BEHAV3D: 3D imaging platform highlighted by Nature Protocols

BEHAV3D: 3D imaging platform highlighted by Nature Protocols

Dr. María Alieva, head of the Machine Learning for Biomedical Imaging Analysis and Multi-Omics Integration group (@imAIgenelab) at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Sols-Morreale (IIBM) CSIC-UAM, has achieved a new milestone in her scientific career. Her recent work, titled "BEHAV3D: a 3D live imaging platform for comprehensive analysis of engineered T cell behavior and tumor response", has been recently published in Nature Protocols. Recognizing its excellence and relevance, this work has been awarded the prestigious "weeks featured protocol" in Nature Protocols an honor reserved for protocols that sets trends in their respective fields.

This manuscript, a joint effort between Dr. Alieva's computational science group and Dr. Rios' imaging team at the Prinses Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in the Netherlands, introduces an innovative platform for analyzing the behavior of engineered T cells and tumor response to cellular immunotherapy within immune-oncology co-cultures. In an era marked by a proliferation of novel and sophisticated cellular immunotherapies alongside the establishment of numerous organoid biobanks, the BEHAV3D protocol emerges as a timely tool for probing the dynamics of organoid and immunotherapy co-cultures with broad applicability. Unlike conventional endpoint killing assays, the analysis of live co-culture recordings adds an invaluable layer of insight and resolution to our understanding of immunotherapy functionality and the heterogeneity of treatment response.

Crucially, snapshot analyses often fall short in capturing critical features of tumor targeting, such as the sequential killing of multiple tumor cells, which are only discernible when individual cells are tracked both temporally and spatially. By mapping the behavioral landscape of diverse cell therapies, BEHAV3D unlocks the potential for an in-depth comparison of their behaviors, spanning T cell receptor (TCR)-, CAR-, and metabolome-sensing T cell concepts, among others, currently under development.

Furthermore, the versatility of this platform extends to its successful implementation in studying the dynamics of different solid and liquid tumor types: breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and diffuse midline glioma patient-derived organoids and pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

From the IIBM, we warmly congratulate Dr. María Alieva on this outstanding achievement. Her dedication and excellence in research not only enrich scientific knowledge but also offer new hope in the fight against cancer and other related diseases.