Single-Cell Mass Cytometry of Immune Cells Used to Establish Protein Signatures That Predict Recovery Time from Surgery

On September 25, 2014, Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) ( in South San Francisco, California, announced that researchers at Stanford University had demonstrated the ability to predict the recovery time of patients who underwent surgical trauma. Convalescence after surgery varies significantly from patient to patient—often with protracted recovery periods resulting in personal suffering as well as substantial societal and economic costs. Now, using the deep profiling capabilities of mass cytometry, scientists have been able to correlate changes in certain blood cell types with surgical recovery times, underscoring a growing understanding of how immune health relates to recovery from traumatic injuries. These findings were published online on September 24, 2014 in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers used Fluidigm’s CyTOF® Mass Cytometry Instrument, a high parameter single-cell-based platform that can determine functional responses in precisely phenotyped immune subsets. The system was employed to comprehensively characterize phenotypic and functional alterations of the human immune system as they occurred in-vivo, in patients undergoing major surgery -- hip replacement in this instance. “A major advantage afforded by the use of the CyTOF instrument lies in its ability to detect finely tuned cell subsets with signaling changes that would be undetectable using other technologies,” said Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm Chief Executive Officer and President. “The discovery, using a panel of 35 protein markers, was only possible using the CyTOF,” Mr. Worthington added. More than 100 million surgeries are performed annually in the United States and Europe. The number is expected to grow as the population ages.
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