Former Penn Engineering Faculty Develop Tau Scientific Instruments  

While in the Department of Bioengineering within Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dr. Christopher Fang-Yen (now at Ohio State University) and his student Anthony Fouad developed an innovative and patent-pending (WO2020257561A1) technology for imaging and manipulating experimental insect or worm samples in the laboratory. The invention is an automated, robotic system that uses a 3-dimensional motorized stage, a real-time machine vision system, and a robotic manipulator arm to identify insects or worms of specific stages and/or sizes, quantify their morphological, fluorescent, or behavioral phenotypes, and transfer them between substrates. The system is computer-controlled and can be programmed to carry out tasks with multiple steps, including basic genetic manipulations. Dr. Fang-Yen and Dr. Fouad co-founded Tau Scientific Instruments in 2019 to commercialize the robotic system and other research tools, and the company has licensed intellectual property from Penn. Tau Scientifics Instrument’s target customers are laboratories working with small model organisms such as   Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. The company has already started making sales of their products.    

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