The Smart Lipid Droplet Assay: what do Key Opinion Leaders say about it?

For the launch of our new digital assay, the Smart Lipid Droplet Assay, several key opinion leaders from various pharmaceutical companies and institutions had the chance to try out Nanolive’s new tool first hand. Check below how they’ve put the new tool to use, and their opinion on the acquired results.
This week we present you the last testimonial of this series, Dr. Christiani Amorim from the Catholic University of Louvain.


Prof. Christiani Amorim is in charge of a lab in the research and development part of the gynecology branch at the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Research located at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

The main goal of her lab is to develop an engineered ovary to restore fertility in leukemia patients. In order to do this, she needs to find a way to differentiate ovarian cells into theca cells. One way of distinguishing between the two is to analyze the cytoplasmic lipid droplet accumulation, which is why Prof. Amorim was keen to try the Smart Lipid Droplet AssayLIVE on her cells.

“The Smart Lipid Droplet Assay is crucial for our research for several reasons: (1) we do not need to use any staining, which is less time-consuming, (2) we can follow the lipid droplet development throughout the process of cell differentiation, which has never been done before, and (3) we can perform multiple quantifications at the same time, which will improve the robustness of our results.”

Dr. Christiani Amorim

Professor, Catholic University of Louvain


Lipid composition and metabolism play a crucial role in many neurological disorders. Dr. Stefan Hauser, head of the Stem Cell Laboratory in the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Tübingen is studying the role that lipid droplet dynamics play in rare monogenetic neurological disorders (e.g., hereditary spastic paraplegia and spinocerebellar ataxia) using iPSC-derived neural cell types.

Dr. Hauser tested the performance of the Smart Lipid Droplet AssayLIVE  in both iPSC-derived neurons and astrocytes. Hear what he has to say about its performance in the video on your right.

“I believe that the Nanolive microscope together with the Smart Lipid Droplet Assay is a great option to analyze the dynamics of lipids in a “natural environment” as there is no need to add any labels or staining procedures which probably interfere with cellular processes. The software is easy to use and we are really looking forward to future experiments to further investigate impaired lipid homeostasis as a disease mechanism in several neurological disorders.”

Dr. Stefan Hauser

Head of the Stem Cell Laboratory, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Tübingen


Atherosclerosis, the thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by plaque build-up, is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. It is a chronic inflammatory disease arising from lipid metabolism imbalance.
When lipoproteins, sequestered in the artery, are biochemically modified to become pro-inflammatory, an immune response is triggered. Macrophages swarm to the site of inflammation and ingest the lipoproteins, which are stored in lipid droplets (LDs). Lipid accumulation changes the morphology of macrophages into “foam cells”. There is great interest in understanding the mechanisms of this process for investigating atherogenesis and developing therapeutic strategies.
In this research, conducted by Dr. Branislav Radović from the Medical University of Graz in Austria, the Smart Smart Lipid Droplet AssayLIVE was used to quantify LD dynamics during foam cell formation.​

“With Nanolive, we get much more information with less material and in completely non-invasive conditions. The possibility to interfere with LD metabolism by changing the incubation conditions and quantify the data with the Smart Lipid Droplet Assay “on-time” is just great.”

Dr. Branislav Radović

Senior Lecturer, Lipid Signalling Group , Medical University of Graz, Austria

MESOESTETIC – Dr. Alfredo Martinez

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are one of the main causes of skin aging and high glucose levels are the major culprit. AGEs crosslink with proteins (e.g., elastin or collagen), rendering them non-functional, which results in stiffness of the skin. Proteins though, are not the only targets of AGEs. Lipids also contain the amino groups that sugars require to bind to. Biopharmaceutical companies’ aim to develop products that protect from or reverse damage to skin cells.
In this research conducted by Dr. Alfredo Martinez  from the cosmetic company, Mesoestetic, the Smart Lipid Droplet Assay LIVE (SLDA) was used to quantify the effect of AGEs on individual LD dynamics in primary human dermal fibroblasts.

“The Smart Lipid Droplet Assay will allow the better characterization of lipid droplets dynamics in specific pathologies.”

Dr. Alfredo Martinez

Director of the Biotechnology Unit, Mesoestetic

AMGEN –  Dr. John Ferbas and Dr. Jiansong Xie

Changes in lipid droplet (LD) dynamics, specifically an accumulation of LDs, plays a key role in tumorigenesis. The energy provided by the breakdown of LDs plays a key role in all aspects of cancer development, from initiating and promoting the growth of cancer cells, to driving the progression (metastasis) of cancer. LD accumulation can reflect increases in lipid uptake, de novo lipid synthesis, or decreases in lipolysis. There is great interest in understanding the mechanisms responsible for these changes for cancer therapy purposes.
In this research conducted in collaboration with biopharmaceutical company, Amgen, Dr. John Ferbas and Jiansong Xie, used the Smart Lipid Droplet AssayLIVE to quantify dry mass changes in pancreatic cancer cells following oleic acid loading.

Nanolive has developed a ‘one-click assay’ with no staining or centrifugation required, just a high-quality cell culture plus or minus the treatments of interest.
This will allow us to learn orders of magnitude more about cell biology with less effort, less cost and greatly reduced infrastructure requirements relative to our legacy approaches.

Dr. John Ferbas

Director of Department of Medical Sciences, Amgen

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2023 scientific publications roundup

2023 scientific publications roundup

2023 has been a record year for clients using the Nanolive system in their scientific publications. The number of peer-reviewed publications has continued to increase, and there has been a real growth in groups publishing pre-prints to give a preview of their work....

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