Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 11;11(1):5632. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19394-5.
We introduce Digital microfluidic Isolation of Single Cells for -Omics (DISCO), a platform that allows users to select particular cells of interest from a limited initial sample size and connects single-cell sequencing data to their immunofluorescence-based phenotypes. Specifically, DISCO combines digital microfluidics, laser cell lysis, and artificial intelligence-driven image processing to collect the contents of single cells from heterogeneous populations, followed by analysis of single-cell genomes and transcriptomes by next-generation sequencing, and proteomes by nanoflow liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. The results described herein confirm the utility of DISCO for sequencing at levels that are equivalent to or enhanced relative to the state of the art, capable of identifying features at the level of single nucleotide variations. The unique levels of selectivity, context, and accountability of DISCO suggest potential utility for deep analysis of any rare cell population with contextual dependencies.