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Techniques & Tools Microscopy, Clinical, Mass Spectrometry, Translational Science

Our Research in Images: All Eyes on Precision Medicine

EXPLORING DISEASED TISSUE - Imaging mass cytometry can visualize the different immune cell populations that infiltrate pancreatic islets and attack insulin-producing beta cells in type 1 diabetes...

... while simultaneously profiling pancreatic endocrine and exocrine cells (Right). This deep

phenotyping reveals new insights into the interactions between immune and beta cells during disease progression (1). Credit: Nicolas Damond.

IDENTIFYING RELEVANT FEATURES - Once the tissue has been analyzed, it’s time to identify the features that are relevant to the disease in question. Here, imaging mass cytometry data from breast cancer tissue (a,b) has been segmented, defining the area that corresponds to individual cells (c). Then, the antibody signals are quantified and the spatial features of the cell are identified, including their shape and arrangement. The resulting information can be visualized as a heat map on the original image (d) or in a variety of single cell plots (e). Credit: Hartland Jackson.

DRUG TESTING FOR PRECISION MEDICINE - The final stage of precision medicine is to tailor the treatment to the patient’s own genetic and epigenetic makeup. Here, individual 3D spheroids were used to assess the impact of different drugs. 3D spheroids grown from two cell lines are visualized using imaging mass cytometry. The colors indicate the presence of three antibody markers; red for E-Cadherin, blue for pS6, and green for pERK. This multidimensional perturbation data reveals detailed mechanistic insight into the complex responses of the microtissues to the drugs. Credit: Vito Zanotelli.

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  1. N Damond et al., “A map of human type 1 diabetes progression by imaging mass cytometry”, Cell Metab, 29, 755–768 (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.11.014
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