cell health assays

Cell health (cytotoxicity) assays play a key role in the early drug discovery process as they study the effect of chemical substances and lead compounds on cells. The early identification of off-target drug effects results in more timely elimination of unsuitable lead compounds, which serves to reduce drug development costs.

Not only do cell health assays provide a crucial means of ranking novel compounds during screening but they are also routinely employed to gain a better understanding of changes at the cellular level in disease pathologies.

Cytotoxicity assays commonly employ a multi-parametric approach enabling the capture of both phenotypic and mechanistic information. High content screening of the effect of lead compounds on multiple key cellular parameters such as plasma membrane integrity, DNA damage or synthesis, mitotic arrest, apoptosis, cell growth or motility is achievable through the use of high-throughput in vitro cell-based assays.

TTP Labtech’s  acumen® Cellista high content imager is an ideal instrument for performing a wide range of multiplexed cytotoxicity assays. acumen’s laser scanning approach enables scanning of entire wells, cell by cell.

These assays include:

  • live/dead – using standard dyes such as calcein-AM/PI or TOTO-3/TMRM
    These combinations provide a more cost-effective approach to bulk read assays, such as CellTitre–Glo®, and offer the benefit of multiplexing with additional phenotypic assays to gain more high content data
  • apoptosis – annexin V, Caspase-3, nuclear condensation
  • genotox – phophohistone H3

With plate read and analysis times as low as 5 minutes, regardless of plate format, acumen Cellista can be used for primary screening in the determination of off-target drug effects in the earliest phases of drug discovery. Fast scan times and easy to use Cellista software mean it is ideal for multi-user environments such as core screening laboratories.

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