Case ID: M20-092LC^

Published: 2022-05-03 15:03:45

Last Updated: 1679407928


Jia Guo
Joshua LaBaer

Technology categories

Applied TechnologiesBioanalytical Assays, Chemistries & DevicesChemical/Biological SensorsDiagnostic Assays/DevicesImagingLife Science (All LS Techs)Proteomic Assays/Reagents/Tools

Licensing Contacts

Jovan Heusser
Director of Licensing and Business Development
[email protected]

Systems for Multiplexed Analysis of Biological Samples

Limitations on the number of biomolecules that can be quantified in biological samples, especially at the single-cell level, in situ, impede advances in accurate molecular diagnosis and understanding of normal cell physiology and disease pathogenesis. Spectral overlap of commonly available fluorophores is the largest culprit hindering the multiplexing capacity of conventional fluorescence microscopy approaches. While methods have been developed to try and overcome these limitations, issues still remain regarding consistent quantification, limited sensitivity, long assay time, specimen degradation and increased background.


Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a method for detecting multiple targets in biological samples, including tissues, using probes labeled with cleavable fluorophores. In this method, probes labeled with cleavable fluorophores are utilized to detect their molecular targets in biological samples immobilized on a solid surface. After fluorescence imaging and data storage, the probe-coupled cleavable fluorophores are efficiently removed. Upon continuous cycles of target recognition, fluorescence imaging, and signal removal, this approach has the potential to quantify over 100 different molecular targets at the optical resolution in biological/tissue samples. This approach enhances detection sensitivity while reducing imaging time by 1-2 orders of magnitude. 


This multiplexed molecular profiling technology should have wide applications in research, molecular diagnoses and targeted therapies.


Potential Applications

•       Molecular diagnostics & prognostics

•       Targeted therapies (monitoring the effect of treatments)

•       Basic biological studies (systems biology, cell heterogeneity, signaling pathway analysis, and more)

•       Fluorescent tags for different biology probes in:

o       Protein quantification

o       DNA or RNA in situ hybridization & metabolic analyses


Benefits and Advantages

•       88 times more sensitive than direct immunofluorescence

•       35 times more sensitive than indirect immunofluorescence

•       Measures cell-to-cell variations of proteins/nucleic acids as opposed to population-based measurements

•       Can detect 50-100 different proteins/nucleic acids expressed at different levels in the same tissue/biological sample

•       Can detect low-abundant proteins or short RNAs

•       Can be used with formalin fixed tissues (FFPE)

•       Protein antigenicity not affected by fluorophore cleavage

•       Reduced imaging and overall assay time


IP Status 


Additional Patent Pending


For more information about this opportunity, please see

Liao et al – bioRxiv – 2019

Liao et al – Dissertation – 2019

Pham et al – WIREs Systems Biology and Medicine – 2020

Liao et al – Cells – 2020


For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see

Dr. Guo’s departmental webpage

Dr. Guo’s laboratory webpage