Research Techniques Made Simple: Use of Imaging Mass Cytometry for Dermatological Research and Clinical Applications

Veenstra, J., Dimitrion, P. Yao, Y.

Tissue architecture plays an essential role in both physiological and pathological processes necessary to understand normal homeostasis and the development of disease. Not surprisingly, histopathology remains among the most critical and widely used tools for dermatologic researchers and clinicians to investigate and diagnose cutaneous disease, where numerous structural elements and cellular types interact with one another. Despite the utility of routine histopathology, it has limited capability to define molecular features important to investigators to fully understand the tissue microenvironment. Although traditional immunohistochemistry (IHC) or immunofluorescence (IF) can quantify molecular markers to supplement H&E staining, it is inherently limited by its ability to analyze only several markers from a single section at a time, which hinders in-depth characterization and phenotyping of tissues. These limitations preclude IHC from simultaneously phenotyping multiple cell types, cellular interactions, and cellular states in parallel with tissue markers. Although techniques for high-dimensional histological imaging exist, such as serial IF, their utility is limited by the precision of target detection with fluorophores prone to spectral overlap and the time-intensive nature, making them less clinically useful ( ). Therefore, a need exists for a highly multiplexed histology platform that is compatible with routinely collected formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues, enables quantification of many markers simultaneously, provides single-cell resolution and high-throughput analysis capability, allows for fully customizable panels, and can be readily analyzed.


Veenstra, J., Dimitrion, P. Yao, Y. "Research Techniques Made Simple: Use of Imaging Mass Cytometry for Dermatological Research and Clinical Applications" Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2021):