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What is 10x Genomics?

10x Genomics is a company behind the microfluidics-based method of single-cell RNA sequencing. The technique makes use of the Chromium system, a device that enables single-cell sequencing with their Next GEM and GEM-X technology.

The biology behind 10x Genomics 

10x Genomics offers multiple products that can be used on the Chromium Controller or Chromium X, each with their own applications. Currently, we offer Single Cell Gene Expression, Single Cell Immune Profiling, Single Cell ATAC and Multiome applications.  

This how the Next GEM and GEM-X technology in the 10x Chromium works: 

  1. A pool of Gel Beads, coated with barcoded primers, cells and enzymes are loaded on the 10x Genomics microfluidics chip and placed in the chromium controller. 
  2. Within the Chromium controller, barcoded Gel Beads are mixed with cells or nuclei, enzymes, and partitioning oil to form “GEMs” (Gel Bead-in-emulsion), which are single-cell emulsion droplets.  
  3. Within the GEM, a reaction takes place where Gel beads are dissolved and molecules from a single cell are captured and barcoded. 
  4. Barcoded fragments are pooled for downstream reactions to create sequencing libraries. 
  5. After sequencing, reads are mapped back to the corresponding single cell. 

Advantages of 10x Genomics

  • High-throughput single-cell sequencing 
    The 10x Genomics systems allows for targeting of thousands of cells per sample. This results in a low cost per cell in the case of high-throughput projects. 
  • Multi-dimensional single-cell data 
    10x Genomics offers multiple products, of which some can be combined. Combining products allows for obtaining single-cell data with multiple dimensions. 
  • It’s the leading microfluidics platform 
    The platform has currently been used in more than 1,000 publications, so you are far from alone. Whatever species or tissue you are working on, you are probably not the first to use 10x Genomics. 

10x Genomics Information Guide

Download our 10x genomics information guide, to get an overview of Single Cell Discoveries, 10x genomics, how to get started, and more.

Download Guide

Offered solutions

Currently, we offer two solutions of 10x Genomics: Single Cell Gene Expression, Single Cell Gene Expression Flex, and Single Cell Immune Profiling. For all solutions, we are a Certified Service Provider.

Single Cell Gene Expression

The Single Cell Gene Expression solution provides single-cell transcriptomics data. It allows you to measure the 3’ gene expression for up to 20,000 cells per sample. This high-throughput solution has a cost-effective price per cell.  

Applications of this solution are, for example: 

  • Identification of different cell types and biomarkers
  • Determination of sample heterogeneity 
  • Studying cellular states and dynamics

Sometimes, this solution is not the best one for your project. An alternative platform is SORT-seq, which is highly versatile, adaptable for customization, closely compatible with FACS sorting, works well when you can only retrieve a small population of cells of interest, and is sensitive so can detect low transcript numbers.

Read more about applications of 10x Genomics single cell gene expression in our case study, ‘Immune Profiling of Atherosclerosis Reveals New Therapeutic Potential’.

Read case study


Single Cell Gene Expression Flex

The Single Cell Gene Expression Flex solution provides single-cell transcriptomics data for formaldehyde-fixed and FFPE tissue. It allows you to profile the gene expression for up to 1,024,000 fixed single cells over 16 samples in one run. This high-throughput solution has a cost-effective price per cell and is highly compatible with large-scale projects.

Applications of this solution are, for example: 

  • Identify different cell types in formaldehyde or FFPE fixed tissue
  • Determine the heterogeneity of sensitive samples that require immediate preservation 
  • Compare samples over a time-course experiment 

We have also developed a protocol for sequencing mixed mouse and human probes in fixed PDx samples.

Read more about Gene Expression Flex in our detailed blog, ‘Fixed RNA Profiling of Single Cells: Benefits and Limitations’

Read blog


Single Cell Immune Profiling 

The Single Cell Immune Profiling solution provides you with data on the immune repertoire and gene expression. Just like the Single Cell Gene Expression solution, you can do this for for up to 20,000 cells per sample. The solution allows for analyzing both the T-cell and B-cell receptor. 

You can use this solution to: 

  • Reveal immune cell clonality, diversity, antigen specificity, and cellular context 
  • Characterize individual T-cells and B-cells 
  • Identify V(D)J gene sequences 
  • Pair α and β chain TCR sequences from individual T-cells 
  • Pair heavy and light chain immunoglobulin sequences from individual B-cells 
  • Simultaneously measure TCR, B cell Ig, cell surface protein expression, antigen specificity, and 5’ gene expression 

Read more about applying 10x Genomics Single Cell Immune Profiling in our case study, ‘Single-Cell Atlas of the Human Cornea’.

Read case study


Cell recovery: why is it not what I aimed for?  

Unfortunately, the number of cells that end up in your data might not be the number you initially aimed for. There are two main factors that influence cell recovery after we load your cells on the microchip: the capture of cells by GEMs and the number of cells loaded. 

Cell capture by GEMs 

Single cells are partitioned into Gel Beads-in-emulsion (GEMs) inside the  

microfluidic chip. In the chip, barcoded gel beads, cells and partitioning oil are combined.  

To establish single cell resolution and minimize doublets (two cells in a GEM), a limiting cell dilution is used. By doing this, only 1-10% of GEMs will contain a cell, whereas 90-99% of GEMs will remain empty. Because of this low percentage, it is necessary to overload an accurate number of cells.  

Cell loading number 

Correct determination of the cell loading number and therefore cell recovery is highly dependent on two factors: cell viability and accurate cell counting.  

Non-viable cells may decrease the recovery rate in the Chromium Controller. The accuracy of our cell counts might be affected by cell size, cell concentration, and fractions of cell aggregates. Therefore, the real cell loading number might differ from what we have determined. 

Read more in these technical notes by 10x Genomics: 


More information


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