Seeing the invisible: deep learning optical microscopy for label-free biomolecule screening in the sub-10 kDa regime
Henrik Klein Moberg, Christoph Langhammer, Daniel Midtvedt, Barbora Spackova, Bohdan Yeroshenko, David Albinsson, Joachim Fritzsche, Giovanni Volpe Submitted to SPIE-ETAI Date: 23 August 2022 Time: 9:15 (PDT)
We show that a custom ResNet-inspired CNN architecture trained on simulated biomolecule trajectories surpasses the performance of standard algorithms in terms of tracking and determining the molecular weight and hydrodynamic radius of biomolecules in the low-kDa regime in NSM optical microscopy. We show that high accuracy and precision is retained even below the 10-kDa regime, constituting approximately an order of magnitude improvement in limit of detection compared to current state-of-the-art, enabling analysis of hitherto elusive species of biomolecules such as cytokines (~5-25 kDa) important for cancer research and the protein hormone insulin (~5.6 kDa), potentially opening up entirely new avenues of biological research.
Label-free nanofluidic scattering microscopy of size and mass of single diffusing molecules and nanoparticles
Barbora Špačková, Henrik Klein Moberg, Joachim Fritzsche, Johan Tenghamn, Gustaf Sjösten, Hana Šípová-Jungová, David Albinsson, Quentin Lubart, Daniel van Leeuwen, Fredrik Westerlund, Daniel Midtvedt, Elin K. Esbjörner, Mikael Käll, Giovanni Volpe & Christoph Langhammer
Nature Methods 19, 751–758 (2022)
Label-free characterization of single biomolecules aims to complement fluorescence microscopy in situations where labeling compromises data interpretation, is technically challenging or even impossible. However, existing methods require the investigated species to bind to a surface to be visible, thereby leaving a large fraction of analytes undetected. Here, we present nanofluidic scattering microscopy (NSM), which overcomes these limitations by enabling label-free, real-time imaging of single biomolecules diffusing inside a nanofluidic channel. NSM facilitates accurate determination of molecular weight from the measured optical contrast and of the hydrodynamic radius from the measured diffusivity, from which information about the conformational state can be inferred. Furthermore, we demonstrate its applicability to the analysis of a complex biofluid, using conditioned cell culture medium containing extracellular vesicles as an example. We foresee the application of NSM to monitor conformational changes, aggregation and interactions of single biomolecules, and to analyze single-cell secretomes.
In the event, held on Tuesday, 15 March 2022, 16:00-19:00, the ten teams that had gone through the training at the Startup Camp and developed their company ideas, pitched their companies on stage to a panel of entrepreneur experts, the other nine teams, and all business coaches at Chalmers Ventures. DeepTrack obtained the first place among the ten participants. Congrats!
Here a few pictures from the final pitching event of the Startup Camp.