Immunofluorescence (IF) is a technique which is widely used in cancer research laboratories. Similar to chromogenic immunostaining (IHC), it uses antibodies to detect antigens present at the surface of fixed tissue sections, such as FFPE or frozen sections (FS), but utilizes instead fluorescent-labeled antibodies. The resulting staining can be visualized under a fluorescence microscope.
Fluorescence staining provides numerous research opportunities. With IF, the signal intensity can be quantified in order to assess the amount of antibodies present on the sample surface. In addition, thanks to the different microscope filters used, it’s possible to separately visualize several markers on the same tissue section, a technique known as Mutiplexed IF.
Lunaphore’s microfluidic technology FFeX is able to dramatically reduce IF turnaround times to an average of 25-30 minutes for FFPE IF and 11-15 minutes for FS IF, much shorter than the 3 hours of standard automation systems. Compared to manual stainings, it has shown good quantification properties as the fluorescence signal follows a more linear correlation to protein expression than that of standard manual systems.
An open, Research Use Only device, LabSatTM Research, is currently available, and is able to dramatically reduce IF turnaround times, among other applications, while offering high staining quality and ensuring reproducibility.
Lunaphore is currently developing a high throughput IHC/IF automated stainer for laboratories with large volume requirements* as well as a research instrument for high multiplexing* (see Multiplexed IF).