AI cell analytics application aims to advance biotechnology research

Transformational technology is developed in Vancouver Prostate Center (VPC) puts cell analyzes in the hands of scientists around the world. Technology – An artificial intelligence (AI)-powered smartphone app called snap site Produces data for medical cell growth research faster and at a fraction of the cost compared to current technology.

“We developed SnapCyte based on the need for affordable basic cell analytics that can be accessed by any scientist working in a cell culture or technology lab,” says Dr. Mads Dugard, associate professor of urology at UBC and chief research scientist at UBC. vitality”. VPC. “This application enables the commercial provision of high-performance, affordable lab technology that is easily accessible on a smartphone.”

The first-of-its-kind smartphone app is used to analyze cancer cells and other diseases on a microscopic scale, and aims to accelerate the development of new, personalized medical treatments. Dr. Dugard and his team at the VPC Center of Excellence hosted by the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute developed the technology based on their own need for fast and accurate cell growth data. Now, they want to introduce advanced technology to researchers all over the world.

“The app shows accurate data results within five minutes,” he says. “With prior technology, this process typically takes 45 minutes to an hour using the most advanced live cell imaging and analysis platform, or 24 hours using the most advanced live cell imaging and analysis platform. colorimetric assays. “

Dr. Mads Dugard

Researchers say SnapCyte simplifies workflow without compromising accuracy. In contrast to the current technology that uses duplicate samples from a cell culture with a medium/serum solution, SnapCyte can be used in experiments in plates where the cell culture is grown. It also collects and displays cumulative cell data in growth curves to help monitor the development of cells over time, which can be easily shared among researchers.

“We developed SnapCyte based on the need for affordable cell basic analytics that can be accessed by any scientist working in a cell culture or biotech lab..”
Dr. Mads Dugard

“All you have to do is take the cell-grown plate out of an incubator for a minute and put it under a microscope where you can then take a picture of it with your smartphone,” says Dr. Dugard.

Scientists can also continuously monitor the growth of cells in the same well or stack of plates, and add nucleic acids or other substances — in a process called transfection — when they are optimal.

“This platform can be very useful in drug screening,” says Dr. Dugard. “When comparing several candidate drugs, SnapCyte can very accurately and quickly assess how each drug affects cancer or other cells to determine the most effective treatment.”

Making cell analyzes accessible to laboratories around the world

For a few hundred dollars per year, the app’s affordability makes the platform an accessible option for labs unable to afford expensive cell analysis equipment.

“Many labs don’t have the funding to buy new machines worth $25,000 to $30,000, or the budget to support the ongoing investment of the thousands of dollars per month needed to use the equipment,” says Dugard.

SnapCyte’s cloud-based platform allows users to not only accurately measure mass cell culture data in minutes – the big data it collects can also provide important insights to advance scientific research.

Dr. Dugard says the app’s AI algorithm is constantly learning from data from its users. While protecting the data, the effectiveness of the application will improve over time as it learns from and shares the research community.

“It’s time to democratize research, and that’s what we’re doing here,” says Dr. Dugard. “We’re bringing something to market for a fraction of the cost that will perform at least as good – or even better – than – many other devices currently available.”

SnapCyte is currently undergoing final beta testing and is expected to be launched worldwide early next year.

A version of this story originally appeared at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute website.