Services: Kinetic Image Cytometry (KIC) Services
Vala offers specialty testing services taking advantage of our Kinetic Image Cytometry (KIC) technology. Please contact us for project pricing and experiment design details.
Here is a video introduction to the KIC with more detail below.
Vala Science's Kinetic Image Cytometer (KIC)
Calcium is central to the contractile performance of cardiomyocytes where it serves as the final integrator of the electrical signals generated by the myriad of ion channels that produce the cardiac action potential. Changes to the cardiac action potential due to perturbations in the function of any of these ion channels will lead to the alteration of Ca2+ transient dynamics. Vala Science's KIC allows for cell by cell analysis of calcium transient dynamics on hundreds of cells per well in an automated high throughput manner facilitating the rapid screening of thousands of compounds for cardiac arrythmogenic liabilities. This versatile platform provides detailed cell by cell calcium transient analysis, which also makes it the ideal system for any researcher studying cellular calcium handling.
The KIC is built off of Vala Science's powerful new High Content Screening (HCS) system, a full featured HCS system with advanced, multi-mode autofocus in every field of view in under 100ms, high power solid state light source, multiple options for large format scientific cameras, multiple objective options, environmental controls and extensive robotics integration options. All functionality of the KIC makes it the most powerful, most versatile HCS/A instrument on the market.
Utilize biologically and/or clinically relevant cell models to test compounds for arrythmogenic liabilities
Due to system limitations, automated planar patch clamp systems that are currently used for screening compounds for their ability to alter ion channel activity require the use of engineered cell lines, such as Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, which overexpress a single ion channel. These model systems grossly underestimate the complexity of cardiomyocyte excitability and physiology. Vala Science's KIC is able to analyze the effects of compounds that may pose an arrythmogenic liability on clinically relevant cell models such as cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPS) or primary cardiomyocytes from a variety of animal models. With KIC there are no limitations; researchers have the ability to analyze calcium transients in any biologically relevant cell model they choose.
High speed analysis of Ca2+ transients from both spontaneously contracting or electrically paced cardiomyocytes
Vala Science's KIC can simultaneously capture Ca2+ transients from hundreds of cells per well. The researcher can choose to record transients from spontaneously beating cells or electrically pace the cells with the integrated cell stimulator. Fast autofocus, rapid stage movement and precise electrode controls allow for analysis of over 1900 wells per day*.
*Speed calculated using a transient recording time of 10 sec. per well
Detailed cell by cell transient analysis
CyteSeer, Vala Science's stand alone automated image analysis software, identifies, segments, and indexes each cell in the field of view to provide detailed Ca2+ transient analysis on a cell by cell basis. Each cell is further segmented into distinct intracellular compartments to allow Ca2+ transient analysis from the whole cell as well as specific analysis of the Ca2+ transients in the cytoplasm, nucleus, and cell membrane. CyteSeer provides the researcher with a rich data set, providing dozens of Ca2+ transient parameters for each cell (thousands of data points per well). CyteSeer's built in statistical package performs complete analysis of the data set and provides the researcher with important statistical values for drug safety screening such as lowest toxic dose and EC50 measurements.
Complete control over experimental conditions
Environmentally controlled chamber provides researchers with the ability to set and monitor temperature, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels. This minimizes well to well differences and provides the flexibility to analyze wells multiple times during time course experiments.
Multiplex immunostaining with Ca2+ transient measurements
The KIC is built on Vala Science's next generation HCS platform providing the flexibility to not only perform Ca2+ transient analysis but to also serve as a full featured image cytometry platform. Accurate plate registration allows researchers to remove the plate from the stage following completion of Ca2+ transient measurements and fix and stain the cells for biomarker expression levels. Biomarker expression levels can be correlated with the previously recorded calcium transients on a cell by cell basis. This functionality allows the researcher to multiplex Ca2+ measurements with HCA assays to gain an unprecedented level of detail regarding the molecular networks that control cellular calcium handling.