Imaging innovations

Bruker has announced key innovations for spatial multiomics of tissue and tumour microenvironments (TME). Following the firm’s strategic partnership with AmberGen, key enhancements are introduced for MALDI HiPlex-IHC mass spectrometry imaging.

MALDI HiPlex-IHC represents a breakthrough in multiomics imaging by combining targeted protein expression spatial profiling with unbiased small molecule MALDI imaging to co-localise proteins and small molecules such as glycans, lipids, metabolites or xenobiotics.  Using AmberGen’s Miralys antibody-based photocleavable peptide mass tags, highly multiplexed IHC staining and photocleavage of peptide markers fit seamlessly into Bruker’s IntelliSlide-based automated workflows for MALDI imaging.

Novel multiomic imaging enhances spatial high-plex protein imaging with the ability to elucidate metabolic processes in the same tissue section. In addition to mapping tens to over one hundred targeted proteins with high-plex peptide tags, MALDI HiPlex-IHC can track signalling pathways such as glycosylation, observe lipid spatial profiles for tumour microenvironment segmentation, or simultaneously observe how drugs affect both protein and metabolic states.

Dr Peggi Angel, Professor of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the Medical University of South Carolina commented: “From the perspective of a lab heavily invested in cellular signalling processes in cancer biology, MALDI HiPlex-IHC is a game changer allowing integration of mass spectrometry imaging with cell biology. We will be using this technology for multiomic N-glycan and collagen imaging studies to understand aggressive breast cancers. I expect that researchers investigating the tissue microenvironment will quickly adopt this unique spatial multiomics technology.”

Bruker also announced its microGrid module for smartbeam 3D MALDI sources for timsTOF fleX systems. The microGrid improves the MALDI stage to sub-micron precision to correct laser positioning on tissue surfaces down to 5 micrometers (µm), virtually eliminating any visual artifacts or artifacts in co-registration of MALDI images with optical microscopy. As correction is effective for entire pathology slides, microGeid leverages a large field-of-view for MALDI HiPlex-IHC protein expression profiling.

Dr. Ron Heeren, Distinguished Professor and Limburg co-chair of the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging (M4I) Institute, added: “At M4I, we develop workflows and techniques to contextualise the role of individual cells in disease, and determine how interactions between cells affects cellular states locally and across long distances.”

Heeren continued: “Since we work closely with pathologists and cancer researchers who are used to microscopes, we cannot afford artifacts in our mass spectrometry images, and need large fields-of-view. microGrid achieves this effortlessly without limiting the area of the slide we can process for multiomic, multimodal images of diseased and homeostatic pathology.” 

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