Oncology & Immuno-oncology

Long-term non-invasive live cell imaging of the interactions between immune and cancer cells with Nanolive
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Nanolive technology allows to visualize the changes in cell morphology and behaviour that occur during interactions between immune cells and cancer cells at all stages of the disease process, from invasion, migration and metastasis, to cell death. Quantitative analyses of cell proliferation across time can also be performed enabling researchers to compare how cancer cells respond to different antibodies or immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Testing the efficacy of bispecific antibodies

Cytotoxic T-cells are powerful effector cells capable of killing target cells bearing an appropriate antigenic complex (peptide–MHC), which is recognized by their T-cell receptor (TCR). Most T-cells are however unable to recognize and kill tumor cells, because of the lack of tumor-specificity of their TCR. By using bispecific antibodies targeting tumor-associated antigens (TAA) on the cancer cells and the CD3 protein complexes on T-cells, it is possible to redirect and activate any circulating T-cells against tumor cells independently of the specificity of their TCR.

In this video, we follow this process, using the 5×5 grid scan mode on Nanolive’s automated microscope, the CX-A. Image were acquired ever 4 min 30 s, for 20 h.

Read our detailed blogpost here.

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Quantifying cell responses to Cdk2-inhibition

Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) drives the progression of cells into the S- and M-phases of the cell cycle. The upregulation of Cdk2 activity plays a critical role in the growth of tumors in multiple cancers, and so the development of selective Cdk2 inhibitors hold promise for anticancer drug development.

In this video, we compare the dry mass changes that pre-adipocyte (green) and glioblastoma cells (orange) undergo in response to Cdk2 inhibition. Cells were imaged using the 5×5 gridscan mode (450×450 µm) on the CX-A, at an acquisition rate of 1 image every 2 secs for 20 h.

Both cell types lost dry mass following Cdk2 inhibition and as expected, cell death occurred during mitosis.

Read our detailed blogpost here.

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Identifying different types of cell death

Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are key regulatory signaling proteins involved in cancer cell growth and metastasis, and so, they are attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer. In this video, we expose pre-adipocyte (green) and glioblastoma cells (orange) to an RTK-inhibitor and imaged their response. One image was acquired every 113 secs using the 5×5 gridscan mode on Nanolive’s CX-A.

RTK-inhibition initiated different mechanisms of cell death in the two cell types. Pre-adipocyte cell death occurred predominantly by apoptosis, whereas glioblastoma cell death occurred primarily by necroptosis. Understanding the type of cell death that a drug causes is important as it can affect the progression of diseases or the side-effects of a drug: apoptosis is immunologically silent meaning it does not promote a significant auto-immune response, whereas necroptosis induces significant inflammation.

Read the full blogpost here.

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Combining label-free imaging with correlative epifluorescence

Chromatin stability play a key role in degenerative processes such as aging and cancer. This video, taken by Dr. Caroline Mauvezin, a Research Associate based at Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute – IDIBELL in Barcelona (Spain) illustrates how Nanolive imaging can be used in conjunction with fluorescence (here green localizes Histone 2B-GFP a chromosome marker, and red, LAMP1-RFP a lysosome marker), to investigate such phenomena. Refractive index images were taken every 2 mins, and fluorescent images were captured once every 20 mins, for 5 h.

For more inspirational videos from researchers based in Spain and Portugal, check out our dedicated blogpost here.

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Scientific Publications

Nanolive label-free live cell imaging has already shed light on many important topics in the field of immuno-oncology and oncology research. To get inspired and learn how your research can benefit from our technology, we invite you to check out these scientific articles published by our clients.

Feature Application

Characterising cancer cells and their interactions with immune cells

One of the most promising avenues of research in immune oncology is long-term, live imaging. Capturing dynamic biological processes in real time holds the key to understanding which cell-cell interactions promote a successful immune response, and which promote disease.

Download our Feature Application Note >


Watch our Webinar: Label-free live cell imaging meets Immuno oncology


Dr. Mathieu Frechin, Head of Quantitative Biology at Nanolive will introduce you to our holotomographic microscopy and its implications in the field of Immuno Oncology. During the webinar he will discuss the opportunities that are created by the usage of Nanolive’s label-free technology in the field of immune system research. In particular, the following topics will be covered:

  • Immuno oncology in the spotlight – strategic importance of studying the immune system.
  • Current state of the art of live cell imaging in the field of immunology – what Nanolive’s technology can bring to the field.
  • New live cell research possibilities to understand the cell-cell interactions of the immune system (examples).

Please register here to view the webinar on-demand:


Watch our Webinar: Accelerating oncology drug discovery with label-free imaging


In this webinar, Dr. Emma Gibbin, Communications Specialist at Nanolive will discuss the advantages of using label-free live cell imaging in the drug discovery process and show how Nanolive’s automated live cell imaging solution the CX-A, can be used to:

  • observe unique drug-induced phenotypes that fluorescence microscopy cannot capture
  • record dynamic cellular responses to drug perturbations
  • automate in vitro screening studies.

Dr. Gibbin will present novel results from two experimental screens designed to test the phenotypic and morphological responses of pre-adipocyte and cancer cells to 8 inhibitors or modulators of kinase activity.

Please register here to view the webinar on-demand:

Video library

Activated T-Cell killing cancer cell.

Read the blogpost here.

Lung cancer apoptosis of A549 cells treated with BA6.

T-cells killing cancer cells.

Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells hunt melanoma cells in co-culture.

Tumor-derived extracellular vesicles uptake in mouse brain endothelial cells.

Read the blogpost here.

Bispecific antibody induces T-cell proliferation and tumor cell killing.

Read the blogpost here.

T-cell attack and cancer evasion.

Nuclear membrane changes following Cdk2-inhibition.



How Nanolive imaging can be used in immuno-oncology research: testimonial.

Read the blogpost here.

Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADCs) killing mouse breast cancer cells.

Read the blogpost here.

Restored phagocytosis of cancer cells.

Read the blogpost here.

Cell morphological changes following JNK-inhibition.

Read the blogpost here.

Cell morphological changes following mTOR-inhibition.

Read the blogpost here.

PGRMC1 wildtype and tripe mutant pancreatic cancer cells morphology.

Read the blogpost here.

Compare Nanolive's Products


Automated live cell imaging: a unique walk-away solution for long-term live cell imaging of single cells and cell populations

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3D Cell Explorer front view


Budget-friendly, easy-to-use, compact solution for high quality non-invasive 4D live cell imaging

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