Case Studies

Lai Lab, Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, Eshelman Institute for Innovation

Sam Lai and his research lab have been incorporating particle tracking analysis as a research method for over a decade by using a variety of the most commonly used tracking softwares available (Metamorph, VST, IDL, Mosaic, etc.). During his PhD, Lai would often spend dozens of hours per month conducting particle tracking analysis and would even “go to the movies” on Saturday nights by spending all night in front of a computer screen analyzing particle tracking movies with various tracking softwares. After years of frustration due to the large amounts of time (and money!) required for particle tracking analysis and data verification, the subjectivity of results produced by tracking softwares, and the large backlog of data that was piling up, Lai partnered with Drs. Jay Newby and Greg Forrest to create the NNT, the first, fully- automated and objective particle tracking software. Prior to the development of the NNT in 2017, the Lai Lab had a terabytes of video data in a backlog dating back to 2013! But with the speed and scalability of the NNT, the Lai lab was able to have these videos analyzed in a matter of a few days!