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An insightful overview of multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI™) technology and data analysis tools that have been developed to advance research in cancer, infectious disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging: Insights into Pathobiology

Liu, et al., Annual Review of Pathology  2022

Key Insights
  • Multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI) provides a high-resolution platform for high-throughput and highly multiplexed tissue imaging.
  • Multiple dozens of protein markers can be detected simultaneously.
  • New tools for robust analysis of MIBI generated tissue images have been developed that enable cell identification, cell classification, and spatial analysis.
  • Examples of how MIBI tissue analysis has provided important research insight are discussed—including studies in tumor biology, Alzheimer’s disease, and tuberculosis.

Next-generation tools for multiplexed imaging have driven a new wave of innovation in understanding how single-cell function and tissue structure are interrelated. In previous work, we developed multiplexed ion beam imaging by time of flight, a highly multiplexed platform that uses secondary ion mass spectrometry to image dozens of antibodies tagged with metal reporters. As instrument throughput has increased, the breadth and depth of imaging data have increased as well. To extract meaningful information from these data, we have developed tools for cell identification, cell classification, and spatial analysis. In this review, we discuss these tools and provide examples of their application in various contexts, including ductal carcinoma in situ, tuberculosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.We hope the synergy between multiplexed imaging and automated image analysis will drive a new era in anatomic pathology and personalized medicine wherein quantitative spatial signatures are used routinely for more accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic selection.

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