Laboratory systems  

Definiens unveils 4D image analysis software strategy for cell biology

25 January 2007

Munich, Germany and San Francisco, CA, USA. Definiens AG, has announced its development strategy for its high-content cell biology image analysis application, Definiens Cellenger.

Definiens Cellenger is designed to automate and standardize cell image analysis tailored to specific assays. It creates much deeper insights into image data, while providing a simple yet flexible environment to support and accelerate the drug development process.

Cellenger is built using the open standards-based Definiens Cognition Network Technology, which delivers the power and performance required to build a new generation of cognitive applications. Definiens Cognition Network Technology uses objects’ colour, shape and size, as well as their specific context and relationships, to understand how cells work.

Current state-of-the-art high-content analysis software provides data based on two dimensional images (2D). Advances in Definiens’ technology will enable research on cell-based assays which is not feasible today. Definiens’ technology strategy focuses on developing a tool box which will enable general purpose three dimensional (3D) and four dimensional (4D) image analysis. Tracking of cells in 3D over time (ie 4D) provides useful data regarding cell morphology and structure, including correlating cell speed changes and persistence of movement.

With 3D and 4D capability, the analysis of cellular processes over time will be possible, a ground-breaking improvement compared to static and flat snapshots provided by 2D, today’s state-of-the-art. The analysis of such data, however, presents major challenges for automated image analysis systems; data volume for a single image can easily reach gigabyte levels, for example.

“Cells are 3D objects and they change in real time,” explains Nick Arini, Product Marketing Manager, Definiens. “A 2D snapshot might give you 250,000 data points. A 4D view of the same cells can provide 500 million data points. We are providing the technology that can analyze the enormous amounts of data involved with quantitative and repeatable measurements. This is clearly going to enable increased insights into cell biology.”

Wolfgang Rencken, Vice President Technology and Products, emphasizes, “By helping to create a deeper understanding of image data, Definiens is enabling pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to accelerate their drug development cycles at lower costs than ever before.”

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