High-throughput genome-wide phenotypic screening technology published in Nature Biomedical Engineering

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Genome-scale functional genetic screens are used to identify key genetic regulators of a phenotype of interest. However, the identification of genetic modifications that lead to a phenotypic change requires sorting large numbers of cells, which increases operational times and costs and limits cell viability. Through an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort by project team members from the Kelley, Moffat, and Angers groups at the University of Toronto, a novel high-throughput approach for rapid phenotypic CRISPR-Cas9 screening was developed. Using a Microfluidic Cell Sorting (MiCS) platform, an entire genome-wide screen containing more than 108 cells was processed in under one hour to study factors that modulate the display of CD47 on the cell surface. This study was published in the September 2019 issue of Nature Biomedical Engineering (Link) and highlighted by News and Views in the same issue. The study was also covered by Medicine by Design, University of Toronto News, and BioIT World.