ZEISS Microscopes in Protein Analytics

August 28, 2015 ZEISS Microscopy

The company AYOXXA has a new biochip technology platform for protein multiplex analysis. This technology enables the simultaneous analysis of many proteins (biomarkers) in very small specimen quantities. Founded in 2010, the company uses only ZEISS microscopes for the development and production of the protein biochip.

Dr. Lars Röglin (left), Senior Scientist Biochemistry at AYOXXA, with the platform for the biochip in his hand, and Dr. Bodo Borm from the ZEISS Democenter in Köln.
Dr. Lars Röglin (left), Senior Scientist Biochemistry at AYOXXA, with the platform for the biochip in his hand, and Dr. Bodo Borm from the ZEISS Democenter in Cologne.

The technology

The biochip is mounted in a special modular holder system in which the biochemical test and the readout in the microscope can be performed. The specimens can be applied both manually  (front photo), semi-automatically (rear photo) or fully automatically.
The biochip is mounted in a special modular holder system in which the biochemical test and the readout in the microscope can be performed. The specimens can be applied both manually (front photo), semi-automatically (rear photo) or fully automatically.

Beads are the core of AYOXXA technology. These are provided with special antibodies and deposited on special biochips. The technology makes it possible to detect a large number of adjacent proteins. The user applies his or her specimen fluid to the biochip. Only a tiny quantity is required – up to three thousandths of a milliliter. The corresponding proteins of the specimen bond to the antibodies of the beads. In the last stage of the process fluorescent markers are used that can be clearly identified under the ZEISS Axio Imager 2 fluorescence microscope. The evaluation is performed with the aid of the AYOXXA software. The biochips can be used in research, pharmaceutical screening and in pre-clinical diagnostics.

ZEISS has been collaborating with AYOXXA since 2012. Initially equipped with a ZEISS Axio Imager 2 for the development, the young company now has seven microscopes for R&D, production and marketing. “We have been been supporting AYOXXA in the development of the biochip and the readout software for some years now“, says Dr. Bodo Borm, the ZEISS Account Manager responsible at the Cologne site.

Dr. Lars Röglin, Senior Scientist Biochemistry at AYOXXA, also values the good collaboration. “The closeness to the Cologne Demo Center is a major benefit. ZEISS supported our product development with its know-how, particularly in the initial phase“, says the chemist.

“It is exciting being able to support a start-up BioTech company right from day one. The pioneering spirit at AYOXXA is still very strong, and we are receiving fascinating insights into the world of suppliers to the biodiagnostics and pharmaceutical industries,” says Dr. Sven Laarmann from Sales Germany at ZEISS.

 

About AYOXXA

Dr. Andreas Schmidt (right), a co-founder of the biotechnology company AYOXXA, and  Michael Rasche (left), Corporate Vice President. The biochip will be launched on the 4th of  September.
Dr. Andreas Schmidt (right), a co-founder of the biotechnology company AYOXXA, and
Michael Rasche (left), Corporate Vice President. The biochip will be launched on the 4th of September.

Dr. Andreas Schmidt and Prof. Dieter Trau founded the company AYOXXA in Singapore in 2010. The BioTech start-up enterprise has received several awards and support from renowned institutes and financial investors (including Singapore MIT Alliance of Research, KfW-Award GründerChampions, Promising NUS StartUp of the Year Award, Best of BioTech). In 2012 the founders decided to transfer the company’s headquarters to Cologne in Germany. “‘Made in Germany’ played a key role in selecting our headquarters. Originally, we considered Boston due to its image as the BioTech mecca, but Cologne offers a relatively lively BioTech scene and it is close to Europe’s major research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. In our collaboration with ZEISS we are addressing a market where equal emphasis is given to quality and good service,”  Schmidt says. The company now has 30 employees at three sites (Cologne, Singapore, Boston) and addresses a US$ 2.5 billion market for protein detection. The market launch and volume production for the first product will start in September.

 

Explore more exciting imaging technologies and life sciences applications for microscopes from ZEISS here.

 

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