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  • About the NIPH mass cytometry platform (CyTOF®)

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About the NIPH mass cytometry platform (CyTOF®)

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The mass cytometry platform at the NIPH is a newly established group focusing on competence in the operation and application of mass cytometry technology (CyTOF®) and biostatistical analyses.

Senior Engineers Hege Hjerthom and Tove Karin Herstad.
Senior Engineers Hege Hjerthom and Tove Karin Herstad. Photo: NIPH

The mass cytometry platform at the NIPH is a newly established group focusing on competence in the operation and application of mass cytometry technology (CyTOF®) and biostatistical analyses.


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Although we focus on applications that work towards solving public health challenges within infectious disease control/vaccines, environmental medicine and cohort studies, we would also like to welcome collaborators in other fields of research and development.

About the platform

The mass cytometry platform provides:

  • the most recent version of the Helios™ mass cytometer from Fluidigm Inc, instrument
  • scientific and technical support in all steps of the workflow, from sample collection to statistical analysis and reporting (Figure 1)
Schematic illustration of the workflow of mass cytometry assessment
Figure 1: Schematic illustration of the workflow of mass cytometry assessment – from study design, sample collection and preparation, designing and testing antibody panels, staining of cells and acquiring cell data on the instrument, and statistical analyses of the high-dimensional dataset. The bullet points below the illustrations shows where the NIPH mass cytometry platform will offer scientific and technical support. Illustration: NIPH

Use of the Helios mass cytometer

Helios massecytometer
Photo: NIPH.

After hands-on training, you can run samples on the instrument unsupervised for an hourly fee. In collaboration projects, the NIPH platform staff will stain and run samples on the instrument.

For full-service customer projects,please contact us to discuss possibilities.

Scientific and technical support

The platform provides expertise in CyTOF applications, experimental design and methodological considerations, data collection on the Helios mass cytometer. Expertise on biostatistical analyses of the high-dimensional data sets is being established (Figure 1).

Customers can include academic groups, research institutes, companies or regulatory agencies.

Please contact us on  

Cell sample collection strategies – cohort and human studies

We are developing protocols for time-efficient and easy cell sampling in cohorts and other human studies. This will simplify collection of cells in settings like hospitals, home visits, workplaces and rural settings.

Ask us for recommendations for your particular study.

Antibody and metal tag inventory

For users interested in testing out the technology in a small sample format (typically 5-10 samples), the platform provides an inventory of metal-labelled antibodies for sale. Pre-tagged antibodies can be bought from Fluidigm , or we can conjugate your favorite antibodies using metal-labelling kits (single reactions can be bought from the platform). 

Our inventory of anti-Human antibodies includes antibodies towards:

  • Major cell populations in whole blood/PBMCs
  • Cytokines
  • Chemokine receptors
  • Activation markers
  • Transcription factors
  • Proliferation marker
  • Viability marker
  • Stem cell markers*
  • Neuronal and astrocyte proliferation and differentiation*
  • Neuronal development and maturation*
  • Growth factors*
  • Neurotransmitter receptors*

* in progress

Our inventory of anti-Mouse antibodies includes antibodies towards

  • Major immune cell populations
  • Cytokines
  • Chemokine receptors
  • Activation markers
  • Transcription factors
  • Proliferation marker
  • Viability marker

Our inventory also provides metal-labelling kits for in-house conjugation to your «favourite antibodies».

About the team and contact information

  • Contact us at CyTOF@fhi.no.
  • Platform leader: Unni C. Nygaard, Section Director
  • Instrument operations: Hege Hjertholm and Tove Karin Herstad, both Senior Engineers
  • Biostatistician: Anja Bråthen Kristoffersen
  • Senior scientists, students and post docs in ongoing projects
  • Location: Lovisenberggata 8, 0456 Oslo

Focus areas at NIPH

The NIPH platform will have particular expertise in mass cytometry applications within in the research fields of toxicology, systems immunology in vaccinology, infectious and immune diseases as well as in stem cell models and other complex in vitro systems (Figure 2). 

Additionally, we focus on developing feasible methods for cell collection in cohorts and biobanks, as the technique  can give detailed understanding of biological complexity in small sample volumes (such as birth cohorts/children). Other application areas are welcome to contact us to discuss opportunities with this technology.

Illustration of our major strategic areas of expertise and applications
Figure 2: Illustration of our major strategic areas of expertise and applications of the NIPH CyTOF technology platform. Illustration: NIPH