Novel Discoveries in Spatial Biology with the Highest Image Quality

Ionpath’s multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI™) brings the power of multiplexed spatial proteomics to translational research and drug discovery

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Mapping spatial arrangements of cell types and their functionally associated biomarkers can uncover important regulatory pathways and highlight potential targets for treatment. The gold standard technique for probing tissues, immunohistochemistry (IHC) with chromogenic dyes, is parameter limited, preventing a comprehensive view of the tissue microenvironment. Thus, investigators are turning to methods that allow simultaneous profiling of multiple cellular features. These multiplexed imaging techniques reveal complex cellular interactions in tissues for an information-rich view of disease states—yielding insights into oncology, neuroscience, and infectious disease.

Quantitative data combined with high image quality are critical to obtaining reliable insights. By combining the precision of focused ion beam imaging with almost limitless resolution and high multiplex mass spectrometry, the Ionpath MIBIscope™ system generates the highest-quality images and quantifies subcellular features with optimal signal to noise, enabling reliable identification and spatial phenotyping of cells and tissues. The multi-layered images are analyzed in specific combinations to identify cell types and biomarker expression, revealing important insights from their spatial context (e.g., specific cell-cell distance distributions).

Key Benefits

Rich tissue information. MIBI technology allows simultaneous imaging and identification of cell populations, quantification of protein expression with spatial context, and assessment of immune cell infiltration in frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues with high sensitivity, speed, and reproducibility.

Ease of use. The MIBI staining workflow resembles that of IHC and is readily adoptable in histology labs. The simplicity stems from the plug-and-play nature of the labeled antibodies and the single staining step, combined with the ability to store stained tissues for years. Entire experiments can be stained in a single batch and stored until ready for imaging, thereby minimizing batch effects.

High multiplexing in a single step. MIBI technology enables visualization and analysis of 40+ biomarkers in a single staining and single imaging step. In less than one hour, the MIBIscope system provides a high-resolution map of multiple protein markers, including those for cell morphology, cell type identification, immune cell activation, checkpoint protein expression, and cell metabolic state. Machine learning based methods allow for phenotyping and analysis concurrently with data acquisition, which is not possible with fluorescence-based techniques where a data set is acquired over a large number of experimental cycles.

Superior resolution. The MIBIscope system is the highest-resolution imaging system on the market. With the capability to resolve subcellular structures, the MIBIscope system captures rich detail of cell structure and subcellular components. Sharper images yield reliable data and downstream analysis.

Inherently low background and high dynamic range.  Since the MIBIscope platform detects non-biological, metal antibody tags using mass spectrometry, the discrimination of true signal from tissue background is excellent. MIBI images are inherently low background and have a dynamic range spanning five orders of magnitude, allowing for quantitative visualization of the most abundant and faint features, simultaneously even within the same pixel, with no signal bleed-through.

IHC and MIBI images
IHC and MIBI images. MIBI data from a head and neck cancer study revealed infiltration by activated cytotoxic T cells in a subset of patients treated with neoadjuvant therapy.

Key Applications and Offering

High-resolution spatial proteomics has already transformed discovery and translational research studies across oncology, neuroscience, autoimmune conditions, and infectious disease. Using MIBI technology, scientists have identified new spatial signatures of disease development and progression that will catalyze the next generation of treatment strategies.

MIBIscope platform users are already advancing their research through access to detailed information of the tissue microenvironment. Ionpath offers opportunities to experience the high-quality imaging data through the purchase of a MIBIscope system or through its Spatial Proteomic Services.


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