Blog Post: Screening for Success with Plant Tissue Culture

A major step in increasing the impact of these technologies is to improve throughput of screening. Successful genetic alteration or chemical resistance can be screened chemically, but morphological improvement will still be assessed via microscopy by skilled technicians (at least until machine learning can catch up). To assist with this effort we have developed the Visikol for Plant Biology reagent which allows for easy and high quality botanical microscopy through tissue clearing.  

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Michael Johnson
Blog Post: Primary 3D Cell Culture Models

Primary cell spheroid cultures developed in this manner offer the potential to model complex diseases, previously only tractable in vivo. For example, a genetic modification or an environmental manipulation (such as a high fat diet or other stressor conditions) could be induced in an in vivo model and translated to an in vitro model by isolating relevant primary cells and culturing in 3D formats. To be clear, while the in vivo model would still require the use of animal subjects, the cells derived from a single or few subjects could be divided into hundreds of small models, enabling a higher throughput approach to a drug screen while still maintaining higher order relevance.

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Michael Johnson
Blog Post: In Vitro Mimicry of the Blood Brain Barrier

A common question for pharmaceutical companies developing therapeutics for neuroscience applications is the passage of small and large molecules across the blood brain barrier. Without this passage, these therapeutics will not reach their target and will thus not be efficacious. Therefore, many researchers have worked to develop in vitro models for the blood brain barrier that can mimic the pharmacokinetic properties in an inexpensive in vitro model.

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Michael Johnson
Where Do Organs/Bodies on a Chip Fit Into Drug Discovery?

Because Visikol offers advanced in vitro assays, we are commonly asked about which models are best and asked to compare models side-by-side. However, the notion of asking which model is best belies the misconception that these advanced models are in fact miniature organs in a well. While we have made progress towards improving in vivo relevancy, even the best in vitro model is far from being a miniature organ in well and all models will have significant limitations

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Michael Johnson
Visikol and Corning Partner on New App Note on 3D Cell Culture Model Imaging

The use of three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures for in vitro drug discovery assays has increased dramatically in recent years because 3D cell culture models more accurately mimic the in vivo environment compared to traditional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer cultures. However, current imaging-based analysis of these 3D cultures relies upon techniques originally developed for 2D cell culture, and as such, has significant limitations. Specifically, the light scattering inherent with thick microscopy specimens prevents imaging the entirety of a 3D spheroid, which are typically >100 µm in diameter. This technical limitation introduces a sampling bias in imaging analysis in which only the exterior cells of a spheroid can be imaged. To accurately survey the cellular environment and response of the spheroid, the field needs new techniques to overcome the sampling bias.

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Michael Johnson
How to Label and Image Dense Neuronal Spheroids in 3D

With the widespread adoption of 3D cell cultures as more physiologically relevant in vitro models, there has arisen a need to adjust the methods of characterizing these models that may differ from standard 2D cell cultures. Neuronal spheroids are particularly challenging to image due to their dense nature and thus labeling methods need to be specifically optimized for their characterization.

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Michael Johnson
Visikol 3D Cell Culture Assays Highlighted by Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific recently launched the CX7 LZR HCS confocal system which has been integral to Visikol’s success in offering advanced 3D cell culture assays to its clients. The CX7 LZR system is ideal for 3D cell culture analysis as it is powered by seven solid state lasers which provide the ability to image 3D tissues past a depth of 1 mm when combined with Visikol® HISTO-M™ tissue clearing.

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Michael Johnson
Understanding Vascular Networks With Tissue Clearing and 3D Imaging

In order to maintain specimen integrity, one can utilize the high signal to noise benefits of fluorescent labeling along with tissue clearing and confocal microscopy to image full volumes of tissue to characterize blood vessels in three dimensions. Indeed, although the vasculature of various tissue types can form complex networks of interconnectivity, the labeling can be accomplished rather simply through a variety of techniques, ranging from simple use of highlighter ink[ii] to more specific immunolabeling such as with CD31[iii]. The technique implemented depends on the desired measurables, which may be as basic as total visualization of tissue vasculature, or quantitative comparison of functioning versus non-functioning blood vessels.

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Michael Johnson