Digital Spatial Profiling


Digital spatial profiling (DSP) combines high-plex gene expression profiling with the spatial resolution of immunohistochemistry. This technology is a powerful tool for examining cellular interactions, tissue heterogeneity, pathogenicity, and response to therapy.

We are proud to be one of the first service providers to offer DSP utilizing the NanoString® GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler platform. This novel technology performs simultaneous, in situ spatial analysis of 570+ proteins and 18,000+ mRNAs from a single FFPE or frozen tissue section. You can select from a host of discovery-focused panels with the potential for customization, including the new, comprehensive IO Proteome Atlas (IPA) and Whole Transcriptome Atlas (WTA) panels. Together with our epigenetic and single-cell sequencing solutions, you have access to the most cutting-edge technologies available to study gene expression from every angle.

What is digital spatial profiling?

Digital spatial profiling (DSP) is a technique used to identify and quantify mRNA and protein expression in tissues such as FFPE (formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded) samples, fresh frozen tissue sections, tissue microarrays, and core needle biopsies.

Why is spatial profiling important?

Digital special profiling (DSP) is important for analyzing cellular heterogeneity and intracellular interactions, especially in the context of drug therapy response. Important advantages of DSP:

  • Samples can be stored and probed again
  • Multiple regions of interest (ROI) can be explored from a single FFPE slide
  • DSP offers the benefits of both IHC/FISH and high-throughput expression analysis


Azenta’s digital spatial profiling service on the GeoMx platform enables morphologically-guided gene expression profiling of FFPE or fresh frozen tissues using one of NanoString’s expertly-curated, predesigned panels. Researchers can provide tissue blocks or slides for processing, or Azenta can leverage its network of biobank partners to source high-quality, consented samples on your behalf.

Digital Spatial Profiling Stains

1. Stain Sections

Tissue is stained using a protein or mRNA panel and immunofluorescent markers

Digital Spatial Profiling Target Areas

2. Define Target Areas

Regions of interest (ROIs) are selected using the GeoMx software (see FAQs)

Photocleave Barcodes

3. Photocleave Barcodes

Barcodes are cleaved using UV light and captured

Separate ROIs

4. Separate ROIs

Barcodes from each ROI are deposited in separate tubes

Analyze Spatial Expression

5. Analyze Spatial Expression

ROI-specific barcodes are quantified to create expression profiles





  • Profile tumor heterogeneity, microenvironment, and cancer stem cells
  • Identify tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs)





  • In situ immune repertoire characterization
  • Immune response profiling of normal and diseased states





  • Contextually profile neural and stem cells
  • Characterization of neurodegenerative disease pathology





  • High-plex analysis of expression in normal and diseased tissues
  • Biomarker discovery and characterization
  • Monitor therapy response


Digital Spatial Profiling Features & Benefits

Multiomic Solutions – Choose from expert-curated protein and mRNA panels targeting various pathways, or create your own

High-Plex Analysis – Combines the benefits of IHC/FISH and high-throughput expression analysis into one streamlined, tissue multiplexing assay

Target Multiple ROIs – Explore several ROIs from a single tissue slide using flexible manual and automatic ROI selection options

Preserve Samples – Multiple ROIs can be selected from a single slide, allowing tissue to remain intact for re-staining or use in other applications


Exploring Bioinformatics for
Single-Cell Sequencing Data


Webinar | Morphology Driven High-Plex Spatial Analysis of Tissue Microenvironments

In this webinar presented by Douglas Hinerfeld, Ph.D., Director of Product Applications at NanoString, learn how their novel GeoMx platform simultaneously analyzes dozens of proteins and transcripts with high spatial resolution, providing greater insight into biological systems and diseases across a variety of research areas.

Webinar Series | Advancing Transcriptomics: Gene Expression Screening, Single-Cell RNA-Seq, and Beyond

With this two-part webinar series, go beyond traditional transcriptomics and learn about the various NGS approaches available for gene expression analysis. In part 1, we take an in-depth look at various gene expression approaches, including RNA-Seq, single-cell RNA-Seq, digital spatial profiling, and more. In part 2, we explore the data generated from these approaches and how they can complement each other and confirm findings.

High-Plex Spatial Analysis of Tissue Microenvironments

Webinar | Application of Spatial Genomics for High-Throughput and High-Plex Transcriptional and Proteomic Profiling

In this webinar first presented at Oxford Global's Spatial Biology US: Online conference, learn about the power of spatial genomics as presenter David Corney, Ph.D. presents the use of digital spatial profiling in performing high-plex protein profiling of gastric cancer and high-throughput RNA spatial profiling of urothelial carcinoma utilizing the NanoString® GeoMx™ Digital Spatial Profiler.

High-Plex Spatial Analysis of Tissue Microenvironments

Webinar | New Frontiers in Sub-Cellular Spatial Biology

In this webinar, learn how spatial biology technology enables discovery of unique findings as Dr. Andres Matoso from Johns Hopkins University discusses his research in sarcomatoid urothelial carcinoma and his unique findings utilizing Azenta’s digital spatial profiling (DSP) services.


For information on our NGS platforms as well as recommended configurations of your projects, please visit the NGS Platforms page. Azenta does not guarantee data output or quality for sequencing-only projects.

10x Genomics

How To Order

Email | Phone 1-877- 436-3949, Ext. 1