The study of cells has been instrumental in understanding biological processes. Research on genes and proteins expressed in specific types of cells has typically been performed on samples containing many cells, with analysis reflecting the data averaged across them. But over the last several years, studies have indicated differences in cells of the same type or within the same population. Consequently, researchers are conducting single-cell analysis to study the unique qualities of individual cells.
Although individual cells have been analyzed microscopically for quite some time to study cell morphology and behavior, more recent interest in genomics and proteomics has generated demand for analysis of genes and proteins within single cells. Development of tools for single-cell genomic studies has progressed, with the ability to amplify both DNA and RNA of individual cells, facilitating targeted DNA sequencing, miRNA analysis and gene-expression studies. Advances in flow cytometry, which uses fluorescent probes to detect expression of specific proteins in cells, have extended the capacities of the technique to better resolve expression of gene products in single cells. Such advancements in technology have enabled progression of single-cell analysis that provides unprecedented capabilities for systematically investigating cellular heterogeneity.
The intense interest of life science vendors in these developments is the motivation behind our latest report, The 2017 Market for Single Cell Analysis Products: Convergence of Microfluidics and Omics Platforms. For the purpose of this study, single cell analysis encompasses the application of genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and/or metabolomic techniques to the analysis of isolated, individually partitioned single cells. These techniques, coupled with new methods for cell isolation/partitioning, support the interrogation of single cells at increased levels of scale and throughput than previously possible.
The excitement surrounding the ability to measure genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and metabolic status in individual cells is reflected in the high level of commercial activity we've seen this year. The National Institutes of Health announced it was seeking grant applications from small businesses for the development and validation of next-generation single-cell analysis technologies and tools. Recently, Bio-Rad and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory sued 10x Genomics for patent infringement, saying that 10x Genomics' GemCode and Chromium systems infringe on patents that Bio-Rad either owns or exclusively licenses from LLNL related to forming droplet emulsions in microfluidic chips. Bio-Rad Laboratories had already made it clear that the single cell analysis market was going to be a major area of focus this year by acquiring RainDance Technologies, which, primarily known for its droplet-based technologies for dPCR, has also been developing tools for single-cell analysis. Bio-Rad also partnered with Illumina to release a single-cell sequencing solution, designed to create a robust, scalable and user friendly workflow. Takara Bio USA acquired WaferGen Bio-systems, and the synergies between WaferGen's products for isolating and processing single cells and Takara Bio's RNA-seq and T-Cell Receptor profiling technologies present a host of new opportunities.
In this report, we focus solely on the application of single cell analysis for “omics” applications: genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. This focus allows increased insight into trends within this space, including purchasing trends, budgets (down to the per experiment level), applications, specific customer needs, and future outlook. Other segments of the single cell analysis market include applications such as cell culture techniques for isolation of clonal populations for antibody production, imaging technologies to analyze single cells, and flow cytometry that allows multiparametric analysis of single cells in heterogenous cell populations. Omic-based single cell analysis is a rapidly expanding field, with 25% of interviewed respondents currently applying these methods and 42% looking to adopt this approach within the next 12 to 24 months.
The tumultuous competition and quickness of new developments shows no sign of stopping, and the number of labs working on omics-based single cell analysis continues to increase at a rapid pace. Let our report be your guidebook to the market and your consumer. Confidently plan future developments and increase your market share by understanding scientists' needs and where you lie among the competition.
Table of Contents
Objectives of this study:
The goal of this study is to understand the market for single cell analysis products. From the perspective of researchers who currently perform single cell analysis, the primary objectives of this report are as follows:
- 1. Identify the primary areas of research where single cell analysis is performed.
- 2. Understand what sample types are currently used and how many cells are analyzed from each biological sample/specimen.
- 3. Estimate current and anticipated laboratory spend on single cell isolation and analysis.
- 4. Assess market growth potential.
- 5. Determine how single cells are isolated and satisfaction with current methods.
- 6. Describe how single cells are analyzed-NGS, ddPCR, qPCR, mass spectrometry, Western blots-and volumes needed to support that analysis.
- 7. Assess customer awareness and usage of suppliers/brands that provide single cell isolation/analysis reagents and systems.
- 8. Measure customer satisfaction and customer loyalty via respondents' willingness to promote a particular brand.
- 9. Identify workflow bottlenecks and pinpoint future needs.
Single Cell Analysis Products
- Single Cell Analysis Workflow
- Number of Dedicated Staff
- Lab Types
- Focus of Research Performed
- Current Workflow Steps
- Cell Enrichment
- Methods Used Before Isolation
- Cell Isolation and Partitioning
- Methods Used for Isolation
- Methods Performed Most Often
- Satisfaction with Methods & Instruments
- Analysis of Cells Using “Omic” Methods
- Techniques Used
- Targets Measured
- Number of RNA Transcripts Analyzed
- RNA Applications Currently Performed
- Number of DNA Targets Analyzed
- DNA Sequence Variations of Interest
- Categories of Proteins Examined
- Average Number of Proteins Analyzed
- Greatest Barriers to Analysis
- Sample Types and Throughput
- Species Analyzed
- Types of Cells Used in Analysis
- Number of Cells Used in Analysis
- Changes in Number of Specimens Processed
- Average Cost of Preparation
- Current Annual Lab Budgets
- Future Budget Changes
- Budget Allocation in Workflow
- Product Purchasing
- Most Important Features
- Analysis Tools Used
- Future Planned Purchases-Instrumentation for Isolation and Analysis
- Consideration Factors
- Brand Awareness
- Top-of-Mind Brands
- Brand Familiarity
- Likely Recommendations
- Product/Instrument Satisfaction