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Important progress in product development – simultaneous staining in the same section, with high degree of detail

Lumito is developing a novel method for high-contrast imaging without background signal. The first application is developed for tissue diagnostics and digital pathology. In order to visualize cells containing Her2, which is a common marker in breast cancer diagnostics, Lumito is now presenting new images of breast tissues stained with the Company’s Her2-UCNP reagent.

Lumito’s technology makes it possible to stain tissue with nanoparticle-based reagents, and thus to create images with the company’s proprietary analysis instrument. Two of the major advantages are the ability to create imaging with high contrast and detail, and the ability to use both Lumito’s reagent and traditional reagents to stain the same tissue section.

The images show a degree of detail comparable to the one achieved with traditional staining methods. The advantage of the imaging created with Lumito’s technology is that only the signals from the intended markers are present – in this case, the breast cancer marker Her2.
When you examine the Her2 imaging based on Lumito’s technology, you can readily understand the opportunities it opens for pathologists when they are able to see only the tissue they are interested in. The technology further opens the door for image processing, which may help facilitate automated diagnostics in the future, says Stefan Nilsson, CEO of Lumito.

Lumito is also publishing cell imagery where UCNP staining and traditional H&E staining have been combined in the same section. The user may then choose to perform analysis on the images separately, or on the aggregate image.

Figure 1. UCNP staining by Lumito of a HER2 marker in breast tissue. The image is an example of how UCNP based technology exclusively show sought for marker and eliminates inherent tissue fluorescence, a common inhibiter in fluorescence methods. Lumito’s upconversion technology enables combination with morphological staining’s (H&E staining). As of today, it is not possible to combine morphology and ICH staining’s without loss of information. Lumito’s technology provide the user with that possibility. The colours of the markers are digitally edited after the image capture.

Figure 2. UCNP staining by Lumito of a HER2 marker in breast tissue. Lumito’s technology is based on digital signals that enables analytics after the image is taken. The colour in the image above is digitally modified after the image has been taken and gives the user a possibility to highlight important regions of each sample. The post image modification is an important detail since the UCNP has a narrow emission spectrum that enables high quality multiplexing. Traditional fluorescence methods have a broader emission spectrum which makes the identification of each marker more difficult and unprecise since the colours bleed into each other.

Figure 3. Combined UCNP and H&E staining in the same cell section.
Lumito’s technology supports the performance of both UCNP and H&E staining in the same tissue sample. The user may then choose to perform analysis on the images separately, or on the aggregate image. Image A shows a UCNP-based Her2 stain of BT 474, a breast cancer cell line. In image B, the same section is shown with a standard H&E stain. Image C shows the aggregate image. The user may choose to perform analysis on both images separately, or, to improve accuracy and diagnostic reliability, on the aggregate image as shown here. (The identified cancer cells are visible in yellow).

Lumito gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Dr. Hans-Heiner Gorris, University of Regensburg, whose laboratory provided the UCNP reagent above to Lumito.