Intrinsic Fluorescence Informatics Technology (INFLIT)

To maximize the efficiency of new data acquisition and to permit the analysis of unique, high value spectral information, the Company is expanding its portfolio of custom designed high precision fluorometric instrumentation. These systems, called Intrinsic Fluorescence Informatics Technology (INFLIT), are based on SerOptix' experiences in the accurate detection of faint natural fluorescence signals, and represent a proprietary combination of state-of-the-art optical components and novel signal analysis software that optimize overall system performance characteristics. This technology provides both a novel portfolio of tools and advanced data stream not currently commercially available as well as an efficient strategy for management and mining of SerOptix' proprietary databases.

High Resolution-INFLIT (HR-INFLIT) Systems

SerOptix' most advanced system to obtain and analyze molecular signatures has been designated the HR-INFLIT-355. The system uses a 355 nM microlaser with a spectrometer and computer system designed to measure fluorescence associated with any biological fluid or extract. This specific wavelength system was chosen to maximize the information obtained from diluted or partially fractionated protein-rich plasma that is dominated by tryptophan fluorescence (a natural component of proteins) when excited with shorter wavelengths of light. To increase the breadth of data obtained from any sample and to take advantage of our protocols, which can now provide an almost protein-free extract of plasma, SerOptix intends to develop a family of INFLIT instruments incorporating additional light sources (e.g. deep ultraviolet: 266 nm as well as 355nm) and sensitive detection units. Additional single and dual laser combinations will be considered as a result of our Standard Spectral Surveys (see SMI). Advanced design units will have the capability of obtaining spectral signatures of the emission from plasma extracts at one or both excitation wavelengths and be equipped to analyze and combine the enhanced spectral information. Selected systems may be further optimized as instruments for direct diagnostic assays such as SerOptix' ID-LBS assay for HCV.

XL-INFLIT systems

SerOptix has proven that intrinsic fluorescence analysis can be employed to create reliable systems for disease detection. The application of broad spectral surveys and specific HR-INFLIT systems on direct extracts of biological samples represent the initial steps in the creation of comprehensive molecular signatures based on intrinsic fluorescence. Bulk extracts can be directly and rapidly fractionated into families of fluorescent molecules using chromatographic methods (e.g. HPLC) that magnify minor bulk extract differences when separated into several groups. The information content of chromatographic profiles can be further enhanced by the measurement of the intrinsic fluorescence spectra of each fraction or 'peak'. SerOptix scientists have demonstrated that the measurement of native fluorescence spectra during chromatographic separation provides additional information concerning the molecular profile of the sample, increasing the complexity, utility and value of the databases built from these analyses. With current technology it is possible to monitor samples with multiple excitation wavelengths and obtain high-resolution fluorescence spectra of fractionated peaks. Figures 1A & 1B are three dimensional displays of a chromatographic profile showing both fluorescence intensity and emission spectra of a model sample extract monitored with laser excitation at 266nm and 355nm respectively. The wavelength maximum of each "peak" in the chromatographic profile is noted in each panel, and illustrates the additional information that can be obtained through this approach. SerOptix XL-INFLIT units that are designed to obtain and process these datasets with enhanced time resolution and spectral breadth at multiple excitation wavelengths, will hold substantial value for disease-specific molecular profiling, and provide a powerful tool for the identification of new molecular targets for drug discovery and diagnostic product development.

The Spectra-Molecular Informatics Database System

The cornerstone of the SerOptix Platform is the establishment of its proprietary Informatics system based on intrinsic fluorescence signatures for samples from normal and diseased subjects. The Informatics system will include multiple parallel databases derived from a matrix of sample preparation and spectral analysis methods. From the central informatics server, selected datasets can be compiled, subjected to quantitative and comparative analyses, and utilized as the basis for further data acquisition decisions. Custom-developed data integration software will permit the rapid real time compilation and analysis of data sets from diverse data sources, such as spectral survey tools and multiple HR- and XL-INFLIT systems. The Spectra-Molecular Informatics system is being constructed to offer confidential segregation of results derived from funded research, and will provide limited access to core databases and analytical functions for possible mining to corporate partners and database subscribers. SerOptix intends to maintain full rights to data acquired through both internally funded and sponsored studies for probing for molecular targets not subject to contract restrictions (e.g. specific disease targets), and expects to construct a comprehensive longitudinal database from samples acquired form normal and disease donors over extended time periods. These data proprietorship advantages will provide SerOptix with first review of novel datasets and an ownership position for many immediately identifiable disease-discriminatory spectral leads and molecular targets. The longitudinal database is expected to offer particularly useful spectral-molecular information as initially normal subjects age and develop disease symptoms. Data and archived samples will be available from these important donors, from which especially valuable subclinical evidence of important diseases may be derived.

Since spectral data will be routinely obtained as relations of intensity and wavelength, our system will be optimally configured to maximize accessibility and mining of these files for detection of disease-specific signals and development of discriminatory algorithms.


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