FREMONT, Calif.—Hoping to set a new standard in cell culture study, WaferGen Biosystems Inc. announced six distributor agreements in as many weeks for the company's SmartSlide Micro-Incubation System, a first-of-its kind family of integrated fluidics exchange micro-incubation products.
WaferGen, based here, develops novel data collection and analysis products for cell biology applications. The company's SmartSlide technology enables cell biology and stem cell researchers to conduct complex, time-lapse imaging studies to characterize, differentiate and proliferate cells, as well as grow stem, primary and other difficult-to-cultivate cells in consistently optimal physiological conditions.
"SmartSlide essentially provides the right environment for cell growth and mimics what live cells would require in terms of temperature, nutrients and gases," says Alnoor Shivji, WaferGen's chairman and CEO. "The slide can reside under an inverted microscope so you can watch as cells divide, take video and analyze the results. Right now, people are doing all kind of things to try to achieve that, but many of those things are cumbersome and difficult to use. This is the first platform designed to provide fluid exchange and is fully automated."
SmartSlide may also reduce the need to use animals in clinical trials, Shivji adds.
"There is a lot of push to not use animals for testing, and I believe SmartSlide would be a very valuable tool in terms of replacing some animal testing and creating the right kinds of models in the process of drug discovery," he says.
Since the launch of its SmartSlide Micro-Incubation System in late 2006, WaferGen has seen a positive response from many leading research institutions and organizations. The company now has distribution agreements with Labtech International in the United Kingdom; Labtech France in France; IUL Instruments GmbH in Germany; Sciencewerke Pte Ltd. in Singapore; Westburg in the Benelux Countries; and InBio in Australia.
"This impressive momentum is playing a major role in our ongoing efforts to grow our SmartSlide Micro-Incubation System business, and we expect to continue to achieve important program milestones throughout the remainder of 2008," Shivji says. "By continuing to broaden our sales and distribution reach, we are making it possible for more and more researchers throughout the world to benefit directly from the critical performance advantages offered by our SmartSlide Micro-Incubation System. Clearly, this tool is the only one of its kind and we truly have a great opportunity to make it the standard platform for all cell biologists to use."
Dr. Brian Page, CEO of Labtech, says the company added the SmartSlide System to its broad menu of products because it prides itself on providing its customers with the most sophisticated life science instruments available.
"With more than 25 years of personal experience in the cell culture market, I am particularly impressed with the SmartSlide Micro-Incubation System and the innovative research activities the platform enables," Page says.