Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) has established the Swedish National Center for Single-Cell Biology. The center features six C1TM systems, three CyTOF 2 systems and a Biomark HD system, making SciLifeLab one of the preeminent users of the full line of Fluidigm’s single-cell technologies in the world. Fluidigm develops, manufactures and markets life science analytical and preparatory systems for growth markets such as single-cell biology and production genomics. Fluidigm products are provided for research use only.
SciLifeLab is a Swedish national center for molecular biosciences with a focus on health and environmental research. It is a collaboration among four Swedish universities—Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Uppsala University—focused on creating an international research center that develops new scientific techniques and workflows, and that provides access to some of the most advanced technologies for molecular biosciences to the Swedish research community.
To date, Sweden has played a prominent role in the development and use of novel sensitive molecular analysis technologies to enable the worldwide study of biology at the single-cell level. Sten Linnarsson and Rickard Sandberg at Karolinska Institutet pioneered single-cell transcriptomics methods and applied single-cell genomics to unravel the fundamental biology of transcription in early embryos and classification of cell types in the brain. Stefan Bertilsson and Thijs Ettema at Uppsala University developed single-cell genomic approaches to describe the ecology and evolution of microorganisms in environmental systems. The Ulf Landegren group at Uppsala University pioneered ultrasensitive and multiplexed nucleic acid and protein detection methodology for single-cell applications.
“Single-cell genomics is a novel research field with an already demonstrated potential to revolutionize biology and medicine,” noted Sten Linnarsson, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet. “Conventional biochemistry and molecular biology have been focusing on analyses of whole tissue samples and whole microbial communities without the ability to distinguish the role of individual cells. Such bulk approaches seriously limit our understanding of cellular heterogeneity and the interplay that underlies many pivotal biological functions and processes. Single-cell analyses have been applied to understand the heterogeneity of tumors, to explain how genetically identical cells can show distinct behaviors, and to discover new, specialized cell types in complex tissues such as the brain.”
“We are delighted to see the formation of the Swedish National Center for Single-Cell Biology because it epitomizes a new type of research center that brings multiple technologies together to focus on single-cells from genomics through proteomics. We believe centers focused on single-cell biology represent the wave of the future,” said Robert C. Jones, Fluidigm executive vice president of R&D.
The Swedish National Center for Single-Cell Biology will capitalize on recent technological advances to assess individual cells at genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic levels to provide new insights into the heterogeneity and division of labor within tissues or communities of cells from all domains of life. The new center will operate as three complementary nodes:
• A facility for high-throughput, streamlined microfluidics-based transcriptome and genome analysis of large numbers of individual eukaryotic cells (Stockholm)
• A flexible, high capacity cell-sorter-based single-cell genomics facility for smaller microbial cells (Uppsala)
• A single-cell proteomics facility based on unique technology for multiplexed protein quantification (Uppsala).
The new SciLifeLab infrastructure in this field will enable technological advances to become widely available to the scientific community with the long-term goal of rendering the region the world leader in advanced biomolecular single-cell analyses.