Single-cell analysis is an expanding technology offering unique perspectives into transcriptional functions of individual cells. In contrast with bulk RNAseq that analyses the entire RNA content of a biological sample regardless of the cell of origin of the transcript, scRNA-seq first relies on the successful isolation of live cells from the sample, and separation of individual cells which will provide cell-specific transcript information.

One major concern of scRNA-seq preparations in any tissue, and in bone in particular, has been the high probability for lost or damaged cells caused by tissue disaggregation, which may result in alterations of the proportions of cell populations or gene expression per cell. The isolation of intact live cells from the mineralised bone matrix and interpretation of the data currently represent important setbacks in the utilization of the technique in the bone research community.

Renal Osteodystrophy (ROD) is a bone disease associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). New transcriptomics technologies may provide clinically relevant insights into its pathogenesis which was previously poorly understood. Single-cell transcriptomics analyses, successful at identifying specialised cell subpopulations in bone, have not yet been performed in ROD. Transcriptomics analyses of bone are needed to identify the bone cell subtypes and their role in the pathogenesis of ROD, and to develop adequate diagnosis and treatment strategies.

This review article in Current Osteoporosis Reports describes how vivoPHIX™ can be used to improve cell preservation through tissue fixation and cell isolation, which currently represents the best approach for mineralised tissues, despite slightly limited enzymatic digestion efficiency. Review the full article here:

Thank you to Aline Martin and David Valentin for sharing. For more information about using vivoPHIX™ for scRNA-seq, please get in touch: