- Cancer Biology & Biomarkers
- Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry
- Contract Research, Clinical Trials and Outsourcing
- Drug Discovery
- Drug Targets
- Flow Cytometry
- Informatics & Lab Automation
- Ingredients, Excipients and Dosages
- Microbiology & RMMs
- NIR, PAT & QbD
- Raman Spectroscopy
- Screening, Assays & High-Content Analysis
- Thermal Processing
Holger Erfle - Articles and news items
Issue 3 2012, Screening / 10 July 2012 / Anthony Mitchell Davies & Anne Marie Byrne, Department of Clinical Medicine Trinity College Dublin; Holger Erfle, BIOQUANT-Zentrum Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; Graham Donnelly, Rita Murray & Peadar MacGabhann, Biocroi Ltd
One of the major limitations of performing large-scale High Content Analysis (HCA) screens is reagent cost, indeed this fact has been a key driver in the development of assay size reduction strategies here at The Irish National Centre for High Content Screening and Analysis at Trinity College’s Department of Medicine.
As well as the obvious financial advantages of reducing assay volumes, we have also identified other key benefits to this approach, namely: Higher throughput; Improved signal to noise; Suited for the use of valuable cells, e.g. primary cells; Reduced storage and research space; Improved mixing of reagents.
The practicalities of performing cell based assays at the nano-litre scale: Despite the clear benefits to adopting miniaturisation, there are several significant barriers that must be overcome before these methods can be utilised. These are sample delivery / handling and environmental stability.
The understanding of properties of any biological system requires a detailed and quantitative analysis of its parts and their interactions. As different processes within a system occur at defined space and time, each process holds its own optimal observation and investigation technique. One of the most powerful tools to analyse biological samples quantitatively is based on fluorescence microscopy. Comprehensive studies of diverse biological processes were lately performed by fluorescence screening microscopy, which came up extensively during the last decade1,2,3.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNA molecules, which are potent post-transcriptional gene expression regulators. They have been shown to participate in the regulation of numerous cellular processes, the list of which is still growing. miRNAs affect numerous targets that can be determined by direct experiments or predicted by bioinformatics approaches, and are presented in several online databases. Feasibility of miRNA for high-throughput experimentation is becoming possible due to the availability of commercially produced molecules, which are able to alter the levels of endogenous miRNAs. miRNA functional analysis will help to validate predicted targets and reveal the role of these small molecules in biological pathways. miRNAs have a high potential to be used as a new gene expression regulating reagent for microscopy based assays.
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