Single Molecule Tracking (SMT) Technology
Protein activity is mediated by transient interactions between a protein molecule and other components of the cellular environment, including membranes, other proteins, DNA/RNA and small molecules. These transient interactions define the motion profile of a protein population. By precisely measuring these motions, we describe the activities and the functions of a protein.
Recognizing the need to visualize the dynamics of macromolecules within live cells, our team is building on Nobel Prize-winning super-resolution fluorescence microscopy tools (developed by Eikon co-founder Eric Betzig). Our Single Molecule Tracking (SMT) systems enable exquisitely precise measurement of the dynamic behavior of individual protein molecules in living cells, on a massive scale. Multiple individual proteins are fluorescently labeled within a cell, and hundreds of cells can be imaged in a single sample. By quantifying the movement of each individual protein molecule over time, we can build a profile of that protein’s population dynamics, both in its native state and in the presence of drug candidates, hormones or other stimuli. We can capture hundreds of thousands of protein trajectories in less than a second, and we typically analyze millions of experimental conditions each week.
Our analysis software provides quantifiable, multidimensional characterizations of the target proteins, revealing discrete subpopulations with different behaviors across unique measurements, such as diffusion rate, angular movement, processivity, on-/off-rates as well as residence times for small molecules binding to proteins. We can measure changes in these parameters in real time and can observe perturbations following introduction of a stimulus across millisecond time scales. We extract these data using proprietary bioinformatics tools and software analytics. These analyses inform the optimization of chemical matter for our preclinical programs.
Our team spans hardware, optical and electrical engineers who work together to develop new optical systems permitting the capture of SMT data at scale and with consistent quality. Our proprietary microscopes are designed and built in-house by our expert teams.
The significant volume of data generated by our advanced technology platform requires new computational tools for interpretation. Our team collaboratively builds the software and systems — using AI and machine learning — to characterize and interpret the novel insights we reveal.
We are committed to building not only software and hardware technology solutions, but also the materials and reagents needed for our innovative assays. We have developed automated solutions for engineering cell lines for SMT and research biology, created new dyes for imaging and adapted consumables to fit our needs.
The power of Eikon's platform lies in its scalability and automation, which results directly from the integration of our research and engineering teams. We have engineered a fully automated, end-to-end system that can run thousands of SMT assays each day. The resulting data are processed in near real time, enabling high-throughput screening of SMT biology. These automated systems reach beyond SMT into cell line engineering and compound management. Hence our ability to scale and automate is applied broadly across the drug discovery process.