Sensoriis, Inc is a company that, develops evidence-based sensing solutions to support biological investigations and address health care problems. The goal of this NIH SBIR Phase II grant with University of California Irvine is to provide novel systems to assess cardiac electrophysiology in zebrafish models, supporting heart disease studies and drug screening. Heart disease plagues the world as the leading cause of mortality. Cardiac arrhythmic diseases alone contributed about 350,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Although causative genes for some of them have been partially discovered, genetic basis for the majority remains poorly understood. The zebrafish (Dario rerio) model system is an important vertebrate experimental model owing to its small size, low-cost for maintenance, short generation time, amenable and conserved genetics, and optical transparency. Zebrafish have long been used as model system for understanding human cardiac development, disease, and regeneration. Further, zebrafish model enables a forward genetic approach to reveal the genetic basis and underlying molecular mechanisms of numerous heart diseases. Owing to the physiological similarities to humans?, zebrafish have also proven to be an ideal model system for drug screening. The conventional setup for cardiac phenotype acquisition in zebrafish (i.e. electrocardiogram ? ECG) involves anesthesia causing variation in functionality. To date, there is no system which can offer cardiac phenotype monitoring in freely-swimming zebrafish, not to mention for multiple fish simultaneously. Further, data processing and analysis have been done manually, making it impossible to conduct large-scale studies. In this context, we propose to establish a long-term roadmap using multidisciplinary approaches to enable i) novel devices and systems to provide reliable ECG data of multiple fish (both adult fish and larvae) over a long period of time; ii) cloud-based systems to effectively process and interpret as well as study large-scale data; and iii) a host of cardiac studies as well as drug investigations using the zebrafish models and our novel tools.
In this Phase II SBIR grant, Sensoriis, Inc and the University of California Irvine will develop novel bioengineering tools to collect and study electrocardiogram of the zebrafish model with high throughput. The goal is to facilitate and reduce cost and time of cardiac phenotype-based acquisition and analytics in the zebrafish models, supporting numerous cardiac studies and drug screening applications. The system also paves the avenue for investigations of therapeutic potential for cardiac disease.