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NIMH awards DRVision $600k grand for 3D particle tracking in neuroscience microscopy



Collaborating with Harvard Medical School to extend and validate SVCell tracking tool for 3D subcellular tracking applications

DRVision Technologies LLC, an innovator in image based decision products since 1999, has received an up to $600K Phase I grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to develop and validate an informatics tool optimized for 3D subcellular tracking applications.

The Phase I small business innovative research (SBIR) grant will extend DRVision’s microscopy image analysis software SVCellTM to address the challenge of detecting and tracking moving particles with heterogeneous motion in 3D Microscopy image sequence of functional neural networks.

Time-lapse, 3D confocal and fluorescence microscopy imaging of functional neural networks, composed of many neurons connected through a complex web of synapses, is a promising approach for gaining in-depth understanding of how the central nervous system works. However, 3D neuronal sequences have a lower signal to noise ratio while the complexity of particle motion is exacerbated by the more physiological environment. Therefore, quantification of particle dynamics and molecular interactions in these models is difficult due to the limitations of the current 3D image analysis tools.

DRVision has previously developed a high performance and configurable tracking tool, funded in part through a $1.4M grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, that is well suited for a broad range of 2D particle tracking applications, which is now being commercialized in SVCell. In collaboration with Dr. David Van Vactor, Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, DRVision will extend and validate SVCell for 3D subcellular tracking in neuroscience microscopy.

“Our collaborators at the Harvard Medical School are leaders in the field of neural development and synaptic morphogenesis. They routinely acquire high resolution, 3D confocal, in vitro imaging data showing microtubule dynamics and neuronal process morphometry using both vertebrate and invertebrate cells. This provides an excellent test platform for our next generation 3D tracking tool.” said Dr. James Lee, President and CEO of DRVision and principal investigator for the new project. “This exciting project will spur DRVision to address the market requirements for 3D kinetic microscopy informatics with our SVCell microscopy image analysis software and recipes.”