In a single-cell study, isolating and identifying single cells are essential, but these processes often require a large investment of time or money. The aim of this study was to isolate and analyse single cells using a novel platform, the PanelChip™ Analysis System, which includes 2500 microwells chip and a digital real-time polymerase chain reaction (dqPCR) assay, in comparison with a standard PCR (qPCR) assay. Through the serial dilution of a known concentration standard, namely pUC19, the accuracy and sensitivity levels of two methodologies were compared. The two systems were tested on the basis of expression levels of the genetic markers vimentin, E-cadherin, N-cadherin and GAPDH in A549 lung carcinoma cells at two known concentrations. Furthermore, the influence of a known PCR inhibitor commonly found in blood samples, heparin, was evaluated in both methodologies. Finally, mathematical models were proposed and separation method of single cells was verified; moreover, gene expression levels during epithelial–mesenchymal transition in single cells under TGFβ1 treatment were measured. The drawn conclusion is that dqPCR performed using PanelChip™ is superior to the standard qPCR in terms of sensitivity, precision, and heparin tolerance. The dqPCR assay is a potential tool for clinical diagnosis and single-cell applications.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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