Computational tissue-based pathology

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
  • Education and training
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Human derived cells / tissues / organs
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
Animal and human cell and tissues


Method keywords
  • Histopathology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • Image analysis
  • Machine learning
  • Data analysis
  • Biomarker validation
  • Whole Slide Imaging
  • Tissue microarray
  • Cell block
Scientific area keywords
  • Oncology
  • Cell therapy
  • Computational pathology
  • Biomarkers
Method description

Integrated approach for the characterization,validation and monitoring of protein biomarkers in animal tissue samples as well as on human tissue samples. The ''cell-block'' technique allows the study of cell lines with the same approach. The methodology involves histological and standardized immunohistochemical techniques, whole slide scanning, dedicated image analysis developments, biostatistics and data mining.

Lab equipment
  • Automated microtome ;
  • Automated immunohistochemistry system ;
  • Automated tissue micro-arrayer ;
  • Whole slide scanner ;
  • Image analysis software packages.
Method status
  • Published in peer reviewed journal

Pros, cons & Future potential


Standardized laboratory procedures and quality controls ensure reproducibility and traceability. Brightfield IHC has the advantage to preserve tissue morphology and thus antigen location at histological and cell levels. By simultaneously processing thousands of samples, the TMA technology allows standardized screening of protein expression using IHC and thus provides a very efficient way for biomarker validation. Slide scanning and image analysis enable archiving, sharing, quantitative staining characterization and colocalization analysis. Finally, data analysis enables biomarkers to be statistically validated and compared.

  • Time consuming ;
  • Multidisciplinar expertise ;
  • Standardization requirement.

In constant development of methods dedicated to new issues.

Future & Other applications
  • Immunology ;
  • Drug development (companion tests) ;
  • Animal health.

References, associated documents and other information


Cfr. associated document.

Associated documents
List of publications.pdf
Quantitative image analysis
Tissue-based biomarker colocalization
DIAPath website
Other remarks

Method development is the result of a longstanding collaboration between the Pathology Department of the Erasme Hospital (Brussels) and the LISA (Laboratory of Image Synthesis and Analysis) of the Brussels School of Engineering (ULB).

Contact person

Cédric Balsat


Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Brussels Region


Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)