Multiomics

Nanopatterned flow cell

Multiomics

Multiomics is about the study of complete genetic or molecular profiles of humans and other organisms. It combines multiple levels of molecular biology to increase the understanding of these profiles. When it comes to healthcare, these data are relevant, because they help us to better understand the origin, behavior and development of certain disorders. Multiomics is used for instance in the research of cancer, infectious diseases and chronic disorders. Multiomics-based medicine is slowly but surely making a shift from the research field to medical practice, both in diagnostic and in therapeutic settings.

Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics

Although the -omics field is wide (and expanding), at this moment the following categories in particular are gaining momentum when it comes to health care purposes:

  • Genomics

  • Transcriptomics

  • Proteomics

  • Metabolomics

Genomics entails the study of the DNA of an organism, which contains the complete set of genetic instructions. The primary structure of genetic material is defined through sequencing: determining the exact order of the building blocks of that material. The order in which these building blocks occur is unique for each organism. In genomics, this is called DNA sequencing. Sequencing is done by Sanger sequencing or capillary electrophoresis.

 

Transcriptomics investigates the mRNA (messenger RNA) expressions of an organism. All RNA plays a role in building proteins, but it is mRNA that contains the specific ‘recipe’ for a protein. In transcriptomics, researchers use RNA sequencing to determine the composition of the mRNA.

 

Proteomics is the study of the collection of proteins of an organism, referred to as the proteome. The proteome is investigated using protein sequencing. Mass spectrometry is the most used method for protein sequencing.

 

Metabolomics refers to the study of the set of metabolites of an organism. Collectively, these molecules and their interactions within a biological system are known as the metabolome. To examine the metabolome, researchers make use of metabolite quantification.

Multiomics: a more complete view on genetic and molecular profiles.

Precision medicine

Multiomics studies also play an increasing role in diagnostics. The origins of a growing number of diseases and disorders can be identified in a person’s genetic or molecular layout. Precision medicine entails targeted testing, wich allows a much more accurate detection of the ‘cause’ of the disorder.

But multiomics isn’t only used for diagnostic purposes, it can also help to determine the right therapy. For certain illnesses, distinct patient subtypes can be distinguished, that benefit from dedicated treatments. A person’s genetic makeup can be indicative of the most effective treatment method for that person. New omics-based insights can be expected for the medical world and in particular for this type of personalized medicine for many years to come.

Trends

The multiomics market is rapidly evolving. Diagnostics and medical applications form an increasing share of the total -omics market. Here we list the most important trends: high contenthigh throughput and single cell -omics.

High content

  • Sequencing processes can be performed in an increasingly concentrated manner with the latest sequencing devices. This leads to an enormous boost in data output. The exponential decline in time and costs of whole genome sequencing since its very origins can be considered as one of the most stunning examples of this trend.

High throughput

  • By combining different steps of analytical research procedures (e.g. integration of droplet generation or cell sorting technologies), the amount of proceedings is reduced. This ‘simplified’ procedure offers the possibility to be performed in high volume.

  • CMOS-based sequencing is gaining ground. Coupling sequencing and CMOS technologies promises major improvements in speed, volume and costs of sequencing. Micronit is a typical provider of the required hybrid technologies (CMOS-glass combinations).

Single cell -omics

  • In single-cell -omics, information is captured at the level of the individual cell. Since most cell populations are not homogeneous, examining a unique cell can provide valuable information.

Micronit’s history in genomics

Micronit has a long tradition in the development and production of DNA sequencing products. The company started supplying flow cells for next generation DNA sequencing (NGS) more than ten years ago. Since then, millions of genomics consumables have been marketed and Micronit is now one of the main suppliers of these products worldwide. It is estimated that 25% of all sequencing devices in the world use flow cells that are manufactured by Micronit. We also deliver products for proteomics applications (mass spectrometry chips) and capillary electrophoresis chips for DNA sequencing.

Our profound understanding of genomics products enables us to quickly switch to sequencing platforms for other -omics applications. Micronit has an ISO 13485 medical device manufacturing certificate and strives for GMP/MDR compliancy.

Developments in genomics

As the most widely used -omics variety, it is not surprising that developments in genomics are leading the way. They open up new opportunities both inside and outside of the medical field.

Spatial genomics

  • Spatial genomics is a subdivision of single cell genomics. It aims to investigate the genomic information of single cells within their natural tissue environment.

DNA synthesis

  • Synthetic DNA is used in research settings to simulate physiological reactions in test procedures for drug development.

  • DNA can carry an unimaginable amount of data. Expectations are that synthetic DNA will therefore be used as an archival medium for digital data. DNA synthesis can be performed directly on a sequencing flow cell array. Micronit has started developing a chip for DNA data storage.

Upcoming use of long read sequencing

  • The sequencing race is shifting up a gear with more competitors in the (more established) short read sequencing branch, and a steep growth of the upcoming long read sequencing technology. In long read sequencing (also referred to as 3rd generation sequencing), the nucleotide sequence of a much longer string of DNA can be determined.

In need of advice?

Micronit has a long track record in the -omics field. We have been supplying microfluidic platforms for sequencing methods since the early developments of DNA sequencing technology. This is an incredibly dynamic and continuously evolving market, and Micronit has a sharp focus on new developments and proactively prepares for upcoming applications. Are you working on a multiomics-based product and would you like to have a chat with someone familiar with the technologies used in this field? Hit the button and contact one of our Business Development Managers.