Scientists at the University of Zurich (UZH) have designed a novel mechanism for analyzing cells and their components. The mechanism is dubbed as 4i (Iterative Indirect Immunofluorescence Imaging). This modernization greatly refines the typical immunofluorescence imaging method employed in biomedicine and offers doctors with a huge amount of information from every individual sample. 4i makes it achievable to monitor the spatial distribution of minimum 40 proteins and their changes in the same cell for thousands of cells at various levels at the same time.
“4i is the first imaging method that offers us biological samples’ multiplexed tissue-to-organelle view. For the first time, we can connect multiplexed data derived at the cellular, tissue, and subcellular level in one and the same tests,” claims postdoctoral researcher at UZH at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences and lead author of the study, Gabriele Gut, to the media in an interview.
IF (immunofluorescence) employs antibodies to locate & visualize proteins in biological samples. While the typical IF mechanism usually marks 3 proteins, 4i employs conventional fluorescence microscopes and off-the-shelf antibodies to visualize 10 times more proteins by removal of antibodies & iterative hybridization from the sample. “Picture the cell biologists to be reporters. Every test is a conference with our cells. With typical IF I can ask 3 questions, while with 4i I can have a meeting on over 40 subjects,” claims Gabriele Gut.
On a related note, a study by scientist of the University of Zurich has shown that similar to fingerprints, no two individuals have the same brain anatomy. This individuality is the outcome of a mixture of individual life experiences and genetic factors. The fingerprint is exclusive in each person: Since no 2 fingerprints are alike, they have become the go-to mechanism of ID verification for immigration authorities, police, and smartphone makers.