BSL 3/4 labs are welcome to apply
CytoSMART Technologies is to donate 100 mini live-cell imaging systems to researchers in high containment labs worldwide. Labs working to combat COVID-19 will benefit from this initiative, as CytoSMART aims to reduce the huge workload currently facing researchers on projects vital to controlling the disease.
“We aim to do our part to assist researchers in minimizing the time they have to spend in high-contamination labs, by providing them with remote video access to evaluate the status of their cell cultures. The video data is used to remotely monitor the cytopathic effect, this way researchers know when it’s the right time to harvest the virus.” – Joffry Maltha, CEO at CytoSMART Technologies.
According to guidelines by the CDC and the WHO, isolation and characterization of COVID-19 should be performed in BSL-3 laboratories. Performing research in Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratories (BSL-3 or BSL-4) means working in a highly controlled area. Many precautionary measures must be taken to ensure the safety of researchers and help prevent the diseases they are working with from spreading outside the lab. Removing and replacing the protective clothing and apparatus can be time consuming and expensive, so entering the lab should ideally only occur when absolutely necessary.
CytoSMART’s unique and compact live-cell microscope films living cell cultures without disturbing their growth or behaviour. The device operates from inside cell culture incubators and is accessible from an online environment. This enables researchers to analyse their cell cultures remotely and assess e.g. the cytopathic effect, which is caused by virus replication. Using the CytoSMART Lux2, researchers will know when to take action for the next step and harvest the virus.
Said Maltha,“We need to help scientists who are working in BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories to combat COVID-19. We know that our system can help researchers in monitoring cell growth and deciding when they need to go to the high containment labs and run further experiments.
The work of such labs is absolutely essential in the fight against COVID-19 and it’s important to us as an organisation to help where we can. This useful tool can support them in their hard work, by helping to save precious time and equipment by knowing exactly when to enter the lab.