Could you introduce yourself and describe your roles at OLS?
GJ: My name is Yael Geva and I am Operations Manager at IDEA-Bio Ltd in Tel Aviv, Israel.
A F: My name is Andreas Friese and I am Head of Sales and COO at OLS OMNI Life Science (OLS).
Screening of live zebrafish in multi-well plates with the Hermes Imaging System by IDEA Bio. Image credit: IDEA Bio-Medical
What sector does OLS specialize in and how did the partnership with IDEA Bio-Medical come about?
A F: OLS’ primary focus is cell research, and we strive to be our customers’ partner of choice in cell research. OLS is based in Bremen, Germany and is a family business. Although the OLS has been around in one form or another since 2004, in recent years the OLS has carved out a place for itself in cellular research.
At OLS, we manufacture our own products and instruments, such as the CASY Cell Counter & Analyzer, which is distributed worldwide, and the CERO 3D Incubator & Bioreactor, which is also manufactured in-house and distributed worldwide. Today, we work closely with IDEA Bio-Medical to find companies in the field who are willing and able to image what we grow in our CERO.
How are OLS products grown?
A F: At OLS, we grow our products in-house, from cells to spheroids and organoids. OLS cultivates stem cells, and even pieces of tissue. Our teams believe that the Hermes WiScan system is an incredibly innovative and fast tool that facilitates the next generation of high content imaging in the market.
Multi-scale of biology covered by the Hermès imaging system: from 2D cell culture to 3D spheroids and whole organisms. Image credit: IDEA Bio-Medical
What is the purpose of IDEA Bio-Medical, and how does it align with the philosophy and purpose of OLS?
GJ: IDEA Bio-Medical is an Israeli company. We specialize in automated imaging and automated analysis for the field of cell biology. We launched our flagship product, the Hermes WiScan, about ten years ago. Our market is mainly composed of researchers doing cell biology within universities and drug discovery pharmaceutical companies doing compound screening as well as biotech companies.
There is a strong ideological link and a shared philosophy between IDEA Bio and OLS. This is partly due to the innovation of OLS: the company does not only buy and sell; instead, it develops and manufactures its own products. Both organizations also work in complementary areas: OLS focuses on life sciences within cell biology covering sample preparation and culture, and here at IDEA Bio-Medical we complement this by covering the imaging and analysis. Together, our two organizations create a comprehensive workflow that can provide a backbone of support for the marketplace.
What is the Hermès Imaging System?
GJ: The Hermes Imaging System is essentially a platform for the researcher – or anyone doing life science research who wants to visualize and quantify everything that happens in cells, at the cellular level.
The system is capable of scanning multiwell plates and slides in multiple fluorescence channels and brightfield channels. It then automatically analyzes all these images and extracts quantitative and meaningful information from these samples. This can be applied to a range of applications including cancer research, virology and immunology – essentially the system supports anything related to the field of cell biology.
CERO 3D cell culture incubator by OLS OMNI life science. Image Credit: OLS OMNI Life Sciences
What are the features of the Hermes Imaging System?
GJ: We are particularly excited about several new features of the Hermes Imaging System that we recently launched. One of the new features relates to the zebrafish domain and provides a complete solution for zebrafish scouting in an automated and high-content way, covering image acquisition as well as analysis.
The analysis is unique in that it is a deep learning AI-based analysis that discretely segments all compartments of the fish, as well as the outline of the fish, into a clear field of unlabeled way. This analysis encompasses a wide range of research when analyzing zebrafish, which is now an emerging model for cell biology.
Another great feature is our new automated oil immersion module. Essentially, it enables fully automated multi-well plate screening with oil immersion without any user intervention. It is no longer necessary to work manually with the oil, but the user still benefits from the high resolution and the brighter contrast with lower and shorter time intervals.
Essentially, the system increases throughput without the user having to do anything; the process is undertaken automatically. Terabytes of data are acquired, analyzed, quantified and documented automatically – all the user has to do is load the samples into the system to begin the process. The other advantage is that all data is analyzed impartially, which is essential during scientific research. Rather than a human undertaking the segmentation, the system gives the user a real picture of what is happening in their sample.
How will the combined expertise of both organizations be used for the benefit of OLS and IDEA Bio customers?
A F: Essentially, all of the important research that IDEA Bio has conducted over the past few years to develop this AI-based instrumentation for high-content screening in zebrafish will now be used for OLS Omni Life Sciences customers in the fields of cell research, cell biology and 3D cell culture to perform precise high-end analyzes on 3D structures.
In other words, it is an ideal marriage between the two organizations: OLS Omni Life Science which develops the culture systems for several of these cellular structures, and these will then be analyzed with precision and speed by the instrumentation of IDEA Bio-Medical.
About the speakers
Yael Enzer Geva
Operations Manager at IDEA Bio-Medical
Yael is a biotechnology engineer and has been part of the IDEA Bio-Medical team since 2015. Yael has extensive experience in sales and marketing of scientific laboratory equipment, automated microscopy and image analysis software platforms .
Dr. Andreas Fries
COO at OLS OMNI life sciences
Andreas holds a PhD in Life Sciences and has been the COO of OLS Omni Life sciences since 2018. Andreas has extensive disintegration experience in the life sciences industry, leading teams sale of cell research equipment and cell culture devices.
About IDEA Bio-Medical Ltd.
IDEA Bio-Medical was founded in 2007 through a partnership between YEDA (the commercialization arm of the Weizmann Institute) and IDEA Machine Development (an innovation center).
We specialize in automated imaging systems and image analysis software, offering a wide range of biological applications based on the company’s unique algorithm library. The company develops new image-based screening platforms for the pharmaceutical industry and medical centers, dedicated to expanding the reach of personalized medicine.
Our WiScan Hermes system incorporates the most advanced technologies currently available in the field of machine vision, integrated with high reliability and quality engineering methodologies at the level of the semiconductor and digital printing industries, which are the specialty of our parent company, IDEA Machine Development Design and Production Ltd.