Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc, Hercules, Calif, and Illumina Inc, San Diego, have partnered to develop a comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflow for single-cell analyses. The end-to-end commercial system is intended to enable high-throughput sequencing of thousands of individual cells.
According to the companies, most scientific studies rely on analysis of bulk tissue samples, which are usually composed of multiple cell types with varying functions. Gene expression data is averaged across cells, making it difficult to identify differences among cells and to understand the role of cell variation.
Single-cell sequencing addresses those challenges and provides insight into cell function, disease progression, and therapeutic response. Such data can be important in studies of neurological tissues, for example, which are known to have hundreds of specialized cell types.
Using Bio-Rad’s droplet partitioning technology and Illumina’s NGS technologies, the scalable system will be optimized to isolate and barcode single cells for downstream sequencing. Data analysis will be conducted via BaseSpace, Illumina’s cloud-based genomics computing environment.
“Through this partnership, we will deliver a seamless, yet scalable solution for single-cell gene expression analysis,” says Annette Tumolo, executive vice president and general manager of the digital biology center at Bio-Rad.
“By collaborating with Bio-Rad, both companies will be able to serve the significant market for single-cell NGS, enabling scientists to make groundbreaking advances in gene expression and beyond,” says Christian Henry, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Illumina. “Bio-Rad is recognized for delivering trusted, high-quality products in a market with increasingly stringent regulations and standards. We look forward to working with them on such an important endeavor.”
The companies expect to launch the system in late 2016 or early 2017.