Industry as the necessary intermediary

How many cells are there normally in a liver or brain? And how many cells are there after the use of medication, the influence of a toxin or the onset of a specific disease such as cancer or Parkinson’s disease? These are some of the questions that researchers, medical practitioners and the pharmaceutical industry would like to answer. However, the amount of data from digital images that needs to be analyzed is massive and the work is time consuming and highly specialised. Now, with a new technology invented by Aarhus University researchers, things are about to get a whole lot easier. The technology has been licensed to the Danish company Visiopharm and will, together with the company’s own improvements to software and machinery significantly reduce the time spent analysing tissue samples. The result is “a technical quantum leap,” says Visiopharm CEO Michael Grunkin.

The patent pending technology known as the proportionator works by a propriety method of selecting the areas of tissue samples with the statistically greatest probability of containing interesting information. Depending on the specific task the efficiency is increased by a magnitude of 8 to 30. The technology was developed at the Stereology and Electron Microscopy Research Laboratory under the Clinical Institute by Professor Hans Jørgen Gundersen, Associate Professor Jens Nyengaard and then PhD student Jonathan Gardi.

”For us it’s interesting to conduct science that can be published in the best scientific journals. The collaboration with Visiopharm further allows our research to be incorporated in their software platform to the benefit of scientific and technical development as well as clinical work around the world,” says Jens Nyengaard, Aarhus University. “We are the necessary intermediary,” says CEO Michael Grunkin and elaborates: “The researchers invent methods for which there is a very high demand. What we sell is basically the practical result of the knowledge generated by the researchers.”

Photo by Lars Kruse/AU-foto

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Revideret 02.12.2015