Vizgen begins shipping Merscope instruments for single-cell genomics

By Samantha Black, PhD, The Science Advisory Board editor in chief

August 30, 2021 -- Vizgen has shipped its first commercial Merscope instruments to research institutions as part of a limited summer release program. Merscope enables high-plex, single-cell spatial genomics and large-scale spatial profiling of individual transcripts within cells.

Vizgen will continue to ship a limited number of Merscope instruments for the next several months before releasing the system to the wider U.S. market in late 2021. Participants in the summer release program include the Salk Institute; the University of California, Irvine; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The Merscope high-plex, single-cell spacial genomics platform from Vizgen.
Merscope is the first commercially available high-plex, single-cell spatial genomics platform for spatially profiling gene expression across whole tissues and resolving individual transcripts with nanometer-scale resolution. Image courtesy of Vizgen.

Merscope can perform multiplexed error-robust fluorescence in situ hybridization (MERFISH) experiments, detecting spatial gene expression profiling data across whole tissues. The MERFISH workflow can resolve individual transcripts with nanometer-scale resolution via combinatorial labeling, sequential imaging, and barcoding. MERFISH was developed by Xiaowei Zhuang, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and David B. Arnold Jr. professor of science at Harvard University.

The instrument is flexible and amenable to a variety of sample and tissue types, according to the company. In addition to the instrument, the Merscope platform includes a custom gene panel design portal, reagents and consumables, an analytical computer, and data visualization software. The platform provides a user-friendly workflow for facilitating each step of a MERFISH experiment, the company said.

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