National Geographic Highlights Use of the CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager in Alzheimer’s Disease Research

Spatial Molecular Imager Locates Rare Senescent Cells in Brain Tissue

NanoString Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSTG), a leading provider of life science tools for discovery and translational research, today announced that the company’s CosMx™ Spatial Molecular Imager (SMI) has been highlighted in the January edition of National Geographic Magazine. An article entitled ‘Living Longer and Better’ highlighted research from Wake Forest University, which used the CosMx SMI to study human brain tissue from patients with Alzheimer’s disease to reveal the intricacies of human aging.

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National Geographic, January 2023. (Photo: Business Wire)

Miranda Orr, PhD, Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at Wake Forest University, has been utilizing NanoString’s spatial biology platforms to understand one of the hallmarks of biological aging, called cellular senescence. Senescent cells have stopped dividing, but remain active and can release substances that may cause inflammation and damage to nearby healthy cells. Previous research has identified that the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease have more senescent cells than healthy people.

A major challenge in Alzheimer’s research has been how to find senescent cells in a tissue because they comprise only about 2% of cells, and their complex molecular signature differs across tissues. The Wake Forest team used CosMx SMI to identify and locate senescent cells in brain tissue from a deceased Alzheimer’s disease patient.

“The CosMx SMI is the only instrument that has provided us with the opportunity to simultaneously visualize more than one thousand genes, at subcellular resolution, and across all cells in a tissue,” said Dr. Orr. “We are able to develop maps of the brain at an unprecedented resolution.”

CosMx SMI enables high-resolution imaging of more than 1,000 RNA and over 64 protein analytes within morphologically intact whole tissue sections. The CosMx instrument allows researchers to visualize and quantify gene and protein expression at single cell and subcellular resolutions within both fresh frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. Using a multi-modality approach, including protein imaging, CosMx SMI delivers best-in-class cell segmentation. With high-plex in situ analysis, researchers can perform cell typing, cell state, functional, and cell-cell interaction analyses in a single experiment to generate high-resolution cell atlases.

The CosMx SMI is the newest product in the company's industry-leading spatial analysis portfolio, joining the GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler (DSP). The GeoMx DSP is a fully-automated spatial profiler allowing multi-cellular analysis of whole transcriptome for both human and mouse applications. Both platforms are also customizable for other species.

To learn more about NanoString’s CosMx Spatial Molecular Imager, visit

About NanoString Technologies, Inc.

NanoString Technologies, a leader in spatial biology, offers an ecosystem of innovative discovery and translational research solutions, empowering our customers to map the universe of biology. The GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler, cited in approximately 190 peer-reviewed publications, is a flexible and consistent solution combining the power of whole tissue imaging with gene expression and protein data for spatial whole transcriptomics and proteomics from one FFPE slide. The CosMx™ Spatial Molecular Imager is an FFPE-compatible, single-cell imaging platform powered by spatial multiomics enabling researchers to map single cells in their native environments to extract deep biological insights and novel discoveries from one experiment. The AtoMx™ Spatial Informatics Platform is a cloud-based informatics solution with advanced analytics and global collaboration capabilities, enabling powerful spatial biology insights anytime, anywhere. At the foundation of our research tools is our nCounter® Analysis System, cited in more than 6,500 peer-reviewed publications, which offers a secure way to easily profile the expression of hundreds of genes, proteins, miRNAs, or copy number variations, simultaneously with high sensitivity and precision. For more information, visit

NanoString, NanoString Technologies, the NanoString logo, CosMx, GeoMx, AtoMx, and nCounter are trademarks or registered trademarks of NanoString Technologies, Inc. in various jurisdictions.

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Doug Farrell

Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Phone: 206-602-1768

Source: NanoString Technologies, Inc.

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