Researcher creates 'Instagram' of immune system, blending science, technology

ScienceDaily | 3/9/2018 | Staff
fofo (Posted by) Level 3
This allows the German native, who recently joined the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina's departments of immunology and dermatology, to accomplish an interesting feat. He creates a sort of 'Instagram' of a person's immune system. For cancer patients on experimental immunotherapy treatments, the practical application is obvious and exciting, he said.

"What I use here is a very new and nerdy technology, which is called mass cytometry, that allows you with a very high sensitivity to make pictures of your immune system. And this is possible because there's artificial intelligence, machine learning combined with algorithms that can make a very complex system easy to visualize." ??Basically, how it works is that researchers stain cells using rare metal-conjugated antibodies that target surface and intracellular proteins. "Normally in biological tissues, there are no rare metals, so this technique offers greater sensitivity in detecting targets."

Helios - Cells - Plasma - Ions - Cell

Inside the Helios, the cells are ionized using an inductively-coupled plasma. The ions derived from each stained cell are maintained in discrete clouds that can be detected in a mass spectrometer. The technique can potentially detect up to 100 markers per cell, although, due to practical restrictions, about 40 are more realistic, he said. Then researchers use artificial intelligence and bioinformatics to create a two-dimensional mapping that can read the results, creating an Instagram of millions of blood cells.

"It's an easy way to look at a complex response such as one you would find during immunotherapy."

Krieg - Cancer - Researchers - Field - Immunotherapy

This is critical as Krieg and other cancer researchers hope to advance the field of immunotherapy. Though immunotherapy has shown great promise, the vast majority of patients either don't respond, have adverse side effects or relapse. Krieg, who comes to HCC from the University Research Priority Program (URPP) in Zurich, Switzerland, wanted to know if the technology could be used to predict...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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