Applications

The InQ system's unique ability to do event-based analysis will fundamentally change cell biology research. Its combination of a dynamic, software-controlled sample environment, powerful imaging, and real-time data collection will enable researchers to consider previously unimagined approaches to discovery.

The system's integrated perfusion capability allows the continuous movement of liquid media across the cells, keeping the media fresh and moving waste out of the growth chamber. The perfusion technology simulates and maintains the pH level found in the human body and dramatically extends the life of the cells.

The InQ system is ideal for a broad range of cell biology applications in neuroscience, cancer, cardiovascular, and stem cell research. It will help scientists cultivate cells under more physiological conditions as they attempt to find cures for these devastating diseases.

Neuroscience Research
Neuroscientists will find that the InQ system is an optimal tool for growing and studying highly sensitive neuronal and glial cell cultures. The technology can be incorporated with assays exploring cell injury, infection, excitotoxicity, cell differentiation and migration, axonal growth, cell-cell interaction, and brain and neoplastic disorders. It's also well suited for developing ischemia and hypoxia models and in supporting drug efficacy and toxicity studies.

InQ gives researchers an exciting new tool that precisely maintains the growth conditions of nervous system cells. With each type of cell requiring its own set of growth parameters, it has been difficult for researchers to create optimal growth environments. With the InQ system, scientists can precisely control the concentration and addition of media, growth supplements, and differentiation agents. They then can immediately measure the cell's response to the media conditions or supplementation.

Another example - the InQ System can enhance experiments probing the effects of injuries on brain and spinal cord cells. Detailed protocols can be developed utilizing the system's dynamically controlled growth environment to model ischemia for the evaluation of cell response. The system's exceptional temporal resolution enables the study and measurement of cell reaction in real time.

Stem Cell Research
The InQ system will be highly attractive to scientists conducting stem cell research. Expensive and sensitive stem cells are difficult to acquire and grow. Experiments can be severely compromised when the cells are placed in a communal incubator that is potentially susceptible to contamination. The InQ system's sealed growth chambers maintain a sterile environment for dramatically improved cell viability and life. The instrument also requires fewer samples to attain stem cell research study goals.

Its advanced microscopy system allows time-lapse and real-time imaging and data collection that can be accessed remotely with a smart phone or laptop computer. This capability is optimal for observing stem cell reprogramming and differentiation processes remotely without disturbing the on-going experiment.

For example, the InQ system can help analyze the application of expensive growth factors, such as LIF, on mouse embryonic stem cells to determine optimum feeding quantities and schedules. Or it can be used for experiments that study the reprogramming of fibroblasts or other cell types. In addition, with the InQ system, developmental biologists can use fluorescent markers to signal cell differentiation, record the events with time stamps, and observe the experiment with continuous or time-lapse imagery.

Cancer Biology Research
Researchers can employ the InQ system to conduct challenging experiments that observe the effects of therapeutics and diagnostics on cancer cells. The instrument's ability to monitor event-based information in real time and continuously record it will make it a highly desirable laboratory tool. The system is fully automated, eliminates contamination that can occur through sample handling and manual microscopy.

The InQ system will help researchers learn how to more effectively sequence cancer drugs. For example, with today's technology, a scientist might expose six Petri dishes of cancer cells to pharmaceutical A, another six dishes to pharmaceutical B, and then check the results every 24 hours.  But with the InQ system, the researcher can observe the response of the cancer cells when pharmaceutical A is administered for 10 minutes and then pharmaceutical B for 30 minutes – recording the images and data in real time.

Cardiovascular Research
Researchers will find the InQ system provides a unique environment to model cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart valve disease.

For example, with the instrument's high-flow environment, scientists can study how drugs affect the endothelial cells found in arteries. In addition, they can explore how endothelial cells on heart valves differ from those found in blood vessels in the attempt to discover new therapies.

Tissue engineering is another attractive potential cardiovascular research application. With the InQ system, researchers can observe how cells grow and interact with different surfaces, substrates, polymers, or bio-materials in ways that have never been done before. Scientists can view how cells degrade the material or synthesize new structural proteins.
The InQ system also can help scientists study the effect of stroke, heart attack, and other hypoxia-related diseases. The delivery of air, nitrogen, and argon can be precisely controlled in the instrument's cell growth chamber, enabling cardiovascular researchers to simulate hypoxic conditions in the human body to analyze cell reaction and response to potential therapies.