FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions on the BioVolume platform, its benefits, scientific impact and workflow integration.
If you would like to learn more about the platform, please get in-touch and one of the team will be happy to arrange a demonstration and answer any questions. To learn more about the science and to read our latest publications use the link to the right.
What is BioVolume?
BioVolume is a non-invasive 3D imaging solution for visualising and measuring subcutaneous tumour growth in preclinical in vivo studies. Capturing a revolutionary range of image data including thermal segmentation, 3D topology and RGB images the BioVolume hardware and informatics platform delivers more repeatable, accurate and traceable data. Our automated digital workflow ensures greater scientific confidence in efficacy results and streamlines your data collection process.
How does BioVolume work?
BioVolume uses a thermal camera, RGB stereo photographic cameras and software algorithms to reconstruct the tumour as a 3D model and uses an algorithmic approach to accurately segment and measure the tumour. Capture takes 0.25 seconds, and data are uploaded to the cloud for analysis by BioVolume technology.
What are the problems with existing calliper-based methods?
Tumour shapes are irregular, and measurement using callipers is subjective. This leads to high variability between users measuring with callipers and can impact study reproducibility. One user must perform all the measurements for the duration of a study.
This variability and its negative effect on study outcomes is well documented with numerous publications* reaching the same conclusion.
*Soon Ho Yoon, Kyung Won Kim, Jin Mo Goo, Dong-Wan Kim, Seokyung Hahn, Observer variability in RECIST-based tumour burden measurements: a meta-analysis, European Journal of Cancer, Volume 53, 2016
How does BioVolume solve existing problems?
The automatic capture and analysis process is not subject to user bias, so measurements are repeatable, and inter-operator variability is low. You can expect to achieve measurements within a much smaller range when switching between users with BioVolume, than with callipers. This allows you to maximise the productivity within your lab as studies do not have to be tied to the schedule of a single user.
BioVolume can help to reduce measurement variability within your organisation
Allows work to be monitored remotely
Fast, simple workflow
More reproducible data
What impacts could this have on my science?
Better understanding of early-stage tumour establishment through thermal identification
More reliable animal randomisation and group definition
Greater chance of study results being reproducible when repeated by different users / labs / CROs
Increased accuracy of volume measurement and higher precision to monitor changing tumour height
Reduced probability of user variability masking tumour regression or identifying false positives during efficacy studies
Does BioVolume work on all animals and cell lines?
BioVolume is suitable for use in rodents with tumours injected or engrafted subcutaneously or in the mammary fat pad. 100 unique cell lines and 23 animal strains have been successfully used in BioVolume studies so far. Non-nude animals can be used if shaved as per existing methodologies.
Does BioVolume reduce operator variability?
Yes, when comparing inter-operator variability, on average callipers had a median variability 50% larger than BioVolume across all our inter-operator studies (from 1553 BioVolume inter-operator repeats and 1577 calliper inter-operator repeats, 2 operators or more for each mean).
Why is capturing height so important?
Common tumour volume estimations assume that tumours are spheroidal, and their volume can be calculated from length and height alone. Our studies with callipers (n=208) and BioVolume (n=7286) found that in over 98.9% of cases, tumour height is smaller than width, and height must be included to calculate tumour volumes accurately.
Is BioVolume more accurate than callipers?
Yes, capturing height with BioVolume brought tumour volumes in line with MRI measurements in our first study with GSK. A second study confirmed that incorporating height using BioVolume produced highly accurate measurements not statistically different to excised tumour volumes (P<0.05). BioVolume-calculated tumour volume using height measurement was 8X closer to excised weight than calliper measurements.
Can BioVolume measure tumours as small as 50mm3?
Yes, BioVolume uses the thermal, photographic and 3D model to automatically measure the length, width & height of the tumours. This allows Biovolume to be used before the point of randomisation in most experiments.
How does BioVolume impact animal welfare?
Refinement: The automatic capture process reduces handling time in comparison to callipers, reducing stress on the animal. Tumour condition including ulceration can be monitored throughout the study.
Replacement: Errors during manual measurement (e.g. assigning measurements to the wrong rodent, entering data incorrectly) are reduced by the automatic BioVolume workflow. All scans and data are stored, and any anomalous data points can be re-examined and corrected retroactively.
Reduction: Better accuracy and lower variability using BioVolume produces consistent, high-quality data, reducing the need for study repeats or larger group sizes to achieve statistically significant results.
Is the BioVolume workflow quicker than my existing method?
BioVolume eliminates the need to record data manually, and records date, time, scan images, and tumour length, width, height, and volume automatically. If integrated with RFiD technology, data are automatically linked to each rodent. Scan capture takes 0.25s and overall tumour measurement takes 9 seconds using BioVolume vs 18-24 seconds using callipers. Growth curves are also produced automatically in BioVolume’s graph view.
Can I integrate BioVolume with my existing study management platform?
BioVolume can integrate with any text to field RFiD reader such as Somark’s SenaLab benchtop reader for automated animal identification, Bluetooth or wired text to field weight scales. Our APi allows for integration with study management platforms such as Overwatch Research.
How do I convert my historical calliper data for comparison with BioVolume?
Calliper measures of length and width often underestimate the true volume of the tumour due to the limitations in consistently attaining the true base of the tumour mass, so BioVolume measurements differ from callipers. Using our proprietary dataset, statistical model, and experimental validation process we are able convert your historic calliper study data so that it can be compared with future BioVolume studies. This facilitates a transition to utilising the height capability of BioVolume in your efficacy R&D pipeline.