Cambridge Consultants and Neuro Engineering Technologies Research Institute (NETRI) announce a breakthrough in precision imaging of brain activity. Working with NETRI’s brain-on-a-chip technology and lensless imaging approach that detects the activity of neurons in brain tissue, Cambridge Consultants was able to accelerate the processing of individual images by over three orders of magnitude, moving from about 20 minutes to process an image to just hundreds of milliseconds. This step-change in speed opens up radical new possibilities, including real-time processing of neural activity and mimicking of neural activity on engineered platforms, supporting the development of novel treatments for conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
We design disruptive technology to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment
Organ-on-a-chip is an emerging and highly promising area of biomedical research. The technology involves the ex-vivo (outside of the body) simulation of organ function on a chip. The ultimate promise of such technologies is to greatly reduce the time and cost of testing new therapies for safety and efficacy. Brain-on-a-chip technologies seek to apply this approach to the neural circuitry of the brain, the most complex organ in the human body.
French startup NETRI creates disruptive technologies for brain-on-a-chip applications in neuroscience. Its focus is on ex-vivo replication of human neural circuits in order to understand how neurological disorders, treatments and chemicals affect the brain. NETRI uses a combination of brain-on-a-chip technology and lensless microscopy to record the activity of millions of connected neurons, mimicking the neural circuits implicated in neurological disorders.
However, by detecting something as complex as neural activity, the approach generates an enormous amount of data, requiring many hours of computation effort in order to fully reconstruct the spatio-temporal map of neuron communication. The imaging system runs at approximately 1,000 frames per second, and the baseline algorithm took an average of 1,090 seconds – 18 minutes – to process a single image on a powerful desktop PC. Without improvement, a single second of recording can take 12 days to process.
Recognizing its world-class expertise in medical imaging and high-performance computation, NETRI approached Cambridge Consultants to address this bottleneck, challenging the company to develop a radical algorithm acceleration. A scientific imaging team was set to work within the company’s Data Lab, an on-site facility with state-of-the-art compute infrastructure, allowing rapid exploration of data and compute-heavy approaches, such as high-definition imaging and deep learning.
Cambridge Consultants selected the NVIDIA DGX POD architecture for their AI infrastructure, deploying the NetApp ONTAP AI solution that combines NVIDIA DGX-1™ with NetApp ONTAP storage and network fabric. Through a series of optimizations, the team was able to show that the NVIDIA DGX-1 system delivers the AI supercomputing power required to process a frame in an average of 0.3 seconds, around 3,000 times quicker than the original approach. This acceleration was achieved through a series of optimizations including the design and application of mathematical and algorithmic improvements, leveraging NumPY GPU-accelerated with RAPIDS (CuPy), and exploiting the sheer power of the DGX-1 system. The combined result enables NETRI to completely reimagine their approach and to set their sights on the most radical possibilities, including developing a fully scalable and real-time medical service for hospitals and pharmaceutical industries to perform both in-vitro diagnostics and personalized treatment for every patient suffering from a neurological condition.
Sally Epstein, Head of Strategic Technology at Cambridge Consultants, commented: “Lensless imaging replaces traditional optics with computation, creating a new set of optimization challenges that our team was excited to address. We’re proud to be at the leading-edge of developments in brain-on-a-chip technology and neural imaging, at the point where radical improvements can be unlocked by those with the right combination of vision, experience and compute power.”
Thibault Honegger, Chief Scientific Officer, President & Co-founder of NETRI, commented: “By combining the expertise of Cambridge Consultants with NVIDIA-based computational power, the real-time processing of neural communications becomes possible. This can mark a paradigm shift in assessing the functional aspects of in-vitro neural networks. With this level of resolution, we will be able to accurately measure the “wellness” of the network, in relation to neurological conditions and potential recovery.”
캠브리지 컨설턴트(Cambridge Consultants)는 혁신적인 제품을 개발하고, 지적 재산권을 창출 및 라이선스하며, 전 세계 고객을 대상으로 기술 중심 문제를 해결하는 비즈니스 컨설팅 서비스를 제공합니다. 캠브리지 컨설턴트는 60년 이상 기업고객이 신기술을 도입하여 업계 최초로 제품을 출시하거나, 새로운 시장에 진출하거나, 기존 시장을 확장하거나, 사업기회를 상업적 성공으로 전환하도록 지원해 왔다. 엔지니어, 과학자, 수학자 및 디자이너를 포함한 900명 이상의 인원이 캠브리지(영국), 보스턴(미국), 도쿄(동경), 싱가포르(싱가포르)의 연구소에서 의료 기술, 산업 및 소비자 제품, 디지털 보건, 에너지 및 무선 통신 등 다양한 업종에 걸친 솔루션을 제공합니다.더 많은 정보를 원하시면, www.cambridgeconsultants.com를 방문하세요.
케임브리지 컨설턴트(Cambridge Consultants)는 캡제미니 그룹의 혁신 컨설팅 브랜드인 캡제미니 인벤트 (Capgemini Invent)의 소속입니다. 캡제미니 인벤트는 CxO가 조직의 미래를 계획하고 구축할 수 있도록 지원합니다. 30개 이상의 오피스와 25개 이상의 창의적인 연구소를 보유하고 있습니다. 캡제미니 인벤트의 7,000 여개의 팀들은 창의적인 설계, 깊은 산업 전문 지식과 통찰력을 바탕으로 미래의 새로운 디지털 솔루션 및 비즈니스 모델을 개발합니다.
캡제미니 인벤트는 그룹의 핵심적인 부문으로, 기술력을 바탕으로 고객사의 비즈니스를 혁신하고 관리하는 데 있어 기업과 협력하는 글로벌 리더입니다. 캡제미니 그룹은한 포용적이고 지속 가능한 미래를 위하기술을 통해 인간의 에너지를 촉발하려는 목적에 따라 매일 발전됩니다. 거의 50 개국에서 270,000 명의 팀원으로 구성된 책임감 있고 다양한 조직입니다. 우수한 50 년 전통과 깊은 산업 전문성을 갖춘 캡제미니는 빠르게 진화하고 혁신적인 클라우드, 데이터, AI, 커넥티비티 소프트웨어, 디지털 엔지니어링 및 플랫폼에 힘입어 전략 및 설계에서 운영에 이르기까지 비즈니스의 전체 폭을 해결할 수 있도록 고객사로부터 신뢰를 받고 있습니다. 캡제미니 그룹은 2020 년 글로벌 매출이 160 억 유로라고 보고했습니다.
원하는 미래 얻기 | www.capgemini.com
NETRI has unique expertise and technologies in microfluidics engineering. NETRI designs, fabricates and exploits 3D microfluidics chips dedicated to neuroscience, aiming at understanding the structural and functional mechanistic of neural circuits, neurological disorders or potential novel treatments. Using a multi-compartments approach, we can reproduce in vitro neural networks of every complexity up to connectome-on-chip. Using rodent or iPSCs cells, physiologically relevant conditions can be replicated using NETRI’s NeurofluidicTM chips: Multi-nodes neural/non neural interfaces, neural circuits of every complexity, controlled structural connectivity, functional network recording, co-cultures in all nodes with fluid isolation, controlled microenvironment with disease-related injury, high-throughput microscopy compliance and small amount of reagents.
NETRI currently collaborates with pharmaceutical companies, CROs, academic researchers and medical doctors to accelerate the understanding of neural troubles mechanisms and the discoveries of new treatments. For further information: www.netri.fr/
Chief Scientific Officer, President & co-founder
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