Drop-Seq: High Throughput Single Cell mRNA Sequencing

‘Drop-Seq’ is a high-throughput technique to profile transcriptomes of tens of thousands of single mammalian cells using a combination of DNA barcoding and emulsion microfluidics. This is accomplished by encapsulating and lysing one cell along with a uniquely barcoded microbead per emulsion droplet with Poisson loading, that allows us to molecularly tag the RNA contents from each cell. Drop-Seq enables study of transcription profiles of an unprecedented number of cells at single-cell resolution.
To demonstrate Drop-Seq’s power to categorize cell types in complex tissues, it was applied to mouse retina. ~45,000 single cells from the retina were analyzed to computationally assemble cell classification of the retina cells into 39 sub-types based on their transcription profiles.  This classification faithfully reproduced existing molecular, physiological, and anatomical knowledge, while predicting novel classifications which were validated since, using complementary experiments.The findings were published in Cell, 161, 1202, (2015), Highly Parallel Genome-Wide Expression Profiling of Individual Cells Using Nanoliter Droplets, E.  Z. Macosko, A. Basu, et al. (pdf), along with a video abstract below: