Cell microinjection system is a widely used tool in the domain of cell biology and it allows us to deliver a specific amount of substance into a cell using a fine tipped needle (or a microinjection pipette) under the observation of a microscope. Cell microinjection systems are widely used for delivering drugs to a single cell for the treatment of diseases, like Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Sickle cell anemia and Cystic fibrosis, developing organs, like heart, lungs and kidney, and in-vitro fertilization.
The cost of most commercially available microinjection systems is in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which makes their purchase and usage in developing countries very rare. This is one of the biggest reasons for the limited amount of research done in the areas of cell biology, Genetic engineering, trans-genetics and cloning, in the developing nations. As a first step towards overcoming this limitation, Bitsym has partnered with a team of renowned researchers that has developed a manual microinjection system, which can be manipulated by humans using various knobs under the microscope to perform cell injections. However, the manual nature of analysis makes the injection process very time consuming and error-prone. Under the financing of National ICT R&D fund in amount of $400,000, Bitsym has entered into a collaborative arrangement with National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) to overcome these problems and come up with an affordable and efficient semi-automated cell micro-injection system.
The project team, lead by Dr. Osman Hasan and Dr. Saad Bin Qaisar in collaboration with Dr. Nasir Jalal is developing a virtual reality simulator along with a joystick like manipulator for training scientists to use the already developed manual microinjection system.
Our next objective is to upgrade the manual cell injection system to a semi-automatic cell injection system, where the operator of the system can view the cells on his computer screen and perform the injection process via a joystick like manipulator, which is in turn controlling motors to perform the actual cell injection.
Our third objective is to provide remote access to the microinjection system to ensure remote training of doctors and practitioners on the system.
Once developed, Bitsym Healthcare plans to launch the system in the Pakistani market and extend the benefits of the effort in the region.