CARLSBAD, Calif.—Invitrogen Corp., a provider of life science technologies for disease research and drug discovery, is working with Palo Alto, Calif.-based ScienceXperts Inc., a provider of software tools for bioscience studies, on a new software tool. Launched in mid-March, that tool is CytoGenie, a software application designed to help researchers better conduct flow cytometry experiments, including multicolor protocols whose complexity amplifies dramatically as more parameters are detected.
"Flow cytometry is an extremely powerful, yet complex technique," says Kip Miller, Invitrogen's senior vice president, biodiscovery. "We are very excited and pleased to [help] develop this software-assisted reagen selection tool that dramatically simplifies the flow cytometry workflow, from experimental design to optimized reagent selection."
A major benefit of the new software is that as more flow cytometry machines become available that are able to detect more parameters in a single assay, researchers will be able to more easily expand their experiments to take advantage of this fact.
"We really want to enhance the multicolor aspect of flow cytometry," says Jeff Croissant, Invitrogen global program manager. "We want people to be able to move from three or four colors up to the six or eight colors in their experiments and be able to explore more parameters and detect more information in a single run."
CytoGenie is being offered for free, but both companies stand to profit from making the application so readily available, Croissant notes. It helps get ScienceXperts' name out and could help drive sales of the expanded version of CytoGenie, which isn't free but has additional features, such as team-oriented functions that allow researchers better internal communications with each other about flow cytometry experiments even if they are at different locations.
For Invitrogen, the offering will help its reagents business. The CytoGenie software integrates Invitrogen's broad portfolio of fluor-escent reagents through a direct link to the online catalog, which features thousands of products optimized for use in flow cytometry workflows. For researchers, this helps them determine which dye combinations are best suited for use on a particular flow cytometer configuration, Croissant notes. But the more direct payoff for Invitrogen is that the software enables scientists to easily purchase reagents through Invitrogen online, and to manage the reagent inventory used in those protocols.
"With advanced techniques such as multicolor analysis, flow cytometry continues to push the envelope," said Dr. Leonard Herzenberg, a co-founder of ScienceXperts , a professor emeritus at Stanford University, and a founding member of Invitrogen's scientific advisory board for immunology and flow cytometry. "However, researchers are often mystified by the complexity of the technique. CytoGenie is designed to take the guesswork out of developing multicolor flow cytometry protocols, allowing scientists to tackle the most difficult cellular analysis questions facing them."