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Sample records for automated high-content screening

  1. Designs and concept reliance of a fully automated high-content screening platform.

    PubMed

    Radu, Constantin; Adrar, Hosna Sana; Alamir, Ab; Hatherley, Ian; Trinh, Trung; Djaballah, Hakim

    2012-10-01

    High-content screening (HCS) is becoming an accepted platform in academic and industry screening labs and does require slightly different logistics for execution. To automate our stand-alone HCS microscopes, namely, an alpha IN Cell Analyzer 3000 (INCA3000), originally a Praelux unit hooked to a Hudson Plate Crane with a maximum capacity of 50 plates per run, and the IN Cell Analyzer 2000 (INCA2000), in which up to 320 plates could be fed per run using the Thermo Fisher Scientific Orbitor, we opted for a 4 m linear track system harboring both microscopes, plate washer, bulk dispensers, and a high-capacity incubator allowing us to perform both live and fixed cell-based assays while accessing both microscopes on deck. Considerations in design were given to the integration of the alpha INCA3000, a new gripper concept to access the onboard nest, and peripheral locations on deck to ensure a self-reliant system capable of achieving higher throughput. The resulting system, referred to as Hestia, has been fully operational since the new year, has an onboard capacity of 504 plates, and harbors the only fully automated alpha INCA3000 unit in the world. PMID:22797489

  2. Designs and Concept-Reliance of a Fully Automated High Content Screening Platform

    PubMed Central

    Radu, Constantin; Adrar, Hosna Sana; Alamir, Ab; Hatherley, Ian; Trinh, Trung; Djaballah, Hakim

    2013-01-01

    High content screening (HCS) is becoming an accepted platform in academic and industry screening labs and does require slightly different logistics for execution. To automate our stand alone HCS microscopes, namely an alpha IN Cell Analyzer 3000 (INCA3000) originally a Praelux unit hooked to a Hudson Plate Crane with a maximum capacity of 50 plates per run; and the IN Cell Analyzer 2000 (INCA2000) where up to 320 plates could be fed per run using the Thermo Fisher Scientific Orbitor, we opted for a 4 meter linear track system harboring both microscopes, plate washer, bulk dispensers, and a high capacity incubator allowing us to perform both live and fixed cell based assays while accessing both microscopes on deck. Considerations in design were given to the integration of the alpha INCA3000, a new gripper concept to access the onboard nest, and peripheral locations on deck to ensure a self reliant system capable of achieving higher throughput. The resulting system, referred to as Hestia, has been fully operational since the New Year, has an onboard capacity of 504 plates, and harbors the only fully automated alpha INCA3000 unit in the World. PMID:22797489

  3. Automated High-Content Screening for Compounds That Disassemble the Perinucleolar Compartment

    PubMed Central

    Norton, John T.; Titus, Steven A.; Dexter, Dwayne; Austin, Christopher P.; Zheng, Wei; Huang, Sui

    2010-01-01

    All solid malignancies share characteristic traits, including unlimited cellular proliferation, evasion of immune regulation, and the propensity to metastasize. The authors have previously described that a subnuclear structure, the perinucleolar compartment (PNC), is associated with the metastatic phenotype in solid tumor cancer cells. The percentage of cancer cells that contain PNCs (PNC prevalence) is indicative of the malignancy of a tumor both in vitro and in vivo, and thus PNC prevalence is a marker that reflects metastatic capability in a population of tumor cells. Although the function of the PNC remains to be determined, the PNC is highly enriched with small RNAs and RNA binding proteins. The initial chemical biology studies using a set of anticancer drugs that disassemble PNCs revealed a direct association of the structure with DNA. Therefore, PNC prevalence reduction as a phenotypic marker can be used to identify compounds that target cellular processes required for PNC maintenance and hence used to elucidate the nature of the PNC function. Here the authors report the development of an automated high-content screening assay that is capable of detecting PNC prevalence in prostate cancer cells (PC-3M) stably expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP)–fusion protein that localizes to the PNC. The assay was optimized using known PNC-reducing drugs and non-PNC-reducing cytotoxic drugs. After optimization, the fidelity of the assay was probed with a collection of 8284 compounds and was shown to be robust and capable of detecting known and novel PNC-reducing compounds, making it the first reported high-content phenotypic screen for small changes in nuclear structure. PMID:19762548

  4. Automated high-content live animal drug screening using C. elegans expressing the aggregation prone serpin α1-antitrypsin Z.

    PubMed

    Gosai, Sager J; Kwak, Joon Hyeok; Luke, Cliff J; Long, Olivia S; King, Dale E; Kovatch, Kevin J; Johnston, Paul A; Shun, Tong Ying; Lazo, John S; Perlmutter, David H; Silverman, Gary A; Pak, Stephen C

    2010-01-01

    The development of preclinical models amenable to live animal bioactive compound screening is an attractive approach to discovering effective pharmacological therapies for disorders caused by misfolded and aggregation-prone proteins. In general, however, live animal drug screening is labor and resource intensive, and has been hampered by the lack of robust assay designs and high throughput work-flows. Based on their small size, tissue transparency and ease of cultivation, the use of C. elegans should obviate many of the technical impediments associated with live animal drug screening. Moreover, their genetic tractability and accomplished record for providing insights into the molecular and cellular basis of human disease, should make C. elegans an ideal model system for in vivo drug discovery campaigns. The goal of this study was to determine whether C. elegans could be adapted to high-throughput and high-content drug screening strategies analogous to those developed for cell-based systems. Using transgenic animals expressing fluorescently-tagged proteins, we first developed a high-quality, high-throughput work-flow utilizing an automated fluorescence microscopy platform with integrated image acquisition and data analysis modules to qualitatively assess different biological processes including, growth, tissue development, cell viability and autophagy. We next adapted this technology to conduct a small molecule screen and identified compounds that altered the intracellular accumulation of the human aggregation prone mutant that causes liver disease in α1-antitrypsin deficiency. This study provides powerful validation for advancement in preclinical drug discovery campaigns by screening live C. elegans modeling α1-antitrypsin deficiency and other complex disease phenotypes on high-content imaging platforms. PMID:21103396

  5. Fully Automated One-Step Production of Functional 3D Tumor Spheroids for High-Content Screening.

    PubMed

    Monjaret, François; Fernandes, Mathieu; Duchemin-Pelletier, Eve; Argento, Amelie; Degot, Sébastien; Young, Joanne

    2016-04-01

    Adoption of spheroids within high-content screening (HCS) has lagged behind high-throughput screening (HTS) due to issues with running complex assays on large three-dimensional (3D) structures.To enable multiplexed imaging and analysis of spheroids, different cancer cell lines were grown in 3D on micropatterned 96-well plates with automated production of nine uniform spheroids per well. Spheroids achieve diameters of up to 600 µm, and reproducibility was experimentally validated (interwell and interplate CV(diameter) <5%). Biphoton imaging confirmed that micropatterned spheroids exhibit characteristic cell heterogeneity with distinct microregions. Furthermore, central necrosis appears at a consistent spheroid size, suggesting standardized growth.Using three reference compounds (fluorouracil, irinotecan, and staurosporine), we validated HT-29 micropatterned spheroids on an HCS platform, benchmarking against hanging-drop spheroids. Spheroid formation and imaging in a single plate accelerate assay workflow, and fixed positioning prevents structures from overlapping or sticking to the well wall, augmenting image processing reliability. Furthermore, multiple spheroids per well increase the statistical confidence sufficiently to discriminate compound mechanisms of action and generate EC50 values for endpoints of cell death, architectural change, and size within a single-pass read. Higher quality data and a more efficient HCS work chain should encourage integration of micropatterned spheroid models within fundamental research and drug discovery applications. PMID:26385905

  6. Computer vision for high content screening.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Oren Z; Frey, Brendan J

    2016-01-01

    High Content Screening (HCS) technologies that combine automated fluorescence microscopy with high throughput biotechnology have become powerful systems for studying cell biology and drug screening. These systems can produce more than 100 000 images per day, making their success dependent on automated image analysis. In this review, we describe the steps involved in quantifying microscopy images and different approaches for each step. Typically, individual cells are segmented from the background using a segmentation algorithm. Each cell is then quantified by extracting numerical features, such as area and intensity measurements. As these feature representations are typically high dimensional (>500), modern machine learning algorithms are used to classify, cluster and visualize cells in HCS experiments. Machine learning algorithms that learn feature representations, in addition to the classification or clustering task, have recently advanced the state of the art on several benchmarking tasks in the computer vision community. These techniques have also recently been applied to HCS image analysis. PMID:26806341

  7. An automated high-content screening image analysis pipeline for the identification of selective autophagic inducers in human cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Kriston-Vizi, Janos; Lim, Ching Aeng; Condron, Peter; Chua, Kelvin; Wasser, Martin; Flotow, Horst

    2010-08-01

    Automated image processing is a critical and often rate-limiting step in high-content screening (HCS) workflows. The authors describe an open-source imaging-statistical framework with emphasis on segmentation to identify novel selective pharmacological inducers of autophagy. They screened a human alveolar cancer cell line and evaluated images by both local adaptive and global segmentation. At an individual cell level, region-growing segmentation was compared with histogram-derived segmentation. The histogram approach allowed segmentation of a sporadic-pattern foreground and hence the attainment of pixel-level precision. Single-cell phenotypic features were measured and reduced after assessing assay quality control. Hit compounds selected by machine learning corresponded well to the subjective threshold-based hits determined by expert analysis. Histogram-derived segmentation displayed robustness against image noise, a factor adversely affecting region growing segmentation. PMID:20547532

  8. High-content screening for biofilm assays.

    PubMed

    Peng, Fubing; Hoek, Eric M V; Damoiseaux, Robert

    2010-08-01

    The authors describe a novel high-throughput screening platform that provides rapid, reliable, quantitative assessment of biofilm formation and removal on engineered surfaces. Unlike traditional biofilm assays based on plate readers, this assay platform is based on high-content screening, which allows for multiplexing to simultaneously quantify the number of bacterial adhesions per unit area and the viability of adhered cells using fluorescent dye combinations. This platform is fully automated and has a throughput of more than 10,000 wells per day. The authors used this platform to examine the influence of different assay buffer systems on bacterial adhesion, viability, and removal on cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol coating films synthesized directly onto the bottoms of 384-well plates. The results indicated that water chemistry, bacteria cell type, and film chemistry combine to govern biofilm formation. In general, both reversible and irreversible bacterial adhesion increased with the extent of cross-linking in coating films, which correlates strongly with coating film cross-linking degree and hydrophobicity, which is closely related. The high-throughput platform offers a powerful tool for rapid evaluation of fouling-resistant coating films in addition to elucidation of fundamental mechanisms governing bacterial adhesion. PMID:20639506

  9. Developmental toxicity assay using high content screening of zebrafish embryos

    PubMed Central

    Lantz-McPeak, Susan; Guo, Xiaoqing; Cuevas, Elvis; Dumas, Melanie; Newport, Glenn D.; Ali, Syed F.; Paule, Merle G.; Kanungo, Jyotshna

    2016-01-01

    Typically, time-consuming standard toxicological assays using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo model evaluate mortality and teratogenicity after exposure during the first 2 days post-fertilization. Here we describe an automated image-based high content screening (HCS) assay to identify the teratogenic/embryotoxic potential of compounds in zebrafish embryos in vivo. Automated image acquisition was performed using a high content microscope system. Further automated analysis of embryo length, as a statistically quantifiable endpoint of toxicity, was performed on images post-acquisition. The biological effects of ethanol, nicotine, ketamine, caffeine, dimethyl sulfoxide and temperature on zebrafish embryos were assessed. This automated developmental toxicity assay, based on a growth-retardation endpoint should be suitable for evaluating the effects of potential teratogens and developmental toxicants in a high throughput manner. This approach can significantly expedite the screening of potential teratogens and developmental toxicants, thereby improving the current risk assessment process by decreasing analysis time and required resources. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. PMID:24871937

  10. High-Content Screening for Quantitative Cell Biology.

    PubMed

    Mattiazzi Usaj, Mojca; Styles, Erin B; Verster, Adrian J; Friesen, Helena; Boone, Charles; Andrews, Brenda J

    2016-08-01

    High-content screening (HCS), which combines automated fluorescence microscopy with quantitative image analysis, allows the acquisition of unbiased multiparametric data at the single cell level. This approach has been used to address diverse biological questions and identify a plethora of quantitative phenotypes of varying complexity in numerous different model systems. Here, we describe some recent applications of HCS, ranging from the identification of genes required for specific biological processes to the characterization of genetic interactions. We review the steps involved in the design of useful biological assays and automated image analysis, and describe major challenges associated with each. Additionally, we highlight emerging technologies and future challenges, and discuss how the field of HCS might be enhanced in the future. PMID:27118708

  11. [High content screening in chemical biology: overview and main challenges].

    PubMed

    Brodin, Priscille; DelNery, Elaine; Soleilhac, Emmanuelle

    2015-02-01

    The last two decades have seen the development of high content screening (HCS) methodology and its adaptation for the evaluation of small molecules as drug candidates or their use as chemical tools for research purpose. HCS was initially set-up for the understanding of the mechanism of action of compounds by testing them on cell based-assays for pharmacological and toxicological studies. Since the last decade, the use of HCS has been extended to academic research laboratories and this technology has become the starting point for numerous projects aiming at the identification of molecular targets and cellular pathways for a given disease on which novel type of drugs could act. This screening approach relies on image capture of fluorescently labeled cells therefore generating a large amount of data that must be handled by appropriate automated image analysis methods and storage instrumentation. These latter in addition to the integration and data sharing are current challenges that HCS must still tackle. PMID:25744266

  12. Application of Imaging-Based Assays in Microplate Formats for High-Content Screening.

    PubMed

    Fogel, Adam I; Martin, Scott E; Hasson, Samuel A

    2016-01-01

    The use of multiparametric microscopy-based screens with automated analysis has enabled the large-scale study of biological phenomena that are currently not measurable by any other method. Collectively referred to as high-content screening (HCS), or high-content analysis (HCA), these methods rely on an expanding array of imaging hardware and software automation. Coupled with an ever-growing amount of diverse chemical matter and functional genomic tools, HCS has helped open the door to a new frontier of understanding cell biology through phenotype-driven screening. With the ability to interrogate biology on a cell-by-cell basis in highly parallel microplate-based platforms, the utility of HCS continues to grow as advancements are made in acquisition speed, model system complexity, data management, and analysis systems. This chapter uses an example of screening for genetic factors regulating mitochondrial quality control to exemplify the practical considerations in developing and executing high-content campaigns. PMID:27317002

  13. Automated Groundwater Screening

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Glenn A.; Collard, Leonard, B.

    2005-10-31

    The Automated Intruder Analysis has been extended to include an Automated Ground Water Screening option. This option screens 825 radionuclides while rigorously applying the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) methodology. An extension to that methodology is presented to give a more realistic screening factor for those radionuclides which have significant daughters. The extension has the promise of reducing the number of radionuclides which must be tracked by the customer. By combining the Automated Intruder Analysis with the Automated Groundwater Screening a consistent set of assumptions and databases is used. A method is proposed to eliminate trigger values by performing rigorous calculation of the screening factor thereby reducing the number of radionuclides sent to further analysis. Using the same problem definitions as in previous groundwater screenings, the automated groundwater screening found one additional nuclide, Ge-68, which failed the screening. It also found that 18 of the 57 radionuclides contained in NCRP Table 3.1 failed the screening. This report describes the automated groundwater screening computer application.

  14. iScreen: Image-Based High-Content RNAi Screening Analysis Tools.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Rui; Dong, Xiaonan; Levine, Beth; Xie, Yang; Xiao, Guanghua

    2015-09-01

    High-throughput RNA interference (RNAi) screening has opened up a path to investigating functional genomics in a genome-wide pattern. However, such studies are often restricted to assays that have a single readout format. Recently, advanced image technologies have been coupled with high-throughput RNAi screening to develop high-content screening, in which one or more cell image(s), instead of a single readout, were generated from each well. This image-based high-content screening technology has led to genome-wide functional annotation in a wider spectrum of biological research studies, as well as in drug and target discovery, so that complex cellular phenotypes can be measured in a multiparametric format. Despite these advances, data analysis and visualization tools are still largely lacking for these types of experiments. Therefore, we developed iScreen (image-Based High-content RNAi Screening Analysis Tool), an R package for the statistical modeling and visualization of image-based high-content RNAi screening. Two case studies were used to demonstrate the capability and efficiency of the iScreen package. iScreen is available for download on CRAN (http://cran.cnr.berkeley.edu/web/packages/iScreen/index.html). The user manual is also available as a supplementary document. PMID:25548139

  15. Metadata management for high content screening in OMERO.

    PubMed

    Li, Simon; Besson, Sébastien; Blackburn, Colin; Carroll, Mark; Ferguson, Richard K; Flynn, Helen; Gillen, Kenneth; Leigh, Roger; Lindner, Dominik; Linkert, Melissa; Moore, William J; Ramalingam, Balaji; Rozbicki, Emil; Rustici, Gabriella; Tarkowska, Aleksandra; Walczysko, Petr; Williams, Eleanor; Allan, Chris; Burel, Jean-Marie; Moore, Josh; Swedlow, Jason R

    2016-03-01

    High content screening (HCS) experiments create a classic data management challenge-multiple, large sets of heterogeneous structured and unstructured data, that must be integrated and linked to produce a set of "final" results. These different data include images, reagents, protocols, analytic output, and phenotypes, all of which must be stored, linked and made accessible for users, scientists, collaborators and where appropriate the wider community. The OME Consortium has built several open source tools for managing, linking and sharing these different types of data. The OME Data Model is a metadata specification that supports the image data and metadata recorded in HCS experiments. Bio-Formats is a Java library that reads recorded image data and metadata and includes support for several HCS screening systems. OMERO is an enterprise data management application that integrates image data, experimental and analytic metadata and makes them accessible for visualization, mining, sharing and downstream analysis. We discuss how Bio-Formats and OMERO handle these different data types, and how they can be used to integrate, link and share HCS experiments in facilities and public data repositories. OME specifications and software are open source and are available at https://www.openmicroscopy.org. PMID:26476368

  16. Metadata management for high content screening in OMERO

    PubMed Central

    Li, Simon; Besson, Sébastien; Blackburn, Colin; Carroll, Mark; Ferguson, Richard K.; Flynn, Helen; Gillen, Kenneth; Leigh, Roger; Lindner, Dominik; Linkert, Melissa; Moore, William J.; Ramalingam, Balaji; Rozbicki, Emil; Rustici, Gabriella; Tarkowska, Aleksandra; Walczysko, Petr; Williams, Eleanor; Allan, Chris; Burel, Jean-Marie; Moore, Josh; Swedlow, Jason R.

    2016-01-01

    High content screening (HCS) experiments create a classic data management challenge—multiple, large sets of heterogeneous structured and unstructured data, that must be integrated and linked to produce a set of “final” results. These different data include images, reagents, protocols, analytic output, and phenotypes, all of which must be stored, linked and made accessible for users, scientists, collaborators and where appropriate the wider community. The OME Consortium has built several open source tools for managing, linking and sharing these different types of data. The OME Data Model is a metadata specification that supports the image data and metadata recorded in HCS experiments. Bio-Formats is a Java library that reads recorded image data and metadata and includes support for several HCS screening systems. OMERO is an enterprise data management application that integrates image data, experimental and analytic metadata and makes them accessible for visualization, mining, sharing and downstream analysis. We discuss how Bio-Formats and OMERO handle these different data types, and how they can be used to integrate, link and share HCS experiments in facilities and public data repositories. OME specifications and software are open source and are available at https://www.openmicroscopy.org. PMID:26476368

  17. Automated macromolecular crystallization screening

    DOEpatents

    Segelke, Brent W.; Rupp, Bernhard; Krupka, Heike I.

    2005-03-01

    An automated macromolecular crystallization screening system wherein a multiplicity of reagent mixes are produced. A multiplicity of analysis plates is produced utilizing the reagent mixes combined with a sample. The analysis plates are incubated to promote growth of crystals. Images of the crystals are made. The images are analyzed with regard to suitability of the crystals for analysis by x-ray crystallography. A design of reagent mixes is produced based upon the expected suitability of the crystals for analysis by x-ray crystallography. A second multiplicity of mixes of the reagent components is produced utilizing the design and a second multiplicity of reagent mixes is used for a second round of automated macromolecular crystallization screening. In one embodiment the multiplicity of reagent mixes are produced by a random selection of reagent components.

  18. Generation and Multi-phenotypic High-content Screening of Coxiella burnetii Transposon Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Eric; Cantet, Franck; Bonazzi, Matteo

    2015-01-01

    Invasion and colonization of host cells by bacterial pathogens depend on the activity of a large number of prokaryotic proteins, defined as virulence factors, which can subvert and manipulate key host functions. The study of host/pathogen interactions is therefore extremely important to understand bacterial infections and develop alternative strategies to counter infectious diseases. This approach however, requires the development of new high-throughput assays for the unbiased, automated identification and characterization of bacterial virulence determinants. Here, we describe a method for the generation of a GFP-tagged mutant library by transposon mutagenesis and the development of high-content screening approaches for the simultaneous identification of multiple transposon-associated phenotypes. Our working model is the intracellular bacterial pathogen Coxiellaburnetii, the etiological agent of the zoonosis Q fever, which is associated with severe outbreaks with a consequent health and economic burden. The obligate intracellular nature of this pathogen has, until recently, severely hampered the identification of bacterial factors involved in host pathogen interactions, making of Coxiella the ideal model for the implementation of high-throughput/high-content approaches. PMID:25992686

  19. A high-content screening assay in transgenic zebrafish identifies two novel activators of fgf signaling.

    PubMed

    Saydmohammed, Manush; Vollmer, Laura L; Onuoha, Ezenwa Obi; Vogt, Andreas; Tsang, Michael

    2011-09-01

    Zebrafish have become an invaluable vertebrate animal model to interrogate small molecule libraries for modulators of complex biological pathways and phenotypes. We have recently described the implementation of a quantitative, high-content imaging assay in multi-well plates to analyze the effects of small molecules on Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling in vivo. Here we have evaluated the capability of the assay to identify compounds that hyperactivate FGF signaling from a test cassette of agents with known biological activities. Using a transgenic zebrafish reporter line for FGF activity, we screened 1040 compounds from an annotated library of known bioactive agents, including FDA-approved drugs. The assay identified two molecules, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate and pyrithione zinc, that enhanced FGF signaling in specific areas of the brain. Subsequent studies revealed that both compounds specifically expanded FGF target gene expression. Furthermore, treatment of early stage embryos with either compound resulted in dorsalized phenotypes characteristic of hyperactivation of FGF signaling in early development. Documented activities for both agents included activation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK), consistent with FGF hyperactivation. To conclude, we demonstrate the power of automated quantitative high-content imaging to identify small molecule modulators of FGF. PMID:21932436

  20. High-content screening in zebrafish embryos identifies butafenacil as a potent inducer of anemia.

    PubMed

    Leet, Jessica K; Lindberg, Casey D; Bassett, Luke A; Isales, Gregory M; Yozzo, Krystle L; Raftery, Tara D; Volz, David C

    2014-01-01

    Using transgenic zebrafish (fli1:egfp) that stably express enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) within vascular endothelial cells, we recently developed and optimized a 384-well high-content screening (HCS) assay that enables us to screen and identify chemicals affecting cardiovascular development and function at non-teratogenic concentrations. Within this assay, automated image acquisition procedures and custom image analysis protocols are used to quantify body length, heart rate, circulation, pericardial area, and intersegmental vessel area within individual live embryos exposed from 5 to 72 hours post-fertilization. After ranking developmental toxicity data generated from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) zebrafish teratogenesis assay, we screened 26 of the most acutely toxic chemicals within EPA's ToxCast Phase-I library in concentration-response format (0.05-50 µM) using this HCS assay. Based on this screen, we identified butafenacil as a potent inducer of anemia, as exposure from 0.39 to 3.125 µM butafenacil completely abolished arterial circulation in the absence of effects on all other endpoints evaluated. Butafenacil is an herbicide that inhibits protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO)--an enzyme necessary for heme production in vertebrates. Using o-dianisidine staining, we then revealed that severe butafenacil-induced anemia in zebrafish was due to a complete loss of hemoglobin following exposure during early development. Therefore, six additional PPO inhibitors within the ToxCast Phase-I library were screened to determine whether anemia represents a common adverse outcome for these herbicides. Embryonic exposure to only one of these PPO inhibitors--flumioxazin--resulted in a similar phenotype as butafenacil, albeit not as severe as butafenacil. Overall, this study highlights the potential utility of this assay for (1) screening chemicals for cardiovascular toxicity and (2) prioritizing chemicals for future hypothesis-driven and mechanism

  1. High-Content Screening in Zebrafish Embryos Identifies Butafenacil as a Potent Inducer of Anemia

    PubMed Central

    Leet, Jessica K.; Lindberg, Casey D.; Bassett, Luke A.; Isales, Gregory M.; Yozzo, Krystle L.; Raftery, Tara D.; Volz, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Using transgenic zebrafish (fli1:egfp) that stably express enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) within vascular endothelial cells, we recently developed and optimized a 384-well high-content screening (HCS) assay that enables us to screen and identify chemicals affecting cardiovascular development and function at non-teratogenic concentrations. Within this assay, automated image acquisition procedures and custom image analysis protocols are used to quantify body length, heart rate, circulation, pericardial area, and intersegmental vessel area within individual live embryos exposed from 5 to 72 hours post-fertilization. After ranking developmental toxicity data generated from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) zebrafish teratogenesis assay, we screened 26 of the most acutely toxic chemicals within EPA's ToxCast Phase-I library in concentration-response format (0.05–50 µM) using this HCS assay. Based on this screen, we identified butafenacil as a potent inducer of anemia, as exposure from 0.39 to 3.125 µM butafenacil completely abolished arterial circulation in the absence of effects on all other endpoints evaluated. Butafenacil is an herbicide that inhibits protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) – an enzyme necessary for heme production in vertebrates. Using o-dianisidine staining, we then revealed that severe butafenacil-induced anemia in zebrafish was due to a complete loss of hemoglobin following exposure during early development. Therefore, six additional PPO inhibitors within the ToxCast Phase-I library were screened to determine whether anemia represents a common adverse outcome for these herbicides. Embryonic exposure to only one of these PPO inhibitors – flumioxazin – resulted in a similar phenotype as butafenacil, albeit not as severe as butafenacil. Overall, this study highlights the potential utility of this assay for (1) screening chemicals for cardiovascular toxicity and (2) prioritizing chemicals for future hypothesis

  2. Online Phenotype Discovery in High-Content RNAi Screens using Gap Statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Zheng; Zhou, Xiaobo; Bakal, Chris; Li, Fuhai; Sun, Youxian; Perrimon, Norbert; Wong, Stephen T. C.

    2007-11-01

    Discovering and identifying novel phenotypes from images inputting online is a major challenge in high-content RNA interference (RNAi) screens. Discovered phenotypes should be visually distinct from existing ones and make biological sense. An online phenotype discovery method featuring adaptive phenotype modeling and iterative cluster merging using gap statistics is proposed. The method works well on discovering new phenotypes adaptively when applied to both of synthetic data sets and RNAi high content screen (HCS) images with ground truth labels.

  3. High-content screening assay for identification of chemicals impacting spontaneous activity in zebrafish embryos.

    PubMed

    Raftery, Tara D; Isales, Gregory M; Yozzo, Krystle L; Volz, David C

    2014-01-01

    Although cell-based assays exist, rapid and cost-efficient high-content screening (HCS) assays within intact organisms are needed to support prioritization for developmental neurotoxicity testing in rodents. During zebrafish embryogenesis, spontaneous tail contractions occur from late-segmentation (∼19 h postfertilization, hpf) through early pharyngula (∼29 hpf) and represent the first sign of locomotion. Using transgenic zebrafish (fli1:egfp) that stably express eGFP beginning at ∼14 hpf, we have developed and optimized a 384-well-based HCS assay that quantifies spontaneous activity within single zebrafish embryos after exposure to test chemicals in a concentration-response format. Following static exposure of one embryo per well from 5 to 25 hpf, automated image acquisition procedures and custom analysis protocols were used to quantify total body area and spontaneous activity in live embryos. Survival and imaging success rates across control plates ranged from 87.5 to 100% and 93.3-100%, respectively. Using our optimized procedures, we screened 16 chemicals within the US EPA's ToxCast Phase-I library, and found that exposure to abamectin and emamectin benzoate-both potent avermectins-abolished spontaneous activity in the absence of gross malformations. Overall, compared to existing locomotion-based zebrafish assays conducted later in development, this method provides a simpler discovery platform for identifying potential developmental neurotoxicants. PMID:24328182

  4. High-content screening identifies kinase inhibitors that overcome venetoclax resistance in activated CLL cells.

    PubMed

    Oppermann, Sina; Ylanko, Jarkko; Shi, Yonghong; Hariharan, Santosh; Oakes, Christopher C; Brauer, Patrick M; Zúñiga-Pflücker, Juan C; Leber, Brian; Spaner, David E; Andrews, David W

    2016-08-18

    Novel agents such as the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax (ABT-199) are changing treatment paradigms for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but important problems remain. Although some patients exhibit deep and durable responses to venetoclax as a single agent, other patients harbor subpopulations of resistant leukemia cells that mediate disease recurrence. One hypothesis for the origin of resistance to venetoclax is by kinase-mediated survival signals encountered in proliferation centers that may be unique for individual patients. An in vitro microenvironment model was developed with primary CLL cells that could be incorporated into an automated high-content microscopy-based screen of kinase inhibitors (KIs) to identify agents that may improve venetoclax therapy in a personalized manner. Marked interpatient variability was noted for which KIs were effective; nevertheless, sunitinib was identified as the most common clinically available KI effective in overcoming venetoclax resistance. Examination of the underlying mechanisms indicated that venetoclax resistance may be induced by microenvironmental signals that upregulate antiapoptotic Bcl-xl, Mcl-1, and A1, which can be counteracted more efficiently by sunitinib than by ibrutinib or idelalisib. Although patient-specific drug responses are common, for many patients, combination therapy with sunitinib may significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of venetoclax. PMID:27297795

  5. High-content screening identifies kinase inhibitors that overcome venetoclax resistance in activated CLL cells

    PubMed Central

    Oppermann, Sina; Ylanko, Jarkko; Shi, Yonghong; Hariharan, Santosh; Oakes, Christopher C.; Brauer, Patrick M.; Zúñiga-Pflücker, Juan C.; Leber, Brian; Spaner, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Novel agents such as the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax (ABT-199) are changing treatment paradigms for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but important problems remain. Although some patients exhibit deep and durable responses to venetoclax as a single agent, other patients harbor subpopulations of resistant leukemia cells that mediate disease recurrence. One hypothesis for the origin of resistance to venetoclax is by kinase-mediated survival signals encountered in proliferation centers that may be unique for individual patients. An in vitro microenvironment model was developed with primary CLL cells that could be incorporated into an automated high-content microscopy-based screen of kinase inhibitors (KIs) to identify agents that may improve venetoclax therapy in a personalized manner. Marked interpatient variability was noted for which KIs were effective; nevertheless, sunitinib was identified as the most common clinically available KI effective in overcoming venetoclax resistance. Examination of the underlying mechanisms indicated that venetoclax resistance may be induced by microenvironmental signals that upregulate antiapoptotic Bcl-xl, Mcl-1, and A1, which can be counteracted more efficiently by sunitinib than by ibrutinib or idelalisib. Although patient-specific drug responses are common, for many patients, combination therapy with sunitinib may significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of venetoclax. PMID:27297795

  6. High-Throughput/High-Content Screening Assays with Engineered Nanomaterials in ToxCast

    EPA Science Inventory

    High-throughput and high-content screens are attractive approaches for prioritizing nanomaterial hazards and informing targeted testing due to the impracticality of using traditional toxicological testing on the large numbers and varieties of nanomaterials. The ToxCast program a...

