Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) Technology

Obtain unprecedented high-plex immuno-profiling data (up to 800 targets) from a single formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue slice while preserving both the context of the tissue microenvironment as well as the sample itself. NanoString's Digital Spatial Profiling (DSP) Technology delivers digital counts of biomarker expression levels in precise spatial context, enabling researchers to deepen the understanding of heterogeneity and disease, and accelerate the development of next-generation targeted therapeutics.



Key Benefits

  • Multiplex many analytes (up to 800-plex) on one tissue slice in a single pass with 3D-Biology™ capability
  • Non-destructive: sample is only touched by light
  • Quantitation based on linear single-molecule counting: up to 6 logs (base 10) dynamic range
  • Significantly fewer steps and less hands-on time than TSA-based multiplexing
  • Single antigen retrieval without effects from order-of-addition
  • Limit of detection down to single-cell resolution

How Does the Technology Work?

  1. Process: Apply high-plex antibody cocktail
  2. View: Use visible wavelength low-plex imaging to establish tumor "geography." Select regions-of-interest for high-plex profiling
  3. Profile: UV-release high-plex oligo tags at selected ROIs
  4. Plate: Store released tags in microtiter plate, index, and hybridize to barcodes
  5. Digitally count up to 1 million data points per ROI
  6. Analyze the data with nSolver and Advanced Analysis

In contrast to the sequential analysis of multi-target immunohistochemistry (IHC) slides, NanoString's DSP technology samples all analytes on a single slide. This not only shortens processing time and simplifies data analysis, but also provides a higher multiplexing capacity of up to 800 targets and a wider detection range, all with spatial context from FFPE tissue sections.

Based on NanoString's proprietary barcoding technology, the DSP platform measures local protein levels, and can be combined with RNA expression within heterogeneous tissue samples. Combining both multiplexed nucleic acid and protein on the same platform gives researchers the ability to spatially resolve RNA when suitable antibodies do not exist. The platform includes imaging and fluidic components to capture spatial context, and current nCounter® instruments provide the quantification.

Protein detection is enabled via primary antibodies that are covalently attached via a UV photocleavable linker to DNA indexing oligos. Following antigen retrieval, FFPE tissue samples are stained with a multiplexed cocktail of labeled antibodies, and DNA oligos are subsequently released by UV light exposure across Regions of Interest (ROIs). The liberated DNA oligos are then hybridized to optical barcodes for quantitation on an nCounter® instrument. This technique enables quantitative, multiplexed protein detection up to 6 logs of dynamic range.


How Do I Get Access to This Technology?

Access to DSP Technology is available through our Technology Access Program. Contact us at to learn more.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.