Thursday, 13 January 2011

New tools for studying live cell biology

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc today introduced several new hardware and software enhancements to its flagship Thermo Scientific Arrayscan VTI HCS Reader, improving live-cell imaging and expanding visualization and open standards data management.

These enhancements are part of the Thermo Scientific High-Content 2.0 program and include the integration of the ZEISS Definite Focus hardware into the Arrayscan VTI HCS Reader’s live cell configuration. This change is designed to better support high-content analysis of living cells, such as the study of calcium signaling, pharmacokinetics, toxicity and GPCR’s . During such long term experiments the sample container often deforms due to thermal changes, however the Definite Focus hardware maintains the sample in sharp focus (for up to 20h) by the use of a long wavelength (infrared region) LED in combination with algorithms that adjust the instrument’s Z-drive, eliminating the need for repeated software autofocus and the photo-toxicity it may cause.
Definite Focus is integrated into the Arrayscan VTI HCS Reader and is available together with Thermo Fisher’s existing Arrayscan VTI Live Cell Module and Liquid Handling Module. This new hardware configuration coupled with our existing wide range of kinetic measurement tools, offers researchers unparalleled flexibility and ability to investigate myriad cellular processes in live cells.

New Thermo Scientific iView image mining software, also developed as part of Thermo Fisher’s High-Content 2.0 program, adds new visualization functionality to all the Thermo Scientific High content platforms. The iView software offers image centric analytics that allow easy visual quality control of experiments at the plate, well and cell level, while maintaining links to the quantitative data. Users can investigate cell phenotypes using “flow cytometry-like” scatter plots that allow visual correlation of cell phenotypes with the data. To complement the new Definite Focus enabled live cell configurations iView software can quickly create movies of live-cell kinetic experiments.

New Thermo Scientific openGateway software brings the benefits of all of our existing high-content informatics, image analysis tools and data mining software to all researchers who generate images and data whether from high-content platforms or microscopes. Developed using OME and web services standards, openGateway offers a rich XML standard format for data and images, together with a web service interface to allow them to be easily imported into the Thermo Scientific Store database. Once images and data are safely in the database they can be managed, accessed and analyzed. Users can then benefit from a single, open standard repository of images and data regardless of source.

Thermo Scientific