Collaborators focus on WaferGen single cell system

WaferGen announces key findings from collaborators Genentech, Karolinska Institutet, National Jewish Health, and MD Anderson Cancer utilizing company’s ICELL8 Single-Cell System

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FREMONT, Calif.—WaferGen Bio-systems, a life sciences tools company focused on developing and commercializing technology platforms for genomics solutions, recently announced results from presenters who had early access to the company’s ICELL8 Single-Cell System at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) 2016 General Meeting. Researchers from leading institutions concentrating on neuroscience, cancer, respiratory disease, and drug development, reported that ICELL8 successfully isolated single cells from human tissues and tumors containing various cell sizes and cell types, making them accessible to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) genomic analysis, for the first time, in some cases.
“The results presented by our early-access collaborators using the ICELL8 Single-Cell System at the AGBT 2016 Meeting reinforce the superior performance and innovation the system provides to single-cell research,” said Maithreyan Srinivasan, Ph.D., chief technology officer of WaferGen Bio-systems. “ICELL8 has enabled new avenues of research to be conducted due to the system’s unique ability to process a variety of challenging cell types directly from human and animal samples ranging from cancer tumors to primary neurons from the brain, which have previously been inaccessible to single-cell genomics.”
In the AGBT poster, ICELL8 - A Versatile Single-Cell Processing System Using Nanowell Technology,” a collaboration between Dr. Nicholas Navin of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and WaferGen, the ICELL8 system was used to successfully dispense and analyze nuclei isolated from a frozen patient tumor sample, a significant challenge given that cell membranes from frozen tumors are typically ruptured. Evaluating tissues at the single nuclei level provides a potential path to understanding cancer biology and enables the possibility of using frozen tumor repositories, which exist by the thousands in cancer hospitals, for medical research. In addition, in human-mouse mixed species experiments, WaferGen researchers determined that approximately 99 percent of the selected single-cell containing wells contained only one cell.
Oral presentations on studies utilizing the ICELL8 Single-Cell System included:
Molecular Anatomy of the Mouse Brain by Single-Cell RNA-Seq
Dr. Sten Linnarsson, Karolinska Institutet
Researchers performed pilot studies on mouse brain regions with the aim of identifying the molecular anatomy of the entire brain. Utilizing the ICELL8 system, researchers isolated and prepared thousands of single cells, recreating results from a previously published study from Dr. Linnarsson’s group of researchers. Based on this work, Linnarsson discussed the possibility of generating a complete molecular atlas of the brain.
“The ICELL8 Single-Cell System was able to isolate cells over a two day period, which previously required months of work,” said Linnarsson, professor at Karolinska Institutet.
Large-Scale Single-Cell Transcriptome Sequencing of the Human Airway Epithelium
Dr. Max Seibold, National Jewish Health
In a study of human cultured airway epithelial cells (AECs) and in-vivo brushed airway epithelium cells, researchers generated single-cell expression profiles, including genes and cell markers of individual cells of all three types of AECs—basal, secretory and ciliated. The presentation highlighted results from a time course study performed in a single chip using over 1,700 single cells grown over a 95 day time period. The researchers were able to process up to eight different samples or conditions on a single ICELL8 chip, providing important insights into a multitude of pulmonary diseases, such as asthma.
Comprehensive Analysis of Tumors at Whole Tissue to Single-Cell Level
Dr. Somasekar Seshagiri, Genentech
Genentech researchers utilized ICELL8 to analyze thousands of single cells from individuals with mesothelioma tumors, revealing new genomic information that helped classify the patients into four known subtypes of mesothelioma tumors, as well as identify gene expression differences among the tumor subtypes that could be potential drug discovery targets.  In addition, at least 10 different cell types were successfully processed using the ICELL8 system, demonstrating the system’s ability to handle multiple cell shapes and sizes.
WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. is a biotechnology company that offers innovative genomic technology solutions for single-cell analysis and clinical research. The ICELL8 Single-Cell System can isolate thousands of single cells and processes specific cells for analysis, including Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The system has demonstrated unbiased isolation, regardless of cell size, of up to 1,800 single cells, ranging from 5-100 µm in size on a single chip, and including single cells from solid tumors, brain cells, pulmonary airway cells, and multiple cell lines. The SmartChip platform can be used for profiling and validating molecular biomarkers, and can perform massively parallel single-plex PCR for one-step target enrichment and library preparation for clinical NGS. The Apollo 324 system can be used to process DNA and RNA from clinical samples to next generation sequencing ready libraries. These technologies offer a powerful set of tools for biological analysis at the molecular and single-cell level in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and clinical laboratory industries.

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