Visikol Presents Keynote talk at Abcam Biomarker Platforms and Biomarkers in Immuno-Oncology Conference on Advanced 3D In Vitro Drug Discovery Services

Visikol, a leader in phenotypic drug discovery and advanced imaging services will be giving a presentation this week with other biotechnology leaders on how 3D cell culture models and high-throughput 3D imaging can be used to accelerate the drug discovery process.

This Thursday (March 1, 2018), Visikol CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Michael Johnson will be presenting at the Abcam Biomarker Platforms and Biomarkers in Immuno-Oncology Conference at the Merck Auditorium in Boston (33 Avenue Louis Pasteur). This event is focused on highlighting emerging discoveries in biomarkers, an in depth observation of immune activity and pathways and an overview of advanced screening platforms and research tools such as Girija Goyal (Wyss Institute) discussing an organ-on-chip model of human tertiary lymphoid follicles.

Dr. Johnson explained that “as a company we have always focused on biological questions that benefit from a third-dimension and multiplexing of markers. We see the immuno-oncology space as a specific area in which the three-dimensional imaging tools we have developed add significant value as we can completely understand and characterize the complex processes associated with using the body’s own immune system to fight disease.”

Visikol initially began as a company focused on developing tools for the three-dimensional imaging of tissues and has morphed over the last two years into a drug discovery contract research organization that leverages these cutting-edge tools to assist pharmaceutical companies with accelerating their drug discovery pipelines. While Visikol offers a range of services that leverage its expertise in tissue imaging, automation, image analysis and data mining, the core focus of the company is on advanced 3D in vitro drug discovery assays.

The reason for this focus is that while 3D in vitro models provide increased in vivo relevancy compared with 2D models and are being rapidly adopted, currently the characterization of these models is highly limited. Dr. Johnson explains, “just a few years ago we saw that the 3D in vitro market was a place where we could have a significant impact as our technologies allow for the complete and rapid characterization of the tumor microenvironment within these complex 3D systems.”

Visikol Director of In Vitro Services, Dr. Erin Edwards describes these assay services as being truly differentiated:

“While there are many companies offering 2D and 3D in vitro assays, what makes us different is that we have developed a high-throughput workflow that leverages our patented Visikol® HISTO-M™ tissue clearing technique to acquire all of the data from 3D cell culture models. This means that we acquire 3-4 times more data than conventional high-throughput assays and that we are able to answer more complex questions such as quantifying CAR-T efficacy or antibody penetration kinetics.”

In this talk, Dr. Johnson will discuss how pharmaceutical companies are using advanced 3D cell culture models to close the translational gap between in vitro and in vivo results.  Additionally, Dr. Johnson will discuss the short-comings of these models and the opportunities to improve their utility in the drug discovery process.

About Visikol

Visikol is focused on accelerating drug discovery through quantitative histopathology and using their patented Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing technology to transform tissues into three dimensional data sets that can be mined for actionable insights. When paired with fluorescent labeling and 3D microscopy, Visikol® HISTO™ allows tissues such as 3D cell culture models or whole tissues to be imaged in their entirety in 3D. Visikol has leveraged this technology to launch 3Screen™ which is a high-throughput 3D imaging platform capable of transforming tissues into 3D data sets and answering complex biological questions. The addition of 3D histological information to the drug discovery workflow allows for complex features such as vasculature networks to be quantitatively analyzed in 3D or for the penetration kinetics of antibodies into tumor models to be understood. The company currently offers 3Screen™ as a service to pharmaceutical/biotech companies and is continually focused on improving the platform as well as building out a suite of standardized assays. In addition to this service offering, Visikol also sells various tissue clearing reagents and kits for academic researchers that are interested in adopting the approach into their own workflows. For more information about Visikol or 3Screen™, please visit our website at visikol.com.

For additional assistance, journalists, investors and analysts may contact: 
Dr. Michael Johnson
CEO and Co-Founder
info@visikol.com
1-800-615-8474

Visikol and Abcam

Visikol and Corning Team Up on 3D Cell Culture Tutorial

This week at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening conference in San Diego Dr. Thomas Villani from Visikol and Dr. Ann Rossi from Corning teamed up to give a presentation on how to easily culture 3D cell culture models as well as how to characterize them in their entirety. 

