PHI and Malmö University have a long-standing collaboration, dating back to 2008. The collaboration has resulted in several peer reviewed publications and a doctoral thesis. In late 2016, the European Commission granted 2.1 million euro to GlycoImaging – a joint cancer research project to develop improved methods for clinically diagnosing cancer.
Current methods for diagnosing cancer primarily focus on the proteins associated with cancer. However, there is increasing evidence that carbohydrates play an important role in the development and progression of malignant cancer. Current methods use and rely on antibodies created by living organisms. These natural antibodies, however, are not sufficiently specific to accurately detect and image carbohydrates.
The GlycoImaging project is coordinated by Malmö University and commercialized by PHI. Additional partners are Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und Prüfung (Germany’s federal technology research institute), Umeå, Copenhagen and Turku University.
Oncology research and diagnostics are in need of low-cost and robust probes to detect carbohydrates. The goal of the GlycoImaging project is to meet this need by combining specific carbohydrate probes – in the form of molecular imprinted polymers or ‘plastic antibodies’ – with holographic microscopy.
Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University
Popular lecture on cancer research by Prof. Anette Gjörloff Wingren 2016 (in Swedish).
A short presentation of GlycoImaging by Prof. Anette Gjörloff Wingren (in Swedish).
The GlycoImaging video (in Swedish).
Using a unique non-invasive label-free cell counting method, results comparable to conventional cell counting using a haemocytometer were produced. The major advantage using HoloMonitor™ M2 is the opportunity to easily access information about cell number, size, optical thickness and confluence in an automatic, non-invasive manner.
We show that average cell phase volume results from DHM readings are comparable to the flow cytometry findings. DHM thus provides a non-disruptive alternative to flow cytometry. The technique has the potential to develop into a fast and cost-efficient method for pre-clinical monitoring of cancer treatment efficacy.
The article provides proof of concept for using holographic microscopy combined with antibody-based microarray technology for detecting morphological changes in captured cells.
The morphological changes observed occur before and at lower concentrations than a reduction in cell metabolic activity or viability. Three classifiers are compared and we report a best case sensitivity of 88% and specificity of 94% for classification of cells as treated/untreated.
Open access book chapter discussing the potential of holographic microscopy in clinical applications
Prof. Gjörloff-Wingren has used holographic microscopy in cancer related research for over a decade. Gjörloff-Wingren discuss the emerging field of quantitative phase imaging and the novel label-free capabilities that promise to improve and succeed invasive laborious photochemical procedures
Review providing a current insight into QPI (quantitative phase imaging) applied to cancer research. The authors conclude that QPI is an ideal method for studying live cell dynamics by providing data from noninvasive monitoring over arbitrary time scales. The effect of drugs on migration, proliferation, and apoptosis of cancer cells are emerging fields suitable for QPI analysis. The authors also point out that need for QPI applications in clinical cancer diagnostics and treatments is emerging.
Commentary article discussing the fundamental role of cell movement studies in cancer research. Advantages of the HoloMonitor Cell Tracking and Wound Healing Applications over the transwell migration and invasion assays are highlighted, and includes the possibility to use the cells in experiments for other purposes after completing the imaging. In addition to single cell tracking, the HoloMonitor technology also benefits from the fact that morphology analysis can be performed of each cell. The author concludes that this indeed opens up for almost unlimited possibilities to perform cell morphology analysis using this methodology, since each image is very rich in cellular information.
Label-free Cell Cycle Analysis
Live cell imaging cytometry of antibody captured suspension cells
Faculty of Health and Society,
Jan Waldenströms gata 25, AS:F502
205 06 Malmö, Sweden