Helios uses CyTOF® technology to enable deep profiling of translational and clinical research samples across a range of cell surface and intracellular markers. CyTOF® is a variation of flow cytometry in which antibodies are labeled with heavy metal ion tags rather than fluorochromes.
Since its invention, flow cytometry has become the method of choice for providing multidimension cell expression data at single-cell resolution by utilizing antibodies conjugated to fluorescent tags. Technological advancements, including additional lasers, fluorochromes, detection and analysis methods, flow panels are generally limited to <30 markers. Compensation matrices account for the overlap in the emissions spectra of each fluorochrome and with each additional parameter these matrices increase in complexity, reducing resolution and potentially excluding some events.
Mass cytometry is the fusion of flow cytometry and mass spectrometry, replacing fluorescent tags with metal isotopes and essentially eliminated the need for compensation while increasing the number of targets to 45+. Metal-conjugated antibodies provide the same resolution and sensitivity of flow cytometry, while nearly eliminating the need for compensation. Additionally, metal-conjugated antibodies are often more stable than their fluorescent counterparts, particularly tandem dyes.