For the full tutorial: Rock the Science of 3D! Corning Life Sciences Exhibitor Tutorial

It has recently been shown that 3D in vitro cell culture models have improved in vivo relevancy compared to traditional monolayer models and thus researchers with a wide-range of backgrounds are rapidly beginning to adopt these models into their work. Two major adoption hurdles for incorporating these models into a research workflow are generating reproducible 3D cell culture models as well as characterizing these models in their entirety. Corning has focused on reducing the barrier to adoption for these 3D models by developing their Ultra-low attachment (ULA) well plates which allow for easy and uniform 3D cell culture formation.

Additionally, their ULA plates ensure that 3D cell cultures rest at the center of the well which dramatically reduces the time required to find the cell cultures for image-based assays. However, one of the major problems with working with 3D cell cultures is how to extract meaningful data from them as homogenization assays remove valuable spatial information, histological sectioning is tedious and confocal or wide-field imaging bias results towards only characterizing the periphery of these models because of light attenuation.

To address this problem, Visikol has developed their Visikol® HISTO-M™ tissue clearing reagent which allows for complete 3D cell culture characterization using confocal imaging or a 3-fold increase in cells detected using wide-field microscopy. This tissue clearing approach has been developed to be rapid and compatible with well plates so that it can be conducted using automated pipetting robots and high content confocal imagers. The ability to characterize 3D cell cultures in their entirety allows for complex phenomenon to be investigated such as antibody penetration kinetics or dose-response as a function of depth and for the full potential of these models to be realized. 

To learn more about Visikol's 3Screen In Vitro Services click here

Visikol and Corning 3D Cell Culture

9 Considerations for Before You Adopt Tissue Clearing into Your Research

Though tissue clearing allows for an unprecedented view of tissues and the investigation of complex biological phenomenon, many researchers have struggled with adopting these techniques and successfully imaging their tissues in 3D. One of the main reasons for this adoption hurdle is that the 3D microscopic imaging of tissues requires knowledge in the fields of tissue labeling, tissue clearing, advanced microscopy and data processing.

Over the last two years Visikol has worked with hundreds of researchers to better understand the challenges in adopting tissues clearing and through this process have developed the easy-to-use Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing technique as well as the Visikol® HISTO™ protocol builder tool. However, before a researcher attempts to adopt Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing it is important that they read through the below considerations as there are numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding the practice of tissue clearing. 

1. Do not jump to trying to clear and label your whole tissue such as a mouse brain right away: Start small with thin pieces and work your way up sequentially as you optimize for your label as it will save you significant time and money. A 1 mm brain section can take 15 hours to process with Visikol® HISTO™ for immunofluorescent labeling where a whole brain would take 14 days.

2. Determine what your imaging modality is capable of:

  • Inverted Confocal Microscope – Typically can only image tissues to a depth of 2 mm due to refractive index mismatch. Inverted dipping objectives (e.g. Opera Phenix) can improve inverted confocal imaging depth but are rare and typically setup for high content imaging.
  • Upright Confocal Microscope – Can image tissues to a depth of 2 mm with traditional air matched objectives. Deep tissue imaging requires dipping objectives that may not be compatible with solvents like Visikol® HISTO™ – please consult your imaging core manager about compatibility. If your objective is not compatible, you can use our ClearWell imaging chambers.
  • Light Sheet Microscope – Designed for rapid whole tissue imaging at generally lower resolutions than confocal microscopy. Might not be directly compatible with solvent based clearing techniques like Visikol® HISTO™ and special specimen prep might be required – consult your imaging core manager or the Visikol team at info@visikol.com for guidance.
  • Fluorescent Microscope – These microscopes do not have the ability to optically section tissues and thus are not a 3D microscopy modality. However, for higher throughput applications (e.g. 3D cell cultures), Visikol® HISTO-M™ can be used to dramatically increase the number of cells within models that are characterized.
  • Photon Microscope – Have very variable performance depending upon their design – please consult your imaging core manager about your system's functionality.

3. Understand the compatibly of your tissue clearing technique with materials. Do not use polystyrene containers with Visikol® HISTO-2™ or other techniques such as BABB or 3DISCO as they will be degraded. Visikol® HISTO-M™ has been specifically designed to be compatible with polystyrene well plates.

