Single Cell Detection

LyDia HD – Single Cell Tumor Detection in Lymph Nodes

© Fraunhofer IIS

Goal: early detection of cancer metastasis by detecting even single disseminated tumor cells in a lymph node.

Partners: joint effort with the Fraunhofer ITEM and Fraunhofer IPA

Current Status:

  • Development of single components (tissue grinder, scanning and image analysis, single cell DNA amplification, laboratory notebook software) finished
  • Evaluation ongoing


  • ~50 slides of melanoma and lung cancer


  • Prior work by University Tübingen and Fraunhofer ITEM has shown that even a presence of only a handful of disseminated cancer cells per million lymphocytes has a negative impact on survival
  • Fraunhofer IPA has developed TissueGrinder for dissolving a lymph node into a cell suspension
  • Immunocytological staining using melanoma marker (gp100)
  • Scanning of cell suspension with Fraunhofer IIS’s SCube scanning platform
  • Fraunhofer IIS image analysis: detection of tumor cell candidates and tumor vs. artefact classification with Convolutional Neural Network
  • Molecular single cell analysis with assay developed by Fraunhofer ITEM (commercially available as Ampli1TM WGA)

Seeking Commercialization Partners


Further Reading:
1. Ulmer A., et al., Quantitative measurement of melanoma spread in sentinel lymph nodes and survival. PLoS Med, 2014. 11(2): e1001604.
2. Ulmer A., et al., The sentinel lymph node spread determines quantitatively melanoma seeding to non-sentinel lymph nodes and survival. Eur J Cancer, 2018. 91: p. 1-10
3. Werner-Klein M., et al. Genetic alterations driving metastatic colony formation are acquired outside of the primary tumour in melanoma. Nat Commun, 2018. 9(1): p. 595

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