Bioimaging Technologies: Konica Minolta Launches Joint Research with Institut Pasteur and BioAxial
Konica Minolta, a global technology company with distinctive core competence in chemistry and imaging, has launched with the Institut Pasteur and Paris-based BioAxial a joint research project regarding bioimaging technologies to support pharmaceutical development.
The joint research aims to develop in vivo fluorescent nanoparticles and an observation system. The system will allow direct observation of the movement and distribution of molecules or cells within mice’s body and further observation of effects of the drug on live cells when delivered to organs and cells (living cell imaging). These functions are expected to enable observation of effect of drugs and mechanism of actions and support accurate evaluation of the effectiveness of new drug.
Konica Minolta is willing to utilize its development of proprietary fluorescent nanoparticles and analyzing technologies of their images through technological cooperation with the Institut Pasteur’s imaging technologies necessary to meet the demands of pharmaceutical development and BioAxial’s microscopic observation device which can provide super-resolved images. The joint research is expected to develop and offer new in vivo imaging technologies.
One of hardships in the development of new drugs has been the low success rate of the candidate medicine’s efficacy at the clinical study. To grapple with the challenge, it is effective to use detailed analysis of the medicine’s effectiveness within cells based on quantification of protein, among others, when researchers study candidate medicines. Such detailed analysis requires innovative imaging technologies. In addition, detection technologies with the use of fluorescent dyes is a field of fluorescent detection technologies for research and development of cell imaging and bioimaging. Conventional marker techniques using fluorescent dyes are subject to problems such as being photobleaching, low sensitivity and low quantitative capability.
Konica Minolta addressed these problems by applying techniques used in its own silver halide particle development technologies fostered for photographic films.
The company has successfully developed fluorescent nanoparticles that are both approximately 30,000 times as bright as conventional fluorescent dyes and highly photostable. In addition, Konica Minolta has developed “nanoparticle surface modification technique” to create better compatibility to biological materials, including bonding of the fluorescent nanoparticle and antibody, and “fluorescent bright spot analysis software” so that the quantitative capability of diagnosis is improved, based on “single particle fluorescent imaging” that can count protein in the cells and cancer tissues by single particle.