A novel data fusion method for the effective analysis of multiple panels of flow cytometry data

Gerjen H Tinnevelt*, Selma van Staveren, Kristiaan Wouters, Erwin Wijnands, Kenneth Verboven, Rita Folcarelli, Leo Koenderman, Lutgarde M C Buydens, Jeroen J Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Multicolour flow cytometry (MFC) is used to measure multiple cellular markers at the single-cell level. Cellular markers may be coloured with different panels of fluorescently-labelled antibodies to enable cell identification or the detection of activated cells in pre-defined, 'gated' specific cell subsets. The number of markers that can be used per measurement is technologically limited however, requiring every panel to be analysed in a separate aliquot measurement. The combined analyses of these dedicated panels may enhance the predictive ability of these measurements and could enrich the interpretation of the immunological information. Here we introduce a fusion method for MFC data, based on DAMACY (Discriminant Analysis of Multi-Aspect Cytometry data), which can combine information from complementary panels. This approach leads to both enhanced predictions and clearer interpretations in comparison with the analysis of separate measurements. We illustrate this method using two datasets: the response of neutrophils evoked by a systemic endotoxin challenge and the activated immune status of the innate cells, T cells and B cells in obese versus lean individuals. The data fusion approach was able to detect cells that do not individually show a difference between clinical phenotypes but do play a role in combination with other cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6777
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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