Harnessing HetHydrogel: A Universal Platform to Dropletize Single-Cell Multiomics

Small Methods. 2024 Feb 29:e2301631. doi: 10.1002/smtd.202301631. Online ahead of print.


A universal platform is developed for dropletizing single cell plate-based multiomic assays, consisting of three main pillars: a miniaturized open Heterogeneous Hydrogel reactor (abbreviated HetHydrogel) for multi-step biochemistry, its tunable permeability that allows Tn5 tagmentation, and single cell droplet barcoding. Through optimizing the HetHydrogel manufacturing procedure, the chemical composition, and cell permeation conditions, simultaneous high-throughput mitochondrial DNA genotyping and chromatin profiling at the single-cell level are demonstrated using a mixed-species experiment. This platform offers a powerful way to investigate the genotype-phenotype relationships of various mtDNA mutations in biological processes. The HetHydrogel platform is believed to have the potential to democratize droplet technologies, upgrading a whole range of plate-based single cell assays to high throughput format.

Keywords: hydrogel; microfluidics; mitochondrial; single-cell muti-omics.