Please could you introduce yourselves and outline your roles at OLS?
YG: My name is Yael Geva, and I am the Head of Operations at IDEA-Bio Ltd in Tel Aviv, Israel.
AF: I am Andreas Friese, and I am the Head of Sales and COO at OMNI Life Science (OLS).
Screening of live Zebrafish in multiwell plates with Hermes imaging system by IDEA Bio. Image Credit: IDEA Bio-Medical
What industry does OLS specialize in, and how did the partnership with IDEA Bio-Medical come to life?
AF: OLS’ main area of focus is cell research, and we are striving to be the chosen partner for our customers in cell research. OLS is based in Bremen, Germany, and is a family-owned company. Though OLS has existed in some form since 2004, the last few years have allowed OLS to carve out our niche in cell research.
At OLS, we manufacture our own products and instrumentation, such as the CASY Cell Counter & Analyzer, which is globally distributed, as well as the CERO 3D Incubator & Bioreactor, which is also manufactured in-house and distributed globally. Today, we work closely with IDEA Bio-Medical to find companies within the field that are keen and able to image what we culture in our CERO.
How are OLS’ products cultured?
AF: At OLS, we culture our products in-house all the way from cells into spheroids, and organoids. OLS cultures stem cells, and even tissue pieces. Our teams believe that the Hermes WiScan system is an incredibly innovative, fast tool that facilitates the next generation of high content imaging in the market.
Multiscale of biology covered with Hermes imaging system: from 2D cell culture to 3D spheroids and whole organisms. Image Credit: IDEA Bio-Medical
What is the focus of IDEA Bio-Medical, and how does this align with the ethos and focus of OLS?
YG: IDEA Bio-Medical is an Israeli company. We specialize in automated imaging and automated analysis for the cell biology field. We launched our flagship product, the Hermes WiScan, about ten years ago. Our market is primarily researchers doing cell biology within academia and drug discovery pharma companies doing compound screening as well as biotech companies.
There is a strong ideological link and ethos shared between IDEA Bio and OLS. This is partly due to OLS’ innovation: the company is not solely buying and selling; instead, it is developing and manufacturing its own products. The two organizations also work in complementary areas: OLS is focused on the life sciences within cell biology covering sample preparation and culturing, and here at IDEA Bio-Medical, we complement that by covering imaging and analysis. Together, our two organizations create a complete workflow that can provide a pillar of support for the market.
What is the Hermes imaging system?
YG: The Hermes imaging system is essentially a platform for the researcher - or anyone who is doing life science research and wants to visualize and quantitate whatever is happening within the cells, at the cellular level.
The system is capable of scanning multiwell plates and slides in multiple fluorescence channels and bright field channels. It then automatically analyzes all these images and extracts quantitative, meaningful information from those samples. This can be applied to a range of applications, including cancer research, virology, and immunology – essentially, the system supports anything related to the field of cell biology.
CERO 3D cell culture incubator by OMNI Life Science. Image Credit: OMNI Life Science
What are the features of the Hermes imaging system?
YG: We are particularly excited about several new features in the Hermes imaging system that we have recently launched. One of the new features is in the zebrafish area and provides a full solution for zebrafish screening in a high-content, automated fashion, covering the image acquisition as well as the analysis.
The analysis is unique in that it is a deep-learning AI-based analysis that discretely segments all the compartments within the fish, along with the fish outline, in a bright field, non-labeled manner. This analysis encompasses a broad range of research when analyzing zebrafish, which is now an emerging model for cell biology.
Another exciting feature is our new automated oil immersion module. Essentially, it allows for fully-automated screening of multiwell plates with oil immersion without any need for user intervention. There is no longer any need to manually work with the oil, but the user still benefits from the high resolution and the brighter contrast with lower, shorter time gaps.
Essentially, the system increases the throughput without requiring the user to do anything; the process is undertaken automatically. Terabytes of data are being acquired, analyzed, quantified, and documented automatically – all the user needs to do is load the samples into the system to begin the process. The other benefit is that all the data is analyzed in a non-biased manner, which is vital when doing scientific research. Rather than a human undertaking the segmentation, the system gives the user the real picture of what is going on in their sample.
How will the combined expertise of both organizations be used to benefit the customers of both OLS and IDEA Bio?
AF: Essentially, all the significant research that IDEA Bio has done over the past few years to develop this AI-driven instrumentation for high-content screening in the zebrafish will now be used for the customers from Omni Life Science in the areas of cell research, cell biology, and 3D cell culture to perform accurate top-of-the-range analysis on 3D structures.
In other words, it is an ideal marriage between the two organizations: Omni Life Science who develops the culture systems for many of these cell structures, and these will then be analyzed accurately and rapidly by the instrumentation from IDEA Bio-Medical.
About the speakers
Yael Enzer Geva
Head of Operations at IDEA Bio-Medical
Yael is a biotechnology engineer and has been part of IDEA Bio-Medical team since 2015. Yael has vast experience supporting sales and marketing of scientific lab equipment, automated microscopy and image analysis software platforms.
Dr. Andreas Fries
COO at OMNI Life Science
Andreas holds a PHD in life sciences and is the COO of Omni Life science since 2018. Andreas has extensive experience of over a decay in the life science industry, leading sales teams of cell research equipment and cell culture devices.
About IDEA Bio-Medical Ltd.
IDEA Bio-Medical is founded in 2007 through a partnership between YEDA (the Weizmann Institute’s commercialization arm) and IDEA Machine Development (an innovation hub).
We specialize in automated imaging systems and image analysis software, offering a broad range of biological applications based on the company’s unique algorithms library. The company is developing novel image-based screening platforms for the pharmaceutical industry and medical centers, dedicated to broadening the scope of personalized medicine.
Our WiScan Hermes system incorporates the most advanced technologies currently available in the machine vision field, integrated with engineering methodologies of high reliability and quality at the level of semi-conductors and digital printing industries, which are the specialty of our mother company, IDEA Machine Development Design and Production Ltd.