Nature Biotechnology: Single-cell deep phenotyping of IgG-secreting cells for high-resolution immune monitoring

This paper describes DropMap, “a powerful and elegant technology for the phenotypic analysis of antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) at the single-cell level with unprecedented throughput and resolution” according to the corresponding News & Views article by McDaniel et al.

Abstract of paper:

Studies of the dynamics of the antibody-mediated immune response have been hampered by the absence of quantitative, high-throughput systems to analyze individual antibody-secreting cells. Here we describe a simple microfluidic system, DropMap, in which single cells are compartmentalized in tens of thousands of 40-pL droplets and analyzed in two-dimensional droplet arrays using a fluorescence relocation-based immunoassay. Using DropMap, we characterized antibody-secreting cells in mice immunized with tetanus toxoid (TT) over a 7-week protocol, simultaneously analyzing the secretion rate and affinity of IgG from over 0.5 million individual cells enriched from spleen and bone marrow. Immunization resulted in dramatic increases in the range of both single-cell secretion rates and affinities, which spanned at maximum 3 and 4 logs, respectively. We observed differences over time in dynamics of secretion rate and affinity within and between anatomical compartments. This system will not only enable immune monitoring and optimization of immunization and vaccination protocols but also potentiate antibody screening.

You can also read the accompanying commentary Mapping the secrets of the antibody pool.

Drug Discovery Today: Guiding principles of value creation through collaborative innovation in pharmaceutical research

HiFiBiO CEO Liang Schweizer and COO Jeff He outline the importance of breaking down common barriers in collaborations, propose four guiding principles for such co-operation and offer a framework to reach value inflection points quicker.

Abstract of paper:

Open innovation has become the main trend in pharmaceutical research. Potential obstacles and pitfalls of collaborations often lead to missed opportunities and/or poorly executed partnerships. This paper aims to provide a framework that facilitates the execution of successful collaborations. We start by mapping out three checkpoints onto early-stage collaborative partnerships: inception, ignition and implementation. Different value types and value drivers are then laid out for each phase of the partnership. We proceed to propose a ratio-driven approach and a value-adjustment mechanism, enhancing the probability of successes in pharmaceutical research collaborations. These guiding principles combined should help the partners either reach agreement more quickly or move on to the next potential project.