Aug. 17th, Hong Kong Univ. of Science & Technology Prof. Angela Wu Talk Announcement

Title:Harnessing microfluidics in few-cell and single-cell manipulations 

           for biological discovery

Speaker:Prof. Angela Wu

                 Division of Life Sciences

                 Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

Time: Aug. 17th, 10:00AM

Location: Rm. 302, Integrated Science Research Center

Contact: Prof. Yanyi Huang

Tel: 62744058

Email: yanyi@pku.edu.cn


Interest in few-cell and single-cell analysis has been growing rapidly, especially as many biological questions can only be addressed by profiling rare or heterogeneous populations of cells (e.g., stem cells). However, using conventional techniques to analyze rare cells in microliter volumes poses challenges in experimental sensitivity and reproducibility. Microfluidic manipulation in small fluid volumes can both increase assay sensitivities and improve reproducibility through automation. In my work, I apply microfluidics to single cell analysis, I systematically evaluate the sensitivity, precision, and accuracy of various approaches to single-cell RNA-seq.  Our results show that it is possible to use single-cell RNA-seq to perform quantitative transcriptome measurements of single cells, and that microfluidic volumes help to reduce result bias. We subsequently used microfluidic-based RNA-seq to profile single cells of the developing lung in embryonic mice, as well as cells of primary human colon and cervix samples, and identified novel transcriptional markers for various subpopulations. These results obtained using microfluidics were some of the first in the field of single-cell RNA-seq, and heralded single-cell genomics as an indispensible tool in various biological and medical applications.