  7. High content screening of ToxCast compounds using Vala Sciences’ complex cell culturing systems (SOT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    US EPA’s ToxCast research program evaluates bioactivity for thousands of chemicals utilizing high-throughput screening assays to inform chemical testing decisions. Vala Sciences provides high content, multiplexed assays that utilize quantitative cell-based digital image analysis....

  8. Automation of antimicrobial activity screening.

    PubMed

    Forry, Samuel P; Madonna, Megan C; López-Pérez, Daneli; Lin, Nancy J; Pasco, Madeleine D

    2016-03-01

    Manual and automated methods were compared for routine screening of compounds for antimicrobial activity. Automation generally accelerated assays and required less user intervention while producing comparable results. Automated protocols were validated for planktonic, biofilm, and agar cultures of the oral microbe Streptococcus mutans that is commonly associated with tooth decay. Toxicity assays for the known antimicrobial compound cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) were validated against planktonic, biofilm forming, and 24 h biofilm culture conditions, and several commonly reported toxicity/antimicrobial activity measures were evaluated: the 50 % inhibitory concentration (IC50), the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC). Using automated methods, three halide salts of cetylpyridinium (CPC, CPB, CPI) were rapidly screened with no detectable effect of the counter ion on antimicrobial activity. PMID:26970766

  9. High Throughput, High Content Screening for Novel Pigmentation Regulators Using a Keratinocyte/Melanocyte Co-culture System

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ju Hee; Chen, Hongxiang; Kolev, Vihren; Aull, Katherine H.; Jung, Inhee; Wang, Jun; Miyamoto, Shoko; Hosoi, Junichi; Mandinova, Anna; Fisher, David E.

    2014-01-01

    Skin pigmentation is a complex process including melanogenesis within melanocytes and melanin transfer to the keratinocytes. To develop a comprehensive screening method for novel pigmentation regulators, we used immortalized melanocytes and keratinocytes in co-culture to screen large numbers of compounds. High-throughput screening plates were subjected to digital automated microscopy to quantify the pigmentation via brightfield microscopy. Compounds with pigment suppression were secondarily tested for their effects on expression of MITF and several pigment regulatory genes, and further validated in terms of non-toxicity to keratinocytes/melanocytes and dose dependent activity. The results demonstrate a high-throughput, high-content screening approach, which is applicable to the analysis of large chemical libraries using a co-culture system. We identified candidate pigmentation inhibitors from 4,000 screened compounds including zoxazolamine, 3-methoxycatechol, and alpha-mangostin, which were also shown to modulate expression of MITF and several key pigmentation factors, and are worthy of further evaluation for potential translation to clinical use. PMID:24438532

  10. Mineotaur: a tool for high-content microscopy screen sharing and visual analytics.

    PubMed

    Antal, Bálint; Chessel, Anatole; Carazo Salas, Rafael E

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput/high-content microscopy-based screens are powerful tools for functional genomics, yielding intracellular information down to the level of single-cells for thousands of genotypic conditions. However, accessing their data requires specialized knowledge and most often that data is no longer analyzed after initial publication. We describe Mineotaur ( http://www.mineotaur.org ), a open-source, downloadable web application that allows easy online sharing and interactive visualisation of large screen datasets, facilitating their dissemination and further analysis, and enhancing their impact. PMID:26679168

  11. Improving drug discovery with high-content phenotypic screens by systematic selection of reporter cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qi; Liu, Shanshan; Coster, Adam D.; Posner, Bruce A.; Altschuler, Steven J.; Wu, Lani F.

    2015-01-01

    High-content, image-based screens enable the identification of compounds that induce cellular responses similar to those of known drugs but through different chemical structures or targets. A central challenge in designing phenotypic screens is choosing suitable imaging biomarkers. Here we present a method for systematically identifying optimal reporter cell lines for annotating compound libraries (ORACLs), whose phenotypic profiles most accurately classify a training set of known drugs. We generate a library of fluorescently tagged reporter cell lines, and let analytical criteria determine which among them—the ORACL—best classifies compounds into multiple, diverse drug classes. We demonstrate that an ORACL can functionally annotate large compound libraries across diverse drug classes in a single-pass screen and confirm high prediction accuracy via orthogonal, secondary validation assays. Our approach will increase the efficiency, scale and accuracy of phenotypic screens by maximizing their discriminatory power. PMID:26655497

  12. Improving drug discovery with high-content phenotypic screens by systematic selection of reporter cell lines.

    PubMed

    Kang, Jungseog; Hsu, Chien-Hsiang; Wu, Qi; Liu, Shanshan; Coster, Adam D; Posner, Bruce A; Altschuler, Steven J; Wu, Lani F

    2016-01-01

    High-content, image-based screens enable the identification of compounds that induce cellular responses similar to those of known drugs but through different chemical structures or targets. A central challenge in designing phenotypic screens is choosing suitable imaging biomarkers. Here we present a method for systematically identifying optimal reporter cell lines for annotating compound libraries (ORACLs), whose phenotypic profiles most accurately classify a training set of known drugs. We generate a library of fluorescently tagged reporter cell lines, and let analytical criteria determine which among them--the ORACL--best classifies compounds into multiple, diverse drug classes. We demonstrate that an ORACL can functionally annotate large compound libraries across diverse drug classes in a single-pass screen and confirm high prediction accuracy by means of orthogonal, secondary validation assays. Our approach will increase the efficiency, scale and accuracy of phenotypic screens by maximizing their discriminatory power. PMID:26655497

  13. High Content Screening in Zebrafish Speeds up Hazard Ranking of Transition Metal Oxide Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Sijie; Zhao, Yan; Xia, Tian; Meng, Huan; Zhaoxia, Ji; Liu, Rong; George, Saji; Xiong, Sijing; Wang, Xiang; Zhang, Haiyuan; Pokhrel, Suman; Mädler, Lutz; Damoiseaux, Robert; Lin, Shuo; Nel, Andre E.

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish is an aquatic organism that can be used for high content safety screening of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). We demonstrate, for the first time, the use of high content bright-field and fluorescence-based imaging to compare the toxicological effect of transition metal oxide (CuO, ZnO, NiO and Co3O4) nanoparticles in zebrafish embryos and larvae. High content bright-field imaging demonstrated potent and dose-dependant hatching interference in the embryos, with the exception of Co3O4 which was relatively inert. We propose that the hatching interference was due to the shedding of Cu and Ni ions, compromising the activity of the hatching enzyme, ZHE1, similar to what we previously proposed for Zn2+. This hypothesis is based on the presence of metal–sensitive histidines in the catalytic center of this enzyme. Co-introduction of a metal ion chelator, diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA), reversed the hatching interference of Cu, Zn and Ni. While neither the embryos nor larvae demonstrated morphological abnormalities, high content fluorescence-based imaging demonstrated that CuO, ZnO and NiO could induce increased expression of the heat shock protein 70:enhanced green fluorescence protein (hsp70:eGFP) in transgenic zebrafish larvae. Induction of this response by CuO required a higher nanoparticle dose than the amount leading to hatching interference. This response was also DTPA sensitive. In conclusion, we demonstrate that high content imaging of embryo development, morphological abnormalities and HSP70 expression can be used for hazard ranking and determining the dose-response relationships leading to ENM effects on the development of the zebrafish embryo. PMID:21851096

  14. Trait Variability of Cancer Cells Quantified by High-Content Automated Microscopy of Single Cells

    PubMed Central

    Quaranta, Vito; Tyson, Darren R.; Garbett, Shawn P.; Weidow, Brandy; Harris, Mark P.; Georgescu, Walter

    2010-01-01

    Mapping quantitative cell traits (QCT) to underlying molecular defects is a central challenge in cancer research because heterogeneity at all biological scales, from genes to cells to populations, is recognized as the main driver of cancer progression and treatment resistance. A major roadblock to a multiscale framework linking cell to signaling to genetic cancer heterogeneity is the dearth of large-scale, single-cell data on QCT-such as proliferation, death sensitivity, motility, metabolism, and other hallmarks of cancer. High-volume single-cell data can be used to represent cell-to-cell genetic and nongenetic QCT variability in cancer cell populations as averages, distributions, and statistical subpopulations. By matching the abundance of available data on cancer genetic and molecular variability, QCT data should enable quantitative mapping of phenotype to genotype in cancer. This challenge is being met by high-content automated microscopy (HCAM), based on the convergence of several technologies including computerized microscopy, image processing, computation, and heterogeneity science. In this chapter, we describe an HCAM workflow that can be set up in a medium size interdisciplinary laboratory, and its application to produce high-throughput QCT data for cancer cell motility and proliferation. This type of data is ideally suited to populate cell-scale computational and mathematical models of cancer progression for quantitatively and predictively evaluating cancer drug discovery and treatment. PMID:19897088

  15. High Content Screening for Modulators of Cardiac Differentiation in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Spiering, Sean; Davidovics, Herman; Bushway, Paul J.; Mercola, Mark; Willems, Erik

    2016-01-01

    Chemical genomics has the unique potential to expose novel mechanisms of complex cellular biology through screening of small molecules in in vitro assays of a biological phenotype of interest, followed by target identification. In the case of disease-specific assays, the cellular proteins identified might constitute novel drug targets, and the small molecules themselves might be developed as drug leads. In cardiovascular biology, a chemical genomics approach to study the formation of cardiomyocyte, vascular endothelial, and smooth muscle lineages might contribute to therapeutic regeneration. Here, we describe methods used to develop high content screening assays implementing multipotent cardiovascular progenitors derived from human pluripotent stem cells and have identified novel compounds that direct cardiac differentiation. PMID:25618335

  16. BioSig3D: High Content Screening of Three-Dimensional Cell Culture Models.

    PubMed

    Bilgin, Cemal Cagatay; Fontenay, Gerald; Cheng, Qingsu; Chang, Hang; Han, Ju; Parvin, Bahram

    2016-01-01

    BioSig3D is a computational platform for high-content screening of three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models that are imaged in full 3D volume. It provides an end-to-end solution for designing high content screening assays, based on colony organization that is derived from segmentation of nuclei in each colony. BioSig3D also enables visualization of raw and processed 3D volumetric data for quality control, and integrates advanced bioinformatics analysis. The system consists of multiple computational and annotation modules that are coupled together with a strong use of controlled vocabularies to reduce ambiguities between different users. It is a web-based system that allows users to: design an experiment by defining experimental variables, upload a large set of volumetric images into the system, analyze and visualize the dataset, and either display computed indices as a heatmap, or phenotypic subtypes for heterogeneity analysis, or download computed indices for statistical analysis or integrative biology. BioSig3D has been used to profile baseline colony formations with two experiments: (i) morphogenesis of a panel of human mammary epithelial cell lines (HMEC), and (ii) heterogeneity in colony formation using an immortalized non-transformed cell line. These experiments reveal intrinsic growth properties of well-characterized cell lines that are routinely used for biological studies. BioSig3D is being released with seed datasets and video-based documentation. PMID:26978075

  17. BioSig3D: High Content Screening of Three-Dimensional Cell Culture Models

    PubMed Central

    Bilgin, Cemal Cagatay; Fontenay, Gerald; Cheng, Qingsu; Chang, Hang; Han, Ju; Parvin, Bahram

    2016-01-01

    BioSig3D is a computational platform for high-content screening of three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models that are imaged in full 3D volume. It provides an end-to-end solution for designing high content screening assays, based on colony organization that is derived from segmentation of nuclei in each colony. BioSig3D also enables visualization of raw and processed 3D volumetric data for quality control, and integrates advanced bioinformatics analysis. The system consists of multiple computational and annotation modules that are coupled together with a strong use of controlled vocabularies to reduce ambiguities between different users. It is a web-based system that allows users to: design an experiment by defining experimental variables, upload a large set of volumetric images into the system, analyze and visualize the dataset, and either display computed indices as a heatmap, or phenotypic subtypes for heterogeneity analysis, or download computed indices for statistical analysis or integrative biology. BioSig3D has been used to profile baseline colony formations with two experiments: (i) morphogenesis of a panel of human mammary epithelial cell lines (HMEC), and (ii) heterogeneity in colony formation using an immortalized non-transformed cell line. These experiments reveal intrinsic growth properties of well-characterized cell lines that are routinely used for biological studies. BioSig3D is being released with seed datasets and video-based documentation. PMID:26978075

  18. Gamma-H2AX foci counting: image processing and control software for high-content screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, P. R.; Locke, R. J.; Pierce, G. P.; Rothkamm, K.; Vojnovic, B.

    2007-02-01

    Phosphorylation of the chromatin protein H2AX (forming γH2AX) is implicated in the repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSB's); a large number of H2AX molecules become phosphorylated at the sites of DSB's. Fluorescent staining of the cell nuclei for γH2AX, via an antibody, visualises the formation of these foci, allowing the quantification of DNA DSB's and forming the basis for a sensitive biological dosimeter of ionising radiation. We describe an automated fluorescence microscopy system, including automated image processing, to count γH2AX foci. The image processing is performed by a Hough transform based algorithm, CHARM, which has wide applicability for the detection and analysis of cells and cell colonies. This algorithm and its applications for cell nucleus and foci detection will be described. The system also relies heavily on robust control software, written using multi-threaded cbased modules in LabWindows/CVI that adapt to the timing requirements of a particular experiment for optimised slide/plate scanning and mosaicing, making use of modern multi-core processors. The system forms the basis of a general purpose high-content screening platform with wide ranging applications in live and fixed cell imaging and tissue micro arrays, that in future, can incorporate spectrally and time-resolved information.

  19. Automated High-Content Assay for Compounds Selectively Toxic to Trypanosoma cruzi in a Myoblastic Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    Alonso-Padilla, Julio; Cotillo, Ignacio; Presa, Jesús L.; Cantizani, Juan; Peña, Imanol; Bardera, Ana I.; Martín, Jose J.; Rodriguez, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Background Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, represents a very important public health problem in Latin America where it is endemic. Although mostly asymptomatic at its initial stage, after the disease becomes chronic, about a third of the infected patients progress to a potentially fatal outcome due to severe damage of heart and gut tissues. There is an urgent need for new drugs against Chagas disease since there are only two drugs available, benznidazole and nifurtimox, and both show toxic side effects and variable efficacy against the chronic stage of the disease. Methodology/Principal Findings Genetically engineered parasitic strains are used for high throughput screening (HTS) of large chemical collections in the search for new anti-parasitic compounds. These assays, although successful, are limited to reporter transgenic parasites and do not cover the wide T. cruzi genetic background. With the aim to contribute to the early drug discovery process against Chagas disease we have developed an automated image-based 384-well plate HTS assay for T. cruzi amastigote replication in a rat myoblast host cell line. An image analysis script was designed to inform on three outputs: total number of host cells, ratio of T. cruzi amastigotes per cell and percentage of infected cells, which respectively provides one host cell toxicity and two T. cruzi toxicity readouts. The assay was statistically robust (Z´ values >0.6) and was validated against a series of known anti-trypanosomatid drugs. Conclusions/Significance We have established a highly reproducible, high content HTS assay for screening of chemical compounds against T. cruzi infection of myoblasts that is amenable for use with any T. cruzi strain capable of in vitro infection. Our visual assay informs on both anti-parasitic and host cell toxicity readouts in a single experiment, allowing the direct identification of compounds selectively targeted to the parasite. PMID:25615687

  20. Integrating high-throughput genetic interaction mapping and high-content screening to explore yeast spindle morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Vizeacoumar, Franco J.; van Dyk, Nydia; S.Vizeacoumar, Frederick; Cheung, Vincent; Li, Jingjing; Sydorskyy, Yaroslav; Case, Nicolle; Li, Zhijian; Datti, Alessandro; Nislow, Corey; Raught, Brian; Zhang, Zhaolei; Frey, Brendan; Bloom, Kerry

    2010-01-01

    We describe the application of a novel screening approach that combines automated yeast genetics, synthetic genetic array (SGA) analysis, and a high-content screening (HCS) system to examine mitotic spindle morphogenesis. We measured numerous spindle and cellular morphological parameters in thousands of single mutants and corresponding sensitized double mutants lacking genes known to be involved in spindle function. We focused on a subset of genes that appear to define a highly conserved mitotic spindle disassembly pathway, which is known to involve Ipl1p, the yeast aurora B kinase, as well as the cell cycle regulatory networks mitotic exit network (MEN) and fourteen early anaphase release (FEAR). We also dissected the function of the kinetochore protein Mcm21p, showing that sumoylation of Mcm21p regulates the enrichment of Ipl1p and other chromosomal passenger proteins to the spindle midzone to mediate spindle disassembly. Although we focused on spindle disassembly in a proof-of-principle study, our integrated HCS-SGA method can be applied to virtually any pathway, making it a powerful means for identifying specific cellular functions. PMID:20065090

  1. Analysis of synaptic vesicle endocytosis in synaptosomes by high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Daniel, James A; Malladi, Chandra S; Kettle, Emma; McCluskey, Adam; Robinson, Phillip J

    2012-08-01

    Small molecules modulating synaptic vesicle endocytosis (SVE) may ultimately be useful for diseases where pathological neurotransmission is implicated. Only a small number of specific SVE modulators have been identified to date. Slow progress is due to the laborious nature of traditional approaches to study SVE, in which nerve terminals are identified and studied in cultured neurons, typically yielding data from 10-20 synapses per experiment. We provide a protocol for a quantitative, high-throughput method for studying SVE in thousands of nerve terminals. Rat forebrain synaptosomes are attached to 96-well microplates and depolarized; SVE is then quantified by uptake of the dye FM4-64, which is imaged by high-content screening. Synaptosomes that have been frozen and stored can be used in place of fresh synaptosomes, reducing the experimental time and animal numbers required. With a supply of frozen synaptosomes, the assay can be performed within a day, including data analysis. PMID:22767087

  2. Discovery of New Anti-Schistosomal Hits by Integration of QSAR-Based Virtual Screening and High Content Screening.

    PubMed

    Neves, Bruno J; Dantas, Rafael F; Senger, Mario R; Melo-Filho, Cleber C; Valente, Walter C G; de Almeida, Ana C M; Rezende-Neto, João M; Lima, Elid F C; Paveley, Ross; Furnham, Nicholas; Muratov, Eugene; Kamentsky, Lee; Carpenter, Anne E; Braga, Rodolpho C; Silva-Junior, Floriano P; Andrade, Carolina Horta

    2016-08-11

    Schistosomiasis is a debilitating neglected tropical disease, caused by flatworms of Schistosoma genus. The treatment relies on a single drug, praziquantel (PZQ), making the discovery of new compounds extremely urgent. In this work, we integrated QSAR-based virtual screening (VS) of Schistosoma mansoni thioredoxin glutathione reductase (SmTGR) inhibitors and high content screening (HCS) aiming to discover new antischistosomal agents. Initially, binary QSAR models for inhibition of SmTGR were developed and validated using the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidance. Using these models, we prioritized 29 compounds for further testing in two HCS platforms based on image analysis of assay plates. Among them, 2-[2-(3-methyl-4-nitro-5-isoxazolyl)vinyl]pyridine and 2-(benzylsulfonyl)-1,3-benzothiazole, two compounds representing new chemical scaffolds have activity against schistosomula and adult worms at low micromolar concentrations and therefore represent promising antischistosomal hits for further hit-to-lead optimization. PMID:27396732

  3. DetecTiff: a novel image analysis routine for high-content screening microscopy.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Daniel F; Meinhof, Till; Pepperkok, Rainer; Runz, Heiko

    2009-09-01

    In this article, the authors describe the image analysis software DetecTiff, which allows fully automated object recognition and quantification from digital images. The core module of the LabView-based routine is an algorithm for structure recognition that employs intensity thresholding and size-dependent particle filtering from microscopic images in an iterative manner. Detected structures are converted into templates, which are used for quantitative image analysis. DetecTiff enables processing of multiple detection channels and provides functions for template organization and fast interpretation of acquired data. The authors demonstrate the applicability of DetecTiff for automated analysis of cellular uptake of fluorescence-labeled low-density lipoproteins as well as diverse other image data sets from a variety of biomedical applications. Moreover, the performance of DetecTiff is compared with preexisting image analysis tools. The results show that DetecTiff can be applied with high consistency for automated quantitative analysis of image data (e.g., from large-scale functional RNAi screening projects). PMID:19641223

  4. A high-content cellular senescence screen identifies candidate tumor suppressors, including EPHA3.

    PubMed

    Lahtela, Jenni; Corson, Laura B; Hemmes, Annabrita; Brauer, Matthew J; Koopal, Sonja; Lee, James; Hunsaker, Thomas L; Jackson, Peter K; Verschuren, Emmy W

    2013-02-15

    Activation of a cellular senescence program is a common response to prolonged oncogene activation or tumor suppressor loss, providing a physiological mechanism for tumor suppression in premalignant cells. The link between senescence and tumor suppression supports the hypothesis that a loss-of-function screen measuring bona fide senescence marker activation should identify candidate tumor suppressors. Using a high-content siRNA screening assay for cell morphology and proliferation measures, we identify 12 senescence-regulating kinases and determine their senescence marker signatures, including elevation of senescence-associated β-galactosidase, DNA damage and p53 or p16 (INK4a) expression. Consistent with our hypothesis, SNP array CGH data supports loss of gene copy number of five senescence-suppressing genes across multiple tumor samples. One such candidate is the EPHA3 receptor tyrosine kinase, a gene commonly mutated in human cancer. We demonstrate that selected intracellular EPHA3 tumor-associated point mutations decrease receptor expression level and/or receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activity. Our study therefore describes a new strategy to mine for novel candidate tumor suppressors and provides compelling evidence that EPHA3 mutations may promote tumorigenesis only when key senescence-inducing pathways have been inactivated. PMID:23324396

  5. Automatic Robust Neurite Detection and Morphological Analysis of Neuronal Cell Cultures in High-content Screening

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chaohong; Schulte, Joost; Sepp, Katharine J.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2011-01-01

    Cell-based high content screening (HCS) is becoming an important and increasingly favored approach in therapeutic drug discovery and functional genomics. In HCS, changes in cellular morphology and biomarker distributions provide an information-rich profile of cellular responses to experimental treatments such as small molecules or gene knockdown probes. One obstacle that currently exists with such cell-based assays is the availability of image processing algorithms that are capable of reliably and automatically analyzing large HCS image sets. HCS images of primary neuronal cell cultures are particularly challenging to analyze due to complex cellular morphology. Here we present a robust method for quantifying and statistically analyzing the morphology of neuronal cells in HCS images. The major advantages of our method over existing software lie in its capability to correct non-uniform illumination using the contrast-limited adaptive histogram equalization method; segment neuromeres using Gabor-wavelet texture analysis; and detect faint neurites by a novel phase-based neurite extraction algorithm that is invariant to changes in illumination and contrast and can accurately localize neurites. Our method was successfully applied to analyze a large HCS image set generated in a morphology screen for polyglutamine-mediated neuronal toxicity using primary neuronal cell cultures derived from embryos of a Drosophila Huntington’s Disease (HD) model. PMID:20405243

  6. A high-content cellular senescence screen identifies candidate tumor suppressors, including EPHA3

    PubMed Central

    Lahtela, Jenni; Corson, Laura B.; Hemmes, Annabrita; Brauer, Matthew J.; Koopal, Sonja; Lee, James; Hunsaker, Thomas L.; Jackson, Peter K.; Verschuren, Emmy W.

    2013-01-01

    Activation of a cellular senescence program is a common response to prolonged oncogene activation or tumor suppressor loss, providing a physiological mechanism for tumor suppression in premalignant cells. The link between senescence and tumor suppression supports the hypothesis that a loss-of-function screen measuring bona fide senescence marker activation should identify candidate tumor suppressors. Using a high-content siRNA screening assay for cell morphology and proliferation measures, we identify 12 senescence-regulating kinases and determine their senescence marker signatures, including elevation of senescence-associated β-galactosidase, DNA damage and p53 or p16INK4a expression. Consistent with our hypothesis, SNP array CGH data supports loss of gene copy number of five senescence-suppressing genes across multiple tumor samples. One such candidate is the EPHA3 receptor tyrosine kinase, a gene commonly mutated in human cancer. We demonstrate that selected intracellular EPHA3 tumor-associated point mutations decrease receptor expression level and/or receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activity. Our study therefore describes a new strategy to mine for novel candidate tumor suppressors and provides compelling evidence that EPHA3 mutations may promote tumorigenesis only when key senescence-inducing pathways have been inactivated. PMID:23324396

  7. A High-Content Imaging Screen for Cellular Regulators of β-Catenin Protein Abundance.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xin; Montoute, Monica; Bee, Tiger W; Lin, Hong; Kallal, Lorena A; Liu, Yan; Agarwal, Pankaj; Wang, Dayuan; Lu, Quinn; Morrow, Dwight; Pope, Andrew J; Wu, Zining

    2016-03-01

    Abnormal accumulation of β-catenin protein, a key transcriptional activator required for Wnt signaling, is the hallmark of many tumor types, including colon cancer. In normal cells, β-catenin protein level is tightly controlled by a multiprotein complex through the proteosome pathway. Mutations in the components of the β-catenin degradation complex, such as adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and Axin, lead to β-catenin stabilization and the constitutive activation of target genes. Since the signal transduction of Wnt/β-catenin is mainly mediated by protein-protein interactions, this pathway has been particularly refractory to conventional target-based small-molecule screening. Here we designed a cellular high-content imaging assay to detect β-catenin protein through immunofluorescent staining in the SW480 colon cancer cell line, which has elevated β-catenin endogenously. We demonstrate that the assay is robust and specific to screen a focused biologically diverse chemical library set against known targets that play diverse cellular functions. We identified a number of hits that reduce β-catenin levels without causing cell death. These hits may serve as tools to understand the dynamics of β-catenin degradation. This study demonstrates that detecting cell-based β-catenin protein stability is a viable approach to identifying novel mechanisms of β-catenin regulation as well as small molecules of therapeutic potential. PMID:26656867

  8. High-content screening of drug-induced cardiotoxicity using quantitative single cell imaging cytometry on microfluidic device.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min Jung; Lee, Su Chul; Pal, Sukdeb; Han, Eunyoung; Song, Joon Myong

    2011-01-01

    Drug-induced cardiotoxicity or cytotoxicity followed by cell death in cardiac muscle is one of the major concerns in drug development. Herein, we report a high-content quantitative multicolor single cell imaging tool for automatic screening of drug-induced cardiotoxicity in an intact cell. A tunable multicolor imaging system coupled with a miniaturized sample platform was destined to elucidate drug-induced cardiotoxicity via simultaneous quantitative monitoring of intracellular sodium ion concentration, potassium ion channel permeability and apoptosis/necrosis in H9c2(2-1) cell line. Cells were treated with cisapride (a human ether-à-go-go-related gene (hERG) channel blocker), digoxin (Na(+)/K(+)-pump blocker), camptothecin (anticancer agent) and a newly synthesized anti-cancer drug candidate (SH-03). Decrease in potassium channel permeability in cisapride-treated cells indicated that it can also inhibit the trafficking of the hERG channel. Digoxin treatment resulted in an increase of intracellular [Na(+)]. However, it did not affect potassium channel permeability. Camptothecin and SH-03 did not show any cytotoxic effect at normal use (≤300 nM and 10 μM, respectively). This result clearly indicates the potential of SH-03 as a new anticancer drug candidate. The developed method was also used to correlate the cell death pathway with alterations in intracellular [Na(+)]. The developed protocol can directly depict and quantitate targeted cellular responses, subsequently enabling an automated, easy to operate tool that is applicable to drug-induced cytotoxicity monitoring with special reference to next generation drug discovery screening. This multicolor imaging based system has great potential as a complementary system to the conventional patch clamp technique and flow cytometric measurement for the screening of drug cardiotoxicity. PMID:21060932

  9. Evaluation of Compatibility of ToxCast High-Throughput/High-Content Screening Assays with Engineered Nanomaterials

    EPA Science Inventory

    High-throughput and high-content screens are attractive approaches for prioritizing nanomaterial hazards and informing targeted testing due to the impracticality of using traditional toxicological testing on the large numbers and varieties of nanomaterials. The ToxCast program a...

