Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) is a national centre for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research. SciLifeLab has nine national platforms that offer technologies and services for life science researchers throughout Sweden. Each platform consists of one to eight so-called facilities (advanced technical equipment).

Provides technology unique to Europe

The three new single-cell facilities - one in Stockholm and two in Uppsala - together offer technologies that are unique in Europe. With the help of single cell analysis, researchers can study the properties of individual cells, unlike conventional biochemical and molecular biological methods which analyse whole tissue samples or microbiological populations.

“Few, if any, labs in the world has the skills and tools needed to do the complex analysis of individual cells that we can now offer the SciLifeLab”, says Ulf Landegren, platform manager for one of the facilities, Single Cell Proteomics.

Possibility to examine proteins in single cells

The Facility for mass cytometry (CyTOF) consists of two units located in Stockholm and Linköping. With the mass cytometry, researchers can investigate proteins in individual cells. The technique is used for, among other things, to characterise the different cells in a sample and to study the signaling pathways in cells affected by drugs. The facility also offers comprehensive data analysis to interpret the results of these experiments.

“We are also working to develop mass cytometry technology further and to develop new assays and reagents as well as new tools for data analysis”, says Adnane Achour, who together with Jan-Ingvar Jönsson are platform superintendents of the facility Mass Cytometry.

Expanding to other locations

In addition to the four new facilities, SciLifeLabs’ platform for bioinformatics have also reinforced with several services in complex data analysis (Big Data), both in Stockholm/Uppsala and at Chalmers University in Gothenburg. In 2016 new facilities will also start for Electron Microscopy (Single-particle cryo-EM) in Stockholm and Umeå. Discussions are also underway with other universities around the country to integrate several satellite facilities (i.e. facilities in other locations than the main nodes Stockholm and Uppsala) into SciLifeLab.

More about SciLifeLab.