Spatial biology, a field that has exploded over the past few years, has focused primarily on transcriptomics and uncovering the location of gene expression in single cells. However, some researchers, and companies, are more interested in the location of proteins, and spatial proteomics. The Stockholm-based company Pixelgen Technologies emerged from stealth with a mission to bring a new dimension to single-cell spatial proteomics.
“We are pioneering a completely new approach to spatial proteomics with Molecular Pixelation, which we view as a long-term foundational technology for spatial biology in cells and tissue,” said Simon Fredriksson, PhD, co-founder and CEO (former co-founder, CEO, and CSO at the proteomics company Olink.) “There are massive gaps in our understanding of cellular activity, and we aim to close those gaps by offering an unprecedented view of cell-surface proteins and their spatial inter-relationships.”
Understanding cellular activity through the spatial organization of proteins remains largely uncharted because current tools cannot identify many proteins simultaneously and map their spatial inter-relationships. Molecular Pixelation can show spatial protein polarization and co-localization on the cell surface in a highly multiplexed manner.
The technology uses oligo-conjugated antibodies and nucleic acid-encoded pixels to identify, and spatially locate, cell surface proteins. After staining, cells are tagged with Pixelgen’s proprietary DNA pixels to map out the surface proteins’ locations. Next-generation sequencing enables the generation of a spherical and spatial map of cell surface proteins for each single cell.
The launch follows the close of an approximate $6 million seed round, led by Navigare Ventures.