  10. FLIM FRET Technology for Drug Discovery: Automated Multiwell-Plate High-Content Analysis, Multiplexed Readouts and Application in Situ**

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sunil; Alibhai, Dominic; Margineanu, Anca; Laine, Romain; Kennedy, Gordon; McGinty, James; Warren, Sean; Kelly, Douglas; Alexandrov, Yuriy; Munro, Ian; Talbot, Clifford; Stuckey, Daniel W; Kimberly, Christopher; Viellerobe, Bertrand; Lacombe, Francois; Lam, Eric W-F; Taylor, Harriet; Dallman, Margaret J; Stamp, Gordon; Murray, Edward J; Stuhmeier, Frank; Sardini, Alessandro; Katan, Matilda; Elson, Daniel S; Neil, Mark A A; Dunsby, Chris; French, Paul M W

    2011-01-01

    A fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) technology platform intended to read out changes in Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency is presented for the study of protein interactions across the drug-discovery pipeline. FLIM provides a robust, inherently ratiometric imaging modality for drug discovery that could allow the same sensor constructs to be translated from automated cell-based assays through small transparent organisms such as zebrafish to mammals. To this end, an automated FLIM multiwell-plate reader is described for high content analysis of fixed and live cells, tomographic FLIM in zebrafish and FLIM FRET of live cells via confocal endomicroscopy. For cell-based assays, an exemplar application reading out protein aggregation using FLIM FRET is presented, and the potential for multiple simultaneous FLIM (FRET) readouts in microscopy is illustrated. PMID:21337485

  11. The myImageAnalysis Project: A Web-Based Application for High-Content Screening

    PubMed Central

    Szafran, Adam T.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A major challenge faced by screening centers developing image-based assays is the wide range of assays needed compared to the limited resources that are available to effectively analyze and manage them. To overcome this limitation, we have developed the web-based myImageAnalysis (mIA) application, integrated with an open database connectivity compliant database and powered by Pipeline Pilot (PLP) that incorporates dataset tracking, scheduling and archiving, image analysis, and data reporting. For system administrators, mIA provides automated methods for managing and archiving data. For the biologist, this application allows those without any programming or image analysis experience to quickly develop, validate, and share results of complex image-based assays. Further, the structure of the application within PLP allows those with experience in PLP programming to easily add additional analysis tools as required. The tools within mIA allow users to assess basic (cell count, protein per cell, protein subcellular localization) and more advanced (engineered cell lines analysis, cell toxicity) biological image-based assays that employ advanced statistics and provides key assay performance metrics. PMID:24547743

  12. Cell-Based Assay Design for High-Content Screening of Drug Candidates.

    PubMed

    Nierode, Gregory; Kwon, Paul S; Dordick, Jonathan S; Kwon, Seok-Joon

    2016-02-01

    To reduce attrition in drug development, it is crucial to consider the development and implementation of translational phenotypic assays as well as decipher diverse molecular mechanisms of action for new molecular entities. High-throughput fluorescence and confocal microscopes with advanced analysis software have simplified the simultaneous identification and quantification of various cellular processes through what is now referred to as highcontent screening (HCS). HCS permits automated identification of modifiers of accessible and biologically relevant targets and can thus be used to detect gene interactions or identify toxic pathways of drug candidates to improve drug discovery and development processes. In this review, we summarize several HCS-compatible, biochemical, and molecular biology-driven assays, including immunohistochemistry, RNAi, reporter gene assay, CRISPR-Cas9 system, and protein-protein interactions to assess a variety of cellular processes, including proliferation, morphological changes, protein expression, localization, post-translational modifications, and protein-protein interactions. These cell-based assay methods can be applied to not only 2D cell culture but also 3D cell culture systems in a high-throughput manner. PMID:26428732

  13. The myImageAnalysis project: a web-based application for high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Szafran, Adam T; Mancini, Michael A

    2014-01-01

    A major challenge faced by screening centers developing image-based assays is the wide range of assays needed compared to the limited resources that are available to effectively analyze and manage them. To overcome this limitation, we have developed the web-based myImageAnalysis (mIA) application, integrated with an open database connectivity compliant database and powered by Pipeline Pilot (PLP) that incorporates dataset tracking, scheduling and archiving, image analysis, and data reporting. For system administrators, mIA provides automated methods for managing and archiving data. For the biologist, this application allows those without any programming or image analysis experience to quickly develop, validate, and share results of complex image-based assays. Further, the structure of the application within PLP allows those with experience in PLP programming to easily add additional analysis tools as required. The tools within mIA allow users to assess basic (cell count, protein per cell, protein subcellular localization) and more advanced (engineered cell lines analysis, cell toxicity) biological image-based assays that employ advanced statistics and provides key assay performance metrics. PMID:24547743

  14. High-Content Assay Multiplexing for Toxicity Screening in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes and Hepatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Grimm, Fabian Alexander; Iwata, Yasuhiro; Sirenko, Oksana; Bittner, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Cell-based high-content screening (HCS) assays have become an increasingly attractive alternative to traditional in vitro and in vivo testing in pharmaceutical drug development and toxicological safety assessment. The time- and cost-effectiveness of HCS assays, combined with the organotypic nature of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells, open new opportunities to employ physiologically relevant in vitro model systems to improve screening for potential chemical hazards. In this study, we used two human iPSC types, cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes, to test various high-content and molecular assay combinations for their applicability in a multiparametric screening format. Effects on cardiomyocyte beat frequency were characterized by calcium flux measurements for up to 90 min. Subsequent correlation with intracellular cAMP levels was used to determine if the effects on cardiac physiology were G-protein-coupled receptor dependent. In addition, we utilized high-content cell imaging to simultaneously determine cell viability, mitochondrial integrity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in both cell types. Kinetic analysis indicated that ROS formation is best detectable 30 min following initial treatment, whereas cytotoxic effects were most stable after 24 h. For hepatocytes, high-content imaging was also used to evaluate cytotoxicity and cytoskeletal integrity, as well as mitochondrial integrity and the potential for lipid accumulation. Lipid accumulation, a marker for hepatic steatosis, was most reliably detected 48 h following treatment with test compounds. Overall, our results demonstrate how a compendium of assays can be utilized for quantitative screening of chemical effects in iPSC cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes and enable rapid and cost-efficient multidimensional biological profiling of toxicity. PMID:26539751

  15. A high-content screening platform with fluorescent chemical probes for the discovery of first-in-class therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Jo, Ala; Jung, Jinjoo; Kim, Eunha; Park, Seung Bum

    2016-06-14

    Phenotypic screening has emerged as a promising approach to discover novel first-in-class therapeutic agents. Rapid advances in phenotypic screening systems facilitate a high-throughput unbiased evaluation of compound libraries. However, limited sets of phenotypic changes are utilized in high-content screening, which require extensive genetic engineering. Therefore, it is critical to develop new chemical probes that can reflect phenotypic changes in any type of cells, especially primary cells, tissues, and organisms. Herein, we introduce our continuous efforts in the development of fluorescent bioprobes and their application to phenotypic screening. In addition, we emphasize the importance of the phenotype-based approach in conjunction with target identification at an early stage of research to accelerate the discovery of therapeutics with new modes of action. PMID:27166145

  16. 3D high-content screening for the identification of compounds that target cells in dormant tumor spheroid regions

    SciTech Connect

    Wenzel, Carsten; Riefke, Björn; Gründemann, Stephan; Krebs, Alice; Christian, Sven; Prinz, Florian; Osterland, Marc; Golfier, Sven; Räse, Sebastian; Ansari, Nariman; Esner, Milan; Bickle, Marc; Pampaloni, Francesco; Mattheyer, Christian; Stelzer, Ernst H.; Parczyk, Karsten; Prechtl, Stefan; Steigemann, Patrick

    2014-04-15

    Cancer cells in poorly vascularized tumor regions need to adapt to an unfavorable metabolic microenvironment. As distance from supplying blood vessels increases, oxygen and nutrient concentrations decrease and cancer cells react by stopping cell cycle progression and becoming dormant. As cytostatic drugs mainly target proliferating cells, cancer cell dormancy is considered as a major resistance mechanism to this class of anti-cancer drugs. Therefore, substances that target cancer cells in poorly vascularized tumor regions have the potential to enhance cytostatic-based chemotherapy of solid tumors. With three-dimensional growth conditions, multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) reproduce several parameters of the tumor microenvironment, including oxygen and nutrient gradients as well as the development of dormant tumor regions. We here report the setup of a 3D cell culture compatible high-content screening system and the identification of nine substances from two commercially available drug libraries that specifically target cells in inner MCTS core regions, while cells in outer MCTS regions or in 2D cell culture remain unaffected. We elucidated the mode of action of the identified compounds as inhibitors of the respiratory chain and show that induction of cell death in inner MCTS core regions critically depends on extracellular glucose concentrations. Finally, combinational treatment with cytostatics showed increased induction of cell death in MCTS. The data presented here shows for the first time a high-content based screening setup on 3D tumor spheroids for the identification of substances that specifically induce cell death in inner tumor spheroid core regions. This validates the approach to use 3D cell culture screening systems to identify substances that would not be detectable by 2D based screening in otherwise similar culture conditions. - Highlights: • Establishment of a novel method for 3D cell culture based high-content screening. • First reported high-content

  17. Automated screening of pigmentary skin neoplasms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudrin, Konstantin G.; Matorin, Oleg V.; Reshetov, Igor V.

    2015-01-01

    We have analysed the clinical symptoms and the malignization signs of pigmented skin neoplasms. We have estimated the complex of clinical parameters which could be measured for the purpose of skin screening diagnostic via digital image processing. Allowable errors of clinical parameter characterization have been calculated, and the origin of these errors has been discussed. Proposed technique for automated screening of pigmentary skin neoplasms should become an effective tool for early skin diagnostics.

  18. Identification of small-molecule HSF1 amplifiers by high content screening in protection of cells from stress induced injury.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bin; Au, Qingyan; Yoon, Il Sang; Tremblay, Marie-Helene; Yip, Gary; Zhou, Yuefen; Barber, Jack R; Ng, Shi Chung

    2009-12-18

    Small molecule amplifiers of heat shock response have shown promising results in rescuing stress related injury through chaperone amplification. Herein, we report the results of a high content target-based primary screening of several known bioactive libraries. Screening resulted in the identification of three potent gedunin derivatives and a sappanone A derivative. Western blot results confirmed compound-induced activation of HSF1 and increased expression level of HSP70. These compounds rescued cells from cell death caused by proteasome inhibitor MG-132 and RNAi knockdown of HSF1 significantly reversed the cytoprotective effects, confirming an HSF1-dependent mechanism of action. These HSF1 amplifiers were tested in two mammalian cell based models of Huntington's disease (HD) and found to improve survival. Therefore, these screening hits may have therapeutic potential for HD and possibly other protein conformational disorders. PMID:19852939

  19. Neuronal models for evaluation of proliferation in vitro using high content screening

    EPA Science Inventory

    In vitro test methods can provide a rapid approach for the screening of large numbers of chemicals for their potential to produce toxicity (hazard identification). In order to identify potential developmental neurotoxicants, a battery of in vitro tests for neurodevelopmental proc...

  20. High-Content and Semi-Automated Quantification of Responses to Estrogenic Chemicals Using a Novel Translucent Transgenic Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Green, Jon M; Metz, Jeremy; Lee, Okhyun; Trznadel, Maciej; Takesono, Aya; Brown, A Ross; Owen, Stewart F; Kudoh, Tetsuhiro; Tyler, Charles R

    2016-06-21

    Rapid embryogenesis, together with genetic similarities with mammals, and the desire to reduce mammalian testing, are major incentives for using the zebrafish model in chemical screening and testing. Transgenic zebrafish, engineered for identifying target gene expression through expression of fluorophores, have considerable potential for both high-content and high-throughput testing of chemicals for endocrine activity. Here we generated an estrogen responsive transgenic zebrafish model in a pigment-free "Casper" phenotype, facilitating identification of target tissues and quantification of these responses in whole intact fish. Using the ERE-GFP-Casper model we show chemical type and concentration dependence for green fluorescent protein (GFP) induction and both spatial and temporal responses for different environmental estrogens tested. We also developed a semiautomated (ArrayScan) imaging and image analysis system that we applied to quantify whole body fluorescence responses for a range of different estrogenic chemicals in the new transgenic zebrafish model. The zebrafish model developed provides a sensitive and highly integrative system for identifying estrogenic chemicals, their target tissues and effect concentrations for exposures in real time and across different life stages. It thus has application for chemical screening to better direct health effects analysis of environmental estrogens and for investigating the functional roles of estrogens in vertebrates. PMID:27227508

  1. A high-content imaging-based screening pipeline for the systematic identification of anti-progeroid compounds.

    PubMed

    Kubben, Nard; Brimacombe, Kyle R; Donegan, Megan; Li, Zhuyin; Misteli, Tom

    2016-03-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is an early onset lethal premature aging disorder caused by constitutive production of progerin, a mutant form of the nuclear architectural protein lamin A. The presence of progerin causes extensive morphological, epigenetic and DNA damage related nuclear defects that ultimately disrupt tissue and organismal functions. Hypothesis-driven approaches focused on HGPS affected pathways have been used in attempts to identify druggable targets with anti-progeroid effects. Here, we report an unbiased discovery approach to HGPS by implementation of a high-throughput, high-content imaging based screening method that enables systematic identification of small molecules that prevent the formation of multiple progerin-induced aging defects. Screening a library of 2816 FDA approved drugs, we identified retinoids as a novel class of compounds that reverses aging defects in HGPS patient skin fibroblasts. These findings establish a novel approach to anti-progeroid drug discovery. PMID:26341717

  2. Novel High Content Screen Detects Compounds That Promote Neurite Regeneration from Cochlear Spiral Ganglion Neurons.

    PubMed

    Whitlon, Donna S; Grover, Mary; Dunne, Sara F; Richter, Sonja; Luan, Chi-Hao; Richter, Claus-Peter

    2015-01-01

    The bipolar spiral ganglion neurons (SGN) carry sound information from cochlear hair cells to the brain. After noise, antibiotic or toxic insult to the cochlea, damage to SGN and/or hair cells causes hearing impairment. Damage ranges from fiber and synapse degeneration to dysfunction and loss of cells. New interventions to regenerate peripheral nerve fibers could help reestablish transfer of auditory information from surviving or regenerated hair cells or improve results from cochlear implants, but the biochemical mechanisms to target are largely unknown. Presently, no drugs exist that are FDA approved to stimulate the regeneration of SGN nerve fibers. We designed an original phenotypic assay to screen 440 compounds of the NIH Clinical Collection directly on dissociated mouse spiral ganglia. The assay detected one compound, cerivastatin, that increased the length of regenerating neurites. The effect, mimicked by other statins at different optimal concentrations, was blocked by geranylgeraniol. These results demonstrate the utility of screening small compound libraries on mixed cultures of dissociated primary ganglia. The success of this screen narrows down a moderately sized library to a single compound which can be elevated to in-depth in vivo studies, and highlights a potential new molecular pathway for targeting of hearing loss drugs. PMID:26521685

  3. Novel High Content Screen Detects Compounds That Promote Neurite Regeneration from Cochlear Spiral Ganglion Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Whitlon, Donna S.; Grover, Mary; Dunne, Sara F.; Richter, Sonja; Luan, Chi-Hao; Richter, Claus-Peter

    2015-01-01

    The bipolar spiral ganglion neurons (SGN) carry sound information from cochlear hair cells to the brain. After noise, antibiotic or toxic insult to the cochlea, damage to SGN and/or hair cells causes hearing impairment. Damage ranges from fiber and synapse degeneration to dysfunction and loss of cells. New interventions to regenerate peripheral nerve fibers could help reestablish transfer of auditory information from surviving or regenerated hair cells or improve results from cochlear implants, but the biochemical mechanisms to target are largely unknown. Presently, no drugs exist that are FDA approved to stimulate the regeneration of SGN nerve fibers. We designed an original phenotypic assay to screen 440 compounds of the NIH Clinical Collection directly on dissociated mouse spiral ganglia. The assay detected one compound, cerivastatin, that increased the length of regenerating neurites. The effect, mimicked by other statins at different optimal concentrations, was blocked by geranylgeraniol. These results demonstrate the utility of screening small compound libraries on mixed cultures of dissociated primary ganglia. The success of this screen narrows down a moderately sized library to a single compound which can be elevated to in-depth in vivo studies, and highlights a potential new molecular pathway for targeting of hearing loss drugs. PMID:26521685

  4. Robust Classification of Small-Molecule Mechanism of Action Using a Minimalist High-Content Microscopy Screen and Multidimensional Phenotypic Trajectory Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Twarog, Nathaniel R.; Low, Jonathan A.; Currier, Duane G.; Miller, Greg; Chen, Taosheng; Shelat, Anang A.

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic screening through high-content automated microscopy is a powerful tool for evaluating the mechanism of action of candidate therapeutics. Despite more than a decade of development, however, high content assays have yielded mixed results, identifying robust phenotypes in only a small subset of compound classes. This has led to a combinatorial explosion of assay techniques, analyzing cellular phenotypes across dozens of assays with hundreds of measurements. Here, using a minimalist three-stain assay and only 23 basic cellular measurements, we developed an analytical approach that leverages informative dimensions extracted by linear discriminant analysis to evaluate similarity between the phenotypic trajectories of different compounds in response to a range of doses. This method enabled us to visualize biologically-interpretable phenotypic tracks populated by compounds of similar mechanism of action, cluster compounds according to phenotypic similarity, and classify novel compounds by comparing them to phenotypically active exemplars. Hierarchical clustering applied to 154 compounds from over a dozen different mechanistic classes demonstrated tight agreement with published compound mechanism classification. Using 11 phenotypically active mechanism classes, classification was performed on all 154 compounds: 78% were correctly identified as belonging to one of the 11 exemplar classes or to a different unspecified class, with accuracy increasing to 89% when less phenotypically active compounds were excluded. Importantly, several apparent clustering and classification failures, including rigosertib and 5-fluoro-2’-deoxycytidine, instead revealed more complex mechanisms or off-target effects verified by more recent publications. These results show that a simple, easily replicated, minimalist high-content assay can reveal subtle variations in the cellular phenotype induced by compounds and can correctly predict mechanism of action, as long as the appropriate

  5. A high-content EMT screen identifies multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors with activity on TGFβ receptor.

    PubMed

    Lotz-Jenne, Carina; Lüthi, Urs; Ackerknecht, Sabine; Lehembre, François; Fink, Tobias; Stritt, Manuel; Wirth, Matthias; Pavan, Simona; Bill, Ruben; Regenass, Urs; Christofori, Gerhard; Meyer-Schaller, Nathalie

    2016-05-01

    An epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) enables epithelial tumor cells to break out of the primary tumor mass and to metastasize. Understanding the molecular mechanisms driving EMT in more detail will provide important tools to interfere with the metastatic process. To identify pharmacological modulators and druggable targets of EMT, we have established a novel multi-parameter, high-content, microscopy-based assay and screened chemical compounds with activities against known targets. Out of 3423 compounds, we have identified 19 drugs that block transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-induced EMT in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells (NMuMG). The active compounds include inhibitors against TGFβ receptors (TGFBR), Rho-associated protein kinases (ROCK), myosin II, SRC kinase and uridine analogues. Among the EMT-repressing compounds, we identified a group of inhibitors targeting multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, and biochemical profiling of these multi-kinase inhibitors reveals TGFBR as a thus far unknown target of their inhibitory spectrum. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of a multi-parameter, high-content microscopy screen to identify modulators and druggable targets of EMT. Moreover, the newly discovered "off-target" effects of several receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors have important consequences for in vitro and in vivo studies and might beneficially contribute to the therapeutic effects observed in vivo. PMID:27036020

  6. High-content screening identifies a role for Na+ channels in insulin production

    PubMed Central

    Szabat, Marta; Modi, Honey; Ramracheya, Reshma; Girbinger, Vroni; Chan, Forson; Lee, Jason T. C.; Piske, Micah; Kamal, Sepehr; Carol Yang, Yu Hsuan; Welling, Andrea; Rorsman, Patrik; Johnson, James D.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin production is the central feature of functionally mature and differentiated pancreatic β-cells. Reduced insulin transcription and dedifferentiation have been implicated in type 2 diabetes, making drugs that could reverse these processes potentially useful. We have previously established ratiometric live-cell imaging tools to identify factors that increase insulin promoter activity and promote β-cell differentiation. Here, we present a single vector imaging tool with eGFP and mRFP, driven by the Pdx1 and Ins1 promoters, respectively, targeted to the nucleus to enhance identification of individual cells in a high-throughput manner. Using this new approach, we screened 1120 off-patent drugs for factors that regulate Ins1 and Pdx1 promoter activity in MIN6 β-cells. We identified a number of compounds that positively modulate Ins1 promoter activity, including several drugs known to modulate ion channels. Carbamazepine was selected for extended follow-up, as our previous screen also identified this use-dependent sodium channel inhibitor as a positive modulator of β-cell survival. Indeed, carbamazepine increased Ins1 and Ins2 mRNA in primary mouse islets at lower doses than were required to protect β-cells. We validated the role of sodium channels in insulin production by examining Nav1.7 (Scn9a) knockout mice and remarkably islets from these animals had dramatically elevated insulin content relative to wild-type controls. Collectively, our experiments provide a starting point for additional studies aimed to identify drugs and molecular pathways that control insulin production and β-cell differentiation status. In particular, our unbiased screen identified a novel role for a β-cell sodium channel gene in insulin production. PMID:27019722

  7. High-content screening identifies a role for Na(+) channels in insulin production.

    PubMed

    Szabat, Marta; Modi, Honey; Ramracheya, Reshma; Girbinger, Vroni; Chan, Forson; Lee, Jason T C; Piske, Micah; Kamal, Sepehr; Carol Yang, Yu Hsuan; Welling, Andrea; Rorsman, Patrik; Johnson, James D

    2015-12-01

    Insulin production is the central feature of functionally mature and differentiated pancreatic β-cells. Reduced insulin transcription and dedifferentiation have been implicated in type 2 diabetes, making drugs that could reverse these processes potentially useful. We have previously established ratiometric live-cell imaging tools to identify factors that increase insulin promoter activity and promote β-cell differentiation. Here, we present a single vector imaging tool with eGFP and mRFP, driven by the Pdx1 and Ins1 promoters, respectively, targeted to the nucleus to enhance identification of individual cells in a high-throughput manner. Using this new approach, we screened 1120 off-patent drugs for factors that regulate Ins1 and Pdx1 promoter activity in MIN6 β-cells. We identified a number of compounds that positively modulate Ins1 promoter activity, including several drugs known to modulate ion channels. Carbamazepine was selected for extended follow-up, as our previous screen also identified this use-dependent sodium channel inhibitor as a positive modulator of β-cell survival. Indeed, carbamazepine increased Ins1 and Ins2 mRNA in primary mouse islets at lower doses than were required to protect β-cells. We validated the role of sodium channels in insulin production by examining Nav1.7 (Scn9a) knockout mice and remarkably islets from these animals had dramatically elevated insulin content relative to wild-type controls. Collectively, our experiments provide a starting point for additional studies aimed to identify drugs and molecular pathways that control insulin production and β-cell differentiation status. In particular, our unbiased screen identified a novel role for a β-cell sodium channel gene in insulin production. PMID:27019722

  8. High Content Screening Analysis to Evaluate the Toxicological Effects of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHC)

    PubMed Central

    Marescotti, Diego; Gonzalez Suarez, Ignacio; Acali, Stefano; Johne, Stephanie; Laurent, Alexandra; Frentzel, Stefan; Hoeng, Julia; Peitsch, Manuel C.

    2016-01-01

    Cigarette smoke (CS) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and lung diseases. Because CS is a complex aerosol containing more than 7,000 chemicals1 it is challenging to assess the contributions of individual constituents to its overall toxicity. Toxicological profiles of individual constituents as well as mixtures can be however established in vitro, by applying high through-put screening tools, which enable the profiling of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs) of tobacco smoke, as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).2 For an initial assessment, an impedance-based instrument was used for a real-time, label-free assessment of the compound's toxicity. The instrument readout relies on cell adhesion, viability and morphology that all together provide an overview of the cell status. A dimensionless parameter, named cell index, is used for quantification. A set of different staining protocols was developed for a fluorescence imaging-based investigation and a HCS platform was used to gain more in-depth information on the kind of cytotoxicity elicited by each HPHC. Of the 15 constituents tested, only five were selected for HCS-based analysis as they registered a computable LD50 (< 20 mM). These included 1-aminonaphtalene, Arsenic (V), Chromium (VI), Crotonaldehyde and Phenol. Based on their effect in the HCS, 1-aminonaphtalene and Phenol could be identified to induce mitochondrial dysfunction, and, together with Chromium (VI) as genotoxic based on the increased histone H2AX phosphorylation. Crotonaldehyde was identified as an oxidative stress inducer and Arsenic as a stress kinase pathway activator. This study demonstrates that a combination of impedance-based and HCS technologies provides a robust tool for in vitro assessment of CS constituents. PMID:27228213

  9. High Content Screening Analysis to Evaluate the Toxicological Effects of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHC).

    PubMed

    Marescotti, Diego; Gonzalez Suarez, Ignacio; Acali, Stefano; Johne, Stephanie; Laurent, Alexandra; Frentzel, Stefan; Hoeng, Julia; Peitsch, Manuel C

    2016-01-01

    Cigarette smoke (CS) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and lung diseases. Because CS is a complex aerosol containing more than 7,000 chemicals it is challenging to assess the contributions of individual constituents to its overall toxicity. Toxicological profiles of individual constituents as well as mixtures can be however established in vitro, by applying high through-put screening tools, which enable the profiling of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs) of tobacco smoke, as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For an initial assessment, an impedance-based instrument was used for a real-time, label-free assessment of the compound's toxicity. The instrument readout relies on cell adhesion, viability and morphology that all together provide an overview of the cell status. A dimensionless parameter, named cell index, is used for quantification. A set of different staining protocols was developed for a fluorescence imaging-based investigation and a HCS platform was used to gain more in-depth information on the kind of cytotoxicity elicited by each HPHC. Of the 15 constituents tested, only five were selected for HCS-based analysis as they registered a computable LD50 (< 20 mM). These included 1-aminonaphtalene, Arsenic (V), Chromium (VI), Crotonaldehyde and Phenol. Based on their effect in the HCS, 1-aminonaphtalene and Phenol could be identified to induce mitochondrial dysfunction, and, together with Chromium (VI) as genotoxic based on the increased histone H2AX phosphorylation. Crotonaldehyde was identified as an oxidative stress inducer and Arsenic as a stress kinase pathway activator. This study demonstrates that a combination of impedance-based and HCS technologies provides a robust tool for in vitro assessment of CS constituents. PMID:27228213

  10. A Novel High Content Imaging-Based Screen Identifies the Anti-Helminthic Niclosamide as an Inhibitor of Lysosome Anterograde Trafficking and Prostate Cancer Cell Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Circu, Magdalena L.; Dykes, Samantha S.; Carroll, Jennifer; Kelly, Kinsey; Galiano, Floyd; Greer, Adam; Cardelli, James; El-Osta, Hazem

    2016-01-01

    Lysosome trafficking plays a significant role in tumor invasion, a key event for the development of metastasis. Previous studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that the anterograde (outward) movement of lysosomes to the cell surface in response to certain tumor microenvironment stimulus, such as hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) or acidic extracellular pH (pHe), increases cathepsin B secretion and tumor cell invasion. Anterograde lysosome trafficking depends on sodium-proton exchanger activity and can be reversed by blocking these ion pumps with Troglitazone or EIPA. Since these drugs cannot be advanced into the clinic due to toxicity, we have designed a high-content assay to discover drugs that block peripheral lysosome trafficking with the goal of identifying novel drugs that inhibit tumor cell invasion. An automated high-content imaging system (Cellomics) was used to measure the position of lysosomes relative to the nucleus. Among a total of 2210 repurposed and natural product drugs screened, 18 “hits” were identified. One of the compounds identified as an anterograde lysosome trafficking inhibitor was niclosamide, a marketed human anti-helminthic drug. Further studies revealed that niclosamide blocked acidic pHe, HGF, and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced anterograde lysosome redistribution, protease secretion, motility, and invasion of DU145 castrate resistant prostate cancer cells at clinically relevant concentrations. In an effort to identify the mechanism by which niclosamide prevented anterograde lysosome movement, we found that this drug exhibited no significant effect on the level of ATP, microtubules or actin filaments, and had minimal effect on the PI3K and MAPK pathways. Niclosamide collapsed intralysosomal pH without disruption of the lysosome membrane, while bafilomycin, an agent that impairs lysosome acidification, was also found to induce JLA in our model. Taken together, these data suggest that niclosamide promotes juxtanuclear

  11. Identification of modulators of autophagic flux in an image-based high content siRNA screen.

    PubMed

    Hale, Christopher M; Cheng, Qingwen; Ortuno, Danny; Huang, Ming; Nojima, Dana; Kassner, Paul D; Wang, Songli; Ollmann, Michael M; Carlisle, Holly J

    2016-04-01

    Autophagy is the primary process for recycling cellular constituents through lysosomal degradation. In addition to nonselective autophagic engulfment of cytoplasm, autophagosomes can recognize specific cargo by interacting with ubiquitin-binding autophagy receptors such as SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1). This selective form of autophagy is important for degrading aggregation-prone proteins prominent in many neurodegenerative diseases. We carried out a high content image-based siRNA screen (4 to 8 siRNA per gene) for modulators of autophagic flux by monitoring fluorescence of GFP-SQSTM1 as well as colocalization of GFP-SQSTM1 with LAMP2 (lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2)-positive lysosomal vesicles. GFP-SQSTM1 and LAMP2 phenotypes of primary screen hits were confirmed in 2 cell types and profiled with image-based viability and MTOR signaling assays. Common seed analysis guided siRNA selection for these assays to reduce bias toward off-target effects. Confirmed hits were further validated in a live-cell assay to monitor fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes. Knockdown of 10 targets resulted in phenotypic profiles across multiple assays that were consistent with upregulation of autophagic flux. These hits include modulators of transcription, lysine acetylation, and ubiquitination. Two targets, KAT8 (K[lysine] acetyltransferase 8) and CSNK1A1 (casein kinase 1, α 1), have been implicated in autophagic regulatory feedback loops. We confirmed that CSNK1A1 knockout (KO) cell lines have accelerated turnover of long-lived proteins labeled with (14)C-leucine in a pulse-chase assay as additional validation of our screening assays. Data from this comprehensive autophagy screen point toward novel regulatory pathways that might yield new therapeutic targets for neurodegeneration. PMID:27050463

  12. A high-content, multiplexed screen in human breast cancer cells identifies profilin-1 inducers with anti-migratory activities.

    PubMed

    Joy, Marion E; Vollmer, Laura L; Hulkower, Keren; Stern, Andrew M; Peterson, Cameron K; Boltz, R C Dutch; Roy, Partha; Vogt, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Profilin-1 (Pfn-1) is a ubiquitously expressed actin-binding protein that is essential for normal cell proliferation and migration. In breast cancer and several other adenocarcinomas, Pfn-1 expression is downregulated when compared to normal tissues. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that genetically modulating Pfn-1 expression significantly impacts proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro, and mammary tumor growth, dissemination, and metastatic colonization in vivo. Therefore, small molecules that can modulate Pfn-1 expression could have therapeutic potential in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. The overall goal of this study was to perform a multiplexed phenotypic screen to identify compounds that inhibit cell motility through upregulation of Pfn-1. Screening of a test cassette of 1280 compounds with known biological activities on an Oris™ Pro 384 cell migration platform identified several agents that increased Pfn-1 expression greater than two-fold over vehicle controls and exerted anti-migratory effects in the absence of overt cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Concentration-response confirmation and orthogonal follow-up assays identified two bona fide inducers of Pfn-1, purvalanol and tyrphostin A9, that confirmed in single-cell motility assays and Western blot analyses. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of Pfn-1 abrogated the inhibitory effect of tyrphostin A9 on cell migration, suggesting Pfn-1 is mechanistically linked to tyrphostin A9's anti-migratory activity. The data illustrate the utility of the high-content cell motility assay to discover novel targeted anti-migratory agents by integrating functional phenotypic analyses with target-specific readouts in a single assay platform. PMID:24520372

  13. A Multistep High-Content Screening Approach to Identify Novel Functionally Relevant Target Genes in Pancreatic Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Buchholz, Malte; Honstein, Tatjana; Kirchhoff, Sandra; Kreider, Ramona; Schmidt, Harald; Sipos, Bence; Gress, Thomas M.

    2015-01-01

    In order to foster the systematic identification of novel genes with important functional roles in pancreatic cancer, we have devised a multi-stage screening strategy to provide a rational basis for the selection of highly relevant novel candidate genes based on the results of functional high-content analyses. The workflow comprised three consecutive stages: 1) serial gene expression profiling analyses of primary human pancreatic tissues as well as a number of in vivo and in vitro models of tumor-relevant characteristics in order to identify genes with conspicuous expression patterns; 2) use of ‘reverse transfection array’ technology for large-scale parallelized functional analyses of potential candidate genes in cell-based assays; and 3) selection of individual candidate genes for further in-depth examination of their cellular roles. A total of 14 genes, among them 8 from “druggable” gene families, were classified as high priority candidates for individual functional characterization. As an example to demonstrate the validity of the approach, comprehensive functional data on candidate gene ADRBK1/GRK2, which has previously not been implicated in pancreatic cancer, is presented. PMID:25849100

  14. Effects of 60-GHz millimeter waves on neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells using high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Haas, Alexis J; Le Page, Yann; Zhadobov, Maxim; Sauleau, Ronan; Le Dréan, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Technologies for wireless telecommunication systems using millimeter waves (MMW) will be widely deployed in the near future. Forthcoming applications in this band, especially around 60GHz, are mainly developed for high data-rate local and body-centric telecommunications. At those frequencies, electromagnetic radiations have a very shallow penetration into biological tissues, making skin keratinocytes, and free nerve endings of the upper dermis the main targets of MMW. Only a few studies assessed the impact of MMW on neuronal cells, and none of them investigated a possible effect on neuronal differentiation. We used a neuron-like cell line (PC12), which undergoes neuronal differentiation when treated with the neuronal growth factor (NGF). PC12 cells were exposed at 60.4GHz for 24h, at an incident power density averaged over the cell monolayer of 10mW/cm(2). Using a large scale cell-by-cell analysis based on high-content screening microscopy approach, we assessed potential effects of MMW on PC12 neurite outgrowth and cytoskeleton protein expression. No differences were found in protein expression of the neuronal marker β3-tubulin nor in internal expression control β-tubulin. On the other hand, our data showed a slight increase, although insignificant, in neurite outgrowth, induced by MMW exposure. However, experimental controls demonstrated that this increase was related to heating. PMID:26921450

  15. Automated Propulsion Data Screening demonstration system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoyt, W. Andes; Choate, Timothy D.; Whitehead, Bruce A.

