Microfluidics for genome-wide studies involving next generation sequencing
Murphy, Travis W.
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Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized how molecular biology studies are conducted. Its decreasing cost and increasing throughput permit profiling of genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic features for a wide range of applications. Microfluidics has been proven to be highly complementary to NGS technology with its unique capabilities for handling small volumes of samples and providing platforms for automation, integration, and multiplexing. In this article, we review recent progress on applying microfluidics to facilitate genome-wide studies. We emphasize on several technical aspects of NGS and how they benefit from coupling with microfluidic technology. We also summarize recent efforts on developing microfluidic technology for genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic studies, with emphasis on single cell analysis. We envision rapid growth in these directions, driven by the needs for testing scarce primary cell samples from patients in the context of precision medicine.