Peering Deep into the Cellular Universe: Allen Institute Researchers Map Cell Parts in 3D


After analyzing over 200,000 human stem cells in 3D high resolution, researchers at Seattle’s Allen Institute for Cell Science and their colleagues developed an approach to quantitatively map how cellular components are arranged in space.

Researchers were able to assess structures and measure how cellular organization shifted as cells entered cell division, and they were able to simulate cell transitions, including changes in the cytoskeleton.

The study ran for seven years and was led by Allen Institute senior scientist Matheus Viana, along with support from more than 80 other researchers and Allen Institute for Cell Science deputy director Susanne Rafelski.

“We’ve come up with a framework that allows us to measure a cell’s shape, and the moment you do that you can find cells that are similar shapes, and for those cells you can then look inside and see how everything is arranged,” said Viana.