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Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

The Hyperion Imaging System

The University of Bergen implemented in February 2019 the Hyperion Imaging System, next generation immunohistochemistry, where researchers can explore tissue biology with at least 35 antibodies simultaneously. This instrument is open for booking for all researchers.

Hyperion Imaging system, photo of the laser beam
Photo:
Fluidigm Corporation

CCBIO is the formal owner of the analyzer. Many partners are behind this, and in addition to CCBIO, the Faculty of Medicine and the Bergen Research Foundation (BFS) have contributed financially. Access to the equipment is managed and operated by the Flow Cytometry Core Facility. This multiplexing tissue analyzer is available for use by both national and international researchers. 

2 modules

The Hyperion Imaging platform is combining two modules: the Hyperion Tissue Imager and a Helios CyTOF® system. The Helios/Hyperion system use metal tagged antibodies towards specific proteins of interest in select regions of fixed tissue sections, frozen tissue sections, cell smears or cell suspensions.

This technology utilize a state-of-the-art Time-of-Flight Inductively Coupled Plasma mass spectrometry technology together with elemental tags that have higher molecular weights than those elements that are naturally abundant in biological systems.

The advantage with using mass cytometry on cells in suspension is that it does not produce the same overlap as when using fluorochromes in flow cytometry, and thus there is little need for compensation. No fluorescence background also makes this technology very suitable for looking at high dimensional functional and phenotypic correlations at single cell level, accelerating biomarker findings and developing targeted drug therapy (precision medicine).

The Hyperion image system (HIS) provides a visual context to the heterogeneity of tissue microenvironments we have not been able to do before. This is possible because of the up to 37 metal tags used to simultaneously detect multiple proteins on one tissue section, which allow for understanding of protein behaviors and interactions to drive biological breakthroughs and define clinical biomarkers.

Or very short said, consider it a "google map for tumors”!

Get into dialogue with us in the planning phase

It is crucial that the technical support staff operating the instrument is contacted well before the experiments to help you and your group in the planning phase.

Poorly planned experiments on HIS can be very costly, and experience dictates that preparing your projects well in advance is important and avoids unnecessary use of resources. Brith Bergum and Jørn Skavland, the chief engineers operating HIS, have accumulated lots of experience on experimental design and know what the instrument is capable of and which issues that typically arise. They also know which application specialists and other researchers with similar projects to contact to discuss your experiments.

Also, sharing your experiences with Brith and Jørn in retrospect is advisable as they can ensure that your experiences are carried on to other users, often within the same group or among your collaborators. To this end, they also arrange meetings on Hyperion and Helios experiments on Fridays in room 7.1 at the 7th floor in the lab building at 13.00, during which users can present, discuss and share their experiments and experiences. Please contact Jørn or Brith if you want to be on the email list for the meetings.

The core facility has 10 antibodies for Hyperion in its reagent repository; these antibodies can be purchased in small aliquots. This will allow researchers and groups to more easily test imaging mass cytometry on their own samples without having to purchase larger aliquots.

We therefore encourage you, and those from your group who will be hands on with HIS experiments, to contact Brith Bergum and Jørn Skavland as early in the planning as possible.

Research possibilities

For more information on research possibilities, use this link.