4. After clearing do not switch your tissues from an aqueous mounting media to a solvent based media or vice-versa as it will cause tissues to unclear. For Visikol® HISTO-1™, Visikol® HISTO-2™ and Visikol® HISTO-M™ do not mount your tissue in VECTASHIELD or any other media after clearing.

5. For imaging, tissues can be mounted in well plates if compatible with them (Visikol® HISTO-M™) or tissues can be mounted in ClearWells. During imaging samples can be kept in place for long imaging runs using blue sticky tak.

6. If using fluorescent protein make sure not to use a methanol gradient for dehydrating tissues as it will quench FP. Use ethanol at 4C instead.

7. If your tissue is not completely transparent don’t worry! This just means that the tissue was not dehydrated or cleared in enough volume of solution or for long enough. Water being left behind causes the tissue to stay opaque. To fix this, just rehydrate and reclear the tissue using a larger volume and for a longer period of time. You can then optimize for time and volume with your specific type of tissue later.

8. Visikol® HISTO-2™ is hygroscopic and thus it is very important to keep tissues sealed when not imaging. Water accumulating will cause clouding.

9. After labeling and clearing, tissues can be stored for months prior to imaging so long as the container is sealed and is covered from light.

If you have any questions please contact Visikol at info@visikol.com

Visikol Launches Tissue Clearing Workshop at Florida Atlantic University

Since the introduction of the CLARITY tissue clearing technique as well as several others, researchers have tried to implement tissue clearing and 3D imaging into their research workflows with limited success. To address this adoption hurdle, Visikol has launched an initiative to host hands-on tissue clearing workshops across the US to empower researchers to easily adopt tissue clearing into their research. Visikol kicked off 2018 with the first workshop on January 26th at Florida Atlantic University.

In late 2016 Visikol launched a suite of patented tissue clearing reagents and kits called Visikol® HISTO™ that were designed to make tissue clearing rapid, compatible with all labeling techniques, easy-to-use and affordable. In launching Visikol® HISTO™ and working with hundreds of research groups from around the world, Visikol heard the same feedback again and again:

“I couldn’t get tissue clearing to work in my lab.”

Over the last year-and-a-half Visikol spent countless hours digging into this problem and trying to understand the disconnect between publications citing the use of a multitude of tissue clearing techniques and researchers struggling to adopt them. What Visikol found was that while all tissue clearing techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, they all generally work and the problem with tissue clearing is not the techniques but instead how they are implemented.

Tissue clearing is the confluence of many complex disciplines (tissue labeling, tissue clearing, 3D microscopy, data processing) and the major challenge that underlies most of the unsuccessful applications of tissue clearing is that every application requires its own protocol and optimization approach across these disciplines. Additionally, there are many practical considerations for 3D tissue imaging such as tissue thickness and optical limitations that need to be considered prior to implementing a tissue clearing protocol. These challenges manifest themselves as non-uniform labeling, non-cleared tissues and the inability to optically section.

To address this problem, Visikol partnered with over 400 research labs from around the world and launched the Visikol® HISTO™ protocol builder tool that enables any researcher to customize a Visikol HISTO protocol specifically for their research question. In 2018, Visikol is taking this tool along with insights from hundreds of researchers out to universities and research groups through its tissue clearing workshop series.

This tissue clearing workshop is comprised of a lecture on various aspects of 3D tissue imaging (tissue labeling, tissue clearing, 3D microscopy, data processing) as well as a hands-on demo where researchers prepare their tissues for 3D imaging. In the demo the Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing approach is paired with Abcam antibodies validated for use in 3D. Through this tissue clearing workshop, the Visikol team dispels many of the myths around tissue clearing such as the need for expensive optics (e.g. dipping objectives) or a light sheet microscope as well as how best to prepare samples to answer a research question while reducing cost, time and complexity. 

 

If you are interested in hosting a tissue clearing workshop at your university email us at info@visikol.com

Pictures from Tissue Clearing Workshop at FAU

Visikol Secures New Round of Funding Led by Industry Experienced Executives

Funds will be used to help scale Visikol’s 3Screen™ drug discovery service business which combines quantitative histopathology with the patented Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing technology.

