Magdeburg, Germany, - MelTec GmbH, a topological and functional proteomics company, today announced the publication of a scientific study in the June 5, 2001 issue of the journal IEEE Transactions, in the Technology in Biomedicine section, describing its Neuronal Cell Detection System (NCDS) for the monitoring of fluorescent lymphocytes in human tissue section.
MelTec's robotic imaging technology reads protein networks in the context of whole cells, thereby analyzing how protein networks encode cellular functions and the identification of cellular subtypes, while providing an image of protein locations in the cell, or the cell's protein topology.
The paper entitled "A Neural Classifier Enabling High-Throughput Topological Analysis of Lymphocytes in Tissue Section," is co-authored by Tim Nattkemper, Ph.D., Helge Ritter, Ph.D., both from the Neuroinformatics Group at the University of Bielefeld, and Walter Schubert, M.D., MelTec's CEO.
The article describes that by using MelTec's NCDS algorithm, the biomathematical basis of its proprietary technology MELK (Multi-Epitope-Ligand-Kartographie), the researchers were able to automatically monitor in tissue sections the number of fluorescent marked migratory cells, the positions of these cells and the phenotype of these cells, thus identifying and localizing particular subsets of cells, e.g. identifying through unique protein networks the individual immune-cells that invade a tissue or organ.
The NCDS system enabled researchers to conduct high-throughput, reproducible and valid statistical analysis of protein networks involved in disease pathways. To learn about cellular function and mechanisms, the groups of proteins that define a particular cellular fingerprint reflecting topological information, were considered, rather than just looking at individual proteins and their molecular information.
"The NCDS provides a unique tool for analyzing proteomic information that was not available before, linking cellular structure, protein expression and function," said Walter Schubert, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MelTec. "Our system has the potential to become a key technology that paves the way for a more systematic approach to understanding disease pathology and treatment, by looking at how protein networks in cells determine cellular function. We believe that the NCDS can enable researchers to simultaneously identify and prioritize drug targets and lead compounds directly from tissue samples of patients, and may help with diagnosis as well."
It is known that lymphocytes, because of their innate ability to invade and progressively destroy cells, play an essential role in cellular immune response, autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection. They work by either migrating as single cells, or acting in unison forming dense lymphoid tissue. For example, lymphocyte invasion of the artery wall is an early event in the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis.
According to the study, the NCDS is capable of detecting and monitoring at least 85% of the cells involved in tissue migration and the protein networks that participate in the involved mechanisms. This newly available data is considered crucial for a better understanding of diseases linked with cellular migration, such as arteriosclerosis and cancer.
According to MelTec, the key to understanding the mechanisms underlying disease processes lies in deciphering the variations and interactions in the protein networks involved in specific disease pathways.
Currently, most of the relationships between the cellular environment and intracellular distribution of proteins are not well understood. With the NCDS technology a researcher can simultaneously discover the molecular phenotype of cells and the precise position of protein networks, thus enabling closer investigation of the hidden relationships between the structure, molecular expression and function of proteins.
MelTec GmbH is a privately held biotechnology company specializing in using topological proteomics to identify mechanisms underlying disease pathology, drug targets and to prioritize lead compounds focused on immune-mediated disease, neurological disorders, cancer, and arteriosclerosis. MelTec's proprietary robotic imaging technology, MELK (Multi-Epitope-Ligand-Kartographie), performs completely automated proteomic characterization of single cells, for hundreds of proteins simultaneously, thus identifying the proteomic fingerprint, or the topology, of individual cells, such as lymphocyte.
Using its technology, MelTec believes that it can greatly accelerate pre-clinical research in the drug development process, and has already identified new targets and lead compounds in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease) and cancer.
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Contacts: MelTec GmbH Christine Lemke, D.V.M., M.B.A. Chief Operating Officer, 49-391-6117252.
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