Molecular profiling is a vital method in understanding genetic characteristics as well as unique biomarkers within individual cells. Analyzing cell heterogeneity and spatial complexity of biological molecules enhances molecular diagnosis, targeted therapies and basic biological studies. Current technologies are limited in the number of biological molecules that can be quantified on a single-cell level to just over 30. Moreover, they face problems such as harsh chemicals used and incomplete signal removal resulting in specimen degradation and inconsistent quantification of protein abundances. Because of this, there is a critical need for a less damaging and more accurate technique to increase the number of quantifiable molecular targets.
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a novel molecular profiling technology, which enables the detection of a much larger number of biomolecules in single cells than current techniques. Using continuous cycles of target recognition, fluorescence imaging, and fluorescence signal removal, the researchers have the ability to quantify the identities, positions and abundances of over 100 different molecular targets in individual cells.
These enhancements to current imaging techniques represent a foundation for advancements in molecular profiling and provide an improvement in molecular diagnoses, targeted therapies, and signal network analysis applications.
- Molecular diagnosis:
- Cancer diagnosis and prognosis
- Targeted therapies:
- Monitoring the effects of drug treatment among heterogeneous cells
- Basic biological studies
- Systems biology, cell heterogeneity, signaling pathway analysis, etc.
- Fluorescent tags for different biological probes
- Protein quantification, DNA & RNA in situ hybridization & metabolic analyses
Benefits and Advantages
- The identities, positions and abundances of over 100 different molecular targets can be quantified at the optical resolution in single cells
- All the biological molecules can be quantified in their natural spatial contexts in 3D tissues
- Can be continuously cycled through staining, imaging and fluorescent signal removal with no detectable effects on the target's integrity
- Enhanced image resolution, imaging speed and sample throughput
- Sensitive, rapid and accurate quantification