NSF awards Animated Dynamics $150,000 to develop microscope attachment to more fully study cell dynamics

August 28, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The National Science Foundation has awarded a six-month SBIR Phase I grant worth $150,000 to Animated Dynamics Inc. to develop a microscope attachment to help scientists study the motion and dynamics inside a cell.

The attachment will turn a standard microscope into a biodynamic microscope, which studies a cell's phenotype, or the observable traits that result from how cells in tissues interact with their environment. The technology was created by David D. Nolte, president of Animated Dynamics, and John J. Turek, executive vice president and CFO. Nolte is a professor of physics at Purdue University and Turek is a professor of basic medical sciences.

Nolte said studying phenotypes can be more powerful than studying only an organism's genes.

"Studying the phenotype means scientists can see how cell samples behave, mechanically and functionally, in the 3-D environment of living tissue," he said. "Cells are mechanical machines, and if you study their motion you can tell what the machine is doing. If it breaks down, you can see how the motions are changing."

Nolte said the NSF Phase I grant will be used to create a prototype of the biodynamic microscope accessory and to place beta versions into laboratories.

"Receiving the grant from the National Science Foundation will enable us to move our technology from prototype to product more rapidly," he said. "Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures also will contribute another $50,000 to further support this endeavor."

Animated Dynamics is headquartered at the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

About Animated Dynamics Inc.

Animated Dynamics (AniDyn) is located in the Kurz Purdue Technology Center in West Lafayette, Indiana. The company was spun out of Purdue University by professors David D. Nolte and John J. Turek. AniDyn is focused on the development and commercialization of live-tissue imaging platform technologies. AniDyn's imaging platform provides solutions for diverse applications in the life and health sciences.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in four sites in Indiana - West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The more than 260 companies located in the park network employ about 4,500 people who earn an average annual wage of $63,000. The park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org

Source: David D. Nolte, dnolte@anidyn.com

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