It was once assumed that cell populations were homogeneous, but the latest evidence shows that heterogeneity does in fact exist even within small cell populations. Gene expression measurements based on the homogenized cell population are misleading averages and don't account for the small but critical changes occurring in individual cells. Individual cells can differ dramatically in size, protein levels, and expressed RNA transcripts, and these variations are key to answering previously irresolvable questions in cancer research, stem cell biology, immunology, developmental biology, and neurology.


As an established leader in cell and molecular biology, we are empowering single-cell researchers. We offer analysis tools that can be used throughout various single-cell workflows for cellular biologists and researchers doing the wide spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical research.

Single cell analysis can enable you to:

  • Unlock the mystery in gene expression profiles between individual cells
  • Avoid the mistake of taking averages of entire cell populations
  • Discover previously undetected subpopulations and unveil new regulatory path

Vew our newest application note on single cell analysis


A key single cell analysis application is gene expression

We have proven workflows using these products for single cell gene expression:

  • Ambion® Single Cell-to-CT™ Kit
  • Guaranteed TaqMan® Assays
  • QuantStudio™ 12K Flex Real-Time PCR System

Figure 1. Single Cell-to-CT™ real-time PCR workflow.

Download our application note on single cell gene expression heterogeneity

Other applications that are of high interest for single cell analysis

Rare cells or events

  • Circulating metastatic cells
  • Fetal cells in maternal blood
  • Events within a library

Scarce, precious sample

  • Archival tissue
  • Tumor sample
  • Biomarker discovery

Single-cell precision in populations

  • Drug and candidate screening
  • Cell differentiation (e.g., stem cells)
  • Stochastic responses to stimuli

Recommended products for single cell analysis


EVOS® cell imaging systems

Visualize single cells with florescence imaging accessible to almost every lab and budget


Attune® cytometer

Count and sort single cells using a sensitive high-through benchtop flow cytometer


Single Cells-to-CT™ kit

A validated workflow for gene expression analysis with a standardized platform for studying single cells


Ion PGM™ sequencer

Ion semiconductor sequencing makes high-quality sequencing possible on single cells


Laser Capture Microdissection

An extraordinarily gentle method ideal for microdissection of single cells or small number of cells


QuantStudio™ 12K Flex

Gene expression assays for single cells using real -time PCR on OpenArray® technology


Webinars & videos


Webinar: Analyzing expression profiles from Single Cell-to-Ct™ kit
Join us in a discussion of single-cell NSC profiling and identification of profiles of other cells not differentiating in the NSC pathway.

  Video: Less time to real-time PCR with Ambion® Cells-to-CT™ kits
Traditionally the first step in real-time PCR is to isolate the RNA. This isolation step can require significant time and involve multiple handling steps—and a risk of sample loss. Ambion® Cells-to-CT™ kits provide a simple and rapid method for preparing cell lysates.
  Video: Cells to CT™ kit demo
In this demonstration, Dr. Richard Fekete prepares 96 samples in under 10 minutes with the Cells-to-Cт™ Kit, comparing this process to traditional spin column-based RNA purification.