Institut Curie and Gataca-Systems: More than 10 years of collaboration and promising years ahead
The collaboration between Institut Curie and the Gataca-systems company, formerly Roper Scientific, was born more than 10 years ago with the strong will to couple the scientific expertise of the Institut Curie platform PICT-IBiSA imaging and the technical-commercial engineering of Gataca-systems. Among the optical microscopy modules, fruit of this collaboration, the series of Ilas 1 and 2, equip today more than two hundred systems in the world
2017 milestone, the Live-SR: to overcome the physical barrier of the optical resolution to realize the living imaging in real time.
A new challenge was overcome in 2017 with the development of a "Super Resolution in Live" module that integrates with confocal microscopes using a Nipkow disk, devices frequently used in biology laboratories (Fig 1). This small technological revolution called "Live-SR" makes it possible to acquire spatially resolved superimposed images, without temporal compromise or of fluorescence signal, as evoked in the approaches resulting from the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Eric Betzig and William Moerner (USA) and Stefan Hell (Germany).
The advantages associated with this technology are, among others:
- Imagine the dynamics of the living
- Allow rapid acquisition of images, especially in video mode
- Doubling the optical resolution
- No compromise on usable fluorescent probes
- Easy installation & use
One year after the module was made available to researchers at Institut Curie but also to Gataca-systems customers (40 Live-SR modules sold to date worldwide), the impact of this technological breakthrough has been welcomed by the scientific community.
"In our group, we study the movement and intracellular localization of tiny vesicles that move rapidly. The super-resolution module developed between Institut Curie and Gataca-systems combines the speed of the rotating disk with a SIM-like spatial resolution, greatly improving the quality of our images and facilitating their interpretation. The module is easy to use and the whole laboratory is using it now! " enthuses Cédric Delevoye, a researcher at Institut Curie (UMR 144 Institut Curie/CNRS/UPMC, Structure and membrane compartments Team directed by G. Raposo).
"We used the Live SR module to image two A and B proteins. We found that protein B was localized specifically along the protein A lines but periodically. With our old imaging system, we thought that protein B was localized in the entire membrane. This finding has radically changed the course of our research” says Ronen Zaidel-Bar from Tel-Aviv Medical University and Singapore Institute of Mechanobiology.
This close public-private collaboration, whose common objectives are to respond to unmet technological needs and to push the limits of science, has enabled to put on the market, in a competitive manner, 5 products in 10 years, including the Live SR module in 2017.
Building on these successes, researchers from Institut Curie and Gataca-systems teams have many collaborative projects underway. Their new challenge is to develop approaches to obtain the best spatio-temporal resolutions closer to the plasma membrane of normal and cancerous cells during migration.