What led to the inception of 3Scan?
We observed that robotics and computation provided us with a wide scope to expand our comprehension of biology as a subject besides driving a change in every area of biology including DNA, RNA, proteins, cells, tissues, and organs. We began by surveying areas in biology that were in need of innovation and decided on the study of cellular and tissue relationships in a disease. Our primary step was to equip ourselves with the methods of understanding these relationships. It paved the way to the designing of robotic and computational systems that create 3-D models and provide statistical data along with enabling us to bring light into complex areas of biology.
What are the current trends in digitalization of biological instruments?
Several complexities in biology have been simplified with the development of microscopy. Historically, the sole availability of simple image processing facilitated analysis only at a basic level. Today, various fields such as satellite imagery, self-driving cars, and consumer cameras have driven innovation into computer vision. Biology has also been benefitting from these innovations, resulting in more sophisticated analysis on larger data sets that can be acquired using increasingly high-performance robotics. It allows us to extract more information out of microscopy while reducing the need to rely on humans to observe every pixel keenly. Consequently, it increases the overall pace of data collection and its analysis.
What are the most prevalent challenges faced by your clients and how do 3Scan’s solutions help tackle these challenges?
Modern techniques are responsible for the creation of massive amounts of data, thus posing numerous challenges related to management of these data volumes. In addition, curbing the data management expenses and supervising logistics efficiently are also high on agenda of a majority of our clients. These issues led us to build specialized systems for overseeing data flows and to derive insights from this data to accelerate the complex decision-making process of an organization. As a result, we are able to position ourselves as a decision-support company rather than just an instrumentation company.
What sets us apart is our ability to deliver insights into the complex phenotypes in human biology
While the common demand is for fast and inexpensive products, customers also want solutions that are sophisticated enough to address complex issues. In our quest to strike a balance between the two, we work toward making our core technological platform applicable to a wide range of diseases with the ability to customize in the software analysis stage itself. A simplified product acts as a foundation for a variety of modifications to build upon, thus enabling us to accommodate customization requests of all kinds.
Could you exemplify 3Scan’s effectiveness with some of your customer success stories?
One of our clients—United Therapeutics—is a pharmaceutical company that develops therapies for lungs, with an advanced division working on organ manufacturing. They print scaffolds from various collagens using 3-D printers and seed those scaffolds with patient-specific cells. They also develop artificial tissues. With a goal to implement these tissues in the human body as a therapy for diseases, they faced an issue with the hand-made drawings of images microscopically observed by doctors. These drawings could not be fed into 3-D printers or other advanced systems. We helped them obtain a clearer and a more detailed picture of the tissue and now we are working on procuring 3-D printed models that align with their advanced tissue systems. In addition, they are leveraging the statistical insights derived from our work to refine their process of generating synthetic tissues.
To further illustrate the efficacy of our solution, let us consider another pharmaceutical company that works on unraveling the complexities associated with cancer. We assist the company in examining tumors and mapping out the tissues inside these tumors. By further quantifying the inner micro-environments, we provide appropriate information about the type of tissue and the changes occurring in it. This enables the company to gather feedback faster and develop a therapy to cure tissues successfully.
What makes 3Scan unique? Also, what are its major achievements?
What sets us apart is our ability to deliver insights into the complex phenotypes in human biology. Better insights into phenotypes lead to a more precise description of a disease, which eventually steers the process of evaluating and curing it. Furthermore, given the complex nature of hardware development cycles, we are proud of our team for successfully fabricating such a complex device.
Enriched by ground-breaking analytics, 3Scan has come a long way in developing sophisticated products that are capable of encompassing emerging technologies and fixing real problems at the same time. 3Scan now aims to develop an ability to integrate with more aspects of robotics and bioinformatics. By collaborating with companies that specialize in molecular biology—DNA and RNA sequencing—we look forward to expanding our outreach beyond the realm of pathology.