Frequently Asked Questions:
Is VAIDR a microscope? Is it a software package?
VAIDR comes with one or more microscopes and it’s an integrated system that streamlines the process of image acquisition, data management, and image analysis.
You get the full power of morphological assays without the friction of bringing together microscope, imaging experts, and data analysts.
How is VAIDR better than X?
It’s hard to compare VAIDR to anything:
- it includes one or more microscopes, but it also has compute hardware, sophisticated data handling, and AI-based image analysis that can be trained to detect anything an expert can see;
- image analysis software is an import part of VAIDR, but the value is generated through the integration with microscopy and data management as well as a focus on users who are cell culture experts, not data scientists.
We know of no offering with even a similar set of features.
You might compare VAIDR to an established imaging and analysis pipeline with hardware and software components, run by a team of experts. VAIDR will not replace that setup. But it will be an excellent addition for ensuring that this high-value pipeline only gets used for high-complexity projects and not stuff that can be automated and dealt with in brightfield mode. The experts will appreciate it!
Get in touch if you need more details.
Can VAIDR detect nuclei? Apoptosis? Intra-cellular vesicle distribution...?
VAIDR can detect anything you can teach it to. If you can see it, VAIDR can learn it. And often even if you can’t see it.
What’s in the package?
When you rent a VAIDR system you get
- one or more microscopes,
- one high-performance server,
- network infrastructure to connect them,
- peripherals (monitor, keyboard…),
- access to all your data and analyzes from anywhere in the world (safe and sound behind multiple layers of advanced IT security).
And, importantly, our support to get up to speed in no time.
What’s the price tag?
Normally, our customers rent a VAIDR system, and pay on a monthly or annual basis, but we’re flexible. The annual rate is € 30,000 plus taxes.
Can I try before I buy?
We’re so glad you asked! We offer a structured trial and onboarding plan, our 2-4-2 programme:
- Over the course of 2 weeks, we help you define a research question and experiments that will tell you conclusively whether VAIDR solves your problems.
We also clear up technical questions like what cell culture vessels you use and how to integrate with your IT.
We then set up and test a full VAIDR system at your site with everything needed to run the experiments.
Of course, this includes all the required training and Q&A to get everyone involved up to speed with VAIDR.
- Over the following 4 weeks, you use our system to run experiments, collect data, and start analyzing it. During that time, you’ll have the same quick and comprehensive support that comes with every VAIDR system to ensure a successful trial period.
- Another 2 weeks will allow you to assess the results and make a well-informed decision.
The 2-4-2 programme isn’t free—it’s a fixed EUR 2,500—but it’s the most cost effective way to ensure you’re making the right decision. And it’s deductible off any future payments.
What kind of microscope do I get?
The VAIDR microscope is a brightfield microscope with one configurable fluorescence channel. Each microscope comes with one objective, either 10x, 20x, or 40x. If you do need multiple magnifications or fluorescence channels you can get an extra microscope—at an additional ~10% of the system price. Have a look at our application notes for what our post-processing and AI can do with simple bright-field images.
Does the microscope image 6wp? 384wp? Petri dishes...?
All of the above. The microscope was designed to image standard cell culture plates and culture flasks. Also, we’ve imaged T25, T75, and T125 flasks. And for most vessels the size of a microtiter plate or smaller, we can make custom adapters (at no charge).
Can I use my own images?
We get that question a lot. At this time, the answer is “no”. We believe that much of the value of our system lies in the fact that it is streamlined and doesn’t require moving and tracking data manually, which is time consuming, error-prone, and no fun. That value would be lost if users were to use some other microscope to image and a spreadsheet to track metadata, and then spend their time getting images and metadata into VAIDR.
Do you really think VAIDR can replace me (an image analyst/data scientist)?
No we don’t. With VAIDR, you can implement morphological assays on bright-field images without writing a single line of code or having to know the first thing about machine learning.
But that doesn’t mean human imaging specialists will be out of a job any time soon.
There will always be innovative high-value projects that ask new questions and require new methods or new approaches. We’re data scientists ourselves and we’d much rather spend our time on projects like that than running the same ML pipeline on a slightly different dataset for the ump-teenth time, no matter how exciting and valuable the results are from the biological point of view.
Where do my data live?
All your data stays in your lab. Your on-premise VAIDR system comprises a server with enough storage to keep all your data. The system has a very convenient data export functionality and you can buy the hard drives containing your data at bare hardware prices at any time.
Does the microscope have ambient control?
It doesn’t, but it’s a cozy ~36°C inside. We don’t recommend leaving live cells in the microscope for longer than it takes to image them, but they won’t normally freeze to death while they’re in there.