Innovation and Partnerships Office

Nanostructure Initiator Mass Spectrometry (NIMS) Flux Imaging JIB-3066

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

  • Medical diagnostics and therapeutic classification
  • Biotechnology research and development
  • Developmental biology

ADVANTAGES:

  • Enables metabolic flux imaging, not possible by other techniques
  • Overcomes quantification challenges in mass spectrometry imaging

ABSTRACT:

Using time dependent isotopic labeling and mass spectrometry imaging, researchers at Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley have developed a technology for in situ imaging, mapping and display of the fluxes through metabolic pathways within tissues.

The NIMS Flux Imaging technology creates a kinetic image that complements traditional histochemical or immunohistochemical images of cancer tissue and provides biochemical information relevant to clinical prognosis and treatment response. Where traditional histochemical staining provides a static picture of the tumor or tissue, flux imaging provides, in a single measurement, a dynamic image of tumor metabolism. The more rapidly a tissue is growing and the more active a metabolic pathway, the more highly labeled the respective metabolites will become.

This technology will advance the ability to diagnose disease and place patients into different prognostic and therapeutic classifications based on flux patterns. Clinicians will have direct measurements of spatially ordered fluxes in tumor tissue to inform drug target selection and assist in phenotypic characterization and stratification of cancer subtypes.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle. Researchers demonstrated that complex metabolite patterns could be imaged with 10-50 micron spatial resolution with NIMS with whole mouse imaging and xenograft tumors. In tumors, this invention allowed the researchers to image heterogenous subpopulations of cells with high growth rate and alterations in various metabolic fluxes, e.g., lipids.

STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

High Throughput Purification and Identification of Cellular Protein Complexes, IB-2538

Multinozzle Emitter Array (MEA) for On-chip Mass Spectrometry, IB-2977

REFERENCE NUMBER: JIB-3066