    1995-01-01

    A fully-instrumented firing of a propulsion system typically generates a very large quantity of data. In the case of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), data analysis from ground tests and flights is currently a labor-intensive process. Human experts spend a great deal of time examining the large volume of sensor data generated by each engine firing. These experts look for any anomalies in the data which might indicate engine conditions warranting further investigation. The contract effort was to develop a 'first-cut' screening system for application to SSME engine firings that would identify the relatively small volume of data which is unusual or anomalous in some way. With such a system, limited and expensive human resources could focus on this small volume of unusual data for thorough analysis. The overall project objective was to develop a fully operational Automated Propulsion Data Screening (APDS) system with the capability of detecting significant trends and anomalies in transient and steady-state data. However, the effort limited screening of transient data to ground test data for throttle-down cases typical of the 3-g acceleration, and for engine throttling required to reach the maximum dynamic pressure limits imposed on the Space Shuttle. This APDS is based on neural networks designed to detect anomalies in propulsion system data that are not part of the data used for neural network training. The delivered system allows engineers to build their own screening sets for application to completed or planned firings of the SSME. ERC developers also built some generic screening sets that NASA engineers could apply immediately to their data analysis efforts.

  16. Automated Propulsion Data Screening demonstration system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyt, W. Andes; Choate, Timothy D.; Whitehead, Bruce A.

    1995-05-01

    A fully-instrumented firing of a propulsion system typically generates a very large quantity of data. In the case of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), data analysis from ground tests and flights is currently a labor-intensive process. Human experts spend a great deal of time examining the large volume of sensor data generated by each engine firing. These experts look for any anomalies in the data which might indicate engine conditions warranting further investigation. The contract effort was to develop a 'first-cut' screening system for application to SSME engine firings that would identify the relatively small volume of data which is unusual or anomalous in some way. With such a system, limited and expensive human resources could focus on this small volume of unusual data for thorough analysis. The overall project objective was to develop a fully operational Automated Propulsion Data Screening (APDS) system with the capability of detecting significant trends and anomalies in transient and steady-state data. However, the effort limited screening of transient data to ground test data for throttle-down cases typical of the 3-g acceleration, and for engine throttling required to reach the maximum dynamic pressure limits imposed on the Space Shuttle. This APDS is based on neural networks designed to detect anomalies in propulsion system data that are not part of the data used for neural network training. The delivered system allows engineers to build their own screening sets for application to completed or planned firings of the SSME. ERC developers also built some generic screening sets that NASA engineers could apply immediately to their data analysis efforts.

  17. A Microscopic Phenotypic Assay for the Quantification of Intracellular Mycobacteria Adapted for High-throughput/High-content Screening

    PubMed Central

    Iantomasi, Raffaella; Veyron-Churlet, Romain; Deboosère, Nathalie; Landry, Valérie; Baulard, Alain; Brodin, Priscille

    2014-01-01

    Despite the availability of therapy and vaccine, tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the most deadly and widespread bacterial infections in the world. Since several decades, the sudden burst of multi- and extensively-drug resistant strains is a serious threat for the control of tuberculosis. Therefore, it is essential to identify new targets and pathways critical for the causative agent of the tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and to search for novel chemicals that could become TB drugs. One approach is to set up methods suitable for the genetic and chemical screens of large scale libraries enabling the search of a needle in a haystack. To this end, we developed a phenotypic assay relying on the detection of fluorescently labeled Mtb within fluorescently labeled host cells using automated confocal microscopy. This in vitro assay allows an image based quantification of the colonization process of Mtb into the host and was optimized for the 384-well microplate format, which is proper for screens of siRNA-, chemical compound- or Mtb mutant-libraries. The images are then processed for multiparametric analysis, which provides read out inferring on the pathogenesis of Mtb within host cells. PMID:24473237

  18. A High-Content, Phenotypic Screen Identifies Fluorouridine as an Inhibitor of Pyoverdine Biosynthesis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Kirienko, Daniel R.; Revtovich, Alexey V.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes severe health problems. Despite intensive investigation, many aspects of microbial virulence remain poorly understood. We used a high-throughput, high-content, whole-organism, phenotypic screen to identify small molecules that inhibit P. aeruginosa virulence in Caenorhabditis elegans. Approximately half of the hits were known antimicrobials. A large number of hits were nonantimicrobial bioactive compounds, including the cancer chemotherapeutic 5-fluorouracil. We determined that 5-fluorouracil both transiently inhibits bacterial growth and reduces pyoverdine biosynthesis. Pyoverdine is a siderophore that regulates the expression of several virulence determinants and is critical for pathogenesis in mammals. We show that 5-fluorouridine, a downstream metabolite of 5-fluorouracil, is responsible for inhibiting pyoverdine biosynthesis. We also show that 5-fluorouridine, in contrast to 5-fluorouracil, is a genuine antivirulence compound, with no bacteriostatic or bactericidal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first report utilizing a whole-organism screen to identify novel compounds with antivirulent properties effective against P. aeruginosa. IMPORTANCE Despite intense research effort from scientists and the advent of the molecular age of biomedical research, many of the mechanisms that underlie pathogenesis are still understood poorly, if at all. The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes a variety of soft tissue infections and is responsible for over 50,000 hospital-acquired infections per year. In addition, P. aeruginosa exhibits a striking degree of innate and acquired antimicrobial resistance, complicating treatment. It is increasingly important to understand P. aeruginosa virulence. In an effort to gain this information in an unbiased fashion, we used a high-throughput phenotypic screen to identify small molecules that disrupted bacterial pathogenesis and

  19. A High-Content, Phenotypic Screen Identifies Fluorouridine as an Inhibitor of Pyoverdine Biosynthesis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence.

    PubMed

    Kirienko, Daniel R; Revtovich, Alexey V; Kirienko, Natalia V

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes severe health problems. Despite intensive investigation, many aspects of microbial virulence remain poorly understood. We used a high-throughput, high-content, whole-organism, phenotypic screen to identify small molecules that inhibit P. aeruginosa virulence in Caenorhabditis elegans. Approximately half of the hits were known antimicrobials. A large number of hits were nonantimicrobial bioactive compounds, including the cancer chemotherapeutic 5-fluorouracil. We determined that 5-fluorouracil both transiently inhibits bacterial growth and reduces pyoverdine biosynthesis. Pyoverdine is a siderophore that regulates the expression of several virulence determinants and is critical for pathogenesis in mammals. We show that 5-fluorouridine, a downstream metabolite of 5-fluorouracil, is responsible for inhibiting pyoverdine biosynthesis. We also show that 5-fluorouridine, in contrast to 5-fluorouracil, is a genuine antivirulence compound, with no bacteriostatic or bactericidal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first report utilizing a whole-organism screen to identify novel compounds with antivirulent properties effective against P. aeruginosa. IMPORTANCE Despite intense research effort from scientists and the advent of the molecular age of biomedical research, many of the mechanisms that underlie pathogenesis are still understood poorly, if at all. The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes a variety of soft tissue infections and is responsible for over 50,000 hospital-acquired infections per year. In addition, P. aeruginosa exhibits a striking degree of innate and acquired antimicrobial resistance, complicating treatment. It is increasingly important to understand P. aeruginosa virulence. In an effort to gain this information in an unbiased fashion, we used a high-throughput phenotypic screen to identify small molecules that disrupted bacterial pathogenesis and increased host

  20. Development and Validation of a High-Content Screening Assay to Identify Inhibitors of Cytoplasmic Dynein-Mediated Transport of Glucocorticoid Receptor to the Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Shinde, Sunita N.; Hua, Yun; Shun, Tong Ying; Lazo, John S.; Day, Billy W.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Rapid ligand-induced trafficking of glucocorticoid nuclear hormone receptor (GR) from the cytoplasm to the nucleus is an extensively studied model for intracellular retrograde cargo transport employed in constructive morphogenesis and many other cellular functions. Unfortunately, potent and selective small-molecule disruptors of this process are lacking, which has restricted pharmacological investigations. We describe here the development and validation of a 384-well high-content screening (HCS) assay to identify inhibitors of the rapid ligand-induced retrograde translocation of cytoplasmic glucocorticoid nuclear hormone receptor green fluorescent fusion protein (GR-GFP) into the nuclei of 3617.4 mouse mammary adenocarcinoma cells. We selected 3617.4 cells, because they express GR-GFP under the control of a tetracycline (Tet)-repressible promoter and are exceptionally amenable to image acquisition and analysis procedures. Initially, we investigated the time-dependent expression of GR-GFP in 3617.4 cells under Tet-on and Tet-off control to determine the optimal conditions to measure dexamethasone (Dex)-induced GR-GFP nuclear translocation on the ArrayScan-VTI automated imaging platform. We then miniaturized the assay into a 384-well format and validated the performance of the GR-GFP nuclear translocation HCS assay in our 3-day assay signal window and dimethylsulfoxide validation tests. The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) plays an essential role in the regulation of GR steroid binding affinity and ligand-induced retrograde trafficking to the nucleus. We verified that the GR-GFP HCS assay captured the concentration-dependent inhibition of GR-GFP nuclear translocation by 17-AAG, a benzoquinone ansamycin that selectively blocks the binding and hydrolysis of ATP by Hsp90. We screened the 1280 compound library of pharmacologically active compounds set in the Dex-induced GR-GFP nuclear translocation assay and used the multi-parameter HCS data to

  1. High concordance of drug-induced human hepatotoxicity with in vitro cytotoxicity measured in a novel cell-based model using high content screening.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, P J; Irwin, W; Diaz, D; Howard-Cofield, E; Krejsa, C M; Slaughter, M R; Gao, B; Kaludercic, N; Angeline, A; Bernardi, P; Brain, P; Hougham, C

    2006-09-01

    To develop and validate a practical, in vitro, cell-based model to assess human hepatotoxicity potential of drugs, we used the new technology of high content screening (HCS) and a novel combination of critical model features, including (1) use of live, human hepatocytes with drug metabolism capability, (2) preincubation of cells for 3 days with drugs at a range of concentrations up to at least 30 times the efficacious concentration or 100 microM, (3) measurement of multiple parameters that were (4) morphological and biochemical, (5) indicative of prelethal cytotoxic effects, (6) representative of different mechanisms of toxicity, (7) at the single cell level and (8) amenable to rapid throughput. HCS is based on automated epifluorescence microscopy and image analysis of cells in a microtiter plate format. The assay was applied to HepG2 human hepatocytes cultured in 96-well plates and loaded with four fluorescent dyes for: calcium (Fluo-4 AM), mitochondrial membrane potential (TMRM), DNA content (Hoechst 33,342) to determine nuclear area and cell number and plasma membrane permeability (TOTO-3). Assay results were compared with those from 7 conventional, in vitro cytotoxicity assays that were applied to 611 compounds and shown to have low sensitivity (<25%), although high specificity ( approximately 90%) for detection of toxic drugs. For 243 drugs with varying degrees of toxicity, the HCS, sublethal, cytotoxicity assay had a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 98%. Drugs testing positive that did not cause hepatotoxicity produced other serious, human organ toxicities. For 201 positive assay results, 86% drugs affected cell number, 70% affected nuclear area and mitochondrial membrane potential and 45% affected membrane permeability and 41% intracellular calcium concentration. Cell number was the first parameter affected for 56% of these drugs, nuclear area for 34% and mitochondrial membrane potential for 29% and membrane permeability for 7% and intracellular calcium

  2. Mimer: an automated spreadsheet-based crystallization screening system

    PubMed Central

    Brodersen, Ditlev Egeskov; Andersen, Gregers Rom; Andersen, Christian Brix Folsted

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, a simple low-cost alternative to large commercial systems for preparing macromolecular crystallization conditions is described. Using an intuitive spreadsheet-based approach, the system allows the rapid calculation of relevant pipetting volumes given known stock-solution concentrations and incorporates the automatic design of custom crystallization screens via the incomplete-factorial and grid-screen approaches. Automated dispensing of the resulting crystallization screens is achieved using a generic and relatively inexpensive liquid handler. PMID:23832216

  3. Automated screening for biological weapons in homeland defense.

    PubMed

    Emanuel, Peter A; Fruchey, Isaac R; Bailey, Andrew M; Dang, Jessica L; Niyogi, Kakoli; Roos, Jason W; Cullin, David; Emanuel, Diana C

    2005-01-01

    Biological threat detection programs that collect air samples and monitor for large-scale release of biowarfare agents generate large numbers of samples that must be quickly and accurately screened for the presence of biological agents. An impediment to the rapid analysis of large numbers of environmental biological samples is that manual laboratory processes are time-consuming and require resources to maintain infrastructure, trained personnel, and adequate supplies of testing reagents. An ideal screening system would be capable of processing multiple samples rapidly, cost-effectively, and with minimal personnel. In the present study, we evaluated the Automated Biological Agent Testing System (ABATS) to explore the capability of automation to increase sample throughput, maximize system accuracy, and reduce the analysis costs associated with biological threat agent screening in environmental samples. This study demonstrates the utility of this concept and the potential of an automated system to address the growing environmental monitoring needs of the United States. PMID:15853454

  4. High-Content Screening Technology Combined with a Human Granuloma Model as a New Approach To Evaluate the Activities of Drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Silva-Miranda, Mayra; Breiman, Adrien; Asehnoune, Karim; Barros-Aguirre, David; Pethe, Kevin; Ewann, Fanny; Brodin, Priscille; Ballell-Pages, Lluís

    2014-01-01

    Tuberculosis remains a major health problem due to the emergence of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Some models have provided valuable information about drug resistance and efficacy; however, the translation of these results into effective human treatments has mostly proven unsuccessful. In this study, we adapted high-content screening (HCS) technology to investigate the activities of antitubercular compounds in the context of an in vitro granuloma model. We observed significant shifts in the MIC50s between the activities of the compounds under extracellular and granuloma conditions. PMID:25348525

  5. Comparison of PC12 and Cerebellar Granule Cell Cultures for Evaluating Neurite Outgrowth Using High Content Screening

    EPA Science Inventory

    Development of high-throughput assays for chemical screening and hazard identification is a pressing priority worldwide. One approach uses in vitro, cell-based assays which recapitulate biological events observed in vivo. Neurite outgrowth is one such critical cellular process un...

  6. RODENT AND HUMAN NEUROPROGENITOR CELLS FOR HIGH-CONTENT SCREENS OF CHEMICAL EFFECTS ON PROLIFERATION AND APOPTOSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of these experiments is to develop high-throughput screens for proliferation and apoptosis in order to compare rodent and human neuroprogenitor cell responses to potential developmental neurotoxicants. Effects of 4 chemicals on proliferation and apoptosis in mouse c...

  7. Screening for Chemical Effects on Neuronal Proliferation and Neurite Outgrowth Using High-Content/High-Throughput Microscopy

    EPA Science Inventory

    The need to develop novel screening methods for developmental neurotoxicity in order to alleviate the demands of cost, time, and animals required for in vivo toxicity studies is well recognized. Accordingly, the U.S. EPA launched the ToxCast research program in 2007 to develop c...

  8. A systematic High-Content Screening microscopy approach reveals key roles for Rab33b, OATL1 and Myo6 in nanoparticle trafficking in HeLa cells

    PubMed Central

    Panarella, Angela; Bexiga, Mariana G.; Galea, George; O’ Neill, Elaine D.; Salvati, Anna; Dawson, Kenneth A.; Simpson, Jeremy C.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic nanoparticles are promising tools for imaging and drug delivery; however the molecular details of cellular internalization and trafficking await full characterization. Current knowledge suggests that following endocytosis most nanoparticles pass from endosomes to lysosomes. In order to design effective drug delivery strategies that can use the endocytic pathway, or by-pass lysosomal accumulation, a comprehensive understanding of nanoparticle uptake and trafficking mechanisms is therefore fundamental. Here we describe and apply an RNA interference-based high-content screening microscopy strategy to assess the intracellular trafficking of fluorescently-labeled polystyrene nanoparticles in HeLa cells. We screened a total of 408 genes involved in cytoskeleton and membrane function, revealing roles for myosin VI, Rab33b and OATL1 in this process. This work provides the first systematic large-scale quantitative assessment of the proteins responsible for nanoparticle trafficking in cells, paving the way for subsequent genome-wide studies. PMID:27374232

  9. Integration of high-content screening and untargeted metabolomics for comprehensive functional annotation of natural product libraries

    PubMed Central

    Kurita, Kenji L.; Glassey, Emerson; Linington, Roger G.

    2015-01-01

    Traditional natural products discovery using a combination of live/dead screening followed by iterative bioassay-guided fractionation affords no information about compound structure or mode of action until late in the discovery process. This leads to high rates of rediscovery and low probabilities of finding compounds with unique biological and/or chemical properties. By integrating image-based phenotypic screening in HeLa cells with high-resolution untargeted metabolomics analysis, we have developed a new platform, termed Compound Activity Mapping, that is capable of directly predicting the identities and modes of action of bioactive constituents for any complex natural product extract library. This new tool can be used to rapidly identify novel bioactive constituents and provide predictions of compound modes of action directly from primary screening data. This approach inverts the natural products discovery process from the existing ‟grind and find” model to a targeted, hypothesis-driven discovery model where the chemical features and biological function of bioactive metabolites are known early in the screening workflow, and lead compounds can be rationally selected based on biological and/or chemical novelty. We demonstrate the utility of the Compound Activity Mapping platform by combining 10,977 mass spectral features and 58,032 biological measurements from a library of 234 natural products extracts and integrating these two datasets to identify 13 clusters of fractions containing 11 known compound families and four new compounds. Using Compound Activity Mapping we discovered the quinocinnolinomycins, a new family of natural products with a unique carbon skeleton that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress. PMID:26371303

  10. Purified human pancreatic duct cell culture conditions defined by serum-free high-content growth factor screening.

    PubMed

    Hoesli, Corinne A; Johnson, James D; Piret, James M

    2012-01-01

    The proliferation of pancreatic duct-like CK19+ cells has implications for multiple disease states including pancreatic cancer and diabetes mellitus. The in vitro study of this important cell type has been hampered by their limited expansion compared to fibroblast-like vimentin+ cells that overgrow primary cultures. We aimed to develop a screening platform for duct cell mitogens after depletion of the vimentin+ population. The CD90 cell surface marker was used to remove the vimentin+ cells from islet-depleted human pancreas cell cultures by magnetic-activated cell sorting. Cell sorting decreased CD90+ cell contamination of the cultures from 34±20% to 1.3±0.6%, yielding purified CK19+ cultures with epithelial morphology. A full-factorial experimental design was then applied to test the mitogenic effects of bFGF, EGF, HGF, KGF and VEGF. After 6 days in test conditions, the cells were labelled with BrdU, stained and analyzed by high-throughput imaging. This screening assay confirmed the expected mitogenic effects of bFGF, EGF, HGF and KGF on CK19+ cells and additionally revealed interactions between these factors and VEGF. A serum-free medium containing bFGF, EGF, HGF and KGF led to CK19+ cell expansion comparable to the addition of 10% serum. The methods developed in this work should advance pancreatic cancer and diabetes research by providing effective cell culture and high-throughput screening platforms to study purified primary pancreatic CK19+ cells. PMID:22442738

  11. Automated Primary Care Screening in Pediatric Waiting Rooms

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Aaron E.; Downs, Stephen M.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Implementing US Preventive Services Task Force and American Academy of Pediatrics preventive service guidelines within the short duration of a visit is difficult because identifying which of a large number of guidelines apply to a particular patient is impractical. Clinical decision support system integrated with electronic medical records offer a good strategy for implementing screening in waiting rooms. Our objective was to determine rates of positive risk screens during typical well-care visits among children and adolescents in a primary care setting. METHODS: Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation (CHICA) is a pediatric clinical decision support system developed by our research group. CHICA encodes clinical guidelines as medical logic modules to generate scanable paper forms: the patient screening form to collect structured data from patient families in the waiting room and the physician worksheet to provide physician assessments at each visit. By using visit as a unit of analysis from CHICA’s database, we have determined positive risk screen rates in our population. RESULTS: From a cohort of 16 963 patients, 408 601 questions were asked in 31 843 visits. Of the questions asked, 362 363 (89%) had a response. Of those, 39 176 (11%) identified positive risk screens in both the younger children and the adolescent age groups. CONCLUSIONS: By automating the process of screening and alerting the physician to those who screened positive, we have significantly decreased the burden of identifying relevant guidelines and screening of patient families in our clinics. PMID:22508925

  12. Automated Human Screening for Detecting Concealed Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Twyman, Nathan W.

    2012-01-01

    Screening individuals for concealed knowledge has traditionally been the purview of professional interrogators investigating a crime. But the ability to detect when a person is hiding important information would be of high value to many other fields and functions. This dissertation proposes design principles for and reports on an implementation…

  13. Label-free imaging and temporal signature in phenotypic cellular assays: a new approach to high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Martin, Julio

    2010-09-01

    Some drug targets are not amenable to screening because of the lack of a practical or validated biological assay. Likewise, some screening assays may not be predictive of compound activity in a more disease-relevant scenario, or assay development may demand excessive allocation of resources (i.e., time, money or personnel) with limited knowledge of the actual tractability of the target. Label-free methodologies, implemented in microtiter plate format, may help address these issues and complement, simplify, or facilitate assays. Label-free biosensors, based on grating resonance or electrical impedance, are versatile platforms for detecting phenotypic changes in both engineered and native cells. Their non-invasive nature allows for the kinetic monitoring of multiple real-time cellular responses to external stimuli, as well as for the use of successive pharmacological challenges. The temporal signature recorded for a particular stimulus is characteristic of the cell type and the signaling pathway activated upon binding of a ligand to its receptor. Cellular label-free technology is an important technical advance in the study of functional pharmacological selectivity. Described in this overview are some of the hurdles encountered in modern drug discovery and the ways in which label-free technologies can be used to overcome these obstacles. PMID:22294376

  14. Automated Telephone Screening Survey for Depression on a University Campus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portnoy, Robert N.

    On college and university campuses across the United States, depression has taken a huge toll on the academic and personal productivity of students, faculty, and staff. The results of a university's automated telephone screening survey for depression are reported here. Callers were recruited through a variety of media, including advertising and…

  15. Enzyme-based glucose delivery as a high content screening tool in yeast-based whole-cell biocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Grimm, T; Grimm, M; Klat, R; Neubauer, A; Palela, M; Neubauer, P

    2012-05-01

    The influence of glucose release on growth and biotransformation of yeasts was examined by using the medium EnBase® Flo in shake flasks. The medium contains a polysaccharide acting as substrate, which is degraded to glucose by the addition of an enzyme. In the present paper, this medium was adapted for the cultivation of yeasts by increasing the complex components (booster) and the enzyme concentrations to guarantee a higher glucose release rate. Important changes were an increase of the complex component booster to 10-15% and an increased glucose release by increasing the enzyme content to 15 U L(-1). The 20 yeasts investigated in the present work showed an improvement of growth and biomass production when cultivated with the EnBase medium in comparison to yeast extract dextrose (YED) medium. Values of optical densities (OD(600)) of approximately 40 AU (corresponding to over 60 g L(-1) wet cell weight) were achieved for all 20 yeast strains tested. During the following screening of the yeasts in whole-cell biotransformation, an improvement of the conversion for 19 out of the 20 yeasts cultivated with the EnBase Flo medium could be observed. The biomass from the EnBase Flo cultivation showed a higher conversion activity in the reduction of 2-butanone to (R/S)-2-butanol. The enantioselectivity (ee) of 15 yeast strains showed an improvement by using the EnBase medium. The number of yeasts with an ee >97% increased from zero with YED to six with EnBase medium. Thus, the use of a glucose release cultivation strategy in the screening process for transformation approaches provides significant benefits compared to standard batch approaches. PMID:22258642

  16. Automated protein-ligand interaction screening by mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Maple, Hannah J; Garlish, Rachel A; Rigau-Roca, Laura; Porter, John; Whitcombe, Ian; Prosser, Christine E; Kennedy, Jeff; Henry, Alistair J; Taylor, Richard J; Crump, Matthew P; Crosby, John

    2012-01-26

    Identifying protein-ligand binding interactions is a key step during early-stage drug discovery. Existing screening techniques are often associated with drawbacks such as low throughput, high sample consumption, and dynamic range limitations. The increasing use of fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) demands that these techniques also detect very weak interactions (mM K(D) values). This paper presents the development and validation of a fully automated screen by mass spectrometry, capable of detecting fragment binding into the millimolar K(D) range. Low sample consumption, high throughput, and wide dynamic range make this a highly attractive, orthogonal approach. The method was applied to screen 157 compounds in 6 h against the anti-apoptotic protein target Bcl-x(L). Mass spectrometry results were validated using STD-NMR, HSQC-NMR, and ITC experiments. Agreement between techniques suggests that mass spectrometry offers a powerful, complementary approach for screening. PMID:22148839

  17. A High-content screen identifies compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine neuron specification of human neural progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Rhim, Ji Heon; Luo, Xiangjian; Xu, Xiaoyun; Gao, Dongbing; Zhou, Tieling; Li, Fuhai; Qin, Lidong; Wang, Ping; Xia, Xiaofeng; Wong, Stephen T C

    2015-01-01

    Small molecule compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation of stem/progenitor cells are of pivotal importance to regenerative medicine. We carried out a high-content screen to systematically characterize known bioactive compounds, on their effects on the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine (mDA) neuron specification of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from the ventral mesencephalon of human fetal brain. Among the promoting compounds three major pharmacological classes were identified including the statins, TGF-βRI inhibitors, and GSK-3 inhibitors. The function of each class was also shown to be distinct, either to promote both the neuronal differentiation and mDA neuron specification, or selectively the latter, or promote the former but suppress the latter. We then carried out initial investigation on the possible mechanisms underlying, and demonstrated their applications on NPCs derived from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). Our study revealed the potential of several small molecule compounds for use in the directed differentiation of human NPCs. The screening result also provided insight into the signaling network regulating the differentiation of human NPCs. PMID:26542303

  18. A High-content screen identifies compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine neuron specification of human neural progenitor cells

    PubMed Central

    Rhim, Ji heon; Luo, Xiangjian; Xu, Xiaoyun; Gao, Dongbing; Zhou, Tieling; Li, Fuhai; Qin, Lidong; Wang, Ping; Xia, Xiaofeng; Wong, Stephen T. C.

    2015-01-01

    Small molecule compounds promoting the neuronal differentiation of stem/progenitor cells are of pivotal importance to regenerative medicine. We carried out a high-content screen to systematically characterize known bioactive compounds, on their effects on the neuronal differentiation and the midbrain dopamine (mDA) neuron specification of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from the ventral mesencephalon of human fetal brain. Among the promoting compounds three major pharmacological classes were identified including the statins, TGF-βRI inhibitors, and GSK-3 inhibitors. The function of each class was also shown to be distinct, either to promote both the neuronal differentiation and mDA neuron specification, or selectively the latter, or promote the former but suppress the latter. We then carried out initial investigation on the possible mechanisms underlying, and demonstrated their applications on NPCs derived from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). Our study revealed the potential of several small molecule compounds for use in the directed differentiation of human NPCs. The screening result also provided insight into the signaling network regulating the differentiation of human NPCs. PMID:26542303

  19. Development and Implementation of a High-Throughput High-Content Screening Assay to Identify Inhibitors of Androgen Receptor Nuclear Localization in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Paul A; Nguyen, Minh M; Dar, Javid A; Ai, Junkui; Wang, Yujuan; Masoodi, Khalid Z; Shun, Tongying; Shinde, Sunita; Camarco, Daniel P; Hua, Yun; Huryn, Donna M; Wilson, Gabriela Mustata; Lazo, John S; Nelson, Joel B; Wipf, Peter; Wang, Zhou

    2016-05-01

    Patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) can be treated with abiraterone, a potent inhibitor of androgen synthesis, or enzalutamide, a second-generation androgen receptor (AR) antagonist, both targeting AR signaling. However, most patients relapse after several months of therapy and a majority of patients with relapsed CRPC tumors express the AR target gene prostate-specific antigen (PSA), suggesting that AR signaling is reactivated and can be targeted again to inhibit the relapsed tumors. Novel small molecules capable of inhibiting AR function may lead to urgently needed therapies for patients resistant to abiraterone, enzalutamide, and/or other previously approved antiandrogen therapies. Here, we describe a high-throughput high-content screening (HCS) campaign to identify small-molecule inhibitors of AR nuclear localization in the C4-2 CRPC cell line stably transfected with GFP-AR-GFP (2GFP-AR). The implementation of this HCS assay to screen a National Institutes of Health library of 219,055 compounds led to the discovery of 3 small molecules capable of inhibiting AR nuclear localization and function in C4-2 cells, demonstrating the feasibility of using this cell-based phenotypic assay to identify small molecules targeting the subcellular localization of AR. Furthermore, the three hit compounds provide opportunities to develop novel AR drugs with potential for therapeutic intervention in CRPC patients who have relapsed after treatment with antiandrogens, such as abiraterone and/or enzalutamide. PMID:27187604

  20. In vitro optimization of EtNBS-PDT against hypoxic tumor environments with a tiered, high-content, 3D model optical screening platform.