It was announced today by CEO Dr. Michael Johnson that Visikol, a leader in the emerging 3D imaging market, has completed a financing round with Pharma Services Industry executives Brian Mulhall and Alan Weiss. Specific terms of this investment round were not made public but Dr. Johnson commented that the deal was significant in terms of dollars and puts Visikol on a clear road to success in 2018. These funds will be used to develop cutting edge bio-imaging services for drug discovery such as best in class 3D in vitro cell culture assays as well as expand the company's commercial operations.

Visikol COO and Co-Founder Nick Crider explained, “what excites me most about this funding is not only that it will enable us to greatly accelerate our growth, but that Brian Mulhall and Alan Weiss are now part of the Visikol team and bring a tremendous amount of experience in doing exactly what we are working to do.” Over the next year, Visikol plans to expand its drug discovery services by adding new assays in the fields of in vitro screening, whole mount imaging and digital pathology. All of these 3Screen™ services leverage the company's patented 3D tissue imaging technology called Visikol® HISTO™ as well their proprietary digital pathology analysis algorithms.

“The Visikol team has developed and patented a new emerging 3D imaging technology that has the ability to significantly alter and improve the drug discovery process”, commented Alan Weiss. “We are very optimistic that the expanding service platform, coupled with the recent closing of a distribution deal that will enable worldwide access to the Visikol® HISTO™ product line, have the company positioned to be the cutting edge leader in this field. We are extremely excited about the future success of Visikol and look forward to being part of it.”

The Visikol platform offers many distinct advantages in the early stage drug discovery process over the 1D and 2D imaging approaches that most drug research and discovery companies are employing. Visikol’s 3D in vitro cell culture services leverage the companies Visikol® HISTO™ technology combined with high throughput confocal imaging and quantitative histology to provide the market’s first truly 3D in vitro assays which extract all of the data from these advanced models. This same technology is applied through Visikol’s whole mount imaging services which are shifting the paradigm of histopathology from the traditional 2D slide-based qualitative approach to a more complete and quantitative analysis platform for more accurately characterizing complex and heterogenous tissues.

About Visikol

Visikol is focused on accelerating drug discovery through quantitative histopathology and using their patented Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing technology to transform tissues into three dimensional data sets that can be mined for actionable insights. When paired with fluorescent labeling and 3D microscopy, Visikol® HISTO™ allows tissues such as 3D cell culture models or whole tissues to be imaged in their entirety in 3D. Visikol has leveraged this technology to launch 3Screen™ which is a high-throughput 3D imaging platform capable of transforming tissues into 3D data sets and answering complex biological questions. The addition of 3D histological information to the drug discovery workflow allows for complex features such as vasculature networks to be quantitatively analyzed in 3D or for the penetration kinetics of antibodies into tumor models to be understood. The company currently offers 3Screen™ as a service to pharmaceutical/biotech companies and is continually focused on improving the platform as well as building out a suite of standardized assays. In addition to this service offering, Visikol also sells various tissue clearing reagents and kits for academic researchers that are interested in adopting the approach into their own workflows. For more information about Visikol or 3Screen™, please visit our website at visikol.com.

For additional assistance, journalists, investors and analysts may contact:

Dr. Michael Johnson

CEO and Co-Founder

info@visikol.com

1-800-615-8474

Full Press Release

Visikol and 3Screen Logos

Intern with Visikol this summer!

Visikol is currently looking for a summer business intern to the join the team starting in May. We are looking for change-makers and instigators that strive to get better every single day and want to learn in a fast-paced and innovative setting.

If you want to come to work every day to punch in and out, you probably can stop reading now.

We want to destroy the status quo in biotech research and are looking for curious and driven people to help us.

Think you’re up to it?

We don’t care about where you went to college, your last name, your address, or who your advisers were. We only care about what you can do. This is why we ask that you don’t include any of that on your resume or cover letter. Just prove to us that you are an innovator, a rebel, a disrupter, or a unique scientific mind and tell us specifically how you can help us reach our goals.

