At the 28th Congress of the European Society of Pathology, Bruker announces that it has expanded its license agreement with 3M for processing of FFPE tissue sections.

Mass spectrometric imaging by MALDI-TOF (MALDI Imaging) is a technology with great potential for many applications in medicine. It is the leading mass spectrometric method for the analysis of tissues, such as Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) tissues.

Bruker´s MALDI Tissuetyper™ solution makes this technology broadly applicable due to the unprecedented 10 kHz laser speed, robustness and ease of use of the underlying rapifleX™ MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer.

The MALDI Tissuetyper enables anatomical pathology research based on multiplexed proteomic profiles and the spatial distribution of proteomic biomarkers on FFPE tissue sections.

The MALDI Tissuetyper is used for the direct, label-free analysis of a wide range of analytes directly from tissue sections. It provides complementary information to currently used routine histology methods. Bruker and 3M have agreed to extend Bruker´s global license for 3M´s patent from research to routine use.

This is an important step towards developing future product offerings for anatomical pathology laboratories, including clinically validated content libraries for specific clinical indications. The license rights now cover the acquisition of MALDI spectra from FFPE sections for research and routine applications.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Jörg Kriegsmann, Medical Director of the Medical Service Center for Histology, Cytology and Molecular Diagnostics in Trier, Germany, commented: "In my laboratory we have been working with the MALDI Tissuetyper workflow for some time. Most of the samples in a routine pathology laboratory are FFPE tissues.

This is why it is so important to cover the FFPE workflow in addition to the analysis of freshly frozen samples. We see that the MALDI Tissuetyper can complement classical pathology analysis methods, such as hematoxylin-eosin staining and immunohistochemistry. As a first routine application we will start using the MALDI Tissuetyper in our laboratory to analyze degenerative changes of meniscus tissue."

Dr. Wolfgang Pusch, Executive Vice President for Clinical MALDI at Bruker Daltonics, added: "Bruker is the only company offering suitable technology and workflow solutions for the MALDI-TOF investigation of FFPE sections.

“To add even further value to the MALDI Tissuetyper approach, Bruker is currently establishing collaborations with leading pathologists to develop assays and validated library content for specific clinical indications in anatomical pathology."

The MALDI Tissuetyper solution, an emerging technology, enables the use of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry as a powerful mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) tool, which is complementary to traditional imaging technologies in histology. The MALDI Tissuetyper allows pathologists a fast identification of proteins in tissue samples.

 In contrast to traditional histological tissue analysis, the MALDI Tissuetyper requires neither a molecular probe nor an antibody. The MALDI Tissuetyper offers multiplex analysis of multiple potential biomarkers simultaneously in an untargeted approach. Identification of protein expression profiles will lead to the discovery of clinically useful tumor biomarkers which can be incorporated into future diagnostic and treatment strategies.  

The MALDI Tissuetyper provides complementary information to immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in many cases can differentiate cell populations that cannot easily be differentiated by IHC. In addition, it may save valuable biopsy material, in cases where only limited tissue sample is available.

The MALDI Tissuetyper can be used for biomarker discovery studies, and for multi-marker tissue-typing and classification. The MALDI Tissuetyper is currently available for research use only.