Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CYTO 2010

Here in Seattle at the CYTO 2010 meeting (the new branding of ISAC, for those unaware). It has been a very typical ISAC, content-wise, but a huge success, location-wise. Seattle has turned out to be a pretty ideal site for one of these meetings. We're having the meeting at the Washington State Trade and Convention Center in downtown Seattle. Being from Chicago, it sort of feels like home, but really, really condensed into about a 10-block radius. Literally, everything you need is in walking distance. So, Seattle definitely gets a thumbs-up from me.

As far as the meeting content, the 'hot' technology is definitely the CyTOF from DVS Sciences. We first saw this instrument at last year's GLIIFCA meeting, but there are now many good examples of the technology in the field...and it looks really nice. As you can probably gather from the name, it's a mass spec instrument that is being used to analyze cells. How? Pretty simply: you basically take traditional antibodies, and instead of coupling them to fluors, like FITC and PE, you couple them to mass spec-type stable isotopes. Then you load your 'stained' sample into the CyTOF, and it uses a laser to basically vaporizes and ionizes the compound in an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP-Mass Spec, not Maldi-Tof Mass Spec) yielding a specific signature. Since there are around 100 isotopes available for these types of applications, AND, the resolution between isotope detection, you can basically do a 50 'color' experiment without compensation. So, now, you can do huge multiplexed assays with really, really, good resolution. There are even examples of doing a luminex type assay on this. If you load the beads with a few different combinations of different isotopes, you can easily create a 1,000,000 plex luminex assay! I see an S-10 application in my future!

I'll update with more info again soon, including info about our posters!