Droplet-Based Microfluidics for High-Throughput Single-Cell Omics Profiling

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Virginia Tech


Droplet-based microfluidics is a powerful tool permitting massive-scale single-cell analysis in pico-/nano-liter water-in-oil droplets. It has been integrated into various library preparation techniques to accomplish high-throughput scRNA-seq, scDNA-seq, scATAC-seq, scChIP-seq, as well as scMulti-omics-seq. These advanced technologies have been providing unique and novel insights into both normal differentiation and disease development at single-cell level. In this thesis, we develop four new droplet-based tools for single-cell omics profiling. First, the developed Drop-BS is the first droplet-based platform to construct single-cell bisulfite sequencing libraries for DNA methylome profiling and allows production of BS library of 2,000-10,000 single cells within 2 d. We applied the technology to separately profile mixed cell lines, mouse brain tissues, and human brain tissues to reveal cell type heterogeneity. Second, the new Drop-ChIP platform only requires two steps of droplet generation to achieve multiple steps of reactions in droplets such as single-cell lysis, chromatin fragmentation, ChIP, and barcoding. Third, we aim to establish a droplet-based platform to accomplish high-throughput full-length RNA-seq (Drop-full-seq), which both current tube-based and droplet-based methods cannot realize. Last, we constructed an in-house droplet-based tool to assist single-cell ATAC-seq library preparation (Drop-ATAC), which provided a low-cost and facile protocol to conduct scATAC-seq in laboratories without the expensive instrument.



droplet-based microfluidics, single-cell analysis, ChIP-seq, BS-seq, RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, next generation sequencing, library preparation