High Throughput, High Spatial Resolution Whole Tissue Gene Expression Camera(EA) (Case 2157)

Principal Investigator:


Casey Dunn, PhD, Professor

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Brown University

Providence, RI


Brief Description:


At present, most gene expression studies can investigate only a small number of genes at high spatial resolution, or investigate a large number of genes at very poor spatial resolution.  For many diagnostic and research applications, broad-spectrum analysis data from a plurality of genes at high spatial resolution with a high number of sequence identifications would be an important tool. Many commercial applications and scientific questions of broad interest require expression data for a large number of genes at high spatial resolution, but this has not yet been achieved.


The “gene expression camera” and its associated methods solve this problem by making it possible to simultaneously image quantitative expression for all genes at high spatial resolution. To determine the spatial distribution of biomolecules, a detector captures the biomolecules from a specimen while preserving information about the location and nucleotide sequence of genetic or genetically determined material. The captured material is then processed to obtain both nucleotide sequence and position information, providing a quantitative heat map of genomic material or gene expression.


This device will open entirely new lines of biological investigation and completely novel diagnostic procedures. It will also greatly accelerate many existing activities by replacing multiple low-throughout analyses with a single, quick high-throughput tool.  Among many advantages, this invention will allow complex analysis of gene expression, including:

•       In tissues formed of multiple cell types

•       In contiguous diseased and non-diseased cells

•       In a tumor and neighboring tissues

•       Across tissue boundaries




US patent 9,330,295 is issued (05/03/2016) 


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Margaret Shabashevich,
Manager of Operations
Office of Industry Engagement & Commercial Venturing
Brown University
401-863-7499 iecv@brown.edu
Casey Dunn
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