GÖTTINGEN, Germany—To screen the thousands of compounds found in a typical drug library, high-throughput (HTP) techniques have been essential, but the data generated by HTP is often low-content. Similarly, high-content screening (HSC) has allowed researchers to examine drug effects in vivo, but the techniques tend to be medium-throughput. Recently, however, researchers at the European Neuroscience Institute and University of Göttingen found a way of combining HTP and HCS in one platform.
As they described in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, the researchers developed an automated fluorescence lifetime imaging microscope based on an intensified CCD camera that could run unsupervised.
The system was capable of analyzing fluorescent proteins in a variety of in vitro and in vivo formats including 1536-well plates, bacterial colonies, and microscope slides, and could monitor protein-protein interactions using FRET. Screening could also be repeated over time, affording the researchers the opportunity to identify temporal effects in real-time.
Given that the system was developed with commercially available components, the researchers envisage the commercial availability of cost-effective turnkey platforms providing high-throughput and high-content quantitative screening in the near future. "These systems would provide a substantial impulse to the recent and actively expanding fields of drug discovery, interactomics, cellomics, and proteomics," the researchers write.