In cancer research, it all comes down to a single cell.
Over the last decade, cancer researchers have homed in on the fact that an individual cell from a tumor can be used to perform molecular analyses that reveal important clues about how the cancer developed, how it spreads and how it may be targeted.
With this in mind, a team of researchers at Brown University has developed an advanced way to isolate single cells from complex tissues. In a study published in Scientific Reports, they show how the approach not only results in high-quality, intact single cells, but is also superior to standard isolation methods in terms of labor, cost and efficiency.
The challenge was to develop a technology to enable researchers to more quickly and easily isolate cells from biopsied cancer tissue to ready it for analysis, said Anubhav Tripathi, study author and director of biomedical engineering at Brown.
“From a technology standpoint, there’s nothing like this available on the market right now,” Tripathi said. “This technology will be useful for those looking for answers using genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics — it will not only make those diagnostic and therapeutic investigations easier, but will also save researchers time and effort.”
Tripathi added that beyond clinical applications, the technology will be useful in biomedical applications like tissue engineering and cell culture.
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