Apply

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New Publication: Multimode Fibre Based Imaging for Optically Cleared Samples

Tissue clearing combined with the use of fluorescent labels has enabled the use of confocal and light sheet microscopy for 3D tissue imaging. However, one of the main issues with many tissue clearing techniques is that the expensive objectives required for deep tissue imaging are not compatible with solvent-based tissue clearing techniques like BABB, 3DISCO, iDISCO, uDISCO and Visikol HISTO which are highly effective. In this publication the researchers show how the use of a   corrected multimode fibre (MMF) can achieve deep tissue imaging while preventing damage to the objective. It was shown that the MMF was not constrained by the refractive index of the immersion medium and was able to provide variable working distances. This MMF was used for the fluorescence imaging of beads and stained neuroblastoma cells through optically cleared mouse brain tissue, as well as imaging in an extreme oxidative environment. Additionally,  Raman imaging of polystyrene beads was performed in clearing media to demonstrate that this approach may be used for vibrational spectroscopy of optically cleared samples.

For the full article click below: 

Multimode fibre based imaging for optically cleared samples

Biomedical Optics Express

Limitations of 3D Cell Culture Imaging

Over the last five years 3D cell cultures have begun to be readily adopted into the drug discovery pipeline due to their improved in vivo relevancy compared to traditional 2D monolayer in vitro models. However, though these models are becoming more commonly used in drug discovery studies, there is currently a major limitation in how they are analyzed as researchers are currently using methods originally developed for 2D analysis. The current paradigm for analyzing these models consists of one of the following techniques which have their own individual limitations:

  • Traditional Pathology: Cell culture models can be analyzed using traditional pathology where they are removed from well plates and processed. Though this method is capable of acquiring pathological information from tissues, the size of these models makes this process super low-throughput, tedious and expensive.
  • Dissolution Based Assays: Many researchers are currently using dissolution based assays where cell culture models are homogenized and analyzed using a fluorescence probe such as Promega's CellTiter-Glo Luminescent kit. While these assays are high-throughput, they do not capture the 3D data held within these models which makes them intrinsically more valuable than traditional 2D cell culture models.
  • Wide Wield Imaging: Well plates can be characterized using wide field imaging where fluorescent markers such as GFP, immunofluorescence and chemical dyes are imaged. Though these assays are high-throughput, they suffer from a  fundamental limitation which is that light attenuation results in an imaging depth of only a few cell layers. Therefore, only data from the periphery of the model is depicted and there is a significant bias to only characterize the periphery of these models which differs substantially from the interior.  
  • Confocal Imaging: Confocal imaging of 3D cell culture models can be high-throughput through use of a high content system such as the Thermo Fisher CX7 LZR, Molecular Devices ImageXpress, Yokogawa CV7000, Perkin Elmer Opera Phenix/CLS Operata or General Electic IN CELL 6000/6500. While these devices allow for a reduction in out of plane light, improved image quality and Z-stacks, they are still limited by light attenuation and thus only the periphery of these models is characterized.

Therefore, the major limitation with the current 3D cell culture imaging paradigm is that none of the current techniques are capable of characterizing these models in their entirety and acquring truly 3D data. To address this problem, we have developed our Visikol HISTO-M reagent which rapidly renders tissues transparent. We have shown that through the application of Visikol HISTO-M reagent to 3D cell culture models that we can dramatically improve both wide field imaging and confocal microscopy. 

 

Figure 1. In this figure we show NCI-H2170 spheroids of 200 um diameter that have been cleared with Visikol HISTO-M (bottom 2 rows) and not cleared (top 2 rows). It can be seen in the optical Z projections in white boxes that because many researchers portray their data as Z projections that the current lack of complete characterization can be easily missed. 

 

Figure 2. Visikol HISTO-M also has a substantial benefit for wide-field high content microscopy as tissue clearing allows for a 3-fold increase in cells characertized. An NCI-H2170 spheroid was labeled with SYTOX green and imaged (A) and then cleared with Visikol HISTO-M (B) and imaged. In the uncleared spheroid we were able to count 57 cells whereas we were able to count 151 cells in the cleared spheroid. 

Confocal Microscopy

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Wide Field Microscopy

Visikol HISTO-M Cleared Spheroid

Case Study - NCI-H2170 Spheroids and Cisplatin

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Figure 3. The application of tissue clearing was demonstrated to improve assay sensitivity as all of the cells in 3D models can be characertized instead of just the cells on the periphery. 

 

Figure 4. Visikol HISTO-M also allows for spatial dose response curves where compound and antibody penetration can be quantatively studied. 

