The Human Cell Atlas (HCA) aims to establish a reference map of molecular profiles of all cells forming the human body. However, HCA activities suffer from a trade-off in current spatial technologies limiting through-put and molecular depth. Building on comprehensive pilot actions LIVERTICA aims to overcome this limitation in a timely manner. We will implement a multimodal imaging workflow compatible with an ultrasound supported harvesting process for single cell molecular profiling.
Using blood channels as a highly individual spatial reference system, precise position profiles will be recorded by individual digital volume frames and three-dimensional (3D) environment frames produced by sequential imaging with magnetic resonance tomography, contrast enhanced 3D ultrasound and high-resolution episcopic microscopy and fusion. Again, virtual 3D representations of blood vessel will be used as references for multiscale data fusion. Software solutions will be developed to integrate the individual volume frames to a draft liver atlas, the design of which will be open for integrating transcriptome information of cells harvested without position profiles and data exchange with alternative HCA projects. LIVERTICA fully subscribes to the aims and values of the HCA and endorses its open science and data strategies. It will follow an open concept for the ingestion of complex cellular data in cooperation with the relevant HCA activities and thus aims to become a paradigm within the concert of international activities for advancing the human cell atlas towards its ambitious aims.
The LIVERTICA approach can be ultimatively expanded to other organs and the developed tools and extensive experience gained within the project will have an enormous impact on all HCA activities beyond its timeline. Embedded into an international network of imaging experts, LIVERTICA technology will be disseminated through existing activities and platforms including EURO-Bioimaging and COMULIS.