TRIPODD: a Novel Fluorescence Imaging Platform for In Situ Quantification of Drug Distribution and Therapeutic Response

Nathan P. McMahon, Allison Solanki, Lei G. Wang, Antonio R. Montaño, Jocelyn A. Jones, Kimberley S. Samkoe, Kenneth M. Tichauer, Summer L. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Personalized medicine has largely failed to produce curative therapies in advanced cancer patients. Evaluation of in situ drug target availability (DTA) concomitant with local protein expression is critical to an accurate assessment of therapeutic efficacy, but tools capable of both are currently lacking. Procedure: We developed and optimized a fluorescence imaging platform termed TRIPODD (Therapeutic Response Imaging through Proteomic and Optical Drug Distribution), resulting in the only methodology capable of simultaneous quantification of single-cell DTA and protein expression with preserved spatial context within a tumor. Using TRIPODD, we demonstrate the feasibility of combining two complementary fluorescence imaging techniques, intracellular paired agent imaging (iPAI) and cyclic immunofluorescence (cyCIF), conducted with oligonucleotide-conjugated antibodies (Ab-oligos) on tissue samples. Results: We successfully performed sequential imaging on a single tissue section of iPAI to capture single-cell DTA and local protein expression heterogeneity using Ab-oligo cyCIF. Fluorescence imaging data acquisition was followed by spatial registration resulting in high dimensional data correlating DTA to protein expression at the single-cell level where uptake of a targeted probe alone was not well correlated to protein expression. Conclusion: Herein, we demonstrated the utility of TRIPODD as a powerful imaging platform capable of interpreting tumor heterogeneity for a mechanistic understanding of therapeutic response and resistance through quantification of drug target availability and proteomic response with preserved spatial context at single-cell resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-664
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Cancer heterogeneity
  • Cyclic immunofluorescence
  • Drug target engagement
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • Intracellular paired agent imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'TRIPODD: a Novel Fluorescence Imaging Platform for In Situ Quantification of Drug Distribution and Therapeutic Response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this