Preparation of single-cell suspensions from the human placenta

Valeria Garcia-Flores, Yi Xu, Errile Pusod, Roberto Romero, Roger Pique-Regi, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) allows the characterization of cellular composition and interactions in complex tissues. An essential prerequisite for scRNA-seq is the preparation of high-quality single-cell suspensions. So far, no protocols have been described for preparing such suspensions from the placenta, an essential organ for fetal development and a site of maternal–fetal immune interaction. Here we describe a protocol for the preparation of high-quality single-cell suspensions from human placental tissues—namely, the basal plate, placental villi and chorioamniotic membranes. The protocol outlines the collection of tissues from the placenta, tailored dissociation procedures for each tissue, and the cryopreservation of single-cell suspensions for multiplex sequencing library preparation. The protocol can be performed by a qualified investigator with basic working knowledge of placental structure. Moreover, the single-cell suspensions generated by using this protocol are compatible with droplet-based scRNA-seq technology, such as the 10x Genomics Chromium system. This protocol reliably produces single-cell suspensions from the placental tissues with high yield and viability for scRNA-seq. This protocol takes ~6 h to complete from tissue collection to cryopreservation of single-cell suspensions, and an additional 2 h for thawing of cryopreserved single cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-754
Number of pages23
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


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