VECTRA Multi-Spectral Imaging Platform

The Vectra multi-spectral immuno-histochemistry platform is the first of its kind in Australia. It allows researchers to more accurately define the immune microenvironment, and helps detect mechanisms a tumour may use to evade the immune system.Its acquisition was supported by a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation in collaboration with La Trobe University and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

The Vectra platform and its analysis software allows researchers to quantify cells which are positive for one or both of the molecules and to analyse their localisation within the cells (for example, in the membrane, cytoplasma or nucleus).


If you would like to discuss opportunities to use our platform technologies and services, please contact:

Mark Frewin
Laboratory and Facilities Manager
P +61 3 9496 5299
M +61 434 242 518



The Vectra platform can simultaneously detect up to seven different proteins of interest on one FFPE-tissue slide using Opal chemistry and spectral un-mixing.

It has an integrated automated slide-loader for up to 200 slides, which can be loaded and scanned, fully automated by user-defined protocols. Pre-scans of whole tissue slides will be performed at 4x or 10x magnification (RGB) followed by high-power-field (HPF) imaging of regions of interest in the multispectral mode (20x or 40x magnification).

The multiplex IHC images lead to a comprehensive understanding of complex cellular interactions which is not accessible by other methods. Opal follows the standard IHC workflow using unlabelled primary antibodies, followed by the addition of anti-species-HRP conjugate and detection substrate. Opal fluorescent detection substrates bind covalently near the epitope, allowing subsequent removal of antibodies to clear the tissue for detection of the next target. The signal remains intact after antibody removal.

Localisation studies of proteins in cellular compartments, co-localisation of proteins and quantification of cells expressing single markers or marker combinations can be subsequently performed with specialised software available on several work stations at the ONJCRI.

Spatial relationships of cell types to each other and within the tissue context can be analysed using Spotfire software. Scanning of the slides and selection of tissue sections and areas of interest can be automated on the Vectra system and allows for review by a pathologist before analysis. Due to the TSA based signal amplification, primary antibody concentration can be reduced up to 100X and all markers of interest can be detected with antibodies raised in the same species.

Aperio AT2 Whole Slide Scanner

The Aperio AT2 is a high-volume microscope capable of digitalising histochemical stained slides. The Aperio AT2 has a capacity for up to 400 slides that can be scanned with a sustained rate of 50 slides per hour at 20 X. With high first scan success rate, your images will be uploaded to our microscopy server, allowing remote access for collaborative research teams worldwide.

Analysis can be performed using the Aperio ImageScope – Pathology Slide Viewing Software. This software contains integrated macros and algorithms for the analysis of many common pipelines for investigating your histochemical stained tissues. Image export is easily achieved, allowing free access to your datasets in your analysis software of choice.

BOND RX Fully Automated Research Stainer

The BondRX allows you to fully automate IHC, ISH, FISH, CTC and multiplexing staining experiments. Reduce your manual work to increase your efficiency and consistence with your staining experiments. The BondRX allows you to customise all steps in your staining protocol from baking and dewaxing, antigen retrieval to the length and temperature of your staining approach. The BondRX has a 30-slide capacity, with finished trays of 10 slides being capable of replaced continuously.  Up to three separate staining protocols can be run simultaneously.

The BondRX allows you to leverage established protocols and reagents or develop completely custom and reproducible staining experiments with your own novel agents. The BondRX dramatically reduces the time required to perform your experiment. A bench run seven-plex experiment would require approximately 5 days of hands-on time manual time but with the BondRX this is reduced to a reproducible and consistent ~17 hours.