One-in-a-Million: How to Successfully Isolate a Single Cel

A petri dish typically contains millions of cells. To isolate a single cell from this suspension of millions and seed it one by one into a multi-well plate is clearly painstaking. 

Yet, in applications such as RNA-seq on a rare tumor sample, scientists often pursue the distinct data clarity obtained from the analysis of a single-cell versus that of a cell population.

Traditional methods to isolate a single cell employ dilution. The expectation is that the more we dilute a dense cell suspension, the higher the chances are of obtaining a single cell in a single drop when dispensing the dilution drop by drop. In reality, cells are distributed based on Poisson’s law i.e. a majority of the diluted drops will contain no cells at all, thereby drastically reducing the success rate of an experiment.

In this SelectScience® interview, we speak with Guilhem Tourniaire, scientific and managing director at Cellenion, who shares just how easy – and reliable – single-cell isolation can be with a right choice of technology.