High Content Screening
High content screening (HCS) is a combination of modern cell biology, automated high resolution microscopy, and robotic handling. The technology is mainly used to determine whether a potential drug affects aspects of cell function. The technique, which has also been called cell-based screening, phenotypic screening, or visual screening, uses images of living cells as the basic unit for molecule discovery.
It involves the use of spatially or temporally resolved methods to enable study of multiple variables in parallel. Image analysis is then used to measure changes in properties of the cells caused by stimuli, such as chemical inhibitors or RNA interference. Proteins of interest in the cells can be detected using fluorescent tags.
The parallel acquisition of data specific to different cell properties, (for example, activity of signal transduction cascades and cytoskeleton integrity) is the main advantage of this method in comparison to high throughput screening. While high content screening is slower, the wealth of acquired data and the multi-parametric nature of those data allow a much more detailed understanding of drug effects on cell function.
Molecular Devices provides a well-validated family of high content screening and analysis solutions, from automated systems with and without live cell options, to analysis and informatics software, to tools for data management in the field of bioanalytical, drug development, and life science research. Please select among the links below to learn more.