 

Impact

We have demonstrated that conventional assays using confocal microscopy and wide field microscopy have a tendency to bias results by only characterizing the outside of these models and that this effect is substantial. This effect can dramatically alter results for compounds or biologics that have a tendency to only target the periphery of these models as current assays could signficiantly overstate the efficacy of a compound as only the periphery is being characterized. 

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How can you improve your 3D cell culture assays

We currently sell our Visikol HISTO-M reagent through our online store along with the buffers and reagents required to immunolabel tissues uniformly. However, if you do not have access to a high content confocal imager or have the bandwidth to work on implementation, we run a full service lab where we can run 3D cell culture assays for clients. Check out our services page for more information. 

Come see Visikol at Society for Neuroscience - Booth 1027

From November 11 to 15th Visikol will be attending the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington, DC. Come and learn about how Visikol HISTO can be used to add a new dimension to your neuroscience research. Visikol will be displaying its Visikol HISTO tissue clearing products that allow for the 3D microscopic visualization of whole mount tissues like entire rodent brains. Visikol is focused on making 3D microscopy easy and is excited to discuss with you how leveraging 3D information can improve your research. At our booth we will describe the following applications of our technologies: 

- Owl brain connectomics

- Mapping vasculature in rodent brains

- Microscopic virtual reality to visualize your data in 3D

- 3D immunolabeling

- Whole brain light sheet microscopy

Visikol Presents at the World Youth Forum in Sharma el Sheikh, Egypt

Dr. Michael Johnson was invited as a key note speaker to speak at the World Youth Forum in Sharma el Sheikh, Egypt. The conference was focused on giving voice to the youth of Egypt and highlighted inspiring experiences from youth around the world. Dr. Johnson was invited to discuss Visikol's journey from an idea to a company that is helping accelerate drug discovery and get therapeutics to patients more quickly, 

Fore more information on the conference: World Youth Forum 

Dr. Michael Johnson Visikol
Michael Johnson World Youth Forum

Visikol Featured in Rutgers Magazine

Visikol was featured this week in the Rutgers Magazine on page 40. The company can trace its roots back to Rutgers where it originally developed its Visikol HISTO technology. The company is now focused on leveraging its proprietary tissue imaging technologies through its 3Screen service to help accelerate drug discovery. Visikol has shown that its 3Screen services dramatically improve the the amount and completeness of data that can be acquired from in vitro cell culture models as well as whole mount tissues. 

Michael Johnson Visikol Rutgers

Tom Villani Featured in Biocompare Article on 3D Cell Cultures

Check out this recent Biocompare article by Lauren Tanabe, Ph.D. where Visikol Inc's CSO Tom Villani discusses 3D cell culture models and their use in the drug discovery process. 3D cell culture models are being adopted in the drug discovery space at a rapid rate due to their in vivo relevancy. Visikol is leveraging 3D cell culture models and their patented Visikol HISTO technology to offer best-in-class 3D drug discovery assays: 

  • Antibody penetration
  • Apoptosis
  • Angiogenesis
  • Cell-cell junctions and cadherins
  • Cell proliferation
  • Cell migration
  • Cell viability
  • Cholestasis
  • Drug induced liver injury

For more information go to: Services

Visikol HISTO Microtissue
 
 
  • Fibrosis
  • Immune cell invasion
  • Inflammatory Signaling
  • Mitochondrial Health + Toxicity
  • NASH
  • Neuronal Differentiation
  • Neuronal Function
  • ROS
  • Steatosis

 

 

Visikol Presents at Allergan Innovation Forum on 3D Drug Discovery Assays

Recently, Visikol began offering drug discovery assay development services to clients that are focused on 3D in vitro cell culture screening and whole mount tissue analysis. In early September, Tom Villani and Michael Johnson were invited to give a seminar at an Allergan Innovation Forum in Irvine, California about these services and how they fit into the drug discovery process. 

For more information on our services check out Visikol Services or email us at info@visikol.com 

Visikol Gets Second Place at Boston Biotech Week Pitch Competition

This past week Visikol participated in Boston Biotech Week and Dr. Michael Johnson pitched during the biotech startup competition and came in second place overall out of twenty companies.

