Accurate clinical therapeutics rely on understanding the metabolic responses of individual cells. However, the high level of heterogeneity between cells means that simply sampling from large populations of cells is not necessarily a reliable approximation of an individual cell’s response. As a result, there have been numerous developments in the field of single-cell analysis to address this lack of knowledge. Many of these developments have focused on the coupling of capillary electrophoresis (CE), a separation technique with low sample consumption and high resolving power, and mass spectrometry (MS), a sensitive detection method for interrogating all ions in a sample in a single analysis. In recent years, there have been many notable advancements at each step of the single-cell CE-MS analysis workflow, including sampling, manipulation, separation, and MS analysis. In each of these areas, the combined improvements in analytical instrumentation and achievements of numerous researchers have served to drive the field forward to new frontiers. Consequently, notable biological discoveries have been made possible by the implementation of these methods. Although there is still room in the field for numerous further advances, researchers have effectively minimized various limitations in detection of analytes, and it is expected that there will be many more developments in the near future.
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