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Pre-commercial development of high-performance microfluidic single-cell whole genome amplification

  • Project Leaders: Carl Hansen
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $762,800
  • Competition: Proof of Concept - Round 6
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome BC
  • Fiscal Year: 2013
  • Status: Closed

Recent advances in whole genome amplification have enabled genomic analysis of single cells. Single-cell analysis is crucial for elucidating cellular diversity and heterogeneity in complex mixtures. It facilitates a deeper understanding of the molecular fate of a particular cell in a specific biological environment, for example, tumors or environmental samples. The purpose of this pre-commercialization project is to build on previously developed microfluidic cell processing methods to establish a new UBC start-up company that will provide single-cell whole genome amplification (SCWGA) services to the research market. Proposed microfluidic method offers the lowest representation bias, the highest genomic coverage obtained from any single cell to date, and an approximate 1000-fold reduction in reagent cost relative to conventional techniques.