Neurological communication and processing are accomplished by electrical signals. In many neurological disorders, such as epilepsy or schizophrenia but also ALS, the electrical signaling malfunctions. At QurAlis and Q-State Biosciences, we use Q-state’s proprietary technology, the Optopatch, to both stimulate the neurons and record their electrical behavior with light instead of the previously utilized metal electrodes. We use our custom microscopes to record from more than 100 neurons in parallel, a recording speed 1000's of times higher than that of manual electrode (patch clamp technology). The throughput of Optopatch enables us to rapidly identify unhealthy electrical signaling in diseased neurons and screen for compounds that correct the aberrant behavior.
Stem Cell Technology
Building on the discoveries of Dr. Yamanaka in 2006 in the field of stem cell reprogramming, QurAlis’ founders have developed a method to harvest normal skin cells from ALS patients and transform them into a variety of cells such as the motor neurons that are dying in ALS patients. These motor neurons carry the same DNA and gene mutations as the ALS patients and can be used to model the disease in laboratory. Through these models we hope we will be able to identify new therapeutics for known ALS genes and, potentially, the cause of the disease for the large group of ALS patients for which we have not been able to identify any ALS genes yet.