Shrink Nanotechnologies, Inc. ("Shrink") (OTC Bulletin Board: INKN), an innovative nanotechnology company developing products and licensing opportunities in the alternative energy industry, medical diagnostics and sensors and biotechnology research and development tools businesses, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to produce a high content screening tool for its biotech R&D subsidiary, Shrink Chips LLC.
Stemage™ software will launch with StemDisc products; however the long term goal of the project is to build the world's first intuitive and integrated bio-informatics database to facilitate the acquisition and sharing of three-dimensional (3D) imaging and data to predict the best method for culturing embryoid bodies (EBs) and other cellular structures.
EBs are used to grow or regenerate stem cells and nearly any kind of tissue in the body – from muscles to eyes to lungs. EBs are used in a wide range of 2-D and 3-D cellular-based disease models for drug screening/testing, tissue engineering and personalized medicine. "The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, ushered in one of the most profound changes to 20th century scientific research – the identification of the human genome sequence. While the sequence of human DNA is stored in databases worldwide, biologists are still struggling to interpret the data and meet the high-throughput demands of their stem cell research projects," said Mark L. Baum, CEO of Shrink Nanotechnologies, Inc.
StemDisc products – as hardware - will allow for the development of thousands of EBs on a single footprint well plate. The success of our ability to create "EB data points" has actually presented another problem: What does the biologist do with all of the data that is being created? How can this data be rapidly collected, analyzed and even modeled? Computing power is increasing ever rapidly.
Beginning in the first week of November, Shrink will begin testing the image acquisition aspect of the Stemage software which will allow the user to center his or her microscope over the StemDisc, press "start" and have the software locate all of the individual microwells within the StemDisc system. This system will eliminate the manual processes involved in data acquisition and will also save the user time by eliminating the need to "crop" out images and regions of interest. At the same time, additional features and protocols for staining and imaging EBs in three dimensions are being finalized. The Company believes that initial versions of the plug-in will be available at the time StemDisc is launched.
When released, Shrink's bio-informatics tool will be downloaded as a plug-in to existing scope platforms. It is hoped that in the longer term, this project has the potential to aid in automated image analysis to extract 3D models of cell locations and concentrations of gene products of interest, eventually providing a much needed global repository for data processing, storing and analysis of specific cell culturing models. Our goal is to allow today's disparate cell culturing models to be shared and interpreted worldwide with greater speed and efficiency, helping to drive down the costs of potentially life-saving biotech research," added Baum.