    PubMed

    Klein, Oliver J; Bhayana, Brijesh; Park, Yong Jin; Evans, Conor L

    2012-11-01

    Hypoxia and acidosis are widely recognized as major contributors to the development of treatment resistant cancer. For patients with disseminated metastatic lesions, such as most women with ovarian cancer (OvCa), the progression to treatment resistant disease is almost always fatal. Numerous therapeutic approaches have been developed to eliminate treatment resistant carcinoma, including novel biologic, chemo, radiation, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) regimens. Recently, PDT using the cationic photosensitizer EtNBS was found to be highly effective against therapeutically unresponsive hypoxic and acidic OvCa cellular populations in vitro. To optimize this treatment regimen, we developed a tiered, high-content, image-based screening approach utilizing a biologically relevant OvCa 3D culture model to investigate a small library of side-chain modified EtNBS derivatives. The uptake, localization, and photocytotoxicity of these compounds on both the cellular and nodular levels were observed to be largely mediated by their respective ethyl side chain chemical alterations. In particular, EtNBS and its hydroxyl-terminated derivative (EtNBS-OH) were found to have similar pharmacological parameters, such as their nodular localization patterns and uptake kinetics. Interestingly, these two molecules were found to induce dramatically different therapeutic outcomes: EtNBS was found to be more effective in killing the hypoxic, nodule core cells with superior selectivity, while EtNBS-OH was observed to trigger widespread structural degradation of nodules. This breakdown of the tumor architecture can improve the therapeutic outcome and is known to synergistically enhance the antitumor effects of front-line chemotherapeutic regimens. These results, which would not have been predicted or observed using traditional monolayer or in vivo animal screening techniques, demonstrate the powerful capabilities of 3D in vitro screening approaches for the selection and optimization of therapeutic

  1. High-content screening imaging and real-time cellular impedance monitoring for the assessment of chemical's bio-activation with regards hepatotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Peyre, Ludovic; de Sousa, Georges; Barcellini-Couget, Sylvie; Luzy, Anne-Pascale; Zucchini-Pascal, Nathalie; Rahmani, Roger

    2015-10-01

    Testing hepatotoxicity is a crucial step in the development and toxicological assessment of drugs and chemicals. Bio-activation can lead to the formation of metabolites which may present toxicity for the organism. Classical cytotoxic tests are not always appropriate and are often insufficient, particularly when non metabolically-competent cells are used as the model system, leading to false-positive or false-negative results. We tested over 24 h the effects of eight reference compounds on two different cell models: primary cultures of rat hepatocytes and FAO hepatoma cells that lack metabolic properties. We performed inter-assay validation between three classical cytotoxicity assays and real-time cell impedance data. We then complemented these experiments with high-content screening (HCS) to determine the cell function disorders responsible for the observed effects. Among the different assays used, the neutral red test seemed to be well suited to our two cell models, coupled with real-time cellular impedance which proved useful in the detection of bio-activation. Indeed, impedance monitoring showed a high sensitivity with interesting curve profiles yet seemed unsuitable for evaluation of viability on primary culture. Finally, HCS in the evaluation of hepatotoxicity is likely to become an essential tool for use in parallel to a classical cytotoxic assay in the assessment of drugs and environmental chemicals. PMID:26239606

  2. Pre-Treatment of platinum resistant ovarian cancer cells with an MMP-9/MMP-2 inhibitor prior to cisplatin enhances cytotoxicity as determined by high content screening.

    PubMed

    Laios, Alexandros; Mohamed, Bashir M; Kelly, Lynn; Flavin, Richard; Finn, Stephen; McEvoy, Lynda; Gallagher, Michael; Martin, Cara; Sheils, Orla; Ring, Martina; Davies, Anthony; Lawson, Margaret; Gleeson, Noreen; D'Arcy, Tom; d'Adhemar, Charles; Norris, Lucy; Langhe, Ream; Saadeh, Feras Abu; O'Leary, John J; O'Toole, Sharon A

    2013-01-01

    Platinum resistance is a major cause of treatment failure in ovarian cancer. We previously identified matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) as a potential therapeutic target of chemoresistant disease. A2780cis (cisplatin-resistant) and A2780 (cisplatin-sensitive) ovarian carcinoma cell lines were used. The cytotoxic effect of MMP-9/MMP-2 inhibitor, (2R)-2-[(4-Biphenylsulfonyl) amino]-3 phenylpropionic acid (C21H19NO4S) alone or in combination with cisplatin was determined using high content screening. Protein expression was examined using immunohistochemistry and ELISA. Co-incubation of cisplatin and an MMP-9/MMP-2 inhibitor, (2R)-2-[(4-Biphenylsulfonyl) amino]-3 phenylpropionic acid (C21H19NO4S) resulted in significantly greater cytotoxicity as compared to either treatment alone in a cisplatin resistant MMP-9 overexpressing cell line; A2780cis. In addition, pre-incubating with MMP-9i prior to cisplatin further enhances the cytotoxic effect. No significant difference was observed in MMP-9 protein in tissue but a trend towards increased MMP-9 was observed in recurrent serum. We propose that MMP-9/MMP-2i may be utilized in the treatment of recurrent/chemoresistant ovarian cancers that overexpress MMP-9 mRNA but its role in vivo remains to be evaluated. PMID:23340649

  3. Fully automated diabetic retinopathy screening using morphological component analysis.

    PubMed

    Imani, Elaheh; Pourreza, Hamid-Reza; Banaee, Touka

    2015-07-01

    Diabetic retinopathy is the major cause of blindness in the world. It has been shown that early diagnosis can play a major role in prevention of visual loss and blindness. This diagnosis can be made through regular screening and timely treatment. Besides, automation of this process can significantly reduce the work of ophthalmologists and alleviate inter and intra observer variability. This paper provides a fully automated diabetic retinopathy screening system with the ability of retinal image quality assessment. The novelty of the proposed method lies in the use of Morphological Component Analysis (MCA) algorithm to discriminate between normal and pathological retinal structures. To this end, first a pre-screening algorithm is used to assess the quality of retinal images. If the quality of the image is not satisfactory, it is examined by an ophthalmologist and must be recaptured if necessary. Otherwise, the image is processed for diabetic retinopathy detection. In this stage, normal and pathological structures of the retinal image are separated by MCA algorithm. Finally, the normal and abnormal retinal images are distinguished by statistical features of the retinal lesions. Our proposed system achieved 92.01% sensitivity and 95.45% specificity on the Messidor dataset which is a remarkable result in comparison with previous work. PMID:25863517

  4. A screened automated structural search with semiempirical methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ota, Yukihiro; Ruiz-Barragan, Sergi; Machida, Masahiko; Shiga, Motoyuki

    2016-03-01

    We developed an interface program between a program suite for an automated search of chemical reaction pathways, GRRM, and a program package of semiempirical methods, MOPAC. A two-step structural search is proposed as an application of this interface program. A screening test is first performed by semiempirical calculations. Subsequently, a reoptimization procedure is done by ab initio or density functional calculations. We apply this approach to ion adsorption on cellulose. The computational efficiency is also shown for a GRRM search. The interface program is suitable for the structural search of large molecular systems for which semiempirical methods are applicable.

  5. High-throughput automated refolding screening of inclusion bodies

    PubMed Central

    Vincentelli, Renaud; Canaan, Stéphane; Campanacci, Valérie; Valencia, Christel; Maurin, Damien; Frassinetti, Frédéric; Scappucini-Calvo, Loréna; Bourne, Yves; Cambillau, Christian; Bignon, Christophe

    2004-01-01

    One of the main stumbling blocks encountered when attempting to express foreign proteins in Escherichia coli is the occurrence of amorphous aggregates of misfolded proteins, called inclusion bodies (IB). Developing efficient protein native structure recovery procedures based on IB refolding is therefore an important challenge. Unfortunately, there is no “universal” refolding buffer: Experience shows that refolding buffer composition varies from one protein to another. In addition, the methods developed so far for finding a suitable refolding buffer suffer from a number of weaknesses. These include the small number of refolding formulations, which often leads to negative results, solubility assays incompatible with high-throughput, and experiment formatting not suitable for automation. To overcome these problems, it was proposed in the present study to address some of these limitations. This resulted in the first completely automated IB refolding screening procedure to be developed using a 96-well format. The 96 refolding buffers were obtained using a fractional factorial approach. The screening procedure is potentially applicable to any nonmembrane protein, and was validated with 24 proteins in the framework of two Structural Genomics projects. The tests used for this purpose included the use of quality control methods such as circular dichroism, dynamic light scattering, and crystallogenesis. Out of the 24 proteins, 17 remained soluble in at least one of the 96 refolding buffers, 15 passed large-scale purification tests, and five gave crystals. PMID:15388864

  6. Effects of defined mixtures of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on multiple cellular responses in the human hepatocarcinoma cell line, HepG2, using high content analysis screening.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Jodie; Berntsen, Hanne Friis; Zimmer, Karin Elisabeth; Frizzell, Caroline; Verhaegen, Steven; Ropstad, Erik; Connolly, Lisa

    2016-03-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic substances, highly resistant to environmental degradation, which can bio-accumulate and have long-range atmospheric transport potential. Most studies focus on single compound effects, however as humans are exposed to several POPs simultaneously, investigating exposure effects of real life POP mixtures on human health is necessary. A defined mixture of POPs was used, where the compound concentration reflected its contribution to the levels seen in Scandinavian human serum (total mix). Several sub mixtures representing different classes of POPs were also constructed. The perfluorinated (PFC) mixture contained six perfluorinated compounds, brominated (Br) mixture contained seven brominated compounds, chlorinated (Cl) mixture contained polychlorinated biphenyls and also p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, hexachlorobenzene, three chlordanes, three hexachlorocyclohexanes and dieldrin. Human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells were used for 2h and 48h exposures to the seven mixtures and analysis on a CellInsight™ NXT High Content Screening platform. Multiple cytotoxic endpoints were investigated: cell number, nuclear intensity and area, mitochondrial mass and membrane potential (MMP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Both the Br and Cl mixtures induced ROS production but did not lead to apoptosis. The PFC mixture induced ROS production and likely induced cell apoptosis accompanied by the dissipation of MMP. Synergistic effects were evident for ROS induction when cells were exposed to the PFC+Br mixture in comparison to the effects of the individual mixtures. No significant effects were detected in the Br+Cl, PFC+Cl or total mixtures, which contain the same concentrations of chlorinated compounds as the Cl mixture plus additional compounds; highlighting the need for further exploration of POP mixtures in risk assessment. PMID:26772051

  7. An Intelligent Phonocardiography for Automated Screening of Pediatric Heart Diseases.

    PubMed

    Sepehri, Amir A; Kocharian, Armen; Janani, Azin; Gharehbaghi, Arash

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a robust device for automated screening of pediatric heart diseases based on our unique processing method in murmur characterization; the Arash-Band method. The present study modifies the Arash-Band method and employs output of the modified method in conjunction with the two other original techniques to extract indicative feature vectors for the screening. The extracted feature vectors are classified by using the support vector machine method. Results show that the proposed modifications significantly enhances performance of the Arash-Band in terms of the both accuracy and sensitivity as the corresponding effect sizes are sufficiently large. The proposed algorithm has been incorporated into an Android-based tablet to constitute an intelligent phonocardiogram with the automatic screening capability. In order to obtain confidence interval of the accuracy and sensitivity, an inferable statistical test is applied on our database containing the phonocardiogram signals recorded from 263 of the referrals to a hospital. The expected value of the accuracy/sensitivity is estimated to be 87.45 % / 87.29 % with a 95 % confidence interval of (80.19 % - 92.47 %) / (76.01 % - 95.78 %) exhibiting superior performance than a pediatric cardiologist who relies on conventional or even computer-assisted auscultation. PMID:26573653

  8. Automated recommendation for cervical cancer screening and surveillance.

    PubMed

    Wagholikar, Kavishwar B; MacLaughlin, Kathy L; Casey, Petra M; Kastner, Thomas M; Henry, Michael R; Hankey, Ronald A; Peters, Steve G; Greenes, Robert A; Chute, Christopher G; Liu, Hongfang; Chaudhry, Rajeev

    2014-01-01

    Because of the complexity of cervical cancer prevention guidelines, clinicians often fail to follow best-practice recommendations. Moreover, existing clinical decision support (CDS) systems generally recommend a cervical cytology every three years for all female patients, which is inappropriate for patients with abnormal findings that require surveillance at shorter intervals. To address this problem, we developed a decision tree-based CDS system that integrates national guidelines to provide comprehensive guidance to clinicians. Validation was performed in several iterations by comparing recommendations generated by the system with those of clinicians for 333 patients. The CDS system extracted relevant patient information from the electronic health record and applied the guideline model with an overall accuracy of 87%. Providers without CDS assistance needed an average of 1 minute 39 seconds to decide on recommendations for management of abnormal findings. Overall, our work demonstrates the feasibility and potential utility of automated recommendation system for cervical cancer screening and surveillance. PMID:25368505

  9. Automated Recommendation for Cervical Cancer Screening and Surveillance

    PubMed Central

    Wagholikar, Kavishwar B; MacLaughlin, Kathy L; Casey, Petra M; Kastner, Thomas M; Henry, Michael R; Hankey, Ronald A; Peters, Steve G; Greenes, Robert A; Chute, Christopher G; Liu, Hongfang; Chaudhry, Rajeev

    2014-01-01

    Because of the complexity of cervical cancer prevention guidelines, clinicians often fail to follow best-practice recommendations. Moreover, existing clinical decision support (CDS) systems generally recommend a cervical cytology every three years for all female patients, which is inappropriate for patients with abnormal findings that require surveillance at shorter intervals. To address this problem, we developed a decision tree-based CDS system that integrates national guidelines to provide comprehensive guidance to clinicians. Validation was performed in several iterations by comparing recommendations generated by the system with those of clinicians for 333 patients. The CDS system extracted relevant patient information from the electronic health record and applied the guideline model with an overall accuracy of 87%. Providers without CDS assistance needed an average of 1 minute 39 seconds to decide on recommendations for management of abnormal findings. Overall, our work demonstrates the feasibility and potential utility of automated recommendation system for cervical cancer screening and surveillance. PMID:25368505

  10. Current trends and perspectives for automated screening of cardiac murmurs.

    PubMed

    Marascio, Giuseppe; Modesti, Pietro Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Although in high income countries rheumatic heart disease is now rare, it remains a major burden in low and middle income countries. In these world areas, physicians and expert sonographers are rare, and screening campaigns are usually performed by nomadic caregivers who can only recognise patients in an advanced phase of heart failure with high economic and social costs. Therefore, great interest exists regarding the possibility of developing a simple, low-cost procedure for screening valvular heart disease. With the development of computer science, the cardiac sound signal can be analysed in an automatic way. More precisely, a panel of features characterising the acoustic signal are extracted and sent to a decision-making software able to provide the final diagnosis. Although no system is currently available in the market, the rapid evolution of these technologies recently led to the activation of clinical trials. The aim of this note is to review the state of advancement of this technology (trends in feature selection and automatic diagnostic strategies), data available regarding performance of the technology in the clinical setting and finally what obstacles still need to be overcome before automated systems can be clinically/commercially viable. PMID:27326133

  11. Automated video screening for unattended background monitoring in dynamic environments.

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, Jeffrey J.

    2004-03-01

    This report addresses the development of automated video-screening technology to assist security forces in protecting our homeland against terrorist threats. A threat of specific interest to this project is the covert placement and subsequent remote detonation of bombs (e.g., briefcase bombs) inside crowded public facilities. Different from existing video motion detection systems, the video-screening technology described in this report is capable of detecting changes in the static background of an otherwise, dynamic environment - environments where motion and human activities are persistent. Our goal was to quickly detect changes in the background - even under conditions when the background is visible to the camera less than 5% of the time. Instead of subtracting the background to detect movement or changes in a scene, we subtracted the dynamic scene variations to produce an estimate of the static background. Subsequent comparisons of static background estimates are used to detect changes in the background. Detected changes can be used to alert security forces of the presence and location of potential threats. The results of this research are summarized in two MS Power-point presentations included with this report.

  12. Current trends and perspectives for automated screening of cardiac murmurs

    PubMed Central

    Marascio, Giuseppe; Modesti, Pietro Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Although in high income countries rheumatic heart disease is now rare, it remains a major burden in low and middle income countries. In these world areas, physicians and expert sonographers are rare, and screening campaigns are usually performed by nomadic caregivers who can only recognise patients in an advanced phase of heart failure with high economic and social costs. Therefore, great interest exists regarding the possibility of developing a simple, low-cost procedure for screening valvular heart disease. With the development of computer science, the cardiac sound signal can be analysed in an automatic way. More precisely, a panel of features characterising the acoustic signal are extracted and sent to a decision-making software able to provide the final diagnosis. Although no system is currently available in the market, the rapid evolution of these technologies recently led to the activation of clinical trials. The aim of this note is to review the state of advancement of this technology (trends in feature selection and automatic diagnostic strategies), data available regarding performance of the technology in the clinical setting and finally what obstacles still need to be overcome before automated systems can be clinically/commercially viable. PMID:27326133

  13. Multiplexing high-content flow (HCF) and quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) to identify compounds capable of decreasing cell viability, activating caspase 3/7, expressing annexin V, and changing mitochondrial membrane integrity.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Lesley A; Keller, Jonathan M; McKnight, Crystal; Michael, Sam; Shinn, Paul; Liu, Dongbo; Staudt, Louis M; Thomas, Craig J; Ferrer, Marc

    2013-01-01

    High-content flow (HCF) screening systems, such as the iQue Screener and HTFC Screening System from IntelliCyt, have facilitated the implementation of flow cytometry assays for high-throughput screening. HCF screening systems enable the use of smaller sample volumes and multiplexed assays to simultaneously assess different cellular parameters from a single well. This becomes invaluable when working with cells or compounds that are available in limited quantities or when conducting large-scale screens. When assays can be miniaturized to a 384- or 1536-well microplate format, it is possible to implement dose-response-based high-throughput screens, also known as quantitative HTS or qHTS. This article describes how qHTS at the new National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) has been systematically coupled with the HTFC Screening System and Multimetric Apoptosis Screening Kit from IntelliCyt to biologically validate active compounds from primary cell proliferation screens using a model of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). PMID:24391083

  14. Development and Validation of an Automated High-Throughput System for Zebrafish In Vivo Screenings

    PubMed Central

    Virto, Juan M.; Holgado, Olaia; Diez, Maria; Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos; Callol-Massot, Carles

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish is a vertebrate model compatible with the paradigms of drug discovery. The small size and transparency of zebrafish embryos make them amenable for the automation necessary in high-throughput screenings. We have developed an automated high-throughput platform for in vivo chemical screenings on zebrafish embryos that includes automated methods for embryo dispensation, compound delivery, incubation, imaging and analysis of the results. At present, two different assays to detect cardiotoxic compounds and angiogenesis inhibitors can be automatically run in the platform, showing the versatility of the system. A validation of these two assays with known positive and negative compounds, as well as a screening for the detection of unknown anti-angiogenic compounds, have been successfully carried out in the system developed. We present a totally automated platform that allows for high-throughput screenings in a vertebrate organism. PMID:22615792

  15. Automated touch screen device for recording complex rodent behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Mabrouk, O.S.; Dripps, I.J.; Ramani, S.; Chang, C.; Han, J.L.; Rice, KC; Jutkiewicz, E.M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Monitoring mouse behavior is a critical step in the development of modern pharmacotherapies. New Method Here we describe the application of a novel method that utilizes a touch display computer (tablet) and software to detect, record, and report fine motor behaviors. A consumer-grade tablet device is placed in the bottom of a specially made acrylic cage allowing the animal to walk on the device (MouseTrapp). We describe its application in open field (for general locomotor studies) which measures step lengths and velocity. The device can perform light-dark (anxiety) tests by illuminating half of the screen and keeping the other half darkened. A divider is built into the lid of the device allowing the animal free access to either side. Results Treating mice with amphetamine and the delta opioid peptide receptor agonist SNC80 stimulated locomotor activity on the device. Amphetamine increased step velocity but not step length during its peak effect (40–70 min after treatment), thus indicating detection of subtle amphetamine-induced effects. Animals showed a preference (74% of time spent) for the darkened half compared to the illuminated side. Comparison with Existing Method Animals were videotaped within the chamber to compare quadrant crosses to detected motion on the device. The slope, duration and magnitude of quadrant crosses tightly correlated with overall locomotor activity as detected by Mousetrapp. Conclusions We suggest that modern touch display devices such as MouseTrapp will be an important step toward automation of behavioral analyses for characterizing phenotypes and drug effects. PMID:24952323

  16. A High-Content Small Molecule Screen Identifies Sensitivity of Glioblastoma Stem Cells to Inhibition of Polo-Like Kinase 1

    PubMed Central

    Danovi, Davide; Folarin, Amos; Gogolok, Sabine; Ender, Christine; Elbatsh, Ahmed M. O.; Engström, Pär G.; Stricker, Stefan H.; Gagrica, Sladjana; Georgian, Ana; Yu, Ding; U, Kin Pong; Harvey, Kevin J.; Ferretti, Patrizia; Paddison, Patrick J.; Preston, Jane E.; Abbott, N. Joan; Bertone, Paul; Smith, Austin; Pollard, Steven M.

    2013-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary brain cancer in adults and there are few effective treatments. GBMs contain cells with molecular and cellular characteristics of neural stem cells that drive tumour growth. Here we compare responses of human glioblastoma-derived neural stem (GNS) cells and genetically normal neural stem (NS) cells to a panel of 160 small molecule kinase inhibitors. We used live-cell imaging and high content image analysis tools and identified JNJ-10198409 (J101) as an agent that induces mitotic arrest at prometaphase in GNS cells but not NS cells. Antibody microarrays and kinase profiling suggested that J101 responses are triggered by suppression of the active phosphorylated form of polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) (phospho T210), with resultant spindle defects and arrest at prometaphase. We found that potent and specific Plk1 inhibitors already in clinical development (BI 2536, BI 6727 and GSK 461364) phenocopied J101 and were selective against GNS cells. Using a porcine brain endothelial cell blood-brain barrier model we also observed that these compounds exhibited greater blood-brain barrier permeability in vitro than J101. Our analysis of mouse mutant NS cells (INK4a/ARF−/−, or p53−/−), as well as the acute genetic deletion of p53 from a conditional p53 floxed NS cell line, suggests that the sensitivity of GNS cells to BI 2536 or J101 may be explained by the lack of a p53-mediated compensatory pathway. Together these data indicate that GBM stem cells are acutely susceptible to proliferative disruption by Plk1 inhibitors and that such agents may have immediate therapeutic value. PMID:24204733

  17. Assessment of Automated Disease Detection in Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Using Two-Field Photography

    PubMed Central

    Goatman, Keith; Charnley, Amanda; Webster, Laura; Nussey, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Aim To assess the performance of automated disease detection in diabetic retinopathy screening using two field mydriatic photography. Methods Images from 8,271 sequential patient screening episodes from a South London diabetic retinopathy screening service were processed by the Medalytix iGrading™ automated grading system. For each screening episode macular-centred and disc-centred images of both eyes were acquired and independently graded according to the English national grading scheme. Where discrepancies were found between the automated result and original manual grade, internal and external arbitration was used to determine the final study grades. Two versions of the software were used: one that detected microaneurysms alone, and one that detected blot haemorrhages and exudates in addition to microaneurysms. Results for each version were calculated once using both fields and once using the macula-centred field alone. Results Of the 8,271 episodes, 346 (4.2%) were considered unassessable. Referable disease was detected in 587 episodes (7.1%). The sensitivity of the automated system for detecting unassessable images ranged from 97.4% to 99.1% depending on configuration. The sensitivity of the automated system for referable episodes ranged from 98.3% to 99.3%. All the episodes that included proliferative or pre-proliferative retinopathy were detected by the automated system regardless of configuration (192/192, 95% confidence interval 98.0% to 100%). If implemented as the first step in grading, the automated system would have reduced the manual grading effort by between 2,183 and 3,147 patient episodes (26.4% to 38.1%). Conclusion Automated grading can safely reduce the workload of manual grading using two field, mydriatic photography in a routine screening service. PMID:22174741

  18. Longitudinal, Quantitative Monitoring of Therapeutic Response in 3D In Vitro Tumor Models with OCT for High-Content Therapeutic Screening

    PubMed Central

    Klein, O. J.; Jung, Y. K.; Evans, C. L.

    2013-01-01

    In vitro three-dimensional models of cancer have the ability to recapitulate many features of tumors found in vivo, including cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, microenvironments that become hypoxic and acidic, and other barriers to effective therapy. These model tumors can be large, highly complex, heterogeneous, and undergo time-dependent growth and treatment response processes that are difficult to track and quantify using standard imaging tools. Optical coherence tomography is an optical ranging technique that is ideally suited for visualizing, monitoring, and quantifying the growth and treatment response dynamics occurring in these informative model systems. By optimizing both optical coherence tomography and 3D culture systems, it is possible to continuously and non-perturbatively monitor advanced in vitro models without the use of labels over the course of hours and days. In this article, we describe approaches and methods for creating and carrying out quantitative therapeutic screens with in vitro 3D cultures using optical coherence tomography to gain insights into therapeutic mechanisms and build more effective treatment regimens. PMID:24013042

  19. High-Content Positional Biosensor Screening Assay for Compounds to Prevent or Disrupt Androgen Receptor and Transcriptional Intermediary Factor 2 Protein–Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Yun; Shun, Tong Ying; Strock, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The androgen receptor–transcriptional intermediary factor 2 (AR-TIF2) positional protein–protein interaction (PPI) biosensor assay described herein combines physiologically relevant cell-based assays with the specificity of binding assays by incorporating structural information of AR and TIF2 functional domains along with intracellular targeting sequences and fluorescent reporters. Expression of the AR-red fluorescent protein (RFP) “prey” and TIF2-green fluorescent protein (GFP) “bait” components of the biosensor was directed by recombinant adenovirus constructs that expressed the ligand binding and activation function 2 surface domains of AR fused to RFP with nuclear localization and nuclear export sequences, and three α-helical LXXLL motifs from TIF2 fused to GFP and an HIV Rev nucleolar targeting sequence. In unstimulated cells, AR-RFP was localized predominantly to the cytoplasm and TIF2-GFP was localized to nucleoli. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) treatment induced AR-RFP translocation into the nucleus where the PPIs between AR and TIF2 resulted in the colocalization of both biosensors within the nucleolus. We adapted the translocation enhanced image analysis module to quantify the colocalization of the AR-RFP and TIF2-GFP biosensors in images acquired on the ImageXpress platform. DHT induced a concentration-dependent AR-TIF2 colocalization and produced a characteristic condensed punctate AR-RFP PPI nucleolar distribution pattern. The heat-shock protein 90 inhibitor 17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) and antiandrogens flutamide and bicalutamide inhibited DHT-induced AR-TIF2 PPI formation with 50% inhibition concentrations (IC50s) of 88.5±12.5 nM, 7.6±2.4 μM, and 1.6±0.4 μM, respectively. Images of the AR-RFP distribution phenotype allowed us to distinguish between 17-AAG and flutamide, which prevented AR translocation, and bicalutamide, which blocked AR-TIF2 PPIs. We screened the Library of Pharmacologically Active

  20. Automated pipeline for rapid production and screening of HIV-specific monoclonal antibodies using pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Shah, Kartik A; Clark, John J; Goods, Brittany A; Politano, Timothy J; Mozdzierz, Nicholas J; Zimnisky, Ross M; Leeson, Rachel L; Love, J Christopher; Love, Kerry R

    2015-12-01

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind and neutralize human pathogens have great therapeutic potential. Advances in automated screening and liquid handling have resulted in the ability to discover antigen-specific antibodies either directly from human blood or from various combinatorial libraries (phage, bacteria, or yeast). There remain, however, bottlenecks in the cloning, expression and evaluation of such lead antibodies identified in primary screens that hinder high-throughput screening. As such, "hit-to-lead identification" remains both expensive and time-consuming. By combining the advantages of overlap extension PCR (OE-PCR) and a genetically stable yet easily manipulatable microbial expression host Pichia pastoris, we have developed an automated pipeline for the rapid production and screening of full-length antigen-specific mAbs. Here, we demonstrate the speed, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of our approach by generating several broadly neutralizing antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). PMID:26032261

  1. Automated screening of propulsion system test data by neural networks, phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoyt, W. Andes; Whitehead, Bruce A.

    1992-01-01

    The evaluation of propulsion system test and flight performance data involves reviewing an extremely large volume of sensor data generated by each test. An automated system that screens large volumes of data and identifies propulsion system parameters which appear unusual or anomalous will increase the productivity of data analysis. Data analysts may then focus on a smaller subset of anomalous data for further evaluation of propulsion system tests. Such an automated data screening system would give NASA the benefit of a reduction in the manpower and time required to complete a propulsion system data evaluation. A phase 1 effort to develop a prototype data screening system is reported. Neural networks will detect anomalies based on nominal propulsion system data only. It appears that a reasonable goal for an operational system would be to screen out 95 pct. of the nominal data, leaving less than 5 pct. needing further analysis by human experts.

  2. Automated Telephone Calls To Enhance Colorectal Cancer Screening: An Economic Analysis from a Randomized Trial

    PubMed Central

    Smith, David H.; Feldstein, Adrianne C.; Perrin, Nancy; Rosales, A. Gabriela; Mosen, David M.; Liles, Elizabeth G.; Schneider, Jennifer L.; Lafata, Jennifer E.; Myers, Ronald E.; Glasgow, Russell E.

    2013-01-01

    Colorectal cancer screening has been shown to be a cost-effective intervention, but uncertainty remains over the most cost-effective methods for increasing screening rates. We used data from a pragmatic randomized controlled trial to estimate the cost-effectiveness of an automated telephone intervention from a managed care perspective. Intervention group patients received calls for fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) screening. Electronic medical records confirmed whether a patient had completed screening. We searched patient’s electronic medical record for any screening (defined as FOBT, flexible sigmoidoscopy, double contrast barium enema, or colonoscopy) during follow-up. Intervention costs included project implementation and management, telephone calls, patient identification and tracking. Costs of screening included FOBT (kits, mailing and processing) and any completed screening tests during follow-up. We estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of the cost per additional screen. Results At 6 months average costs per patient in the intervention group were $37 (25% screened) and $34 (19% screened) in the control groups. The ICER at 6 months was $40 per additional screen. The probability of cost-effectiveness was 0.49, 0.84 and 0.99 for willingness to pay thresholds of $40, $100 and $200, respectively. Similar results were seen at 9 months. Screening rates and cost-effectiveness differed by age. A greater increase in FOBT testing was seen for patients aged 70 years and over (45 per 100 intervention, 33 per 100 control) compared with younger patients (25 per 100 intervention, 21 per 100 control). The intervention was dominant (lower costs and greater proportion of patients screened) for patients aged 70 years and over and was $73 per additional screen for younger patients. Discussion A patient-directed, automated phone calling increased screening rates by about 6% and costs by $3 per patient. The ICER we report is less than half what other

  3. Quantification of hormone sensitive lipase phosphorylation and colocalization with lipid droplets in murine 3T3L1 and human subcutaneous adipocytes via automated digital microscopy and high-content analysis.

