According to Clinical Lab Manager, in the coming years, clinical lab experts will have the opportunity to deploy a new suite of tools that will dramatically increase the information they can extract from a tissue specimen. These tools, which are now used primarily in research, are the foundation of the rapidly growing field of spatial biology.
Spatial biology brings together the best of two worlds: large-scale data on gene or protein expression typical of omics technologies paired with full spatial context from direct visualization of an intact tissue section. The result is a deep, spatially resolved molecular profile. These tools allow users to detect dozens or even hundreds of different genes or proteins at once, enabling single-cell or even subcellular resolution to track the precise location of each target and identify cellular and molecular interactions.
These new technologies are the culmination of innovations from next-generation sequencing, advanced imaging systems, data sciences, and more. By producing more molecular data from each sample and simultaneously generating such high-resolution views of cell populations—even down to subcellular structures—it is now feasible to investigate how the location of expressed genes and proteins affects human health. Learn more about the applications of this opportunity here.