Hayward, CA – September 27, 2007 – Biolog, Inc. announced today the expansion of its Phenotype MicroArray™ (PM) product line to enable nearly 1,500 simultaneous phenotypic assays of human and other mammalian cells. PM technology is a powerful assay platform that allows phenotyping to be performed in a simple, rapid, cost-effective, and comprehensive manner. Phenotypes are the biological properties of a cell that result from its genetic and epi-genetic blueprints. Tools for sequencing and manipulating cellular genetics are well advanced. More and better tools are needed to understand how genetic changes alter cellular phenotypes. PM technology is designed to fill that need.
The first PM assays for mammalian cells, released in December, 2005, measure the in vivo activity of about 400 potential energy producing pathways of cells. These assays are important for biologists working in many areas of biology R&D where they seek to understand the pathways involved in cellular energy production, their coordination and their regulation. This is fundamental to studies of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, obesity, and nutrition research where energy metabolism may be regulated improperly. Cancer and aging also have strong aspects of altered cellular energy metabolism.
Now Biolog has added capabilities to measure many more phenotypes as well as a greater diversity of phenotypes: nitrogen metabolism assays (~300), ion, hormone, and metabolic effector assays (~400), and cytotoxic anti-cancer drug assays (~400). The assays for nitrogen, ion, and hormone metabolic effects extend the scope of Biolog's core focus by providing assays to assess important aspects of cellular metabolism. The assays for cytotoxic chemicals are the first step toward expanding the assay technology into areas of basic and applied cancer research, toxicology, and chemical biology. The PM assays can be used with cell lines as well as with primary cells and do not require any modification or derivatization of the cell lines.
In addition to research, the PM technology is a fundamental tool for QC and Bioprocess development. Each cell type has different metabolic properties, which can be measured easily and with a high degree of reproducibility using PM assays. Different cell types can be distinguished and, if a cell changes during the course of subculturing, this can also be detected. Furthermore, PM technology provides a powerful tool for streamlining Bioprocess development. Cells can easily be cultured and monitored under thousands of different conditions to optimize growth or productivity of cells secreting a product. Biolog has presented data at several Bioprocess conferences demonstrating improvements in growth of CHO cells and in secretion of monoclonal antibodies by hybridoma cells.
PM technology is by far the most powerful and versatile cell phenotyping tool available. “So-called high content screening technologies in fact measure a relatively small number of cellular traits” says Barry Bochner, Ph.D., Biolog's Chairman and CEO . “Furthermore, these high content platforms typically require expensive, complex, and specialized microscopic or flow cytometric instrumentation. Biolog's PM testing format is based on cell respiration, a universal property of cells that can be measured easily with a robust chromogenic dye technology.” Labs can start using PM technology without having to purchase any equipment. However, for labs using PM technology in high-throughput or with kinetic phenotype applications, Biolog offers its OmniLog® instrument which can simultaneously incubate and read 50 microplates.
Biolog is a privately held company based in Hayward , CA that continues to pioneer in the development of powerful new cell analysis tools for solving critical problems in biological, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological research and development. It is the world leader in cell phenotyping technology. Its respiration based technology is unique in its broad applicability to cells – this includes bacterial cells and fungal cells as well as animal cells. More than 80 scientific publications and presentations document the effectiveness and productivity of PM technology. The PM product line joins the innovative, award winning microbial identification products offered by the company. Biolog products are available worldwide, either directly from the company or from its extensive network of international distributors. Further information can be obtained at Biolog's website, www.biolog.com .