Spatial Biology with the CQ1 Imaging Cytometer
The CQ1´s dedicated 3D-capabilities and speed enable researchers in this rapidly evolving field.
The spatial organization and distribution of cells in multicellular systems is crucial for their proper function. Cells in their natural environment, such as tissue, skin, vessels or everywhere else are located next to neighboring cells, and they interact and communicate with each other.
Spatial biology is the study of these neighborhoods and how cells influence their 3-dimensional environment in space and time. The research on the precise cellular architecture of tissues and organs, cells, and protein localization, and how these cells communicate and cooperate, leads to mechanistical findings of tissue functions (or rather: malfunctions) and disease progression or organ development itself.
Innovative microscope improvements leading to increased imaging speed, image quality, and software solutions recognizing and segmenting distinct cellular entities enabled this quite new research field.
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Spatial biology studies combine whole-slide imaging or tissue array imaging at single-cell resolution in 3D, meaning the 3-dimensional architecture of cells is included as information source. Hence, quantitative biomarker expression is visualized and reveals how cells interact and organize across the entire tissue landscape. This approach is done multiple times for a set of cellular markers. We call this approach multiplexing.
The Yokogawa CQ1 has been known as a high-end confocal cell analytics tool for a while, not just for “traditional” high content imaging and analysis of adherent cells, but especially for 3-dimensional structures such as spheroids and organoids. It´s particularly on the latter, where the advanced analytical software package CellPathFinder with it´s maschine learning capabilities and deep learning options provides additional efficiency gains.
Recently, this compact one-camera system has been discovered by a number of spatial biology pioneers for it´s amazing speed in acquiring data in remarkable quality even from tissue slides at a quite economic price point. This combination of features makes it an ideal tool for anybody looking at spatial biology on a benchtop scale.
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