440413 Development of a Versatile Drop-based High-Throughput Single-Cell/Molecule Study platform

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Huidan Zhang, Experimental Soft Condensed Matter Group, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

High-throughput single cell/molecule analysis can dramatically benefit from drop-based microfluidics. This high-throughput technique addresses the need for lower cost, shorter time, higher accuracy and sensitivity using water-in-oil emulsion drops to compartmentalize reactants, such as cells and molecules, into picoliter volume. In our recent research work, we have developed a variety of in-drop reactions to study the biological processes at all the levels of single cells/molecules, including single-cell/molecule PCR to detect genomic variation, single-cell/molecule RT-PCR to analyze gene expression and single-cell protein quantification to screen target protein secreting cells. Such a highly efficient platform enables faster and more reliable exploration of cell heterogeneity which is very important for many fields including development, tumorigenesis and immunology. Furthermore, our method has been employed to study rare but vital viral evolution events and also perform early diagnosis of infectious diseases and forensic marker-short tandem repeats (STR) identification. The further improvement of the whole platform will be largely driven by many requirement form biology and medicine.

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