Mouse brains and more in 3D: Seattle microscopy startup lands 4M to visualize medical specimens

New funding: Lightspeed Microscopy, a Seattle startup spun out of the College of Washington, raised four million in a Sequence A financing spherical led by Dynamk Capital. Lightspeed is growing an end-to-end microscopy system for pathologists, and the brand new funding will likely be used to commercialize the platform.

The expertise: The platform adapts a sort of microscopy generally used for fundamental analysis to evaluate pathology specimens in three dimensions. Samples are optically cleared utilizing chemical compounds, mounted intact on an open-top system, and quickly scanned. They’re then visualized on the microscope, which detects fluorescent labels that keep on with key elements of a pattern. The microscope takes optical skinny sections which can be then computationally analyzed, utilizing a cloud-based AI system. The result’s a three-dimensional picture.

“The questions being requested in Pharma R&D departments are more and more advanced and infrequently can’t be answered with conventional 2D pathology,” mentioned CEO Nicholas Reder in a statement. “We offer our Pharma prospects with novel organic insights,” he added.

Reder, a College of Washington-trained pathologist, collaborated with Jonathan T. C. Liu, an affiliate professor of mechanical engineering, on the College of Washington and their colleagues to assist develop the expertise.

Use circumstances: The Lightspeed system has the potential to generate photographs from pathological samples, equivalent to prostate biopsies, extra quickly than present applied sciences and with further 3D structural info. Francis Collins, the director of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, wrote about the expertise in 2017, noting that it confirmed promise for assessing samples on the day of surgical procedure, minimizing repeat operations. As with another makes use of of sunshine sheet microscopy, Lightspeed’s course of can yield beautiful photographs, like these images of a kidney and a whole intact mouse mind.