Hampton, NJ — As a leader in advanced tissue imaging and digital pathology services, Visikol is excited to announce its partnership with Fluidigm through which it will now offer imaging mass cytometry (IMC) services to its Clients through the use of the Fluidigm Hyperion system. IMC enables researchers to acquire 30+ multiplex data from slides such that a wide range of markers can be studied simultaneously from a single slide and the data generated from the system is devoid of background noise wherein high quality and crisp imaging data can be generated that is capable of detecting even the lowest expressed markers.
Visikol originally began a little over four years focused entirely on providing researchers with reagents to image tissues in 3D such that they could move beyond traditional 2D histopathology and study tissues intact in their entirety. These products have now been used by over one thousand research labs and in the last few years Visikol has transitioned into a contract research organization through which it provides pharmaceutical and biotech companies with advanced imaging, digital pathology and cell culture services. These advanced imaging capabilities include confocal and light sheet imaging, multiplex fluorescent slide scanning, high content analysis and most recently X-ray microCT imaging. “Our core mission as a company is to provide researchers with tools and services that allow them to transform tissues into quantitative datasets and then to be able to mine these data sets for actionable insights. We saw a gap in the market where researchers at companies wanted image-to-insight solutions and we have been filling this gap with best-in-class services,” described Visikol CEO Michael Johnson, PhD.
The most recent addition to this portfolio of services is imaging mass cytometry which is a highly powerful imaging modality for acquiring high-plex data from slides such that researchers can study the largest number of markers from a single slide. The need for this technology has grown out of the study of immuno-oncology therapeutics where researchers are working to assess the interplay between dozens of immune cell subtypes in the context of IO therapeutics. IMC enables researchers to ask and answer ever more complex questions about how the immune system interacts with cancer cells and how therapeutics can be leveraged to modulate this response.
Specifically, IMC enables researchers to image over 30 markers from a single slide at a time and because metal tags are being used instead of fluorophores, background noise is non-existent which means that even the lowest expressed markers can be detected. Furthermore, the crispness of the labeling means that the image analysis is smooth and the overall sensitivity of the imaging is very high.
“We teamed up with Fluidigm to provide our Clients with IMC as a service as we felt it was a novel tool that enables our Clients to answer questions that they cannot effectively answer today and provides some unique benefits over conventional multiplex fluorescent slide scanning,” described Visikol Head of Services, Erin Edwards, PhD.
Through the relationship, Visikol’s Clients will continue to send tissue blocks or slides to the company but will now have the option to acquire IMC data from their slides as well. Visikol will work with the Clients to optimize Maxpar® metal conjugated antibodies for labeling and will then work with Fluidigm to ablate and image the samples. Once the imaging data is generated, Visikol will leverage its extensive 3Screen™ image analysis and data sharing software to analyze the data and share it with their Clients. To the Client, the workflow will be seamless and the Client will now have access to an unprecedented array of imaging based endpoints for their tissues.