Single-cell proteomics and transcriptomics analysis are crucial to gain insights of
healthy physiology and disease pathogenesis. The comprehensive profiling of biomolecules in individual cells of a heterogeneous system can provide deep insights into many important biological questions, such as the distinct cellular compositions or regulation of inter- and intracellular signaling pathways of healthy and diseased tissues. With multidimensional molecular imaging of many different biomarkers in patient biopsies, diseases can be accurately diagnosed to guide the selection of the ideal treatment.
As an urgent need to advance single-cell analysis, imaging-based technologies have been developed to detect and quantify multiple DNA, RNA and protein molecules in single cell in situ. Novel fluorescent probes have been designed and synthesized, which targets specifically either their nucleic acid counterpart or protein epitopes. These highly multiplexed imaging-based platforms have the potential to detect and quantify 100 different protein molecules and 1000 different nucleic acids in a single cell.
Using novel fluorescent probes, a large number of biomolecules have been detected and quantified in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) brain tissue at single-cell resolution. By studying protein expression levels, neuronal heterogeneity has been revealed in distinct subregions of human hippocampus.