Imaging-based Phenotypic Screening is a extremely powerful and flexible approach to drug discovery and pre-clinical research.
Learn how imaging-based phenotypic assays work and what kind of information you can expect from working with us.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH PHENOTYPIC ASSAYS?
Suspension cells are not normally well-suited to imaging approaches but where flow cytometry cannot provide answers, imaging can be used very effectively. Flow cytometry is well-suited to cell-level methods and can also be automated (iQue, IntelliCyt) but remains fundamentally limited when it comes to measuring subcellular distribution of signals such as translocation of a protein from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. To address this there is at least one commercially-available instrument that can be used for imaging cells in suspension (Amnis, EMD MIllipore) but it comes with dramatically reduced sample throughput compared to flow cytometry and HCS approaches. Promoting attachment of suspension cells via proprietary well coating and settling or gentle centrifugation where necessary enables parallel analysis of thousands of cells in just a few seconds. Imaging is the ONLY method that enables measurement of interactions between suspension cells or between suspension cells and adherent targets. Examples include antigen presentation between T- and B cells and inflammatory interactions between cells of the immune system and adherent cells such as myotubes and endothelial cells.
Phenotypic assays that use imaging, specifically automated quantitative fluorescence microscopy or high content screening (HCS), bring their own set of challenges. We’ve tried to address how we tackle these challenges but if you have other concerns please contact us.