High-throughput gene expression screening in activated T-cells using FISH-Flow

Induction of gene expression and subsequent detection by FISH-Flow.
c-fos expression is induced in activated cells, which are readily identified by FISH-Flow. GFP: negative control, GAPDH: positive control.

Invention Summary:

Researchers at Rutgers have developed an assay combining the analytical power of flow cytometry and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH-Flow) for high-throughput identification of activated T-cells. Gene expression at the mRNA level and expression of cell surface markers can be assayed simultaneously in activated T-cell populations using this technique. The use of nucleic acid probes provides exceptional target flexibility while maintaining exquisite sensitivity; as few as 10 mRNA molecules per cell can be detected by FISH-Flow. After being analyzed by flow cytometry, cell populations can be sorted for additional downstream analysis and multiparametric phenotyping. A semi-automated protocol has also been developed which allows for preparation and analysis of up to 40 samples simultaneously.
Market Applications:

Suitable for use in diagnostic and/or research applications requiring any of the following:

  • Rapid identification of activated T cells and/or identification of low-abundance T cell populations, such as antigen-specific memory cells
  • Multiparametric immunophenotyping
  • Concurrent detection of mRNA targets and cell surface markers


  • Enhanced temporal resolution of dynamic gene expression events
  • Eliminates the need for protein-secretion inhibitors when detecting secreted proteins such as cytokines
  • Nucleic acid probes provide greater target flexibility (vs. antibody probes)
  • Semiautomated protocol reduces cell loss, operator time, and inter operator variability

Intellectual Property & Development Status:
Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Tania Das Banerjee
Licensing Manager
Rutgers University
Sensors & Probes