"While medical science has made incredible advances in recent years, anatomic pathology has remained relatively stuck in the 19th century – a manual, analog, and highly qualitative discipline," said 3Scan founder and CEO Todd Huffman. "Our technology transforms anatomic pathology into an automated, digitized, and quantitative medical science. In a sense, we're helping pathologists better diagnose disease and develop new therapies in much the same way that DNA sequencing has advanced the field of genomics."
3Scan was founded in 2011 to make the cutting edge technology of its Knife Edge Scanning Microscope commercially available. The KESM automatically sections and images tissue samples to create extremely high-resolution outputs, up to a terabyte per cubic centimeter. Then 3D tissue reconstruction models are rendered with advanced data processing software to provide interactive image views, and apply quantitative analytics. Built into 3Scan's KESM, machine vision, automated serial sectioning, micromachining, and advanced optics combine with advanced software to enable high throughput and quantified image analysis of tissues thinner than a micron, meaning smaller than a red blood cell.
Beyond medical pathology, 3Scan works with academic and commercial clients tackling difficult research and diagnostic problems with speed, precision and accuracy. Example applications include histology, neuroscience, and composite materials science. The company was one of the first to be funded by Peter Thiel's Breakout Labs program, a revolving fund designed to support early-stage companies developing cutting-edge science and technology.
"We're hugely impressed by Todd and the 3Scan team's development of unique technology to supercharge research and accelerate the development of treatments for important vexing diseases," said Josh Wolfe, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Lux Capital. "Automation in medicine is happening faster than people realize. 3Scan is ushering in a new era of precision quantification and data in otherwise messy and often imprecise biology. This is the start of a flow of indispensable new tools for pathologists, researchers and doctors—and has the potential of a scientific 'Rosetta Stone,' unlocking previously unobtainable troves of information."
"By automating histology 3Scan not only makes examining tissue faster and cheaper: we unlock new ways of understanding biology, looking at tissues in the context of a whole organ. We are developing a new field of data science specific to tissue scale microscopic structures in biology and pathology, and translating these discoveries into new diagnostic and therapeutic solutions," said 3Scan co-founder and COO Megan Klimen.
With today's announcement, Josh Wolfe and Adam Goulburn, PhD of Lux Capital have joined Megan Klimen and Todd Huffman on 3Scan's board of directors. The company has also hired Caroline Miller as Director of Histology and Mike Pesavento as Image Analysis Wizard. Caroline was previously the Director of the Histology and Microscopy Core laboratory at The Gladstone Institutes. Mike is an accomplished neuroengineer, previously an algorithm development scientist at NeuroSky.
"Companies tackling hard scientific challenges require years to reach their full potential. Breakout Labs is honored to have helped 3Scan reach this next phase of their development. 3Scan's ability to attract the necessary venture capital to take them forward is a testament to the team, their technology, their perseverance and their vision," said Lindy Fishburne, Executive Director of Breakout Labs.
3Scan was founded in 2011 to make the cutting edge technology of the Knife Edge Scanning Microscope (KESM) commercially available. Based on research developed at the Brain Networks Lab at Texas A&M University, 3Scan's KESM is an advanced serial sectioning microscope that simultaneously images as it slices samples. The KESM utilizes machine vision, automated serial sectioning, micromachining, and advanced optics, combined with advanced software to enable high throughput and quantified image analysis of tissues as thin as a submicron.