Microsystems & Nanoengineering

Rapid micro-immunohistochemistry

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We present a new and versatile implementation of rapid and localized immunohistochemical staining of tissue sections. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) comprises a sequence of specific biochemical reactions and allows the detection of specific proteins in tissue sections. For the rapid implementation of IHC, we fabricated horizontally oriented microfluidic probes (MFPs) with functionally designed apertures to enable square and circular footprints, which we employ to locally expose a tissue to time-optimized sequences of different biochemicals. We show that the two main incubation steps of IHC protocols can be performed on MDAMB468-1510A cell block sections in less than 30 min, compared to incubation times of an hour or more in standard protocols. IHC analysis on the timescale of tens of minutes could potentially be applied during surgery, enabling clinicians to react in more dynamically and efficiently. Furthermore, this rapid IHC implementation along with conservative tissue usage has strong potential for the implementation of multiplexed assays, allowing the exploration of optimal assay conditions with a small amount of tissue to ensure high-quality staining results for the remainder of the sample.


19 Oct 2020


Microsystems & Nanoengineering