Contract Research Services
We perform contract research services using the prototype VSOM® System shown on our Home Page (see "Our VSOMŪ System"). If the VSOM® System shown on our Home page works to the satisfaction of a contract research customer, we can arrange for the sale of this system to the customer (as a used or demo unit). Note that the VSOM® System shown on our Home page is fully capable of performing the experiments described on our Technology page.
Software Development Services
VSOM is an emerging technology and the needs of our customers differ. For this reason we provide custom software development services (and custom hardware modification services, if necessary) for our VSOM® Application Software customers. The feasibility of many software and hardware modifications (and the feasibility of a given live cell imaging assay) can be tested on our prototype VSOM® System before being ported to the imaging systems of our customers.
VSOM® Application Software liberates imaging systems locked into "Blind and Passive" automation mode. VSOM® Application Software converts "Blind and Passive" HCA imaging instruments into vision-based, "Active and Responsive" instruments capable of VSOM® Automation Mode. One of our goals is to VSOM®-enable a wide range of existing HCA imaging instruments by providing user-friendly plug-in (or cloud-based) VSOM® Application Software that is compatible with existing third-party HCA imaging instrument control software.
Many modern automated HCA imaging instruments are already capable of implementing VSOM® Automation Mode with just a few hardware and software modifications. This is because many modern automated HCA imaging instruments already have the ability to (i) "sense" (via analysis and interpretation of digital images) individual live cell responses in real-time, (ii) "think" (make automated decisions in real-time), and (iii) "act" (independently execute automated actions in a closed-loop, intelligent manner until one or more user-specified goals are attained).
VSOM® Automation Mode is a more versatile and cost-efficient approach for the automated discovery, optimization and execution of live cell imaging assays, experiments, and processes. Commercially available HCA imaging instruments do not currently offer VSOM® Automation Mode. The HCA imaging industry currently offers only expensive "Blind and Passive" automation mode. In "Blind" automation mode, the HCA imaging instrument does not receive optical feedback from living cells. In "Passive" automation mode, the HCA imaging instrument does not deviate from a pre-programmed set of automated operations. In Blind and Passive automation mode, the robotic HCA imaging system does not make automated decisions that are based on analysis of the current physiological status and the recently observed dynamic behavior of individual living cells. For these reasons a robotic HCA imaging system operating in Blind and Passive automation mode is not capable of active and responsive behavior. Blind and Passive automation mode is standard practice in the robotic HCA imaging instrument industry today and this is a gross underutilization of the capabilities of modern HCA live cell imaging systems. This underutilization of instrument capabilities can waste time, supplies and money.
We offer VSOM® Application Software for "Active and Responsive" HCA imaging instrument operations. Our VSOM® Automation Mode is new way of thinking about the automation of scientific experiments. Note that automated HCA imaging instrument operations are not completely pre-specified at the beginning of a VSOM® Assay or at the beginning of a VSOM Method experiment or process. Automated instrument operations are based, in part, on the on-going analysis of differences in the often unpredictable physiological responses of large numbers of different types of individual living cells. When automated imaging instruments operate in VSOM® Automation Mode, real-time digital image analysis provides critical information regarding the current physiological status of living cells. Automated (software-based) instrument control decisions are based, in part, on the on-going analysis of differences in the physiological responses of different types of individual living cells.
Assay Development Services
Please contact us to learn how VSOM technologies can help automate the discovery and optimization of your next live cell imaging assay. We offer a wide range of live cell assay development services. This includes the development of live cell imaging assays that can be implemented on non-imaging instruments such as flow cytometers. For example, we are currently developing an improved protocol for the selective labeling and subsequent flow sorting of living cancer stem cells.
VSOM® is a registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office trademark belonging to Live Cell Assays, LLC.