The Single-Cell RNA-Seq (RNA Sequencing) protocol called “Drop-Seq” uses V&P Scientific’s Magnetic Tumble Stirrer (VP 710D3), Support Stand (VP 710D3-4), and Magnetic Stir Discs (VP 772DP-N42-5-2) for stirring in a syringe on a syringe pump.
A very interesting paper was published in Cell titled, “Highly Parallel Genome-Wide Expression Profiling of Individual Cells Using Nanoliter Droplets,” by Evan Macosko et al in the Steve McCarroll lab at Harvard.
As a former bench scientist who has done her share of gene expression analyses the really old-fashioned way, from large numbers of cells of singular origin, like a culture flask of yeast, I can attest that this Drop-seq method is a powerful system these researchers have developed to study complex mixtures of cells at the single cell level.
Read their article to see how the Drop-seq method can be used in your own research (see also their Drop-seq website).
Here is a link to the protocol that the Harvard McCarroll Lab has put together.
I would follow what the researchers have outlined in their protocol for the mixing of the beads, however, I would like to add some details to their setup description. They have a nice diagram of the relative positions of the syringe pumps and the microscope, but it does not include the position of the VP 710D3 relative to the syringe pump it is stirring. They do describe putting the syringe pump in a vertical position such as this:
But what they don’t mention is the VP 710D3-4 Support Stand, which was designed for use when mixing in syringes on syringe pumps. The Stand positions the VP 710D3 above the syringe (or next to it) to allow for more effective stirring by keeping the Magnetic Stirrer away from the pump.
The magnetic stir bars mentioned for use within the syringe are actually stir discs! The small, PVDF encapsulated Neodymium Iron Boron discs work well at a distance and do not interfere with the dispensing of fluid from the syringe. They are autoclavable, and priced so that they can be disposable.
This combination of V&P’s innovative magnetic tumble stirrer and unique magnetic stir discs assisted Evan Macosko and the McCarroll lab at Harvard develop a method that, to paraphrase the title of their paper, profiles the genome-wide expression of individual cells on a large scale. We would love to help you do something similar with your research!