Single-Cell Analysis Using Droplet Microfluidics
SourceAdvanced Biosystems, 4, 1, (2020), pp. 1-28, article 1900188
Article / Letter to editor
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Physical Organic Chemistry
SubjectPhysical Organic Chemistry
Abstract Droplet microfluidics has revolutionized the study of single cells. The ability to compartmentalize cells within picoliter droplets in microfluidic devices has opened up a wide range of strategies to extract information at the genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, or metabolomic level from large numbers of individual cells. Studying the different molecular landscapes at single-cell resolution has provided the authors with a detailed picture of intracellular heterogeneity and the resulting changes in cellular phenotypes. In addition, these technologies have aided in the discovery of rare cells in tumors or in the immune system, and left the authors with a deeper understanding of the fundamental biological processes that determine cell fate. This review aims to provide a detailed overview of the various droplet microfluidic strategies reported in the literature, taking into account the sometimes subtle differences in workflow or reagents that enable or improve certain protocols. Specifically, approaches to targeted- and whole-genome analysis, as well as whole-transcriptome profiling techniques, are reviewed. In addition, an up-to-date overview of new methods to characterize and quantify single-cell protein levels, and of developments to screen secreted molecules such as antibodies, cytokines, or metabolites at the single-cell level, is provided.
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