Can I use the RNeasy Mini Kit or RNeasy 96 Kit with fewer than 100 cells?
FAQ ID -372

Yes. The RNeasy Mini Kit and RNeasy 96 Kit have been used successfully to isolate RNA from fewer than 100 cells. We recommend adding 20 ng of carrier RNA to the cell lysate before loading it onto the RNeasy membrane. Please note that the carrier RNA will co-purify with cellular RNA. However, the small amounts of poly-A RNA used as carrier RNA do not interfere with subsequent RT-PCR, even when oligo-dT is used for reverse transcription. Reverse-transcription reactions typically contain a large excess of oligo-dT, and the small amounts of poly-A used as carrier RNA are insignificant in comparison.

Alternatively, the RNeasy Micro Kit can be used for isolating RNA from up to 5x 105 cells. The RNeasy Micro procedure uses a novel technology to purify RNA from small amounts of tissues or cells (as little as 1 cell).