A new fluorescence imaging technology developed by Siemens Medical Solutions promises to improve the in vivo imaging of molecular processes and provide a powerful new tool for drug discovery and disease research.
Siemens debuted the system, called bonSAI at the second annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Imaging.
"Fluorescence imaging techniques are of particular interest to drug discovery and development because of their low cost, versatility and high throughput capability," said Markus Rudin, head of the Analytical and Imaging Sciences Unit at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, one of several prototype-testing sites for bonSAI. Fluorescence imaging techniques increase the value of study, as repetitive observations of the progression of disease in vivo are possible, he explained.
"bonSAI was developed to support the needs of pharmaceutical and biotechnology research organisations by aiding in target identification and early prioritisation of candidate drug compounds, thus speeding up research and development efforts and decreasing time to market," said Siemens.
It is an enabling technology that allows new information on molecular parameters to be obtained via biomedical research, the firm added, noting that bonSAI has been designed as a high-speed, easy-to-use imaging device at an affordable price to enable widespread usage in research.
"Siemens Medical Solutions is actively investigating the impact of molecular imaging on clinical workflow and disease management," said Erich Reinhardt, division's president and CEO.
"If fluorescence imaging techniques prove effective in preclinical efforts, we believe they ultimately will enable new applications to non-invasively detect disease."
Molecular imaging allows non-invasive measurement of molecular and biological processes within the living body. Compared to conventional diagnostic imaging, molecular imaging probes the molecular abnormalities that are the origin of disease, rather than imaging the resulting conditions or morphologies caused by the disease, said Siemens.