Single Cell Disease Diagnostics and Prognostics

How Our Technology Improves Disease Diagnosis and Prognosis Prediction

Cancers are often comprised of sub-populations of different cancerous cells. This means that population-based studies are frequently inaccurate. This feature can also help explain the failure of an individual drug to destroy a tumour, as distinct cell populations may be resistant to that specific drug’s effects. By analysing cancers at a single cell level, it makes it possible to better understand the initiation, development and treatment of the disease, as well as enabling the creation of truly personalised medicines.

Our technology enables you to isolate single cells for screening, so you can analyse diseases, such as cancer or MRSA, at the level of individual cells. More than that, you can screen these cells at higher throughputs and at lower costs than previous technology has allowed. Lastly, for those interested in analysing their cells using mass spectrometry, our ESI-Mine™ instrument makes it possible to split microbial populations derived from each single cell sample prior to analysis (so that cells can be recovered after testing, when required).

Single cells

The Unique Benefits of Our Systems for Disease Diagnosis and Prognosis Prediction

Our picodroplet technology provides a unique platform to isolate single cells and examine their phenotypes in a highly-sensitive way. It allows you to analyse properties such as protein expression, signalling events, and potentially even size and impedance for any given single cell, and then isolate unique and interesting variants. These variants can then be dispensed into the individual wells of a microtitre plate for downstream genotyping, epigenetic or proteomic analysis. Combine this with a range of cost, speed and throughput benefits, and you have a technology that could be a game-changer for those working in disease diagnostics.

Our Systems in Action for Disease Diagnosis and Prognosis Prediction

Our technology really excels when it comes to isolating and studying single diseased cells in a population of millions. As an example, circulating tumour cells (CTCs) occur at rates of approximately one per million white blood cells in each mL of blood. These CTCs can provide a useful diagnostic measure for the presence of cancer, and its responsiveness to drug treatment. While current CTC tests are useful, they often rely on the presence of an epithelial cell adhesion molecule, or even the shape of a cell, to differentiate the cancerous cells from wild type.

An alternative method is to purify white blood cells from clinical samples and dispense them into picodroplets for analysis. The occurrence of a single cancer cell can then be detected using an optical readout that measures cell-surface molecules, cell function or cell properties or even several properties simultaneously. This technique can also be adapted to measure cells in sequential liquid biopsies to improve prognosis tracking and prediction. The isolated cells can also be further characterised downstream, as required.

We are currently considering the use of several novel bioassays and novel microfluidic techniques to dramatically improve diagnosis speed, sensitivity and accuracy. If this is your area of interest then please contact us as we are currently looking for synergistic partners to collaborate with in this exciting area.

Single cell diagnostics and prognostics