Blog
Mar 17, 2022

Expanding the Spectrum of Innovation: Technologies to watch in 2022

Andrew Porterfield

Technological innovation plays a crucial role in removing limits to scientific advances that further our understanding of the natural world and provide possible new treatments for disease. At Xperience 2022, the annual 10x Genomics product showcase, we highlighted our full range of technology, which has shown its capacity to drive the future of science, and lets you see biology in new ways. This "Spectrum of Innovation" now includes new and existing products across three platforms—Chromium, Visium, and Xenium. 

Our new offerings, including the Xenium platform for targeted in situ analysis, build on the groundbreaking, trusted technology that customers have come to rely on when taking on new research challenges. The "Spectrum of Innovation" will now connect the "what," "where," and "how much" from gene expression, spatial analysis, and targeted biology. Since 2016, 10x Genomics technologies have helped advance discovery. Our new products have been named among the top innovations of the year for the past five years by The Scientist, Nature, and others. Their use has been cited in more than 3,300 papers worldwide.

"These constant innovations, they just add so much more depth and sensitivity," said Muzlifah Hanifa, professor of dermatology and immunology at Newcastle University. "We understand what is actually going on at the cellular level, we can actually revolutionize medicine."

Below are just a few of our new innovations. 

Chromium

Chromium Single Cell Gene Expression, one of our original offerings, opened the door to understanding cellular heterogeneity and genomic functions in greater detail. Today, single cell experiments are a quickly growing portion of transcriptomics studies. This technology has produced, as Samantha Bucktrout, senior director of research at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy described, "a phenomenal exponential increase in the knowledge that we get." Expanding on the high-throughput Chromium X/iX for gene expression (which makes million-cell studies routine), we're introducing even more exciting products:

Chromium Single Cell Fixed RNA Profiling allows researchers to fix samples with paraformaldehyde (PFA), then batch and run on their own schedule using a sensitive probe-based chemistry to analyze the whole human transcriptome. By locking in the cell state at the time of collection, this preserves fragile or dying cells that can be a constraint for some single cell analyses, and opens the door to a wider range of project and sample types. 

Chromium Nuclei Isolation Kit is a universal, standard protocol for suspending cellular nuclei to be used in 3' scRNA-seq, scATAC-seq, and multiome analyses. Our kit does not require optimization, and it's easy to prepare up to eight samples at the same time. Kits also include prepackaged reagents.

Visium

Knowing exactly where gene expression events happen (or don't) has revolutionized studies of cellular and tissue function. Building on Visium Spatial Gene Expression, which shows where gene expression occurs differentially in tissue, we can now offer: 

Visium CytAssist eliminates the need for direct FFPE tissue placement on Visium slides, with a facilitated transfer of transcriptomic and proteomic analytes from glass onto Visium slides. CytAssist allows for prescreening of tissue samples to find the most biologically interesting sections.

Visium Spatial Gene and Protein Expression provides true multiomics with gene expression and protein analysis from the same (FFPE only) tissue section. Data will not be limited to regions of interest. Such complete, integrated data that matches gene expression with proteomics in a morphological context (with no need for expensive equipment purchases) holds the promise of discovering options for new diagnostics and treatments.

Visium HD will expand unbiased, whole transcriptome spatial analysis to profile tissues at single cell resolution. Early stage experiments show Visium HD's ability to resolve tumor borders in human breast cancer cells, and provide resolution that identifies cellular composition of layers in a mouse eye.

Xenium

Our newest platform, Xenium for targeted in situ analysis, scheduled for release this year, is expected to offer subcellular resolution of multiomic data—RNA and protein expression—all from one sample. Xenium is expected to provide the highest spatial resolution across many sample types, enabling translational and, ultimately, clinical applications.  

Discovery tools like Chromium and Visium open up the breadth of what's observable through unbiased, whole transcriptome analysis of complex samples and tissue sections. After these key insights are made, researchers will need to further refine and validate the underlying biological mechanisms. That's where Xenium comes in. 

"Almost everything in biology is structure," said George Church, genetics professor at Harvard University, "how the parts are arranged in space and put together…Cause and effect, pathology, genetic diversity, diversity between different species—all of this is revealed when you get to high enough resolution."

Supporting the “Spectrum of Innovation” 

For each platform, we are dedicated to providing a process that handles every step of an experiment:

  • Simplifying sample access and preparation to unlock as many samples as possible
  • Convenient, invaluable software and cloud-based analysis support that clearly moves you from data to wisdom
  • Continuously improving on existing technology

At 10x Genomics, we don't stop with a new invention. We put the horsepower of our R&D experts behind product development to deliver innovations that scientists need. These include continuous improvements, listening to customers to meet needs, enabling new applications and making our technology more accessible. For us, our spectrum includes becoming scientific partners.

For Luciano Martelotto, head of the new Single Cell and Spatial Technologies Lab at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, working with 10x Genomics has been "an amazing journey…One of the main things with 10x Genomics is not just only the innovation, but it’s also the teams that are behind all of that. They talk about solutions. All of that is fueled by passion. If you have a problem they do support you.” 

Of course, these new products, and improvements on existing technologies, are just the beginning of uncovering biology's greatest secrets. You can learn about other exciting developments by viewing Xperience 2022 here. Meanwhile, stay tuned.