal transition is implicated as the mechanism behind the increase in myofibroblasts as epithelial cells transition to deal with the tissue injury. In the liver, transforming growth factor-β1 has been shown to downregulate epithelial markers (E-Cadherin, Zonula Occludens Protein-1) while upregulating mesenchymal marker expression (Collagen, Smooth Muscle Actin, Vimentin). This can provide some insight into the mechanism behind fibrosis and shows myofibroblasts as a potential therapeutic target. The challenge lies in the disentangling of the normal healing response from the pathological.
Visikol offers a comprehensive suite of assays and services for the study of inflammatory pathways and the identification of promising targets for modulation and amelioration of inflammation and fibrosis. We offer in vitro compound screening, immunolabeling and confocal imaging of liver, lung, brain, and skin tissues or models, preparation and analysis of tissue sections from animal or human tissues, and advanced image processing and classification of clinical specimens using machine learning.
Safety assessment of promising drug candidates is a critical step in the development pipeline. We offer a suite of advanced in vitro models to assess promising drug candidates for hepatotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, and neurotoxicity.
With our expertise in 3D cell culture models, high content screening, advanced tissue imaging, and quantitative histopathology, we offer custom drug discovery solutions to researchers who require a more customized approach to their drug discovery projects. Speak with one of our experts today to discuss your specific needs.