    PubMed

    McDonough, Patrick M; Ingermanson, Randall S; Loy, Patricia A; Koon, Erick D; Whittaker, Ross; Laris, Casey A; Hilton, Jeffrey M; Nicoll, James B; Buehrer, Benjamin M; Price, Jeffrey H

    2011-06-01

    Lipolysis in adipocytes is associated with phosphorylation of hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) and translocation of HSL to lipid droplets. In this study, adipocytes were cultured in a high-throughput format (96-well dishes), exposed to lipolytic agents, and then fixed and labeled for nuclei, lipid droplets, and HSL (or HSL phosphorylated on serine 660 [pHSLser660]). The cells were imaged via automated digital fluorescence microscopy, and high-content analysis (HCA) methods were used to quantify HSL phosphorylation and the degree to which HSL (or pHSLser660) colocalizes with the lipid droplets. HSL:lipid droplet colocalization was quantified through use of Pearson's correlation, Mander's M1 Colocalization, and the Tanimoto coefficient. For murine 3T3L1 adipocytes, isoproterenol, Lys-γ3-melanocyte stimulating hormone, and forskolin elicited the appearance and colocalization of pHSLser660, whereas atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) did not. For human subcutaneous adipocytes, isoproterenol, forskolin, and ANP activated HSL phosphorylation/colocalization, but Lys-γ3-melanocyte stimulating hormone had little or no effect. Since ANP activates guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase, HSL serine 660 is likely a substrate for cGMP-dependent protein kinase in human adipocytes. For both adipocyte model systems, adipocytes with the greatest lipid content displayed the greatest lipolytic responses. The results for pHSLser660 were consistent with release of glycerol by the cells, a well-established assay of lipolysis, and the HCA methods yielded Z' values >0.50. The results illustrate several key differences between human and murine adipocytes and demonstrate advantages of utilizing HCA techniques to study lipolysis in cultured adipocytes. PMID:21186937

  4. Comparison of automated docking programs as virtual screening tools.

    PubMed

    Cummings, Maxwell D; DesJarlais, Renee L; Gibbs, Alan C; Mohan, Venkatraman; Jaeger, Edward P

    2005-02-24

    The performance of several commercially available docking programs is compared in the context of virtual screening. Five different protein targets are used, each with several known ligands. The simulated screening deck comprised 1000 molecules from a cleansed version of the MDL drug data report and 49 known ligands. For many of the known ligands, crystal structures of the relevant protein-ligand complexes were available. We attempted to run experiments with each docking method that were as similar as possible. For a given docking method, hit rates were improved versus what would be expected for random selection for most protein targets. However, the ability to prioritize known ligands on the basis of docking poses that resemble known crystal structures is both method- and target-dependent. PMID:15715466

  5. AMMOS: Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization tool for in silico Screening

    PubMed Central

    Pencheva, Tania; Lagorce, David; Pajeva, Ilza; Villoutreix, Bruno O; Miteva, Maria A

    2008-01-01

    Background Virtual or in silico ligand screening combined with other computational methods is one of the most promising methods to search for new lead compounds, thereby greatly assisting the drug discovery process. Despite considerable progresses made in virtual screening methodologies, available computer programs do not easily address problems such as: structural optimization of compounds in a screening library, receptor flexibility/induced-fit, and accurate prediction of protein-ligand interactions. It has been shown that structural optimization of chemical compounds and that post-docking optimization in multi-step structure-based virtual screening approaches help to further improve the overall efficiency of the methods. To address some of these points, we developed the program AMMOS for refining both, the 3D structures of the small molecules present in chemical libraries and the predicted receptor-ligand complexes through allowing partial to full atom flexibility through molecular mechanics optimization. Results The program AMMOS carries out an automatic procedure that allows for the structural refinement of compound collections and energy minimization of protein-ligand complexes using the open source program AMMP. The performance of our package was evaluated by comparing the structures of small chemical entities minimized by AMMOS with those minimized with the Tripos and MMFF94s force fields. Next, AMMOS was used for full flexible minimization of protein-ligands complexes obtained from a mutli-step virtual screening. Enrichment studies of the selected pre-docked complexes containing 60% of the initially added inhibitors were carried out with or without final AMMOS minimization on two protein targets having different binding pocket properties. AMMOS was able to improve the enrichment after the pre-docking stage with 40 to 60% of the initially added active compounds found in the top 3% to 5% of the entire compound collection. Conclusion The open source AMMOS

  6. A High Content Assay to Assess Cellular Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Antczak, Christophe; Mahida, Jeni P.; Singh, Chanpreet; Calder, Paul A.; Djaballah, Hakim

    2013-01-01

    A universal process in experimental biology is the use of engineered cells; more often, stably or transiently transfected cells are generated for the purpose. Therefore, it is important that cell health assessment is conducted to check for stress mediated by induction of heat shock proteins (Hsps). For this purpose, we have developed an integrated platform that would enable a direct assessment of transfection efficiency (TE) combined with cellular toxicity and stress response. We make use of automated microscopy and high content analysis to extract from the same well a multiplexed readout to assess and determine optimal chemical transfection conditions. As a proof of concept, we investigated seven commercial reagents, in a matrix of dose and time, to study transfection of an EGFP DNA plasmid into HeLa cells and their consequences on health and fitness; where we scored for cellular proliferation, EGFP positive cells, and induction of Hsp10 and Hsp70 as makers of stress responses. FuGENE HD emerged as the most optimal reagent with no apparent side effects suitable for performing microtiter based miniaturized transfection for both chemical and RNAi screening. In summary, we report on a high content assay method to assess cellular overall fitness upon chemical transfection. PMID:23957721

  7. Automated computational screening of the thiol reactivity of substituted alkenes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer M; Rowley, Christopher N

    2015-08-01

    Electrophilic olefins can react with the S-H moiety of cysteine side chains. The formation of a covalent adduct through this mechanism can result in the inhibition of an enzyme. The reactivity of an olefin towards cysteine depends on its functional groups. In this study, 325 reactions of thiol-Michael-type additions to olefins were modeled using density functional theory. All combinations of ethenes with hydrogen, methyl ester, amide, and cyano substituents were included. An automated workflow was developed to perform the construction, conformation search, minimization, and calculation of molecular properties for the reactant, carbanion intermediate, and thioether products for a model reaction of the addition of methanethiol to the electrophile. Known cysteine-reactive electrophiles present in the database were predicted to react exergonically with methanethiol through a carbanion with a stability in the 30-40 kcal mol(-1) range. 13 other compounds in our database that are also present in the PubChem database have similar properties. Natural bond orbital parameters were computed and regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between properties of the olefin electronic structure and the product and intermediate stability. The stability of the intermediates is very sensitive to electronic effects on the carbon where the anionic charge is centered. The stability of the products is more sensitive to steric factors. PMID:26159564

  8. A fully automated primary screening system for the discovery of therapeutic antibodies directly from B cells.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Simon; Howells, Louise; O'Dowd, Victoria; Starkie, Dale; Whale, Kevin; Saunders, Mark; Lee, David; Lightwood, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    For a therapeutic antibody to succeed, it must meet a range of potency, stability, and specificity criteria. Many of these characteristics are conferred by the amino acid sequence of the heavy and light chain variable regions and, for this reason, can be screened for during antibody selection. However, it is important to consider that antibodies satisfying all these criteria may be of low frequency in an immunized animal; for this reason, it is essential to have a mechanism that allows for efficient sampling of the immune repertoire. UCB's core antibody discovery platform combines high-throughput B cell culture screening and the identification and isolation of single, antigen-specific IgG-secreting B cells through a proprietary technique called the "fluorescent foci" method. Using state-of-the-art automation to facilitate primary screening, extremely efficient interrogation of the natural antibody repertoire is made possible; more than 1 billion immune B cells can now be screened to provide a useful starting point from which to identify the rare therapeutic antibody. This article will describe the design, construction, and commissioning of a bespoke automated screening platform and two examples of how it was used to screen for antibodies against two targets. PMID:25548140

  9. The Stanford Automated Mounter: Enabling High-Throughput Protein Crystal Screening at SSRL

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Clyde A.; Cohen, Aina E.

    2008-01-01

    The macromolecular crystallography experiment lends itself perfectly to high-throughput technologies. The initial steps including the expression, purification and crystallization of protein crystals, along with some of the later steps involving data processing and structure determination have all been automated to the point where some of the last remaining bottlenecks in the process have been crystal mounting, crystal screening and data collection. At the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), a National User Facility which provides extremely brilliant X-ray photon beams for use in materials science, environmental science and structural biology research, the incorporation of advanced robotics has enabled crystals to be screened in a true high-throughput fashion, thus dramatically accelerating the final steps. Up to 288 frozen crystals can be mounted by the beamline robot (the Stanford Automated Mounter, or SAM) and screened for diffraction quality in a matter of hours without intervention. The best quality crystals can then be remounted for the collection of complete X-ray diffraction data sets. Furthermore, the entire screening and data collection experiment can be controlled from the experimenter’s home laboratory by means of advanced software tools that enable network-based control of the highly automated beamlines. PMID:19956359

  10. Screening for Cervical Cancer Using Automated Analysis of PAP-Smears

    PubMed Central

    Malm, Patrik

    2014-01-01

    Cervical cancer is one of the most deadly and common forms of cancer among women if no action is taken to prevent it, yet it is preventable through a simple screening test, the so-called PAP-smear. This is the most effective cancer prevention measure developed so far. But the visual examination of the smears is time consuming and expensive and there have been numerous attempts at automating the analysis ever since the test was introduced more than 60 years ago. The first commercial systems for automated analysis of the cell samples appeared around the turn of the millennium but they have had limited impact on the screening costs. In this paper we examine the key issues that need to be addressed when an automated analysis system is developed and discuss how these challenges have been met over the years. The lessons learned may be useful in the efforts to create a cost-effective screening system that could make affordable screening for cervical cancer available for all women globally, thus preventing most of the quarter million annual unnecessary deaths still caused by this disease. PMID:24772188

  11. Screening for cervical cancer using automated analysis of PAP-smears.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Ewert; Malm, Patrik

    2014-01-01

    Cervical cancer is one of the most deadly and common forms of cancer among women if no action is taken to prevent it, yet it is preventable through a simple screening test, the so-called PAP-smear. This is the most effective cancer prevention measure developed so far. But the visual examination of the smears is time consuming and expensive and there have been numerous attempts at automating the analysis ever since the test was introduced more than 60 years ago. The first commercial systems for automated analysis of the cell samples appeared around the turn of the millennium but they have had limited impact on the screening costs. In this paper we examine the key issues that need to be addressed when an automated analysis system is developed and discuss how these challenges have been met over the years. The lessons learned may be useful in the efforts to create a cost-effective screening system that could make affordable screening for cervical cancer available for all women globally, thus preventing most of the quarter million annual unnecessary deaths still caused by this disease. PMID:24772188

  12. Comparison of Automated Treponemal and Nontreponemal Test Algorithms as First-Line Syphilis Screening Assays

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Jae-Woo; Park, Seong Yeon; Chae, Seok Lae

    2016-01-01

    Background Automated Mediace Treponema pallidum latex agglutination (TPLA) and Mediace rapid plasma reagin (RPR) assays are used by many laboratories for syphilis diagnosis. This study compared the results of the traditional syphilis screening algorithm and a reverse algorithm using automated Mediace RPR or Mediace TPLA as first-line screening assays in subjects undergoing a health checkup. Methods Samples from 24,681 persons were included in this study. We routinely performed Mediace RPR and Mediace TPLA simultaneously. Results were analyzed according to both the traditional algorithm and reverse algorithm. Samples with discordant results on the reverse algorithm (e.g., positive Mediace TPLA, negative Mediace RPR) were tested with Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA). Results Among the 24,681 samples, 30 (0.1%) were found positive by traditional screening, and 190 (0.8%) by reverse screening. The identified syphilis rate and overall false-positive rate according to the traditional algorithm were lower than those according to the reverse algorithm (0.07% and 0.05% vs. 0.64% and 0.13%, respectively). A total of 173 discordant samples were tested with TPPA by using the reverse algorithm, of which 140 (80.9%) were TPPA positive. Conclusions Despite the increased false-positive results in populations with a low prevalence of syphilis, the reverse algorithm detected 140 samples with treponemal antibody that went undetected by the traditional algorithm. The reverse algorithm using Mediace TPLA as a screening test is more sensitive for the detection of syphilis. PMID:26522755

  13. High-content screening identifies small molecules that remove nuclear foci, affect MBNL distribution and CELF1 protein levels via a PKC-independent pathway in myotonic dystrophy cell lines.

    PubMed

    Ketley, Ami; Chen, Catherine Z; Li, Xin; Arya, Sukrat; Robinson, Thelma E; Granados-Riveron, Javier; Udosen, Inyang; Morris, Glenn E; Holt, Ian; Furling, Denis; Chaouch, Soraya; Haworth, Ben; Southall, Noel; Shinn, Paul; Zheng, Wei; Austin, Christopher P; Hayes, Christopher J; Brook, J David

    2014-03-15

    Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is a multi-system neuromuscular disorder for which there is no treatment. We have developed a medium throughput phenotypic assay, based on the identification of nuclear foci in DM patient cell lines using in situ hybridization and high-content imaging to screen for potentially useful therapeutic compounds. A series of further assays based on molecular features of DM have also been employed. Two compounds that reduce and/or remove nuclear foci have been identified, Ro 31-8220 and chromomycin A3. Ro 31-8220 is a PKC inhibitor, previously shown to affect the hyperphosphorylation of CELF1 and ameliorate the cardiac phenotype in a DM1 mouse model. We show that the same compound eliminates nuclear foci, reduces MBNL1 protein in the nucleus, affects ATP2A1 alternative splicing and reduces steady-state levels of CELF1 protein. We demonstrate that this effect is independent of PKC activity and conclude that this compound may be acting on alternative kinase targets within DM pathophysiology. Understanding the activity profile for this compound is key for the development of targeted therapeutics in the treatment of DM. PMID:24179176

  14. Clinical performance evaluation of a novel, automated chemiluminescent immunoassay, QUANTA Flash CTD Screen Plus.

    PubMed

    Bentow, Chelsea; Lakos, Gabriella; Rosenblum, Rachel; Bryant, Cassandra; Seaman, Andrea; Mahler, Michael

    2015-02-01

    The QUANTA Flash(®) CTD Screen Plus is a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CIA) for the detection of the major antinuclear antibodies (ANA) on the BIO-FLASH(®) platform. NOVA View(®) is an automated fluorescence microscope that acquires digital images of indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA) slides. Our goal was to evaluate the clinical performance of the two automated systems and compare their performance to that of traditional IFA. Sera from patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARD, n = 178), along with disease and healthy controls (n = 204), were tested with the CTD CIA and with NOVA Lite(®) HEp-2 ANA, using both the manual method of reading the IFA slides and the NOVA View instrument. The CTD CIA showed 78.1% sensitivity for SARD, coupled with 94.1% specificity. Manual IFA and NOVA View showed somewhat higher sensitivity (81.5 and 84.8% in SARD, respectively), but significantly lower specificity (79.4 and 64.7%, respectively). Both automated systems displayed somewhat different performance, due to the different principals of ANA detection: IFA with NOVA View digital image interpretation had higher sensitivity, while the CTD CIA showed higher specificity. With the added benefits of full automation, the new CTD CIA is an attractive alternative to traditional ANA screening. PMID:25420962

  15. Automated assessment of bilateral breast volume asymmetry as a breast cancer biomarker during mammographic screening

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, Alex C; Hitt, Austin N; Voisin, Sophie; Tourassi, Georgia

    2013-01-01

    The biological concept of bilateral symmetry as a marker of developmental stability and good health is well established. Although most individuals deviate slightly from perfect symmetry, humans are essentially considered bilaterally symmetrical. Consequently, increased fluctuating asymmetry of paired structures could be an indicator of disease. There are several published studies linking bilateral breast size asymmetry with increased breast cancer risk. These studies were based on radiologists manual measurements of breast size from mammographic images. We aim to develop a computerized technique to assess fluctuating breast volume asymmetry in screening mammograms and investigate whether it correlates with the presence of breast cancer. Using a large database of screening mammograms with known ground truth we applied automated breast region segmentation and automated breast size measurements in CC and MLO views using three well established methods. All three methods confirmed that indeed patients with breast cancer have statistically significantly higher fluctuating asymmetry of their breast volumes. However, statistically significant difference between patients with cancer and benign lesions was observed only for the MLO views. The study suggests that automated assessment of global bilateral asymmetry could serve as a breast cancer risk biomarker for women undergoing mammographic screening. Such biomarker could be used to alert radiologists or computer-assisted detection (CAD) systems to exercise increased vigilance if higher than normal cancer risk is suspected.

  16. Automated assessment of bilateral breast volume asymmetry as a breast cancer biomarker during mammographic screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Alex C.; Hitt, Austin; Voisin, Sophie; Tourassi, Georgia

    2013-03-01

    The biological concept of bilateral symmetry as a marker of developmental stability and good health is well established. Although most individuals deviate slightly from perfect symmetry, humans are essentially considered bilaterally symmetrical. Consequently, increased fluctuating asymmetry of paired structures could be an indicator of disease. There are several published studies linking bilateral breast size asymmetry with increased breast cancer risk. These studies were based on radiologists' manual measurements of breast size from mammographic images. We aim to develop a computerized technique to assess fluctuating breast volume asymmetry in screening mammograms and investigate whether it correlates with the presence of breast cancer. Using a large database of screening mammograms with known ground truth we applied automated breast region segmentation and automated breast size measurements in CC and MLO views using three well established methods. All three methods confirmed that indeed patients with breast cancer have statistically significantly higher fluctuating asymmetry of their breast volumes. However, statistically significant difference between patients with cancer and benign lesions was observed only for the MLO views. The study suggests that automated assessment of global bilateral asymmetry could serve as a breast cancer risk biomarker for women undergoing mammographic screening. Such biomarker could be used to alert radiologists or computer-assisted detection (CAD) systems to exercise increased vigilance if higher than normal cancer risk is suspected.

  17. Automated Screening for High-Frequency Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    MacKinnon, Robert C.; Jansen, Marije; Moore, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Hearing loss at high frequencies produces perceptual difficulties and is often an early sign of a more general hearing loss. This study reports the development and validation of two new speech-based hearing screening tests in English that focus on detecting hearing loss at frequencies above 2000 Hz. Design: The Internet-delivered, speech-in noise tests used closed target-word sets of digit triplets or consonant–vowel–consonant (CVC) words presented against a speech-shaped noise masker. The digit triplet test uses the digits 0 to 9 (excluding the disyllabic 7), grouped in quasi-random triplets. The CVC test uses simple words (e.g., “cat”) selected for the high-frequency spectral content of the consonants. During testing, triplets or CVC words were identified in an adaptive procedure to obtain the speech reception threshold (SRT) in noise. For these new, high-frequency (HF) tests, the noise was low-pass filtered to produce greater masking of the low-frequency speech components, increasing the sensitivity of the test for HF hearing loss. Individual test tokens (digits, CVCs) were first homogenized using a group of 10 normal-hearing (NH) listeners by equalizing intelligibility across tokens at several speech-in-noise levels. Both tests were then validated and standardized using groups of 24 NH listeners and 50 listeners with hearing impairment. Performance on the new high frequency digit triplet (HF-triplet) and CVC (HF-CVC) tests was compared with audiometric hearing loss, and with that on the unfiltered, broadband digit triplet test (BB-triplet) test, and the ASL (Adaptive Sentence Lists) speech-in-noise test. Results: The HF-triplet and HF-CVC test results (SRT) both correlated positively and highly with high-frequency audiometric hearing loss and with the ASL test. SRT for both tests as a function of high-frequency hearing loss increased at nearly three times the rate as that of the BB-triplet test. The intraindividual variability (SD) on the

  18. High-Content Microscopy Analysis of Subcellular Structures: Assay Development and Application to Focal Adhesion Quantification.

    PubMed

    Kroll, Torsten; Schmidt, David; Schwanitz, Georg; Ahmad, Mubashir; Hamann, Jana; Schlosser, Corinne; Lin, Yu-Chieh; Böhm, Konrad J; Tuckermann, Jan; Ploubidou, Aspasia

    2016-01-01

    High-content analysis (HCA) converts raw light microscopy images to quantitative data through the automated extraction, multiparametric analysis, and classification of the relevant information content. Combined with automated high-throughput image acquisition, HCA applied to the screening of chemicals or RNAi-reagents is termed high-content screening (HCS). Its power in quantifying cell phenotypes makes HCA applicable also to routine microscopy. However, developing effective HCA and bioinformatic analysis pipelines for acquisition of biologically meaningful data in HCS is challenging. Here, the step-by-step development of an HCA assay protocol and an HCS bioinformatics analysis pipeline are described. The protocol's power is demonstrated by application to focal adhesion (FA) detection, quantitative analysis of multiple FA features, and functional annotation of signaling pathways regulating FA size, using primary data of a published RNAi screen. The assay and the underlying strategy are aimed at researchers performing microscopy-based quantitative analysis of subcellular features, on a small scale or in large HCS experiments. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27367288

  19. Fast plasmid based protein expression analysis in insect cells using an automated SplitGFP screen.

    PubMed

    Bleckmann, Maren; Schmelz, Stefan; Schinkowski, Christian; Scrima, Andrea; van den Heuvel, Joop

    2016-09-01

    Recombinant protein expression often presents a bottleneck for the production of proteins for use in many areas of animal-cell biotechnology. Difficult-to-express proteins require the generation of numerous expression constructs, where popular prokaryotic screening systems often fail to identify expression of multi domain or full-length protein constructs. Post-translational modified mammalian proteins require an alternative host system such as insect cells using the Baculovirus Expression Vector System (BEVS). Unfortunately this is time-, labor-, and cost-intensive. It is clearly desirable to find an automated and miniaturized fast multi-sample screening method for protein expression in such systems. With this in mind, in this paper a high-throughput initial expression screening method is described using an automated Microcultivation system in conjunction with fast plasmid based transient transfection in insect cells for the efficient generation of protein constructs. The applicability of the system is demonstrated for the difficult to express Nucleotide-binding Oligomerization Domain-containing protein 2 (NOD2). To enable detection of proper protein expression the rather weak plasmid based expression has been improved by a sensitive inline detection system. Here we present the functionality and application of the sensitive SplitGFP (split green fluorescent protein) detection system in insect cells. The successful expression of constructs is monitored by direct measurement of the fluorescence in the BioLector Microcultivation system. Additionally, we show that the results obtained with our plasmid-based SplitGFP protein expression screen correlate directly to the level of soluble protein produced in BEVS. In conclusion our automated SplitGFP screen outlines a sensitive, fast and reliable method reducing the time and costs required for identifying the optimal expression construct prior to large scale protein production in baculovirus infected insect cells

  20. Screening for atrial fibrillation with automated blood pressure measurement: Research evidence and practice recommendations.

    PubMed

    Verberk, Willem J; Omboni, Stefano; Kollias, Anastasios; Stergiou, George S

    2016-01-15

    Several guidelines recommend opportunistic screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) in subjects aged ≥ 65 years using pulse palpation during routine blood pressure (BP) measurement. However, this method has limited diagnostic accuracy. A specific algorithm for AF detection during automated BP measurement was developed and implemented in a novel oscillometric device (Microlife WatchBP Home-A). In 2013, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended this device for AF screening during routine office BP measurement in primary care in subjects ≥ 65 years. A review and meta-analysis of the evidence on the diagnostic accuracy of this algorithm were performed. Six studies (n=2332) investigated the accuracy of AF detection using the Microlife BP monitor and estimated a pooled sensitivity at 0.98 (95% CI 0.95, 1.00) and specificity 0.92 (0.88, 0.96). Analysis of 4 studies (n=1126) showed more readings to improve specificity (from 0.86 to 0.91) and sensitivity (from 0.97 to 0.99). Taking 3 sequential readings with at least 2 detecting AF gave the highest diagnostic accuracy. A single study (n=139) of paroxysmal AF screening with home BP monitoring (3316 days) showed sensitivity 99% and specificity 93%. Another study (n=46) of AF screening with 24h ambulatory BP monitoring showed that AF detected in >15% of all readings has high probability of AF diagnosis requiring confirmation by 24h electrocardiography. AF detection with routine automated BP measurement is a reliable screening tool in the elderly, which requires confirmation by electrocardiography. Paroxysmal AF might also be detected by routine automated home or ambulatory BP monitoring. PMID:26547741

  1. Yeast-based automated high-throughput screens to identify anti-parasitic lead compounds.

    PubMed

    Bilsland, Elizabeth; Sparkes, Andrew; Williams, Kevin; Moss, Harry J; de Clare, Michaela; Pir, Pinar; Rowland, Jem; Aubrey, Wayne; Pateman, Ron; Young, Mike; Carrington, Mark; King, Ross D; Oliver, Stephen G

    2013-02-01

    We have developed a robust, fully automated anti-parasitic drug-screening method that selects compounds specifically targeting parasite enzymes and not their host counterparts, thus allowing the early elimination of compounds with potential side effects. Our yeast system permits multiple parasite targets to be assayed in parallel owing to the strains' expression of different fluorescent proteins. A strain expressing the human target is included in the multiplexed screen to exclude compounds that do not discriminate between host and parasite enzymes. This form of assay has the advantages of using known targets and not requiring the in vitro culture of parasites. We performed automated screens for inhibitors of parasite dihydrofolate reductases, N-myristoyltransferases and phosphoglycerate kinases, finding specific inhibitors of parasite targets. We found that our 'hits' have significant structural similarities to compounds with in vitro anti-parasitic activity, validating our screens and suggesting targets for hits identified in parasite-based assays. Finally, we demonstrate a 60 per cent success rate for our hit compounds in killing or severely inhibiting the growth of Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. PMID:23446112

  2. The Stanford Automated Mounter: Enabling High-Throughput Protein Crystal Screening at SSRL

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, C.A.; Cohen, A.E.

    2009-05-26

    The macromolecular crystallography experiment lends itself perfectly to high-throughput technologies. The initial steps including the expression, purification, and crystallization of protein crystals, along with some of the later steps involving data processing and structure determination have all been automated to the point where some of the last remaining bottlenecks in the process have been crystal mounting, crystal screening, and data collection. At the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, a National User Facility that provides extremely brilliant X-ray photon beams for use in materials science, environmental science, and structural biology research, the incorporation of advanced robotics has enabled crystals to be screened in a true high-throughput fashion, thus dramatically accelerating the final steps. Up to 288 frozen crystals can be mounted by the beamline robot (the Stanford Auto-Mounting System) and screened for diffraction quality in a matter of hours without intervention. The best quality crystals can then be remounted for the collection of complete X-ray diffraction data sets. Furthermore, the entire screening and data collection experiment can be controlled from the experimenter's home laboratory by means of advanced software tools that enable network-based control of the highly automated beamlines.

  3. Automated High Throughput Protein Crystallization Screening at Nanoliter Scale and Protein Structural Study on Lactate Dehydrogenase

    SciTech Connect

    Fenglei Li

    2006-08-09

    The purposes of our research were: (1) To develop an economical, easy to use, automated, high throughput system for large scale protein crystallization screening. (2) To develop a new protein crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and complete compatibility with high throughput screening system. (3) To determine the structure of lactate dehydrogenase complexed with NADH by x-ray protein crystallography to study its inherent structural properties. Firstly, we demonstrated large scale protein crystallization screening can be performed in a high throughput manner with low cost, easy operation. The overall system integrates liquid dispensing, crystallization and detection and serves as a whole solution to protein crystallization screening. The system can dispense protein and multiple different precipitants in nanoliter scale and in parallel. A new detection scheme, native fluorescence, has been developed in this system to form a two-detector system with a visible light detector for detecting protein crystallization screening results. This detection scheme has capability of eliminating common false positives by distinguishing protein crystals from inorganic crystals in a high throughput and non-destructive manner. The entire system from liquid dispensing, crystallization to crystal detection is essentially parallel, high throughput and compatible with automation. The system was successfully demonstrated by lysozyme crystallization screening. Secondly, we developed a new crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and compatibility with automation and high throughput. In this crystallization method, a gas permeable membrane is employed to achieve the gentle evaporation required by protein crystallization. Protein consumption is significantly reduced to nanoliter scale for each condition and thus permits exploring more conditions in a phase diagram for given amount of protein. In addition

  4. Classification of audiograms by sequential testing: reliability and validity of an automated behavioral hearing screening algorithm.

    PubMed

    Eilers, R E; Ozdamar, O; Steffens, M L

    1993-05-01

    In 1990, CAST (classification of audiograms by sequential testing) was proposed and developed as an automated, innovative approach to screening infant hearing using a modified Bayesian method. The method generated a four-frequency audiogram in a minimal number of test trials using VRA (visual reinforcement audiometry) techniques. Computer simulations were used to explore the properties (efficiency and accuracy) of the paradigm. The current work is designed to further test the utility of the paradigm with human infants and young children. Accordingly, infants and children between 6 months and 2 years of age were screened for hearing loss. The algorithm's efficacy was studied with respect to validity and reliability. Validity was evaluated by comparing CAST results with tympanometric data and outcomes of staircase-based testing. Test-retest reliability was also assessed. Results indicate that CAST is a valid, efficient, reliable, and potentially cost-effective screening method. PMID:8318708

  5. Automated measurement of Drosophila jump reflex habituation and its use for mutant screening.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Punita; Keane, John; O'Kane, Cahir J; Asztalos, Zoltan

    2009-08-30

    In habituation the probability of a behavioral response decreases with repeated presentations of a stimulus. This is a simple kind of learning since it involves an adaptive change in behavior due to experience. The present study describes a high-throughput semi-automated system to track movement of individual flies and score their jump response to repeated presentations of an odor. We find a decreased response on repeated presentations of odor, which a number of criteria suggest to be habituation. Tracking of up to sixteen flies simultaneously allows analysis of large numbers of flies for mutant screens. We demonstrate the use of the Autojump system for large-scale screens by conducting a pilot-scale screen of 150 P insert lines for habituation mutants. PMID:19520114

  6. Characterisation of an aerosol exposure system to evaluate the genotoxicity of whole mainstream cigarette smoke using the in vitro γH2AX assay by high content screening

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The genotoxic effect of cigarette smoke is routinely measured by treating cells with cigarette Particulate Matter (PM) at different dose levels in submerged cell cultures. However, PM exposure cannot be considered as a complete exposure as it does not contain the gas phase component of the cigarette smoke. The in vitro γH2AX assay by High Content Screening (HCS) has been suggested as a complementary tool to the standard battery of genotoxicity assays as it detects DNA double strand breaks in a high-throughput fashion. The aim of this study was to further optimise the in vitro γH2AX assay by HCS to enable aerosol exposure of human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells at the air-liquid interface (ALI). Methods Whole mainstream cigarette smoke (WMCS) from two reference cigarettes (3R4F and M4A) were assessed for their genotoxic potential. During the study, a further characterisation of the Borgwaldt RM20S® aerosol exposure system to include single dilution assessment with a reference gas was also carried out. Results The results of the optimisation showed that both reference cigarettes produced a positive genotoxic response at all dilutions tested. However, the correlation between dose and response was low for both 3R4F and M4A (Pearson coefficient, r = -0.53 and -0.44 respectively). During the additional characterisation of the exposure system, it was observed that several pre-programmed dilutions did not perform as expected. Conclusions Overall, the in vitro γH2AX assay by HCS could be used to evaluate WMCS in cell cultures at the ALI. Additionally, the extended characterisation of the exposure system indicates that assessing the performance of the dilutions could improve the existing routine QC checks. PMID:25056295

  7. A Personalized Automated Messaging System to Improve Adherence to Prostate Cancer Screening: Research Protocol

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Public adherence to cancer screening guidelines is poor. Patient confusion over multiple recommendations and modalities for cancer screening has been found to be a major barrier to screening adherence. Such problems will only increase as screening guidelines and timetables become individualized. Objective We propose to increase compliance with cancer screening through two-way rich media mobile messaging based on personalized risk assessment. Methods We propose to develop and test a product that will store algorithms required to personalize cancer screening in a central database managed by a rule-based workflow engine, and implemented via messaging to the patient’s mobile phone. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial focusing on prostate cancer screening to study the hypothesis that mobile reminders improve adherence to screening guidelines. We will also explore a secondary hypothesis that patients who reply to the messaging reminders are more engaged and at lower risk of non-adherence. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial in a sample of males between 40 and 75 years (eligible for prostate cancer screening) who are willing to receive text messages, email, or automated voice messages. Participants will be recruited from a primary care clinic and asked to schedule prostate cancer screening at the clinic within the next 3 weeks. The intervention group will receive reminders and confirmation communications for making an appointment, keeping the appointment, and reporting the test results back to the investigators. Three outcomes will be evaluated: (1) the proportion of participants who make an appointment with a physician following a mobile message reminder, (2) the proportion of participants who keep the appointment, and (3) the proportion of participants who report the results of the screening (via text or Web). Results This is an ongoing project, supported by by a small business commercialization grant from the National Center for

  8. Generation of orientation tools for automated zebrafish screening assays using desktop 3D printing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The zebrafish has been established as the main vertebrate model system for whole organism screening applications. However, the lack of consistent positioning of zebrafish embryos within wells of microtiter plates remains an obstacle for the comparative analysis of images acquired in automated screening assays. While technical solutions to the orientation problem exist, dissemination is often hindered by the lack of simple and inexpensive ways of distributing and duplicating tools. Results Here, we provide a cost effective method for the production of 96-well plate compatible zebrafish orientation tools using a desktop 3D printer. The printed tools enable the positioning and orientation of zebrafish embryos within cavities formed in agarose. Their applicability is demonstrated by acquiring lateral and dorsal views of zebrafish embryos arrayed within microtiter plates using an automated screening microscope. This enables the consistent visualization of morphological phenotypes and reporter gene expression patterns. Conclusions The designs are refined versions of previously demonstrated devices with added functionality and strongly reduced production costs. All corresponding 3D models are freely available and digital design can be easily shared electronically. In combination with the increasingly widespread usage of 3D printers, this provides access to the developed tools to a wide range of zebrafish users. Finally, the design files can serve as templates for other additive and subtractive fabrication methods. PMID:24886511

  9. A review of automated image understanding within 3D baggage computed tomography security screening.

    PubMed

    Mouton, Andre; Breckon, Toby P

    2015-01-01

    Baggage inspection is the principal safeguard against the transportation of prohibited and potentially dangerous materials at airport security checkpoints. Although traditionally performed by 2D X-ray based scanning, increasingly stringent security regulations have led to a growing demand for more advanced imaging technologies. The role of X-ray Computed Tomography is thus rapidly expanding beyond the traditional materials-based detection of explosives. The development of computer vision and image processing techniques for the automated understanding of 3D baggage-CT imagery is however, complicated by poor image resolutions, image clutter and high levels of noise and artefacts. We discuss the recent and most pertinent advancements and identify topics for future research within the challenging domain of automated image understanding for baggage security screening CT. PMID:26409422

  10. Automated chip-on-carrier screening of a SOA integrated full band tunable laser (DSDBR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chao; Dimitropoulos, George; Ward, Andrew J.; Yang, Guoyuan; Wu, Xuming

    2007-11-01

    Chip-on-carrier (CoC) sub-assemblies of Digital Ssupermode DBR (DSDBR) lasers are produced in high volume within Bookham manufacturing plants. These lasers can cover more than 100 ITU channels with a 50GHz channel range across the C or L band with a minimum 13dBm output power and 40dB side mode suppression ratio (SMSR). To guarantee a high quality and ensure a good yield, an automated screening process has been put in place at the CoC level to eliminate poor devices. Typical tuning maps and key performance features of the device are shown in this paper. We describe the general features of the tuning map, and indicate how a suitable operating point can be determined. The use of automated test kit is also described in this article. Finally, the performance of our device is presented in detail.

