From the perspective of technology, I think there are several important directions for future single-cell sequencing.

First, the number of cells in a living body is huge. To fully understand the life, research on the big data of single-cell is required. While current platform's library building throughput is still not enough. According to the current technology development trend, the throughput may be greatly improved in the next 1-2 years, reaching a level of 100,000 or even a million cells in a single library construction. This will depend on new technological developments including microfluidics, joint labeling, etc.

Second, the current high-throughput single-cell library construction technology can only achieve one omics data in one cell. Will it be possible to obtain multiple omics information at the same time in the future? The information provided by a single omics is limited. Multiomics analysis is essential for a comprehensive understanding of life processes and disease occurrence. At present, many single-cell multi-omics technologies have been implemented in a single tube, such as genome / transcriptome, epigenome / transcriptome, transcriptome / protein and other simultaneous sequencing technologies.
How to achieve high throughput of these technologies in the next 2-5 years is a technical problem to be solved.
Third, from the perspective of single-cell or sequencing technology, space-omics-related technologies will be one of the most important technologies in the future.

Spatialomics can tell us not only the sequence and quantitative information, but also the corresponding position information directly. Because when we understand the function of a cell, we should not only look at the shape, structure, and molecular characteristics of the cell itself, but also the relationship between it and other cells and the microenvironment in which it is located. This will further understand the life and how disease occurs. At present, space omics technology is still in its infancy, but in recent years, space omics technology based on FISH and sequencing technology has developed rapidly. It is believed that in situ sequencing with ultra-low cost and high resolution tissues will be possible in the next 5-10 years.

What does the breakthrough mean in single-cell sequencing technology for the development of this field?

The emergence of single-cell technology has bought revolutionary breakthroughs to the sequencing field.
First, the advent of single-cell technology has allowed sequencing technology to enter the "high-definition" era. In the past, we did sequencing based on a group of cells, and the result was the average result of all cells. Single-cell technology can help decompose sequencing information into each cell, allowing us to obtain the status information of each cell. Not only can people fully understand the molecular characteristics of different cell types in the same tissue, but they can also find some new cell types, especially rare but important cells.

Secondly, in the "HD" era, people's understanding of living systems and diseases will significantly increase. We know that there are many kinds of human cells. However, there have been only more than 300 human cell types identified in the past. After the advent of single-cell sequencing technology, the number of newly identified cell types has surged. For example, more than 100 kinds neurons in human retinal tissue are now known. With such high precision, life phenomena will become extremely clear. It is believed that many scientific discoveries in the past will be greatly enriched or even rewritten. Future research, including development, regeneration, disease, and health, will be at the molecular level from tissue resolution to single-cell resolution. These studies will greatly facilitate understanding of living systems, drug discovery, disease diagnosis and prevention.

It is worth mentioning that the emergence of high-throughput single-cell sequencing technology has led to an important large scientific project-Human Cell Atlas (Human Cell Atlas Project). This project is jointly participated by scientists from many countries and aims to make use of the most advanced Single-cell omics technology to sequence human cells to build a "google" map of the human body. It is believed that, driven by single-cell big data, the project will have a profound impact on human health, and at the same time, the project will further promote technological breakthroughs.

Author's Bio: 

CD Genomics