Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis


Current literature on pulmonary fibrosis observed in rodents highlights the need to develop accurate, reliable, reproducible and observer-independent assessment of quantitative analysis of fibrosis. That cannot be satisfactorily achieved by conventional scoring evaluation. To successfully meet these needs, Biocellvia developed a multiparametric image analysis using proprietary software tools which have been combined into one assay: the Biocellvia’s IPF assay.


  • It is based on computer analysis of digital images of entire lung lobe sections, at high resolution, obtained from the scan of histological slides.
  • Fully automatic quantitative analysis of fibrosis is performed by assessing two key morphometric parameters of parenchymal tissue:
1- Percentage of fibrotic tissue
2- Percentage of collagen content
  • Morphometric parameters have been validated as endpoint measures by comparison to other image analysis methods (e.g. Ashcroft scoring, micro-CT imaging) and functional in vivo standard evaluation methods. Some results gave rise to a publication in PLOS ONE in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim.
  • The quantification of pulmonary fibrosis is fully automated – from the scanning of slides to the complete evaluation of morphometric parameters and statistical analysis.
  • Biocellvia’s analysis is fast (a complete study is delivered in 48 hours from scan reception) and avoids any intra- and inter-variabilities from the subjective manipulation of the experimenter.
  • The assessment of two morphometric parameters has been validated as endpoint measurements in several rodent models in which pulmonary fibrosis can be induced by bleomycin, irradiation, silica, as well as in genetically modified mice.

1- Percentage of fibrotic tissue

Picrosirius red stained sections (native images)

Representative native images of lung sections from saline control and BLM-treated mice. (Bars : 1 mm)

Tissue density mapping fibrotic tissue

2- Percentage of collagen content in the entire lung section

Collagen content in fibrotic tissue

  • Concurrent to the evaluation of morphometric parameters, an automatic software image analysis was developed to quantify the expression of collagen in the entire lung section. We showed that this quantification of lung collagen – from Masson trichrome or picrosirius red stained sections – is far superior than the standard hydroxyproline or Sircol methods.


  • Correlation of pulmonary foci with Ashcroft scoring, micro-CT imaging and lung function measurements in the bleomycin mice model using linear regression analysis.
  • Data correspond to mean values per group (12 animals/group) of saline control (n = 6) and BLM-treated (0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1 mg/kg). R²= Spearman correlation coefficient.
  • These datas are issued of the scientific article in Plos One named “Quantification of Pulmonary Fibrosis in a Bleomycin Mouse Model Using Automated Histological Image Analysis” (Gilhodes G, Julé Y, et al. , 2017)


  • Biocellvia’s IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) assay is a fully automated software analysis of pulmonary fibrosis, totally observer-independentand therefore free of any intra- and inter-experimental variabilities.
  • Quantitative assessment of the severity of fibrosis is performed by matching  two key morphometric parameters, leading to a significantly more comprehensive analysis of structural changes than the standard scoring evaluation.
  • The accuracy and reliability of Biocellvia’s analysis means that much lower concentrations of bleomycin is needed for fibrosis induction (4-5X lower than the usual dose). Thus, molecule candidates can be tested in vivo using animals in better condition, contributing to greater robustness in the efficacy studies.
  • Biocellvia’s IPF assay is coupled to the measurement of collagen content in entire lung sections. Therefore, morphological changes can be closely associated with collagen expression in the same sample, which cannot be performed as finely by hydroxyproline or Sircol assays.

Biocellvia’s cutting-edge digital IPF assay is unparalleled in its robustness and accuracy, and is your best and most reliable choice in preclinical drug evaluation, empowering your Go/No go decisions.

The related results on pulmonary fibrosis gave rise to a scientific article in 2017 in PlosOne

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