Analysis of High-Dimensional Phenotype Data Generated by Mass Cytometry or High-Dimensional Flow Cytometry.
Recent advances in single cell multi-omics methodologies significantly expand our understanding of cellular heterogeneity, particularly in the field of immunology. Today's state-of-the-art flow and mass cytometers can detect up to 50 parameters to comprehensively characterize the identity and function of individual cells within a heterogeneous population. As a consequence, the increasing number of parameters that can be detected simultaneously also introduces substantial complexity for the experimental setup and downstream data processing. However, this challenge in data analysis fostered the development of novel bioinformatic tools to fully exploit the high-dimensional data. These tools will eventually replace cumbersome serial, manual gating in the two-dimensional space driven by a priori knowledge, which still represents the gold standard in flow cytometric analysis, to meet the needs of the today's immunologist. To this end, we provide guidelines for a high-dimensional cytometry workflow including experimental setup, panel design, fluorescent spillover compensation, and data analysis.