  11. Automated cervical precancerous cells screening system based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jusman, Yessi; Mat Isa, Nor Ashidi; Ng, Siew-Cheok; Hasikin, Khairunnisa; Abu Osman, Noor Azuan

    2016-07-01

    Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy technique can detect the abnormality of a cervical cell that occurs before the morphological change could be observed under the light microscope as employed in conventional techniques. This paper presents developed features extraction for an automated screening system for cervical precancerous cell based on the FTIR spectroscopy as a second opinion to pathologists. The automated system generally consists of the developed features extraction and classification stages. Signal processing techniques are used in the features extraction stage. Then, discriminant analysis and principal component analysis are employed to select dominant features for the classification process. The datasets of the cervical precancerous cells obtained from the feature selection process are classified using a hybrid multilayered perceptron network. The proposed system achieved 92% accuracy.

  12. Automated Modular High Throughput Exopolysaccharide Screening Platform Coupled with Highly Sensitive Carbohydrate Fingerprint Analysis.

    PubMed

    Rühmann, Broder; Schmid, Jochen; Sieber, Volker

    2016-01-01

    Many microorganisms are capable of producing and secreting exopolysaccharides (EPS), which have important implications in medical fields, food applications or in the replacement of petro-based chemicals. We describe an analytical platform to be automated on a liquid handling system that allows the fast and reliable analysis of the type and the amount of EPS produced by microorganisms. It enables the user to identify novel natural microbial exopolysaccharide producers and to analyze the carbohydrate fingerprint of the corresponding polymers within one day in high-throughput (HT). Using this platform, strain collections as well as libraries of strain variants that might be obtained in engineering approaches can be screened. The platform has a modular setup, which allows a separation of the protocol into two major parts. First, there is an automated screening system, which combines different polysaccharide detection modules: a semi-quantitative analysis of viscosity formation via a centrifugation step, an analysis of polymer formation via alcohol precipitation and the determination of the total carbohydrate content via a phenol-sulfuric-acid transformation. Here, it is possible to screen up to 384 strains per run. The second part provides a detailed monosaccharide analysis for all the selected EPS producers identified in the first part by combining two essential modules: the analysis of the complete monomer composition via ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultra violet and electrospray ionization ion trap detection (UHPLC-UV-ESI-MS) and the determination of pyruvate as a polymer substituent (presence of pyruvate ketal) via enzymatic oxidation that is coupled to a color formation. All the analytical modules of this screening platform can be combined in different ways and adjusted to individual requirements. Additionally, they can all be handled manually or performed with a liquid handling system. Thereby, the screening platform enables a huge

  13. Automated Modular High Throughput Exopolysaccharide Screening Platform Coupled with Highly Sensitive Carbohydrate Fingerprint Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Rühmann, Broder; Schmid, Jochen; Sieber, Volker

    2016-01-01

    Many microorganisms are capable of producing and secreting exopolysaccharides (EPS), which have important implications in medical fields, food applications or in the replacement of petro-based chemicals. We describe an analytical platform to be automated on a liquid handling system that allows the fast and reliable analysis of the type and the amount of EPS produced by microorganisms. It enables the user to identify novel natural microbial exopolysaccharide producers and to analyze the carbohydrate fingerprint of the corresponding polymers within one day in high-throughput (HT). Using this platform, strain collections as well as libraries of strain variants that might be obtained in engineering approaches can be screened. The platform has a modular setup, which allows a separation of the protocol into two major parts. First, there is an automated screening system, which combines different polysaccharide detection modules: a semi-quantitative analysis of viscosity formation via a centrifugation step, an analysis of polymer formation via alcohol precipitation and the determination of the total carbohydrate content via a phenol-sulfuric-acid transformation. Here, it is possible to screen up to 384 strains per run. The second part provides a detailed monosaccharide analysis for all the selected EPS producers identified in the first part by combining two essential modules: the analysis of the complete monomer composition via ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultra violet and electrospray ionization ion trap detection (UHPLC-UV-ESI-MS) and the determination of pyruvate as a polymer substituent (presence of pyruvate ketal) via enzymatic oxidation that is coupled to a color formation. All the analytical modules of this screening platform can be combined in different ways and adjusted to individual requirements. Additionally, they can all be handled manually or performed with a liquid handling system. Thereby, the screening platform enables a huge

  14. High-Content Assays for Hepatotoxicity Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Derived Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sirenko, Oksana; Hesley, Jayne; Rusyn, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Development of predictive in vitro assays for early toxicity evaluation is extremely important for improving the drug development process and reducing drug attrition rates during clinical development. High-content imaging-based in vitro toxicity assays are emerging as efficient tools for safety and efficacy testing to improve drug development efficiency. In this report we have used an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)–derived hepatocyte cell model having a primary tissue-like phenotype, unlimited availability, and the potential to compare cells from different individuals. We examined a number of assays and phenotypic markers and developed automated screening methods for assessing multiparameter readouts of general and mechanism-specific hepatotoxicity. Endpoints assessed were cell viability, nuclear shape, average and integrated cell area, mitochondrial membrane potential, phospholipid accumulation, cytoskeleton integrity, and apoptosis. We assayed compounds with known mechanisms of toxicity and also evaluated a diverse hepatotoxicity library of 240 compounds. We conclude that high-content automated screening assays using iPSC-derived hepatocytes are feasible, provide information about mechanisms of toxicity, and can facilitate the safety assessment of drugs and chemicals. PMID:24229356

  15. Automated assay for screening the enzymatic release of reducing sugars from micronized biomass

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background To reduce the production cost of bioethanol obtained from fermentation of the sugars provided by degradation of lignocellulosic biomass (i.e., second generation bioethanol), it is necessary to screen for new enzymes endowed with more efficient biomass degrading properties. This demands the set-up of high-throughput screening methods. Several methods have been devised all using microplates in the industrial SBS format. Although this size reduction and standardization has greatly improved the screening process, the published methods comprise one or more manual steps that seriously decrease throughput. Therefore, we worked to devise a screening method devoid of any manual steps. Results We describe a fully automated assay for measuring the amount of reducing sugars released by biomass-degrading enzymes from wheat-straw and spruce. The method comprises two independent and automated steps. The first step is the making of "substrate plates". It consists of filling 96-well microplates with slurry suspensions of micronized substrate which are then stored frozen until use. The second step is an enzymatic activity assay. After thawing, the substrate plates are supplemented by the robot with cell-wall degrading enzymes where necessary, and the whole process from addition of enzymes to quantification of released sugars is autonomously performed by the robot. We describe how critical parameters (amount of substrate, amount of enzyme, incubation duration and temperature) were selected to fit with our specific use. The ability of this automated small-scale assay to discriminate among different enzymatic activities was validated using a set of commercial enzymes. Conclusions Using an automatic microplate sealer solved three main problems generally encountered during the set-up of methods for measuring the sugar-releasing activity of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes: throughput, automation, and evaporation losses. In its present set-up, the robot can autonomously

  16. Automated solvent system screening for the preparative countercurrent chromatography of pharmaceutical discovery compounds.

    PubMed

    Bradow, James; Riley, Frank; Philippe, Laurence; Yan, Qi; Schuff, Brandon; Harris, Guy H

    2015-12-01

    A fully automated countercurrent chromatography system has been constructed to rapidly screen the commonly used heptane/ethyl acetate/methanol/water solvent system series and translate the results to preparative scale separations. The system utilizes "on-demand" preparation of the heptane/ethyl acetate/methanol/water solvent system upper and lower phases. Elution-extrusion countercurrent chromatography was combined with non-dynamic equilibrium injection reducing the screening time for each heptane/ethyl acetate/methanol/water system to 17 min. The result enabled solvent system development to be reduced to under 2 h. The countercurrent chromatography system was interfaced with a mass spectrometer to allow selective detection of target components in crude medicinal chemistry reaction mixtures. Mass-directed preparative countercurrent chromatography purification was demonstrated for the first time using a synthetic tetrazole epoxide derived from a routine medicinal chemistry support workflow. PMID:26428946

  17. Automated Triplex (HBV, HCV and HIV) NAT Assay Systems for Blood Screening in India

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    This review is confined to triplex nucleic acid testing (NAT) assays to be used on fully automated platform. Around the world, these assays are being used at various transfusion medicine centres or blood banks to screen blood units for HBV, HCV and HIV. These assay systems can screen up to 1000 blood units for HBV, HCV and HIV simultaneously in a day. This area has been dominated by mainly two manufacturers: M/s Gen-Probe-Novartis and M/s Roche Molecular Systems. The triplex NAT assay systems of both manufacturers are licensed by United States Food and Drug Administration. There is not much awareness about the technology and procedures used in these assays. The main objective of this review is to create awareness about the technology and procedure of these assays. PMID:27042485

  18. Automated Triplex (HBV, HCV and HIV) NAT Assay Systems for Blood Screening in India.

    PubMed

    Rajput, Manoj Kumar

    2016-02-01

    This review is confined to triplex nucleic acid testing (NAT) assays to be used on fully automated platform. Around the world, these assays are being used at various transfusion medicine centres or blood banks to screen blood units for HBV, HCV and HIV. These assay systems can screen up to 1000 blood units for HBV, HCV and HIV simultaneously in a day. This area has been dominated by mainly two manufacturers: M/s Gen-Probe-Novartis and M/s Roche Molecular Systems. The triplex NAT assay systems of both manufacturers are licensed by United States Food and Drug Administration. There is not much awareness about the technology and procedures used in these assays. The main objective of this review is to create awareness about the technology and procedure of these assays. PMID:27042485

  19. Automated fabrication of back surface field silicon solar cells with screen printed wraparound contacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thornhill, J. W.

    1977-01-01

    The development of a process for fabricating 2 x 4 cm back surface field silicon solar cells having screen printed wraparound contacts is described. This process was specifically designed to be amenable for incorporation into the automated nonvacuum production line. Techniques were developed to permit the use of screen printing for producing improved back surface field structures, wraparound dielectric layers, and wraparound contacts. The optimized process sequence was then used to produce 1852 finished cells. Tests indicated an average conversion efficiency of 11% at AMO and 28 C, with an average degradation of maximum power output of 1.5% after boiling water immersion or thermal shock cycling. Contact adherence was satisfactory after these tests, as well as long term storage at high temperature and high humidity.

  20. Characterization and Optimization of a Novel Protein–Protein Interaction Biosensor High-Content Screening Assay to Identify Disruptors of the Interactions Between p53 and hDM2

    PubMed Central

    Dudgeon, Drew D.; Shinde, Sunita N.; Shun, Tong Ying; Lazo, John S.; Strock, Christopher J.; Giuliano, Kenneth A.; Taylor, D. Lansing; Johnston, Patricia A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract We present here the characterization and optimization of a novel imaging-based positional biosensor high-content screening (HCS) assay to identify disruptors of p53-hDM2 protein–protein interactions (PPIs). The chimeric proteins of the biosensor incorporated the N-terminal PPI domains of p53 and hDM2, protein targeting sequences (nuclear localization and nuclear export sequence), and fluorescent reporters, which when expressed in cells could be used to monitor p53-hDM2 PPIs through changes in the subcellular localization of the hDM2 component of the biosensor. Coinfection with the recombinant adenovirus biosensors was used to express the NH-terminal domains of p53 and hDM2, fused to green fluorescent protein and red fluorescent protein, respectively, in U-2 OS cells. We validated the p53-hDM2 PPI biosensor (PPIB) HCS assay with Nutlin-3, a compound that occupies the hydrophobic pocket on the surface of the N-terminus of hDM2 and blocks the binding interactions with the N-terminus of p53. Nutlin-3 disrupted the p53-hDM2 PPIB in a concentration-dependent manner and provided a robust, reproducible, and stable assay signal window that was compatible with HCS. The p53-hDM2 PPIB assay was readily implemented in HCS and we identified four (4) compounds in the 1,280-compound Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds that activated the p53 signaling pathway and elicited biosensor signals that were clearly distinct from the responses of inactive compounds. Anthracycline (topoisomerase II inhibitors such as mitoxantrone and ellipticine) and camptothecin (topoisomerase I inhibitor) derivatives including topotecan induce DNA double strand breaks, which activate the p53 pathway through the ataxia telangiectasia mutated-checkpoint kinase 2 (ATM-CHK2) DNA damage response pathway. Although mitoxantrone, ellipticine, camptothecin, and topotecan all exhibited concentration-dependent disruption of the p53-hDM2 PPIB, they were much less potent than Nutlin-3. Further

  1. High-throughput screening of zebrafish embryos using automated heart detection and imaging.

    PubMed

    Spomer, Waldemar; Pfriem, Alexander; Alshut, Rüdiger; Just, Steffen; Pylatiuk, Christian

    2012-12-01

    Over the past decade, the zebrafish has become a key model organism in genetic screenings and drug discovery. A number of genes have been identified to affect the development of the shape and functioning of the heart, leading to zebrafish mutants with heart defects. The development of semiautomated microscopy systems has allowed for the investigation of drugs that reverse a disease phenotype on a larger scale. However, there is a lack of automated feature detection, and commercially available computer-aided microscopes are expensive. Screening of the zebrafish heart for drug discovery typically includes the identification of heart parameters, such as the frequency or fractional shortening. Until now, screening processes have been characterized by manual handling of the larvae and manual microscopy. Here, an intelligent robotic microscope is presented, which automatically identifies the orientation of a zebrafish in a micro well. A predefined region of interest, such as the heart, is detected automatically, and a video with higher magnification is recorded. Screening of a 96-well plate takes 35 to 55 min, depending on the length of the videos. Of the zebrafish hearts, 75% are recorded accurately without any user interaction. A description of the system, including the graphical user interface, is given. PMID:23053930

  2. Development and application of an automated, low-volume chromatography system for resin and condition screening.

    PubMed

    Teeters, Mark; Bezila, Daniel; Alred, Patricia; Velayudhan, Ajoy

    2008-10-01

    A small-volume chromatography system was developed for rapid resin and parameter screening and applied to the purification of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody from a key product-related impurity. Accounting for constraints in peripheral volume, gradient formation, column integrity, and fraction collection in microtiter plates, the resulting system employed 2-mL columns and was successfully integrated with plate-based methods for rapid sample analysis (e. g., use of automated liquid handlers, plate readers, and HPLC). Several cation-exchange chromatography resins were screened using automated programs and tailored gradients for the combination of a particular resin and a given antibody feedstock produced during Phase 1 development. Results from the tailored gradient runs were used to select a resin, and to arrive at efficient stepwise elution schedules for the chosen resin. By maintaining a constant residence time, final operating parameters were successfully scaled to representative bed heights and column diameters up to 2.6 cm (106 mL). This approach significantly improved throughput while reducing development time and material consumption. PMID:18543245

  3. An Automated Algorithm to Screen Massive Training Samples for a Global Impervious Surface Classification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tan, Bin; Brown de Colstoun, Eric; Wolfe, Robert E.; Tilton, James C.; Huang, Chengquan; Smith, Sarah E.

    2012-01-01

    An algorithm is developed to automatically screen the outliers from massive training samples for Global Land Survey - Imperviousness Mapping Project (GLS-IMP). GLS-IMP is to produce a global 30 m spatial resolution impervious cover data set for years 2000 and 2010 based on the Landsat Global Land Survey (GLS) data set. This unprecedented high resolution impervious cover data set is not only significant to the urbanization studies but also desired by the global carbon, hydrology, and energy balance researches. A supervised classification method, regression tree, is applied in this project. A set of accurate training samples is the key to the supervised classifications. Here we developed the global scale training samples from 1 m or so resolution fine resolution satellite data (Quickbird and Worldview2), and then aggregate the fine resolution impervious cover map to 30 m resolution. In order to improve the classification accuracy, the training samples should be screened before used to train the regression tree. It is impossible to manually screen 30 m resolution training samples collected globally. For example, in Europe only, there are 174 training sites. The size of the sites ranges from 4.5 km by 4.5 km to 8.1 km by 3.6 km. The amount training samples are over six millions. Therefore, we develop this automated statistic based algorithm to screen the training samples in two levels: site and scene level. At the site level, all the training samples are divided to 10 groups according to the percentage of the impervious surface within a sample pixel. The samples following in each 10% forms one group. For each group, both univariate and multivariate outliers are detected and removed. Then the screen process escalates to the scene level. A similar screen process but with a looser threshold is applied on the scene level considering the possible variance due to the site difference. We do not perform the screen process across the scenes because the scenes might vary due to

  4. Automated high-throughput in vitro screening of the acetylcholine esterase inhibiting potential of environmental samples, mixtures and single compounds.

    PubMed

    Froment, Jean; Thomas, Kevin V; Tollefsen, Knut Erik

    2016-08-01

    A high-throughput and automated assay for testing the presence of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibiting compounds was developed, validated and applied to screen different types of environmental samples. Automation involved using the assay in 96-well plates and adapting it for the use with an automated workstation. Validation was performed by comparing the results of the automated assay with that of a previously validated and standardised assay for two known AChE inhibitors (paraoxon and dichlorvos). The results show that the assay provides similar concentration-response curves (CRCs) when run according to the manual and automated protocol. Automation of the assay resulted in a reduction in assay run time as well as in intra- and inter-assay variations. High-quality CRCs were obtained for both of the model AChE inhibitors (dichlorvos IC50=120µM and paraoxon IC50=0.56µM) when tested alone. The effect of co-exposure of an equipotent binary mixture of the two chemicals were consistent with predictions of additivity and best described by the concentration addition model for combined toxicity. Extracts of different environmental samples (landfill leachate, wastewater treatment plant effluent, and road tunnel construction run-off) were then screened for AChE inhibiting activity using the automated bioassay, with only landfill leachate shown to contain potential AChE inhibitors. Potential uses and limitations of the assay were discussed based on the present results. PMID:27085000

  5. Automated measurement of mouse apolipoprotein B: convenient screening tool for mouse models of atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Levine, D M; Williams, K J

    1997-04-01

    Although mice are commonly used for studies of atherosclerosis, investigators have had no convenient way to quantify apolipoprotein (apo) B, the major protein of atherogenic lipoproteins, in this model. We now report an automated immunoturbidimetric assay for mouse apo B with an NCCLS imprecision study CV < 5%. Added hemoglobin up to 50 g/L did not interfere with the assay, nor did one freeze-thaw cycle of serum samples. Assay linearity extends to apo B concentrations of 325 mg/L. We have used the assay to determine serum apo B concentrations under several atherogenic conditions, including the apo E "knock-out" genotype and treatment with a high-cholesterol diet. Our assay can be used to survey inbred mouse strains for variants in apo B concentrations or regulation. Moreover, the mouse can now be used as a convenient small-animal model to screen compounds that may lower apo B concentrations. PMID:9105271

  6. Discovery of Overcoating Metal Oxides on Photoelectrode for Water Splitting by Automated Screening.

    PubMed

    Saito, Rie; Miseki, Yugo; Nini, Wang; Sayama, Kazuhiro

    2015-10-12

    We applied an automated semiconductor synthesis and screen system to discover overcoating film materials and optimize coating conditions on the BiVO4/WO3 composite photoelectrode to enhance stability and photocurrent. Thirteen metallic elements for overcoating oxides were examined with various coating amounts. The stability of the BiVO4/WO3 photoelectrode in a highly concentrated carbonate electrolyte aqueous solution was significantly improved by overcoating with Ta2O5 film, which was amorphous and porous when calcined at 550 °C. The photocurrent for the water oxidation reaction was only minimally inhibited by the presence of the Ta2O5 film on the BiVO4/WO3 photoelectrode. PMID:26325162

  7. Towards Exhaustive and Automated High-Throughput Screening for Crystalline Polymorphs

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Methods capable of exhaustively screening for crystal polymorphism remain an elusive goal in solid-state chemistry. Particularly promising among the new generation of approaches is polymer-induced heteronucleation (PIHn), a tool utilizing hundreds of unique polymers for granting kinetic access to polymorphs. Here PIHn is redeployed in a high density format in which 288 distinct polymers, each acting as a heteronucleant, are arrayed on one substrate. This format allows determining the outcome of thousands of crystallizations in an automated fashion with only a few milligrams of sample. This technology enables the study of a broader range of targets, including preclinical candidates, facilitating determination of polymorphism propensity much earlier in the drug development process. Here the efficacy of this approach is demonstrated using four pharmaceutically relevant compounds: acetaminophen, tolfenamic acid, ROY, and curcumin. PMID:24933573

  8. Automated screening for small organic ligands using DNA-encoded chemical libraries.

    PubMed

    Decurtins, Willy; Wichert, Moreno; Franzini, Raphael M; Buller, Fabian; Stravs, Michael A; Zhang, Yixin; Neri, Dario; Scheuermann, Jörg

    2016-04-01

    DNA-encoded chemical libraries (DECLs) are collections of organic compounds that are individually linked to different oligonucleotides, serving as amplifiable identification barcodes. As all compounds in the library can be identified by their DNA tags, they can be mixed and used in affinity-capture experiments on target proteins of interest. In this protocol, we describe the screening process that allows the identification of the few binding molecules within the multiplicity of library members. First, the automated affinity selection process physically isolates binding library members. Second, the DNA codes of the isolated binders are PCR-amplified and subjected to high-throughput DNA sequencing. Third, the obtained sequencing data are evaluated using a C++ program and the results are displayed using MATLAB software. The resulting selection fingerprints facilitate the discrimination of binding from nonbinding library members. The described procedures allow the identification of small organic ligands to biological targets from a DECL within 10 d. PMID:26985574

  9. Delivering an Automated and Integrated Approach to Combination Screening Using Acoustic-Droplet Technology.

    PubMed

    Cross, Kevin; Craggs, Richard; Swift, Denise; Sitaram, Anesh; Daya, Sandeep; Roberts, Mark; Hawley, Shaun; Owen, Paul; Isherwood, Bev

    2016-02-01

    Drug combination testing in the pharmaceutical industry has typically been driven by late-stage opportunistic strategies rather than by early testing to identify drug combinations for clinical investigation that may deliver improved efficacy. A rationale for combinations exists across a number of diseases in which pathway redundancy or resistance to therapeutics are evident. However, early assays are complicated by the absence of both assay formats representative of disease biology and robust infrastructure to screen drug combinations in a medium-throughput capacity. When applying drug combination testing studies, it may be difficult to translate a study design into the required well contents for assay plates because of the number of compounds and concentrations involved. Dispensing these plates increases in difficulty as the number of compounds and concentration points increase and compounds are subsequently rolled onto additional labware. We describe the development of a software tool, in conjunction with the use of acoustic droplet technology, as part of a compound management platform, which allows the design of an assay incorporating combinations of compounds. These enhancements to infrastructure facilitate the design and ordering of assay-ready compound combination plates and the processing of combinations data from high-content organotypic assays. PMID:25835292

  10. Development of an Automated Microfluidic Reaction Platform for Multidimensional Screening: Reaction Discovery Employing Bicyclo[3.2.1]octanoid Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Goodell, John R.; McMullen, Jonathan P.; Zaborenko, Nikolay; Maloney, Jason R.; Ho, Chuan-Xing; Jensen, Klavs F.; Porco, John A.

    2010-01-01

    An automated, silicon-based microreactor system has been developed for rapid, low-volume, multidimensional reaction screening. Use of the microfluidic platform to identify transformations of densely functionalized bicyclo[3.2.1]octanoid scaffolds will be described. PMID:20560568

  11. Affinity-based screening of combinatorial libraries using automated, serial-column chromatography

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, D.M.; Williams, K.P.; McGuinness, B.

    1996-04-01

    The authors have developed an automated serial chromatographic technique for screening a library of compounds based upon their relative affinity for a target molecule. A {open_quotes}target{close_quotes} column containing the immobilized target molecule is set in tandem with a reversed-phase column. A combinatorial peptide library is injected onto the target column. The target-bound peptides are eluted from the first column and transferred automatically to the reversed-phase column. The target-specific peptide peaks from the reversed-phase column are identified and sequenced. Using a monoclonal antibody (3E-7) against {beta}-endorphin as a target, we selected a single peptide with sequence YGGFL from approximately 5800 peptides present in a combinatorial library. We demonstrated the applicability of the technology towards selection of peptides with predetermined affinity for bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS, endotoxin). We expect that this technology will have broad applications for high throughput screening of chemical libraries or natural product extracts. 21 refs., 4 figs.

  12. Automated screening system for retinal health using bi-dimensional empirical mode decomposition and integrated index.

    PubMed

    Acharya, U Rajendra; Mookiah, Muthu Rama Krishnan; Koh, Joel E W; Tan, Jen Hong; Bhandary, Sulatha V; Rao, A Krishna; Fujita, Hamido; Hagiwara, Yuki; Chua, Chua Kuang; Laude, Augustinus

    2016-08-01

    Posterior Segment Eye Diseases (PSED) namely Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), glaucoma and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are the prime causes of vision loss globally. Vision loss can be prevented, if these diseases are detected at an early stage. Structural abnormalities such as changes in cup-to-disc ratio, Hard Exudates (HE), drusen, Microaneurysms (MA), Cotton Wool Spots (CWS), Haemorrhages (HA), Geographic Atrophy (GA) and Choroidal Neovascularization (CNV) in PSED can be identified by manual examination of fundus images by clinicians. However, manual screening is labour-intensive, tiresome and time consuming. Hence, there is a need to automate the eye screening. In this work Bi-dimensional Empirical Mode Decomposition (BEMD) technique is used to decompose fundus images into 2D Intrinsic Mode Functions (IMFs) to capture variations in the pixels due to morphological changes. Further, various entropy namely Renyi, Fuzzy, Shannon, Vajda, Kapur and Yager and energy features are extracted from IMFs. These extracted features are ranked using Chernoff Bound and Bhattacharyya Distance (CBBD), Kullback-Leibler Divergence (KLD), Fuzzy-minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance (FmRMR), Wilcoxon, Receiver Operating Characteristics Curve (ROC) and t-test methods. Further, these ranked features are fed to Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier to classify normal and abnormal (DR, AMD and glaucoma) classes. The performance of the proposed eye screening system is evaluated using 800 (Normal=400 and Abnormal=400) digital fundus images and 10-fold cross validation method. Our proposed system automatically identifies normal and abnormal classes with an average accuracy of 88.63%, sensitivity of 86.25% and specificity of 91% using 17 optimal features ranked using CBBD and SVM-Radial Basis Function (RBF) classifier. Moreover, a novel Retinal Risk Index (RRI) is developed using two significant features to distinguish two classes using single number. Such a system helps to reduce eye

  13. Automated, Quantitative Cognitive/Behavioral Screening of Mice: For Genetics, Pharmacology, Animal Cognition and Undergraduate Instruction

    PubMed Central

    Gallistel, C. R.; Balci, Fuat; Freestone, David; Kheifets, Aaron; King, Adam

    2014-01-01

    We describe a high-throughput, high-volume, fully automated, live-in 24/7 behavioral testing system for assessing the effects of genetic and pharmacological manipulations on basic mechanisms of cognition and learning in mice. A standard polypropylene mouse housing tub is connected through an acrylic tube to a standard commercial mouse test box. The test box has 3 hoppers, 2 of which are connected to pellet feeders. All are internally illuminable with an LED and monitored for head entries by infrared (IR) beams. Mice live in the environment, which eliminates handling during screening. They obtain their food during two or more daily feeding periods by performing in operant (instrumental) and Pavlovian (classical) protocols, for which we have written protocol-control software and quasi-real-time data analysis and graphing software. The data analysis and graphing routines are written in a MATLAB-based language created to simplify greatly the analysis of large time-stamped behavioral and physiological event records and to preserve a full data trail from raw data through all intermediate analyses to the published graphs and statistics within a single data structure. The data-analysis code harvests the data several times a day and subjects it to statistical and graphical analyses, which are automatically stored in the "cloud" and on in-lab computers. Thus, the progress of individual mice is visualized and quantified daily. The data-analysis code talks to the protocol-control code, permitting the automated advance from protocol to protocol of individual subjects. The behavioral protocols implemented are matching, autoshaping, timed hopper-switching, risk assessment in timed hopper-switching, impulsivity measurement, and the circadian anticipation of food availability. Open-source protocol-control and data-analysis code makes the addition of new protocols simple. Eight test environments fit in a 48 in x 24 in x 78 in cabinet; two such cabinets (16 environments) may be

  14. Automated, quantitative cognitive/behavioral screening of mice: for genetics, pharmacology, animal cognition and undergraduate instruction.

