Huntsville, Ala. – January 18, 2011 — InQ Biosciences, a provider of innovative technologies for cell growth and research, today announced that a pre-commercial version of its InQ Cell Research System is being utilized in a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) study evaluating the effects of secondary injury components on brain cells. The InQ system integrates a dynamically controlled sample environment with advanced live cell imaging and real-time data collection.
The study is being conducted by Candace L. Floyd, Ph.D., assistant professor in UAB’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and its Center for Glial Biology in Medicine and a member of the InQ Biosciences Scientific Advisory Board.
At UAB, Dr. Floyd leads a translational research laboratory that researches novel treatments for traumatic brain and traumatic spinal cord injury. The study could ultimately provide a foundation for screening therapeutics to benefit individuals suffering a brain injury or stroke.
“We know that different cells in the brain – astrocytes, neurons, microglia, and others – respond differentially to injury,” said Dr. Floyd. “But we’re not sure how they interact or what causes a temporal series of events. If a person with a brain injury goes into hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, their outcome is usually significantly worse. But no one knows why,” she said.
“With the InQ system’s real-time microscope and very specific control of environmental conditions, we can replicate these injury components and evaluate individually in temporal course the response of each cell type,” said Dr. Floyd. “We will grow brain cells either as a mixture of cells-neurons, astrocytes, microglia together-or as an individual population. We’ll expose these cells to a hypoxic insult, simulating what happens in a stroke, or a hyperglycemic insult, which is a complication after a traumatic brain injury, and then evaluate the effects in real time,” she said.
Dr. Floyd said the InQ system provides “a very precise control of environmental conditions that is not currently available in the market. Researchers can control temperature, gas, and media, with absolute control while using the microscope system to monitor the cell response in real time. This technology has not previously existed prior to the development of this system,” she noted.
“Without InQ technology, the same degrees of temporal resolution and experimental control would not be possible,” Dr. Floyd said. “Instead, the cells would be grown in a Petri dish, the media would be changed to create the required conditions, and then the cells would be moved to a microscope for monitoring. There would be gaps of information between the manipulations and no real-time observation. The InQ system enables a researcher to fill in those gaps and achieve distinct temporal resolution of the sequence of events,” she explained.
About the InQ system
The InQ system combines a dynamic software-controlled sample environment with powerful imaging and real-time data collection. The system tightly controls environmental parameters with correlated sample feedback. The benchtop system automates the cell culture process by enclosing the cells in a sealed, sterile removable cartridge that slides into the instrument. An onboard computer precisely controls the mix and flow of nutritive media and gasses and regulates the temperature. A built-in high-resolution microscope and camera record the assay at scheduled intervals, and can send the images to the researcher anywhere in the world via the Internet and smart phone. Adjustments to the experiment can also be made remotely. The InQ system fits easily into research workflows and integrates with most laboratory information management systems.
About InQ Biosciences
InQ Biosciences is a provider of innovative technologies for cell growth and research. The company’s InQ Cell Research system will empower scientists to unlock novel and more powerful approaches to cell-based discovery. The firm was founded in 2007 with technology originating from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Series B financing was completed in May 2010 and commercial launch of its InQ system is scheduled for the first quarter of 2011. For more information, visit www.inqbio.com. Follow InQ Biosciences on Twitter at @InQbio (http://twitter.com/InQbio).
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