Assay-Development for High Content Screening

High Content Screening (HCS) is conceptually a novel screening approach, whereby images of cells generated in large scale by means of automated high-throughput microscopy are analyzed by image analysis software to extract knowledge on selected cellular targets in their native milieu. In vitro cellular models and image-based cellular assays are central tools for HCS applied to modern research in the life sciences and in drug discovery programs. HCS finds application for secondary compound screening, lead optimization, compound profiling, target identification and validation, ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) and toxicity studies in preclinical research.

We have a long-lasting experience in the development of image-based cellular assays for HCS and we offer support in moving cell-based assays from the bench to the screening format including:

  • Assay design
  • Assay optimization
  • Assay miniaturization for 96- or 384-well plate formats
  • Assay validation
  • Pilot-scale screening of small molecules

Our research focus is on cell biology and our assay portfolio encompasses:

  • Receptor trafficking (e.g. analysis of GPCR’s internalization)
  • Cell toxicity (e.g. apoptosis assays, oxidative stress, mitochondrial network)
  • Analysis of Microtubule Targeting Agents
  • Cell migration
  • Transcription activation (e.g. analysis of nuclear translocation of transcription factors)

Furthermore, we offer assay development for plant cells, yeasts, and bacterial biofilms. We also offer high-throughput microscopy as a service for the acquisition of a large set of image data.

Our core technology is the PerkinElmer’s Opera QEHS system, a high-end fully automated spinning disk confocal microscope equipped with 10x up to 60x lenses, four excitation lasers for the simultaneous analysis of up to four labeled cellular targets. A unique feature of our system is the availability of an environmental control unit for live-cell imaging and time-lapse analysis of cellular processes at high throughput under controlled growth conditions.  

Image analysis is carried out on PerkinElmer’s Acapella imaging analysis suite or on Columbus image data storage and analysis system. We are also skilled in the use of freely available image analysis software.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss our offer and to develop an assay design strategy within cooperative research projects.