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To better understand how tissues and organs develop, fail to function, and regenerate over time, researchers would like to visualize their constituent cells' repertoires of molecules within 3-D space. Ambitious efforts like the "Human BioMolecular Atlas Program", the "Human Cell Atlas Project", and several brain atlas projects are underway to map the presence and abundance of many proteins—the products of gene expression—in organs and tissues of the human body at the scale of single cells. However, existing imaging methods are typically limited in various aspects of their performance, their accessibility to researchers, or both.
As reported in Nature Biotechnology, a team led by Peng Yin, Ph.D., at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biological Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) has now filled this void with a new DNA-nanotechnology-based approach called Immuno-SABER, short for "Immunostaining with Signal Amplification By Exchange Reaction." The method combines the protein targeting specificity of commonly available antibodies with a DNA-based signal-amplification strategy that enables the highly multiplexed visualization of many proteins in the same sample with pre-programmable and tunable fluorescence signals at each target site. The team has validated their method in a broad range of cell and tissue preparations.
Immuno-SABER - Capability - Intensity - Protein - Targets
"We demonstrated that Immuno-SABER provides the capability to independently tune the signal intensity for individual protein targets 5 to 180-fold, with multiplexing capability to allow the simultaneous detection of many proteins. Together with its speed, relative ease of use and low costs, this technique has the potential to fast-forward ongoing large-scale protein-mapping studies and biomarker discovery efforts across many tissues and diseases," said Peng Yin who is a Wyss Institute Core Faculty member.
Based on his group's advances in harnessing DNA nanotechnology-driven barcoding and signal amplification technologies, Yin recently was recently also selected as an awardee of the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) and an awardee of the Human Cell...
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