The rapid growth of the spatial biology imaging market has been incredible to watch over recent years. As biological technologies continue to evolve at faster rates, scientists across the sector have been exploring new methods of molecular study to allow markers to be identified visually.
Advanced application of spatial biology techniques allows for a greater understanding of spatial information, including at tissue, single-cell, and subcellular levels. Recent work in this area has led to insights into cancer biology, including breast and colorectal cancers. Spatial biology has also allowed researchers to create a transcriptional atlas of healthy organs, which provides a broader scientific reference for diseased tissue comparison, leading to better disease diagnosis and treatment over time.
As the spatial biology sector looks towards an even brighter future with greater demand for developments in the biomarker identification space and an uplift in funding opportunities, which companies should we be watching in 2023?
With the renowned Jason T. Gammack at the helm, Resolve Biosciences has developed a groundbreaking Molecular Cartography platform offering multi-analyte, highly multiplex spatial analysis technology. The platform is already supporting scientists across oncological, neuroscientific and infectious disease spaces.
Their spatial biology solution allows for spatial visualisation of gene expression gradients through the production of deep contextual data sets and the highest-resolution view of transcriptomic activity. Expert technology enables the interrogation of hundreds of genes in a single run as it stands, but Resolve already has an eye to the future, with plans to add DNA, protein, and metabolic data layers. They’re certainly one to watch through 2023.
The team at Lunaphore have been working tirelessly to streamline technology adoption for translational research laboratories to achieve an end goal of better-targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases. Their development of the COMET™ hyperplexing platform makes marker visualisation easier than ever.
Providing a full-stack solution capable of handling up to 40 markers in a single sample within a day through chip technology, Comet allows you to fully exploit all capabilities of spatial biology in any research avenue, with further potential for RNA data integration with proteomics data. With commercialised access already available and expansive lab compatibilities, Lunaphore will be a central player in the spatial biology space for the road ahead.
Applying Synthetic Aperture Optics technology, the Rebus Esper from Rebus Biosystems offers a super-resolution technique for the quantitative analysis of cells. With the capability to run multiple assays exploring deep tissue imaging with a 20x lens, the Rebus Esper is a fully integrated instrument, suitable for use in a range of laboratory settings.
Thanks to advancements in imaging, fluidics, chemistry and bioinformatics, the Esper delivers high-throughput, single-cell data with subcellular resolution and spatial context. Rebus Biosystems’s solution points towards a promising future of new discoveries across neuroscience, cancer, immunology and development biology.
Already holding numerous patents from Harvard University, Vizgen offers the first high multiplexing, high-resolution in situ platform to combine single-cell and spatial genomics: the MERSCOPE™ imaging and processing platform. MERSCOPE™ uses Vizgen’s optimised MERFISH technology to directly map and quantify the spatial distribution of RNA species in individual cells, without the extensive process of downstream sequencing.
Their capability covers all aspects of spatial biology profiling, from whole tissue section to single-cell and sub-cellular imaging across the whole tissue. With plug-and-play capability across numerous lab setups including analysis, intuitive software, and specialised reagents and consumables, Vizgen has opened the full breadth of spatial biology technology.
Finally, Ultivue have developed revolutionary cancer tumour profiling products that are at the forefront of immuno-oncology research. With multiple partnerships having been forged in the last year alone, their spatial phenomics and assay development solutions offer great opportunities for scientific research, stronger marker development, and continued biopharma advancements.
From whole slide imaging and high plex assays to comprehensive imaging analysis, their work across the spatial biology space is offering top-tier data-driven insights for deeper research, personalised cancer therapies and optimised patient care plans.
As spatial biology technology advancements continue to develop, progress over the coming years will open even more doors in the sector. From academic research centres to clinical and biopharmaceutical use, high-multiplexing, automated sample processing, biomarker-specific gene panels and image analysis are just some of the capabilities we can expect to see being further explored by those leading in the space.
Are you interested in discussing the future of genomics in some more detail, or do you have any thoughts on any of the companies or technologies featured in this article? I'd love to hear from you.
Drop me a message at Courtney.Smith@lifesci-cm.com or connect with me on LinkedIn to chat.
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