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The competition brought out companies from around-the-world and was judged by Investors and Business Development Directors from Abbvie, Atlas Venture, Agent Capital, SR One, MRL Venture Fund and Lightstone Ventures.

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Visikol Pitch Competition Boston

Visikol HISTO Assay Services

Our long-term goals as a company are to improve the drug discovery process and the diagnosis of disease. This quarter, we are excited to launch our offering of assay development services for microtissues in drug discovery by leveraging our Visikol HISTO technology. Currently, high content imaging of microtissues introduces an unavoidable bias, since microtissues are too thick and opaque, and thus only the outermost cells can be detected. The outermost cells are more exposed to nutrients, oxygen, drug compounds, etc. with respect to the innermost cells, and thus characterization of microtissues has been fundamentally limited. Using Visikol HISTO, microtissues are rapidly rendered transparent allowing for the characterization of effects of drug candidates on the complete population of cells contained within microtissues. With Visikol HISTO, you can break down the effects of a drug compound according to populations of cells segregated by cell-type, location in the microtissue, etc.

For more information on our drug discovery services and to see if your research question can be answered with our platform, email us at info@visikol.com or check out Visikol Services

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Visikol HISTO Tutorial Videos

We keep in contact with our sample testers and customers to understand how we can improve our user experience so that every customer can incorporate the Visikol HISTO technology into their workflow without friction. Through this process, we identified that many of our customers wanted more detail and background on how exactly our products work and a step-by-step overview of how to use them. To address this need, we have launched a suite of tutorial videos to help our customers better use our products.

Visikol HISTO - Getting Started Tutorial

Confocal Microscopy Tutorial

Light Sheet Microscopy Tutorial

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Visikol and InSphero App Note

Check out Visikol and InSphero's recent application note that features the use of Visikol HISTO-M with InSphero's microtissue models. It was shown that combining Visikol HISTO-M with confocal microscopy allows for a 3-fold increase in the number of cells detected in microtissues.

Check out the full application note here

Visikol and InSphero Application Note

Teaming Up With Young Talent to Disrupt Bio-imaging

Medical imaging has made remarkable leaps and bounds. In today's world, doctors and scientists can generate rich images from a multitude of sources, such as confocal microscopes and MRI machines. With popular programs such as the open-source, powerful ImageJ editor, these images can be further enhanced and even be used to construct accurate three-dimensional models of the original sample. However, despite breakthroughs in virtual reality technology, these 3-D models and image stacks are still viewed in a two-dimensional context: through a monitor. The low usage of inexpensive VR solutions such as Google Cardboard can be attributed to the time and expertise normally required to create a VR compatible model or video clip. To allow for simple integration into VR technology, Visikol teamed up with Somerville High School student Joe Napoli to write a Stereoscopic 3D Projection plugin for ImageJ.

Visikol HISTO Vasculature Viewer

The Stereoscopic 3D Projection plugin provides a straightforward way to create anaglyph or Google Cardboard-compatible VR projections. Written in Java 8, this plugin takes in an image stack as input. After reading in values such as slice spacing from the image stack's metadata, the user can dictate how many degrees the projection will rotate before generating a new frame, how many degrees the final projection will rotate, the start and stop rotation of the projection, and whether the projection is done in anaglyph or for Googe Cardboard. Here, the user can also adjust the slice spacing, if necessary. To generate these projections, the plugin utilizes ImageJ's powerful innate 3D projection function to create projections for the left and right eyes. The right eye projection is rotated an additional five degrees, to account for the spacing between one's eyes. If the projection is in anaglyph format, the left and right eye projections are colored red and blue, respectively, and then merged into one model. For the Google Cardboard format, however, the image stack retains its original color and the left and right eye projections are placed side by side instead of being merged. Regardless of whether the product is formatted for anaglyph or Google Cardboard, the plugin's output can be saved as a video or directly viewed.

Visikol ImageJ Plugin User Interface

 

The Stereoscopic 3D Projection plugin's source, along with screenshots of the plugin in action, can be found on GitHub. The source is also attached to the JAR, located on the plugin's official ImageJ site. The Stereoscopic 3D Projection plugin can be installed through Fiji's updater after adding http://sites.imagej.net/JoeNapoli/ to the list of update sites, or by downloading the JAR file and placing it into ImageJ's plugins folder.

Visikol HISTO Stereoscopic