Cytoo technology increases sensitivity and speed in cell analysis
23 June 2010
Cytoo SA, a developer of high content cell analysis (HCA)
products, has announced the first results from the Institut Curie
confirming a major advance in cell analysis made possible by adhesive
micropatterns, a technology for which Cytoo holds an exclusive worldwide
The Institut Curie team demonstrated that a rigorous
quantification of the cell-wide internal organization could be
obtained using adhesive micropatterns.
Adhesive micropatterns control internal cell organization. In
addition, they could decipher a protein re-distribution upon a drug
treatment that was previously undetectable in conventional cell
culture conditions. The scientific team, led by Dr Bruno Goud,
research director of the subcellular structure and cellular dynamics
laboratory, was also able to obtain significant results by analyzing
only 12 to 20 cells, compared to the hundreds or thousands usually
needed in traditional cell culture conditions.
“With this study, we have now unequivocally demonstrated that
controlling cell adhesion is going to be critical in all fields
involving Quantitative Cell analysis,” commented Michel Bornens, CSO
at Cytoo and co-author of the article entitled: “Probabilistic
density maps to study global endomembrane organization” published in
Nature Methods (online publication, May 31, 2010).
The results of the study indicate that the use of adhesive
micropatterns will benefit research by offering increased insight,
sensitivity and relevance in deciphering protein functions and cell
Cytoo believes that for those involved in drug discovery, such
results would translate into significantly more hits and more
meaningful data in cell-based screening, while requiring analysis of
significantly fewer cells per condition. It would also enable
biologists to detect effects at much lower doses.
“We are extremely encouraged by the Institut Curie results using
adhesive micropatterns,” says Alexandra Fuchs, co-CEO at Cytoo. “We
want to bring to the attention of the market that leading centres in
the world are now using our products and that this technology is
enabling them to detect and analyze cell functions that were
previously impossible to detect and analyze. We believe that our
technology will have a huge impact in the drug discovery world by
increasing assay sensitivity, generating statistically relevant
data, and accelerating analysis.”
More than one hundred researchers in private laboratories and
leading research centers around the world, such as the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), the European Molecular Biology
Laboratory (EMBL), Harvard University, and Dana Farber Cancer Center,
have adopted Cytoo’s HCA products. Cytoo expects more results of
this kind to be published.
Cytoo addresses critical needs in pharma and biotech drug
discovery as cell based assays and high content screening (HCS) are
among the most dynamic fields in life science research markets.
However, quantitative cell analysis for drug discovery has been
hampered by the huge variability in cell shape and behaviour when
using common cell culture ware such as standard well plates and
petri dishes. Even with huge cohorts of cells and sophisticated
image algorithms, expected effects are too often buried in the
noise, thus hampering sensitivity, throughput and reliability of the
screens, according to Fuchs.
Results published in the Nature Methods article also highlight
the advantages of cellular normalization using micropatterning and
show differences in the results in the same statistical tests that
were performed on non-patterned cells.
The Institut Curie team found that for strong phenotypes (an
observable characteristic or trait of an organism), such as
Golgi-dispersion after nocodazole-treatment, significant differences
were detected, although eight times more cells were needed. On the
other hand, subtle differences, such as those seen in the treatment
with cytochalasin D, were not detectable in non-patterned cells.
They concluded that micropatterning in combination with
computational analysis provides a powerful tool to detect subtle
changes in steady-state endomembranous organization.
Cytoo presented results of the study in an “Advances in Assay
Technology” poster session at the recent Society for Biomolecular
Sciences Conference in Arizona (April 11-15, 2010), showing that
effects of blebbistatin (a model drug) could be detected at a
concentration rate 500 times lower than had previously been used
while analyzing ten times fewer cells. The study was conducted using
a straightforward easy analysis algorithm on Cytoo’s L adhesive