A novel technology to automate single-cell and cell-free DNA analysis
There is continued, growing interest in the analysis of single cells. For example, in 2009, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s scientists collaborated with a group at the Wellcome Trust Cancer Research Institute (Cambridge, UK) for whole-transcriptome RNA-Seq from a single cell (for more information about this work an Application Note is available). Whether for cancer research (the metastatic process involved sheds cancer cells in circulation), induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) research for potential regenerative medicine applications, or research on the frontiers of neuroscience (as discussed recently in this blog post about the BRAIN Initiative), single-cell analysis will be a major area of both research focus and technology development in the future.
Recently Thermo Fisher Scientific announced an agreement with Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. to distribute their LiquidBiopsyTM Platform. This is an automated system of specialized collection tubes for sample collection, microfluidic chips for their processing, and magnetic separation using antibody-labeled particles. Samples are stable in the collection tubes for up to four days, and rare cells can be enumerated, visualized microscopically, and processed for downstream NGS analysis.
Visual inspection by Microscopy is important, as recently it was reported that in a mouse model with mammary tumors, CTC clusters play an important role in metastases.
The LiquidBiopsy™ Platform supports circulating tumor cell (CTC) recovery rates on the order of 90% and non-specific capture (i.e. ‘non-target’ background) of less than 80 cells/mL of sample. The platform along with the strength of Ion Torrent Sequencing System approach offers very fast turnaround. The LiquidBiopsy™ Platform is part of a comprehensive, cost-effective, sample to variant workflow for automated isolation, enumeration, and analysis of rare cells. It is unique among new technologies for isolating CTCs in two ways: this system enables analysis of CTCs, cfDNA, and germline nucleic acids on a single Ion 318™ Chip, and the workflow includes sample collection through targeted sequencing data in two days.
Additionally, the platform offers cell-free DNA analysis, an approach using Ion AmpliSeq™ technology and QuantStudio® 3D Digital PCR technology.
If you are interested in more information about the LiquidBiopsy™ platform offering, please contact your local Thermo Fisher Scientific Genetic Analysis representative.