Institute of Human… Research Neurogastrogenetics … nCounter Core…

The nCounter Core Facility

The nCounter Core Facility is part of the CellNetworks Core Technology Platform of the Heidelberg University and is located at the Institute of Human Genetics. The facility offers state-of-the-art expression analysis technology (nanoString Technologies) for mRNA and miRNA profiling, but also for various DNA analyses (CNVs). In addition, multicellular digital spatial profiling on transcript and protein level is possible using the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler (nanoString Technologies).  In addition, the facility offers ‘Quality Control Only analysis’ for RNA and DNA samples. The nCounter Core Facility is listed in the DFG research infrastructure portal "RIsources" under RI_00563.


For digital expression analysis of up to 800 mRNAs or miRNAs, as well as CNV analysis at the DNA level, the nCounter SPRINT Profiler from Nanostring Technologies is available. 

For multiplex analysis, the instrument uses fluorescence-labeled reporter probes, which are highly resistant to poor RNA quality due to their length of about 100 bases and are therefore perfectly suited for difficult-to-analyze samples such as FFPE (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded) samples.
Applying a unique coding technology enables direct counting of individual RNA molecules across all levels of biological expression, with sensitivity and specificity comparable to Real Time PCR (RT PCR). In addition, only minute amounts of RNA (25-150ng) or DNA (150ng) are required for the analysis. Reverse transcription of RNA is not necessary. The SPRINT Profiler represents a perfect system for microarray validation, pathway analysis, expression analysis of defined gene lists (individual or pre-made), and biomarker validation.


For multicellular expression profiling at the transcript and protein level, the Facility offers the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler from Nanostring Technologies, which uses light-cleavable oligonucleotide barcodes bound to antibodies or RNA probes to provide almost unlimited multiplexing capability (~ 20,000 RNAs, ≥100 proteins). It also allows highly complex spatial resolution and quantification of proteins and RNA (Whole Transcriptome Read-out). 


For quality control only analyses we are using the Agilent TapeStation and the Qubit system from Thermo Fisher Scientific.