Single-cell isolation by a modular single-cell pipette for RNA sequencing

Single-cell transcriptome sequencing highly requires a convenient and reliable method to rapidly isolate a live cell into a specific container such as a PCR tube. Here, researchers from the Houston Methodist Research Institute report a modular single-cell pipette (mSCP) consisting of three modular components, a SCP-Tip, an air-displacement pipette (ADP), and ADP-Tips, that can be easily assembled, disassembled, and reassembled. By assembling the SCP-Tip containing a hydrodynamic trap, the mSCP can isolate single cells from 5-10 cells per μL of cell suspension. The mSCP is compatible with microscopic identification of captured single cells to finally achieve 100% single-cell isolation efficiency. The isolated live single cells are in submicroliter volumes and well suitable for single-cell PCR analysis and RNA-sequencing. The mSCP possesses merits of convenience, rapidness, and high efficiency, making it a powerful tool to isolate single cells for transcriptome analysis.

Zhang K, Gao M, Chong Z, Li Y, Han X, Chen R, Qin L. (2016) Single-cell isolation by a modular single-cell pipette for RNA-sequencing. Lab Chip 16(24):4742-4748. [abstract]

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