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IncuCyte-based high throughput imaging-based platform for determination of cellular and molecular events in real time in cultured cells in vitro: application to nanomaterial studies, cancer and cardiovascular research

English title IncuCyte-based high throughput imaging-based platform for determination of cellular and molecular events in real time in cultured cells in vitro: application to nanomaterial studies, cancer and cardiovascular research
Applicant Schwaller Beat
Number 139226
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution OMI Medicine University of Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Cellular Biology, Cytology
Start/End 01.12.2011 - 30.11.2012
Approved amount 144'489.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Cellular Biology, Cytology
Surgery
Experimental Cancer Research

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

In vitro cell models are considered as invaluable and indispensable tools in Life Science research and the number of cell culture-based experiments is ever increasing. Cell culture methods allow investigating biological questions in a system of reduced complexity in comparison to studies directly carried out in an entire organism such as in an animal or in humans. Thus, one of the aims of all in vitro cell culture systems is to replace or reduce the number of animal experiments. The most basic cell culture based experiments include the determination of cell proliferation, cell behavior (e.g. motility), morphology and cell survival/death. In most cases, microscopic methods are the methods of choice and new technical developments including the IncuCyte system have led to platforms that allow for high-throughput imaging of cultured cells in vitro in real time for various research fields including Pharmacology, Toxicology, Material Sciences and Cancer Research. We plan to acquire a platform for real-time, high-throughput imaging-based analyses based on the IncuCyte technology. The core instruments are specialized microscopes that are placed in the interior of a cell culture incubator that allows growing the cells in vitro in their usual environment, with respect to temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration. Researchers at the University of Fribourg from various Departments (Depts. of Medicine and Chemistry) as well as from the Adolphe-Merkle Institute (AMI) joined in the Fribourg Center for Nanomaterials (FriMat) plan to use the Incucyte-based platform for several projects. Testing of various manmade nanomaterials (including carbon nanofibers) with respect to acute cytotoxicity will be carried out in the group of B. Schwaller. Furthermore, they will study the role of several proteins including the Ca2+-binding protein calretinin in the development of asbestos-induced mesotheliomas, a rare tumor type affecting the cells covering the the body cavities The group of C. Rüegg plans to investigate the role of the protein CYR61, a secreted, heparin-binding, matricellular protein, in the processes of tumor cell-endothelial transmigration and in tumor progression. The testing of the biocompatibility of silver coordination compound-based surface coatings for fibroblasts and osteoblasts is the main research topic of the group of K. Fromm. The groups of A. Fink und B. Rothen-Rutishauser are interested in cell-nanoparticle interactions. Initial projects are focused on the study of cellulose nanowhisker-lung cell interactions starting with an in vitro approach using single cell or co-culture systems. In summary, the IncuCyte-based platform will allow us to perform highly competitive and trans disciplinary projects. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Stem Cell Factor-Based Identification and Functional Properties of In Vitro-Selected Subpopulations of Malignant Mesothelioma Cells
Blum Walter, Pecze László, Felley-Bosco Emanuela, Wu Licun, de Perrot Marc, Schwaller Beat (2017), Stem Cell Factor-Based Identification and Functional Properties of In Vitro-Selected Subpopulations of Malignant Mesothelioma Cells, in Stem Cell Reports, 8(4), 1005-1017.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
133864 Fluorescence-Mediated Tomography (FMT) to study cellular and molecular events in physiology and pathology: application to cancer, cardiovascular and circadian biology 01.02.2011 R'EQUIP
125299 Toxicity study of nanostructures 01.04.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
130680 Knock-out mice for the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin, calbindin D-28k and calretinin. Models for muscle and brain diseases. 01.05.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
126055 Conditional triggered drug release 01.07.2010 NRP 62 Smart Materials
121813 Neue antibakterielle Oberflächen auf Implantat- Materialien 01.10.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)
131266 Biomedical nanoparticles as immune-modulators 01.05.2011 NRP 64 Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials
147697 From asbestos-exposure to cancer: a systemic approach to detect loss of homeostatic control in the mesothelial environment 01.08.2013 Sinergia
135738 Unraveling mechanisms of brest cancer metastasis 01.03.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In vitro cell models are considered as invaluable and indispensable tools in Life Science research and the number of cell culture-based experiments is ever increasing. The most basic cell culture based experiments include the determination of cell proliferation, cell behavior (e.g. motility), morphology and cell survival/death. In most cases, microscopic methods are the method of choice and new technical developments including the IncuCyte system have led to platforms that allow for high-throughput imaging of cultured cells in vitro in real time for various research fields including Pharmacology, Toxicology, Material Sciences and Cancer Research. At the Faculty of Science, University of Fribourg, researchers from several Departments and the Adolphe-Merkle Institute (AMI), also joined in the Fribourg Center for Nanomaterials (FriMat) have experimental projects that require high-throughput imaging. In this proposal, we plan to acquire a platform for real-time, high-throughput imaging based on the IncuCyte technology from Essen, Inc. Testing of various nanomaterials with respect to acute cytotoxicity is one of the projects to be carried out with the aid of the IncuCyte system (B. Schwaller). In a second one (B. Schwaller), the role of several genes including the calcium-binding protein calretinin in the development of asbestos-induced mesotheliomas will be investigated. The group of C. Rüegg plans to investigate the role of the protein CYR61, a secreted, heparin-binding, matricellular protein, in promoting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumor cell transmigration. Furthermore, they will investigate the mechanisms of brain metastatic cells by a limiting dilution analysis (LDA) approach with automated screening with the IncuCyte platform. The testing of the biocompatibility of silver coordination compound-based surface coatings for fibroblasts and osteoblasts is the main topic of the group of K. Fromm. The Incucyte system will allow to investigating in real time, the growth of these two cell types on the modified surfaces. The groups of A. Fink und B. Rothen-Rutishauser are interested in cell- nanoparticle interactions. Initial projects are focused on the study of cellulose nanowhisker-lung cell interactions starting with an in vitro approach using single cell or co-culture systems. Besides the immediate users, other groups in the Department of Medicine have stated their interest in using the Incucyte system for various projects also including cardiovascular research (A. Dulloo, Z. Yang). For such projects the platform can be upgraded with an angiogenesis module. In summary, the purchase of the IncuCyte-based platform is considered to be a necessity for the many, highly competitive and transdisciplinary projects within the Faculty of Science at the University of Fribourg.
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