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An innovative device for in-vitro study of brain tissue developed by imec and Peira will be demonstrated.
Life science research at imec
Imec's life sciences research is part of imec's Human++ program. Human++ aims at making healthcare more efficient and effective by facilitating the convergence of semiconductor and biomedical healthcare industries.
The life sciences research concentrates on two domains: the development of bioelectronic systems for studying cellular behavior in a massively parallel manner, and the development of molecular detection platforms for enhancing speed and efficiency of disease diagnosis and therapy.
Imec's bioelectronics systems aiming at the massive parallel study of cellular behavior will enhance speed and efficiency of drug development for advanced neural network interrogation and for cell toxicity screening.
Imec's research into molecular detection platforms includes the development of synthesis and biofunctionalization protocols for nanoparticles that can be used for in-vivo disease diagnosis and targeted therapy, and the development of building blocks for lab-on-chip devices and biosensor chips to measure extremely low concentrations of clinically relevant molecules, allowing earlier and more precise detection of disease on DNA, protein and metabolome level.
Peira Slice Tilter 2.0
Imec, the Belgian nanoelectronics research centre, and Peira, a Belgium-based manufacturer of pharmaceutical and chemical research instruments, will demonstrate the Peira SliceTilter 2.0., a slice-tilting instrument for in-vitro research on brain tissue. The tool enables long-term studying of brain cultures through electronic stimulation and read-out, essential in getting insight into the functioning of the brain.
To increase knowledge on neuronal networks, on how our brain works, and on the cellular processes causing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, living brain tissue needs to be investigated. Therefore, brain tissue slices have to be cultured to stay alive during a relatively long period (~1 month). Such a brain tissue culturing procedure is as a very difficult and precise manipulation, and it is believed to be one of the most challenging cultures known in the medical world. the brain cells have to attach to a substrate and start growing. The Peira SliceTilter 2.0., developed by imec and Peira, is a slice-tilting device containing up to 16 chips with stimulation and read-out electronics, especially customized to grow brain slice tissue on. The tilting device is fully incorporated in a cell growth incubator. Parameters such as tilting angle, speed and interval time can be programmed to obtain optimal growth, survival, and functionality of the brain slice. The new tool ensures optimal growth of brain slices on the chips for more than a month. It enables in-vitro investigation of long-term processes in brain circuits.
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1,750 people includes over 550 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2009, imec's revenue (P&L) was 275 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.).
Peira is a technology provider/integrator and ‘applied science’ partner for life science groups who want to build new, innovative research or proof of principle set ups. The company has industrial experience in developing tools for pharmaceutical development activities, in vivo/ex vivo and in vitro experimental set ups and imaging automation for researchers in several therapeutic areas, such as neuroscience and oncology.
Peira is offering ‘productizing services’ for research organizations active in the field of nano electronics and nano-technology and builds customized research platforms for academia, the biotech and the pharmaceutical industry. Peira is headquartered in Beerse, Belgium. More information can be found on www.peira.be.
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