This study presents stochastic particle barcoding (SPB), a method for tracking cell identity across bioanalytical platforms. In this approach, single cells or small collections of cells are co-encapsulated within an enzymatically-degradable hydrogel block along with a random collection of fluorescent beads, whose number, color, and position encode the identity of the cell, enabling samples to be transferred in bulk between single-cell assay platforms without losing the identity of individual cells. The application of SPB was demonstrated for transferring cells from a subnanoliter protein secretion/phenotyping array platform into a microtiter plate, with re-identification accuracies in the plate assay of 96±2%. Encapsulated cells were recovered by digesting the hydrogel, allowing subsequent genotyping and phenotyping of cell lysates. Finally, a model scaling was developed to illustrate how different parameters affect the accuracy of SPB and to motivate scaling of the method to 1,000's of unique blocks.
Castellarnau, Marc, Gregory L. Szeto, H.-W. Su, Talar Tokatlian, J. Christopher Love, Darrell J. Irvine, Joel Voldman