Area of Interest Infectious Disease Infectious Disease with Imaging Mass Cytometry

Infectious Disease 

Understanding infectious diseases using Imaging Mass Cytometry 

Imaging Mass Cytometry™ adds the capability of spatial visualization of immune response in tissue samples. This high-multiplex imaging technology enables the study of clinical outcomes and changes in inflammatory or immune function from precious samples, contributing to our understanding of COVID-19 and to insights in other infectious diseases.  

Blue icon illustrating infectious disease application

Imaging Mass Cytometry (IMC™) performed on the Hyperion™ Imaging System enables high-plex spatial profiling of the host immune response that can provide deep biological insight. Visualization and quantification of immune infiltrates in COVID-19 tissue samples are becoming an important IMC application.

Local immune responses in COVID-19 neuropathology analyzed using IMC 

A team led by Bertram Bengsch, MD, PhD, Group Leader at the University Medical Center Freiburg, has been investigating the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms in severe neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19. Learn more about their investigations in Bengsch’s keynote address at the October 21, 2021 IMC Summit: Uncovering Spatial Biology, or in his group’s recent publication “Deep spatial profiling of human COVID-19 brains reveals neuroinflammation with distinct microanatomical microglia-T-cell interactions”.   

An important step toward understanding lung pathology and immune response to COVID-19  

Olivier Elemento, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medicine was lead researcher and co-senior author of a study published in Nature, “The spatial landscape of lung pathology during COVID-19 progression.” Learn how his team used a rich IMC dataset to investigate the composition and spatial architecture of human acute lung injury including SARS-CoV-2 at single-cell resolution. By interpreting changes in tissue architecture, the researchers gained insights into the mechanisms of disease progression in COVID-19 patients.  

Watch the July 2021 Nature Portfolio webcast 

You can also hear the first author, Andre Rendeiro, PhD, present highlights of this work in a short presentation from the October 21, 2021, IMC Summit: Uncovering Spatial Biology.  

Watch the IMC Summit presentation 

Researchers using IHC can benefit from the high-dimensional spatial visualization that IMC offers 

An early COVID-19 publication showing the histopathology of lung tissue from a critically ill patient was submitted by Luo et al. In “Clinical pathology of critical patient with novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19)” (Preprints, 2020), the authors describe their research to understand the pathogenesis and severity of the disease. 

This team utilized immunohistochemistry (IHC) to positively identify several markers in immune infiltrates in a lung biopsy sample. The results suggested the general spatial context of the cells present focally in lung interstitium and near blood vessels. 

A short summary of the publication results is included in the Fluidigm article Imaging Mass Cytometry Publication Review. After the summary, commentary from Fluidigm introduces how researchers using IHC could benefit from using the Hyperion Imaging System to characterize lung tissue from COVID-19 or other diseases. Certainly, IHC results demonstrate how this approach can be used to spatially assess immune infiltration. However, by leveraging IMC, deeper insights from profiling many markers in a single scan could be achieved while minimizing the use of precious disease tissue samples. The article includes an example of lung tissue visualized using IMC to look at multiple markers in the same scan. 

Read the article 


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