BMC Bioinformatics (2020-04-01)

Brick plots: an intuitive platform for visualizing multiparametric immunophenotyped cell clusters

  • Samuel E. Norton,
  • Julia K. H. Leman,
  • Tiffany Khong,
  • Andrew Spencer,
  • Barbara Fazekas de St Groth,
  • Helen M. McGuire,
  • Roslyn A. Kemp

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 1
pp. 1 – 14


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Abstract Background The advent of mass cytometry has dramatically increased the parameter limit for immunological analysis. New approaches to analysing high parameter cytometry data have been developed to ease analysis of these complex datasets. Many of these methods assign cells into population clusters based on protein expression similarity. Results Here we introduce an additional method, termed Brick plots, to visualize these cluster phenotypes in a simplified and intuitive manner. The Brick plot method generates a two-dimensional barcode that displays the phenotype of each cluster in relation to the entire dataset. We show that Brick plots can be used to visualize complex mass cytometry data, both from fundamental research and clinical trials, as well as flow cytometry data. Conclusion Brick plots represent a new approach to visualize complex immunological data in an intuitive manner.