OrganVision, a technology proposal to image organoids real-time label-free, has been funded 3.7 million Euros by Horizon 2020 under the prestigious FET Open RIA program. The project comprises of 8 partners spread across 5 cities in 4 nations: Norway (Tromso), Germany (Hamburg, Jena), Italy (Milan), and Spain (Barcelona).
The eight partners are:
- Krishna Agarwal (UiT@Tromso, coordinator, computational microscopy)
- Dilip Prasad (UiT@Tromso, artificial intelligence)
- Åsa Birna Birgisdottir (UNN@Tromso, cardiovascular biology)
- Florian Weinberger (UKE@Hamburg, engineered heart tissues)
- Aisada Koenig (JenLab@Jena, microscope prototyping)
- Matteo Bregonzio (3rdPlace@Milan, big data)
- Dipanjan Bhattacharya (IFOM@Milan, biotechnology)
- Marti Duocastella (UB@Barcelona, ultrafast microscopy)
OrganVision envisions to shift the paradigm for organoids from disease or drug-screening models to observable tissue micro-bio-environment for unravelling key physiological and pathological processes in humans. We aspire to enable the exploitation of the most important feature of organoids – life, health, disease, and death unfolding in real-time at sub-cellular and inter-cellular scales in cells and tissues, respectively. Our ambition is to (a) overcome the central obstacle that prevents realization of the vision, namely lack of real-time high-resolution label-free imaging technology suitable for organoids, and (b) create new opportunities for organoid research and exploit them.
The team of OrganVision opines that independent efforts in the fields of microscopy, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and life sciences contributes incremental improvement at best, whereas the field is in need of a leap in the technology. OrganVision cuts across individual fields of microscopy, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and medical science, brings them to a nexus of unprecedented possibilities and changes the course of organoids research forever. It is not just interdisciplinary, it also brings together diverse institutions: two academic universities, one research institute, two university hospitals and two small and medium enterprises (SMEs), for fulfilling the need of development and engagement on all the relevant fronts.