    PubMed

    Gallistel, C R; Balci, Fuat; Freestone, David; Kheifets, Aaron; King, Adam

    2014-01-01

    We describe a high-throughput, high-volume, fully automated, live-in 24/7 behavioral testing system for assessing the effects of genetic and pharmacological manipulations on basic mechanisms of cognition and learning in mice. A standard polypropylene mouse housing tub is connected through an acrylic tube to a standard commercial mouse test box. The test box has 3 hoppers, 2 of which are connected to pellet feeders. All are internally illuminable with an LED and monitored for head entries by infrared (IR) beams. Mice live in the environment, which eliminates handling during screening. They obtain their food during two or more daily feeding periods by performing in operant (instrumental) and Pavlovian (classical) protocols, for which we have written protocol-control software and quasi-real-time data analysis and graphing software. The data analysis and graphing routines are written in a MATLAB-based language created to simplify greatly the analysis of large time-stamped behavioral and physiological event records and to preserve a full data trail from raw data through all intermediate analyses to the published graphs and statistics within a single data structure. The data-analysis code harvests the data several times a day and subjects it to statistical and graphical analyses, which are automatically stored in the "cloud" and on in-lab computers. Thus, the progress of individual mice is visualized and quantified daily. The data-analysis code talks to the protocol-control code, permitting the automated advance from protocol to protocol of individual subjects. The behavioral protocols implemented are matching, autoshaping, timed hopper-switching, risk assessment in timed hopper-switching, impulsivity measurement, and the circadian anticipation of food availability. Open-source protocol-control and data-analysis code makes the addition of new protocols simple. Eight test environments fit in a 48 in x 24 in x 78 in cabinet; two such cabinets (16 environments) may be

  15. Effects of Secondary Task Modality and Processing Code on Automation Trust and Utilization During Simulated Airline Luggage Screening

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, Rachel; Madhavan, Poornima

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of environmental distractions on human trust and utilization of automation during the process of visual search. Participants performed a computer-simulated airline luggage screening task with the assistance of a 70% reliable automated decision aid (called DETECTOR) both with and without environmental distractions. The distraction was implemented as a secondary task in either a competing modality (visual) or non-competing modality (auditory). The secondary task processing code either competed with the luggage screening task (spatial code) or with the automation's textual directives (verbal code). We measured participants' system trust, perceived reliability of the system (when a target weapon was present and absent), compliance, reliance, and confidence when agreeing and disagreeing with the system under both distracted and undistracted conditions. Results revealed that system trust was lower in the visual-spatial and auditory-verbal conditions than in the visual-verbal and auditory-spatial conditions. Perceived reliability of the system (when the target was present) was significantly higher when the secondary task was visual rather than auditory. Compliance with the aid increased in all conditions except for the auditory-verbal condition, where it decreased. Similar to the pattern for trust, reliance on the automation was lower in the visual-spatial and auditory-verbal conditions than in the visual-verbal and auditory-spatial conditions. Confidence when agreeing with the system decreased with the addition of any kind of distraction; however, confidence when disagreeing increased with the addition of an auditory secondary task but decreased with the addition of a visual task. A model was developed to represent the research findings and demonstrate the relationship between secondary task modality, processing code, and automation use. Results suggest that the nature of environmental distractions influence

  16. Automated NMR Fragment Based Screening Identified a Novel Interface Blocker to the LARG/RhoA Complex

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Jia; Ma, Rongsheng; Wang, Wei; Wang, Na; Sasaki, Ryan; Snyderman, David; Wu, Jihui; Ruan, Ke

    2014-01-01

    The small GTPase cycles between the inactive GDP form and the activated GTP form, catalyzed by the upstream guanine exchange factors. The modulation of such process by small molecules has been proven to be a fruitful route for therapeutic intervention to prevent the over-activation of the small GTPase. The fragment based approach emerging in the past decade has demonstrated its paramount potential in the discovery of inhibitors targeting such novel and challenging protein-protein interactions. The details regarding the procedure of NMR fragment screening from scratch have been rarely disclosed comprehensively, thus restricts its wider applications. To achieve a consistent screening applicable to a number of targets, we developed a highly automated protocol to cover every aspect of NMR fragment screening as possible, including the construction of small but diverse libray, determination of the aqueous solubility by NMR, grouping compounds with mutual dispersity to a cocktail, and the automated processing and visualization of the ligand based screening spectra. We exemplified our streamlined screening in RhoA alone and the complex of the small GTPase RhoA and its upstream guanine exchange factor LARG. Two hits were confirmed from the primary screening in cocktail and secondary screening over individual hits for LARG/RhoA complex, while one of them was also identified from the screening for RhoA alone. HSQC titration of the two hits over RhoA and LARG alone, respectively, identified one compound binding to RhoA.GDP at a 0.11 mM affinity, and perturbed the residues at the switch II region of RhoA. This hit blocked the formation of the LARG/RhoA complex, validated by the native gel electrophoresis, and the titration of RhoA to 15N labeled LARG in the absence and presence the compound, respectively. It therefore provides us a starting point toward a more potent inhibitor to RhoA activation catalyzed by LARG. PMID:24505392

  17. A high-content, high-throughput siRNA screen identifies cyclin D2 as a potent regulator of muscle progenitor cell fusion and a target to enhance muscle regeneration.

    PubMed

    Khanjyan, Michael V; Yang, Jonathan; Kayali, Refik; Caldwell, Thomas; Bertoni, Carmen

    2013-08-15

    Cell-mediated regenerative approaches using muscle progenitor cells hold promises for the treatment of many forms of muscle disorders. Their applicability in the clinic, however, is hindered by the low levels of regeneration obtained after transplantation and the large number of cells required to achieve an effect. To better understand the mechanisms that regulate the temporal switch of replicating muscle progenitor cells into terminally differentiated cells and to develop new strategies that could enhance muscle regeneration, we have developed and performed a high-throughput screening (HTS) capable of identifying genes that play active roles during myogenesis. Secondary and tertiary screens were used to confirm the effects of RNAi in vitro and in vivo and to select for candidate hits that significantly increase regeneration into skeletal muscles. Downregulation of cyclin D2 (CCND2) was shown to dramatically enhance myogenic differentiation of muscle progenitor cells and to induce a robust regeneration after cell transplantation into skeletal muscles of dystrophin-deficient mice. Protein interaction network and pathway analysis revealed that CCND2 directly interacts with the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdk4 to inhibit phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb), thus blocking the activation of the myogenic switch during fusion. These studies identify CCND2 as a new key regulator of terminal differentiation in muscle progenitor cells and open new possibilities for the treatment of many forms of muscle disorders characterized by impaired regeneration and loss of muscle mass. PMID:23612904

  18. Automated cell analysis tool for a genome-wide RNAi screen with support vector machine based supervised learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Remmele, Steffen; Ritzerfeld, Julia; Nickel, Walter; Hesser, Jürgen

    2011-03-01

    RNAi-based high-throughput microscopy screens have become an important tool in biological sciences in order to decrypt mostly unknown biological functions of human genes. However, manual analysis is impossible for such screens since the amount of image data sets can often be in the hundred thousands. Reliable automated tools are thus required to analyse the fluorescence microscopy image data sets usually containing two or more reaction channels. The herein presented image analysis tool is designed to analyse an RNAi screen investigating the intracellular trafficking and targeting of acylated Src kinases. In this specific screen, a data set consists of three reaction channels and the investigated cells can appear in different phenotypes. The main issue of the image processing task is an automatic cell segmentation which has to be robust and accurate for all different phenotypes and a successive phenotype classification. The cell segmentation is done in two steps by segmenting the cell nuclei first and then using a classifier-enhanced region growing on basis of the cell nuclei to segment the cells. The classification of the cells is realized by a support vector machine which has to be trained manually using supervised learning. Furthermore, the tool is brightness invariant allowing different staining quality and it provides a quality control that copes with typical defects during preparation and acquisition. A first version of the tool has already been successfully applied for an RNAi-screen containing three hundred thousand image data sets and the SVM extended version is designed for additional screens.

  19. Development of a web-based tool for automated processing and cataloging of a unique combinatorial drug screen.

    PubMed

    Dalecki, Alex G; Wolschendorf, Frank

    2016-07-01

    Facing totally resistant bacteria, traditional drug discovery efforts have proven to be of limited use in replenishing our depleted arsenal of therapeutic antibiotics. Recently, the natural anti-bacterial properties of metal ions in synergy with metal-coordinating ligands have shown potential for generating new molecule candidates with potential therapeutic downstream applications. We recently developed a novel combinatorial screening approach to identify compounds with copper-dependent anti-bacterial properties. Through a parallel screening technique, the assay distinguishes between copper-dependent and independent activities against Mycobacterium tuberculosis with hits being defined as compounds with copper-dependent activities. These activities must then be linked to a compound master list to process and analyze the data and to identify the hit molecules, a labor intensive and mistake-prone analysis. Here, we describe a software program built to automate this analysis in order to streamline our workflow significantly. We conducted a small, 1440 compound screen against M. tuberculosis and used it as an example framework to build and optimize the software. Though specifically adapted to our own needs, it can be readily expanded for any small- to medium-throughput screening effort, parallel or conventional. Further, by virtue of the underlying Linux server, it can be easily adapted for chemoinformatic analysis of screens through packages such as OpenBabel. Overall, this setup represents an easy-to-use solution for streamlining processing and analysis of biological screening data, as well as offering a scaffold for ready functionality expansion. PMID:27117032

  20. Automated high-content morphological analysis of muscle fiber histology.

    PubMed

    Miazaki, Mauro; Viana, Matheus P; Yang, Zhong; Comin, Cesar H; Wang, Yaming; da F Costa, Luciano; Xu, Xiaoyin

    2015-08-01

    In the search for a cure for many muscular disorders it is often necessary to analyze muscle fibers under a microscope. For this morphological analysis, we developed an image processing approach to automatically analyze and quantify muscle fiber images so as to replace today's less accurate and time-consuming manual method. Muscular disorders, that include cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophies, and diseases of nerves that affect muscles such as neuropathy and myasthenia gravis, affect a large percentage of the population and, therefore, are an area of active research for new treatments. In research, the morphological features of muscle fibers play an important role as they are often used as biomarkers to evaluate the progress of underlying diseases and the effects of potential treatments. Such analysis involves assessing histopathological changes of muscle fibers as indicators for disease severity and also as a criterion in evaluating whether or not potential treatments work. However, quantifying morphological features is time-consuming, as it is usually performed manually, and error-prone. To replace this standard method, we developed an image processing approach to automatically detect and measure the cross-sections of muscle fibers observed under microscopy that produces faster and more objective results. As such, it is well-suited to processing the large number of muscle fiber images acquired in typical experiments, such as those from studies with pre-clinical models that often create many images. Tests on real images showed that the approach can segment and detect muscle fiber membranes and extract morphological features from highly complex images to generate quantitative results that are readily available for statistical analysis. PMID:26004825

  1. Development of a quantitative morphological assessment of toxicant-treated zebrafish larvae using brightfield imaging and high-content analysis.

    PubMed

    Deal, Samantha; Wambaugh, John; Judson, Richard; Mosher, Shad; Radio, Nick; Houck, Keith; Padilla, Stephanie

    2016-09-01

    One of the rate-limiting procedures in a developmental zebrafish screen is the morphological assessment of each larva. Most researchers opt for a time-consuming, structured visual assessment by trained human observer(s). The present studies were designed to develop a more objective, accurate and rapid method for screening zebrafish for dysmorphology. Instead of the very detailed human assessment, we have developed the computational malformation index, which combines the use of high-content imaging with a very brief human visual assessment. Each larva was quickly assessed by a human observer (basic visual assessment), killed, fixed and assessed for dysmorphology with the Zebratox V4 BioApplication using the Cellomics® ArrayScan® V(TI) high-content image analysis platform. The basic visual assessment adds in-life parameters, and the high-content analysis assesses each individual larva for various features (total area, width, spine length, head-tail length, length-width ratio, perimeter-area ratio). In developing the computational malformation index, a training set of hundreds of embryos treated with hundreds of chemicals were visually assessed using the basic or detailed method. In the second phase, we assessed both the stability of these high-content measurements and its performance using a test set of zebrafish treated with a dose range of two reference chemicals (trans-retinoic acid or cadmium). We found the measures were stable for at least 1 week and comparison of these automated measures to detailed visual inspection of the larvae showed excellent congruence. Our computational malformation index provides an objective manner for rapid phenotypic brightfield assessment of individual larva in a developmental zebrafish assay. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26924781

  2. ClinicalTrials.gov as a Data Source for Semi-Automated Point-Of-Care Trial Eligibility Screening

    PubMed Central

    Pfiffner, Pascal B.; Oh, JiWon; Miller, Timothy A.; Mandl, Kenneth D.

    2014-01-01

    Background Implementing semi-automated processes to efficiently match patients to clinical trials at the point of care requires both detailed patient data and authoritative information about open studies. Objective To evaluate the utility of the ClinicalTrials.gov registry as a data source for semi-automated trial eligibility screening. Methods Eligibility criteria and metadata for 437 trials open for recruitment in four different clinical domains were identified in ClinicalTrials.gov. Trials were evaluated for up to date recruitment status and eligibility criteria were evaluated for obstacles to automated interpretation. Finally, phone or email outreach to coordinators at a subset of the trials was made to assess the accuracy of contact details and recruitment status. Results 24% (104 of 437) of trials declaring on open recruitment status list a study completion date in the past, indicating out of date records. Substantial barriers to automated eligibility interpretation in free form text are present in 81% to up to 94% of all trials. We were unable to contact coordinators at 31% (45 of 146) of the trials in the subset, either by phone or by email. Only 53% (74 of 146) would confirm that they were still recruiting patients. Conclusion Because ClinicalTrials.gov has entries on most US and many international trials, the registry could be repurposed as a comprehensive trial matching data source. Semi-automated point of care recruitment would be facilitated by matching the registry's eligibility criteria against clinical data from electronic health records. But the current entries fall short. Ultimately, improved techniques in natural language processing will facilitate semi-automated complex matching. As immediate next steps, we recommend augmenting ClinicalTrials.gov data entry forms to capture key eligibility criteria in a simple, structured format. PMID:25334031

  3. Multiplexed high-content analysis of mitochondrial morphofunction using live-cell microscopy.

    PubMed

    Iannetti, Eligio F; Smeitink, Jan A M; Beyrath, Julien; Willems, Peter H G M; Koopman, Werner J H

    2016-09-01

    Mitochondria have a central role in cellular (patho)physiology, and they display a highly variable morphology that is probably coupled to their functional state. Here we present a protocol that allows unbiased and automated quantification of mitochondrial 'morphofunction' (i.e., morphology and membrane potential), cellular parameters (size, confluence) and nuclear parameters (number, morphology) in intact living primary human skin fibroblasts (PHSFs). Cells are cultured in 96-well plates and stained with tetramethyl rhodamine methyl ester (TMRM), calcein-AM (acetoxy-methyl ester) and Hoechst 33258. Next, multispectral fluorescence images are acquired using automated microscopy and processed to extract 44 descriptors. Subsequently, the descriptor data are subjected to a quality control (QC) algorithm based upon principal component analysis (PCA) and interpreted using univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis. The protocol requires a time investment of ∼4 h distributed over 2 d. Although it is specifically developed for PHSFs, which are widely used in preclinical research, the protocol is portable to other cell types and can be scaled up for implementation in high-content screening. PMID:27560174

  4. High-content analysis of sequential events during the early phase of influenza A virus infection.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Indranil; Yamauchi, Yohei; Helenius, Ari; Horvath, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Influenza A virus (IAV) represents a worldwide threat to public health by causing severe morbidity and mortality every year. Due to high mutation rate, new strains of IAV emerge frequently. These IAVs are often drug-resistant and require vaccine reformulation. A promising approach to circumvent this problem is to target host cell determinants crucial for IAV infection, but dispensable for the cell. Several RNAi-based screens have identified about one thousand cellular factors that promote IAV infection. However, systematic analyses to determine their specific functions are lacking. To address this issue, we developed quantitative, imaging-based assays to dissect seven consecutive steps in the early phases of IAV infection in tissue culture cells. The entry steps for which we developed the assays were: virus binding to the cell membrane, endocytosis, exposure to low pH in endocytic vacuoles, acid-activated fusion of viral envelope with the vacuolar membrane, nucleocapsid uncoating in the cytosol, nuclear import of viral ribonucleoproteins, and expression of the viral nucleoprotein. We adapted the assays to automated microscopy and optimized them for high-content screening. To quantify the image data, we performed both single and multi-parametric analyses, in combination with machine learning. By time-course experiments, we determined the optimal time points for each assay. Our quality control experiments showed that the assays were sufficiently robust for high-content analysis. The methods we describe in this study provide a powerful high-throughput platform to understand the host cell processes, which can eventually lead to the discovery of novel anti-pathogen strategies. PMID:23874633

  5. Integrating High-Content Imaging and Chemical Genetics to Probe Host Cellular Pathways Critical for Yersinia Pestis Infection

    PubMed Central

    Kota, Krishna P.; Eaton, Brett; Lane, Douglas; Ulrich, Melanie; Ulrich, Ricky; Peyser, Brian D.; Robinson, Camenzind G.; Jaissle, James G.; Pegoraro, Gianluca; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.

    2013-01-01

    The molecular machinery that regulates the entry and survival of Yersinia pestis in host macrophages is poorly understood. Here, we report the development of automated high-content imaging assays to quantitate the internalization of virulent Y. pestis CO92 by macrophages and the subsequent activation of host NF-κB. Implementation of these assays in a focused chemical screen identified kinase inhibitors that inhibited both of these processes. Rac-2-ethoxy-3 octadecanamido-1-propylphosphocholine (a protein Kinase C inhibitor), wortmannin (a PI3K inhibitor), and parthenolide (an IκB kinase inhibitor), inhibited pathogen-induced NF-κB activation and reduced bacterial entry and survival within macrophages. Parthenolide inhibited NF-κB activation in response to stimulation with Pam3CSK4 (a TLR2 agonist), E. coli LPS (a TLR4 agonist) or Y. pestis infection, while the PI3K and PKC inhibitors were selective only for Y. pestis infection. Together, our results suggest that phagocytosis is the major stimulus for NF-κB activation in response to Y. pestis infection, and that Y. pestis entry into macrophages may involve the participation of protein kinases such as PI3K and PKC. More importantly, the automated image-based screening platform described here can be applied to the study of other bacteria in general and, in combination with chemical genetic screening, can be used to identify host cell functions facilitating the identification of novel antibacterial therapeutics. PMID:23383093

  6. Evaluation of an Automated Information Extraction Tool for Imaging Data Elements to Populate a Breast Cancer Screening Registry.

    PubMed

    Lacson, Ronilda; Harris, Kimberly; Brawarsky, Phyllis; Tosteson, Tor D; Onega, Tracy; Tosteson, Anna N A; Kaye, Abby; Gonzalez, Irina; Birdwell, Robyn; Haas, Jennifer S

    2015-10-01

    Breast cancer screening is central to early breast cancer detection. Identifying and monitoring process measures for screening is a focus of the National Cancer Institute's Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR) initiative, which requires participating centers to report structured data across the cancer screening continuum. We evaluate the accuracy of automated information extraction of imaging findings from radiology reports, which are available as unstructured text. We present prevalence estimates of imaging findings for breast imaging received by women who obtained care in a primary care network participating in PROSPR (n = 139,953 radiology reports) and compared automatically extracted data elements to a "gold standard" based on manual review for a validation sample of 941 randomly selected radiology reports, including mammograms, digital breast tomosynthesis, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The prevalence of imaging findings vary by data element and modality (e.g., suspicious calcification noted in 2.6% of screening mammograms, 12.1% of diagnostic mammograms, and 9.4% of tomosynthesis exams). In the validation sample, the accuracy of identifying imaging findings, including suspicious calcifications, masses, and architectural distortion (on mammogram and tomosynthesis); masses, cysts, non-mass enhancement, and enhancing foci (on MRI); and masses and cysts (on ultrasound), range from 0.8 to1.0 for recall, precision, and F-measure. Information extraction tools can be used for accurate documentation of imaging findings as structured data elements from text reports for a variety of breast imaging modalities. These data can be used to populate screening registries to help elucidate more effective breast cancer screening processes. PMID:25561069

  7. A timetable organizer for the planning and implementation of screenings in manual or semi-automation mode.

    PubMed

    Goktug, Asli N; Chai, Sergio C; Chen, Taosheng

    2013-09-01

    We have designed an Excel spreadsheet to facilitate the planning and execution of screenings performed manually or in semi-automation mode, following a sequential set of events. Many assays involve multiple steps, often including time-sensitive stages, thus complicating the proper implementation to ensure that all plates are treated equally to achieve reliable outcomes. The spreadsheet macro presented in this study analyzes and breaks down the timings for all tasks, calculates the limitation in the number of plates that suit the desired parameters, and allows for optimization based on tolerance of time delay and equal treatment of plates when possible. The generated Gantt charts allow for visual inspection of the screening process and provide timings in a tabulated form to assist the user to conduct the experiments as projected by the software. The program can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/sams-hts/. PMID:23653394

  8. Constraint factor graph cut–based active contour method for automated cellular image segmentation in RNAi screening

    PubMed Central

    CHEN, C.; LI, H.; ZHOU, X.; WONG, S. T. C.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Image-based, high throughput genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) experiments are increasingly carried out to facilitate the understanding of gene functions in intricate biological processes. Automated screening of such experiments generates a large number of images with great variations in image quality, which makes manual analysis unreasonably time-consuming. Therefore, effective techniques for automatic image analysis are urgently needed, in which segmentation is one of the most important steps. This paper proposes a fully automatic method for cells segmentation in genome-wide RNAi screening images. The method consists of two steps: nuclei and cytoplasm segmentation. Nuclei are extracted and labelled to initialize cytoplasm segmentation. Since the quality of RNAi image is rather poor, a novel scale-adaptive steerable filter is designed to enhance the image in order to extract long and thin protrusions on the spiky cells. Then, constraint factor GCBAC method and morphological algorithms are combined to be an integrated method to segment tight clustered cells. Compared with the results obtained by using seeded watershed and the ground truth, that is, manual labelling results by experts in RNAi screening data, our method achieves higher accuracy. Compared with active contour methods, our method consumes much less time. The positive results indicate that the proposed method can be applied in automatic image analysis of multi-channel image screening data. PMID:18445146

  9. Validation of an automated screening method for persistent organic contaminants in fats and oils by GC×GC-ToFMS.

    PubMed

    López, Patricia; Tienstra, Marc; Lommen, Arjen; Mol, Hans G J

    2016-11-15

    An screening method, comprised of straightforward sample treatment based on silica clean-up, GC×GC-ToFMS detection and automated data processing with the non-proprietary free downloadable software MetAlignID, has been successfully validated with respect to false negatives for the sum PCB 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180), for the sum of BDE 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154 and 183, for the four markers of PAHs and for a number of emerging brominated flame retardants. A screening detection limit (SDL) equal to or lower than the maximum regulatory level was always achieved. MetAlignID considerably decreased the time needed for data treatment from 20 to 5min/file. Automated identification of the signature mass spectral patterns was applied to identify chlorinated- and brominated-containing substances with more than two halogen atoms, and PAH derivates. Although the success rate was variable and needs to be further improved, the tool was considered to be of added value. PMID:27283679

  10. Feasibility of Using Low-Cost Motion Capture for Automated Screening of Shoulder Motion Limitation after Breast Cancer Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Gritsenko, Valeriya; Dailey, Eric; Kyle, Nicholas; Taylor, Matt; Whittacre, Sean; Swisher, Anne K.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine if a low-cost, automated motion analysis system using Microsoft Kinect could accurately measure shoulder motion and detect motion impairments in women following breast cancer surgery. Design Descriptive study of motion measured via 2 methods. Setting Academic cancer center oncology clinic. Participants 20 women (mean age = 60 yrs) were assessed for active and passive shoulder motions during a routine post-operative clinic visit (mean = 18 days after surgery) following mastectomy (n = 4) or lumpectomy (n = 16) for breast cancer. Interventions Participants performed 3 repetitions of active and passive shoulder motions on the side of the breast surgery. Arm motion was recorded using motion capture by Kinect for Windows sensor and on video. Goniometric values were determined from video recordings, while motion capture data were transformed to joint angles using 2 methods (body angle and projection angle). Main Outcome Measure Correlation of motion capture with goniometry and detection of motion limitation. Results Active shoulder motion measured with low-cost motion capture agreed well with goniometry (r = 0.70–0.80), while passive shoulder motion measurements did not correlate well. Using motion capture, it was possible to reliably identify participants whose range of shoulder motion was reduced by 40% or more. Conclusions Low-cost, automated motion analysis may be acceptable to screen for moderate to severe motion impairments in active shoulder motion. Automatic detection of motion limitation may allow quick screening to be performed in an oncologist's office and trigger timely referrals for rehabilitation. PMID:26076031

  11. Sequential operation droplet array: an automated microfluidic platform for picoliter-scale liquid handling, analysis, and screening.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ying; Zhang, Yun-Xia; Cai, Long-Fei; Fang, Qun

    2013-07-16

    This contribution describes a sequential operation droplet array (SODA) system, a fully automated droplet-based microfluidic system capable of performing picoliter-scale liquid manipulation, analysis, and screening. The SODA system was built using a tapered capillary-syringe pump module and a two-dimensional (2D) oil-covered droplet array installed on an x-y-z translation stage. With the system, we developed a novel picoliter-scale droplet depositing technique for forming a 2D picoliter-droplet array. On this basis, an automated droplet manipulation method with picoliter precision was established using the programmable combination of the capillary-based liquid aspirating-depositing and the moving of the oil-covered droplet array, the so-called "aspirating-depositing-moving" (ADM) method. Differing from the previously reported droplet systems based on microchips, microcapillaries, or digital microfluidics, this method can achieve complete and flexible droplet manipulations, including droplet assembling, generation, indexing, transferring, splitting, and fusion in the picoliter range, endowing the present system with ultralow sample/reagent consumptions and substantial versatility in analysis and screening for multiple different samples. To demonstrate its feasibility and versatility, we applied the SODA system in multiple experiments required in drug screening, including the screening of inhibitors for capases-1 from a chemical library, the measurement of IC50 values for the identified inhibitors, and the screening of the synergistic effect of multiple inhibitors. In the experiments, the consumptions of samples and reagents are only 60-180 pL for each droplet microreactor, which are commonly 3-5 orders of magnitude lower than those of conventional multiwell plate systems, and 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than other droplet-based microfluidic systems for multiple sample screening. The ability of the SODA system in performing complicated and multistep droplet

  12. An automated screening technique for the detection of sickle-cell haemoglobin

    PubMed Central

    Canning, D. M.; Crane, R. S.; Huntsman, R. G.; Yawson, G. I.

    1972-01-01

    An automated technique is described which is capable of detecting sickle-cell haemoglobin and differentiating the sickle-cell trait from sickle-cell anaemia. The method is based upon the Itano solubility test and utilizes Technicon equipment. Images PMID:5028640

  13. Automated urine screening devices make urine sediment microscopy in diagnostic laboratories economically viable.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Zahur

    2015-11-01

    Automated urinalysis devices are reproducible, accurate and faster than the standard manual microscopy. Economic analysis has shown that decreases in turn-around-time and labour cost savings offered by these devices make them more economic than manual microscopy. PMID:26057217

  14. An automated tuberculosis screening strategy combining X-ray-based computer-aided detection and clinical information

    PubMed Central

    Melendez, Jaime; Sánchez, Clara I.; Philipsen, Rick H. H. M.; Maduskar, Pragnya; Dawson, Rodney; Theron, Grant; Dheda, Keertan; van Ginneken, Bram

    2016-01-01

    Lack of human resources and radiological interpretation expertise impair tuberculosis (TB) screening programmes in TB-endemic countries. Computer-aided detection (CAD) constitutes a viable alternative for chest radiograph (CXR) reading. However, no automated techniques that exploit the additional clinical information typically available during screening exist. To address this issue and optimally exploit this information, a machine learning-based combination framework is introduced. We have evaluated this framework on a database containing 392 patient records from suspected TB subjects prospectively recruited in Cape Town, South Africa. Each record comprised a CAD score, automatically computed from a CXR, and 12 clinical features. Comparisons with strategies relying on either CAD scores or clinical information alone were performed. Our results indicate that the combination framework outperforms the individual strategies in terms of the area under the receiving operating characteristic curve (0.84 versus 0.78 and 0.72), specificity at 95% sensitivity (49% versus 24% and 31%) and negative predictive value (98% versus 95% and 96%). Thus, it is believed that combining CAD and clinical information to estimate the risk of active disease is a promising tool for TB screening. PMID:27126741

  15. Automated high-throughput dense matrix protein folding screen using a liquid handling robot combined with microfluidic capillary electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    An, Philip; Winters, Dwight; Walker, Kenneth W

    2016-04-01

    Modern molecular genetics technology has made it possible to swiftly sequence, clone and mass-produce recombinant DNA for the purpose of expressing heterologous genes of interest; however, recombinant protein production systems have struggled to keep pace. Mammalian expression systems are typically favored for their ability to produce and secrete proteins in their native state, but bacterial systems benefit from rapid cell line development and robust growth. The primary drawback to prokaryotic expression systems are that recombinant proteins are generally not secreted at high levels or correctly folded, and are often insoluble, necessitating post-expression protein folding to obtain the active product. In order to harness the advantages of prokaryotic expression, high-throughput methods for executing protein folding screens and the subsequent analytics to identify lead conditions are required. Both of these tasks can be accomplished using a Biomek 3000 liquid handling robot to prepare the folding screen and to subsequently prepare the reactions for assessment using Caliper microfluidic capillary electrophoresis. By augmenting a protein folding screen with automation, the primary disadvantage of Escherichia coli expression has been mitigated, namely the labor intensive identification of the required protein folding conditions. Furthermore, a rigorous, quantitative method for identifying optimal protein folding buffer aids in the rapid development of an optimal production process. PMID:26678961

  16. An automated tuberculosis screening strategy combining X-ray-based computer-aided detection and clinical information.

    PubMed

    Melendez, Jaime; Sánchez, Clara I; Philipsen, Rick H H M; Maduskar, Pragnya; Dawson, Rodney; Theron, Grant; Dheda, Keertan; van Ginneken, Bram

    2016-01-01

    Lack of human resources and radiological interpretation expertise impair tuberculosis (TB) screening programmes in TB-endemic countries. Computer-aided detection (CAD) constitutes a viable alternative for chest radiograph (CXR) reading. However, no automated techniques that exploit the additional clinical information typically available during screening exist. To address this issue and optimally exploit this information, a machine learning-based combination framework is introduced. We have evaluated this framework on a database containing 392 patient records from suspected TB subjects prospectively recruited in Cape Town, South Africa. Each record comprised a CAD score, automatically computed from a CXR, and 12 clinical features. Comparisons with strategies relying on either CAD scores or clinical information alone were performed. Our results indicate that the combination framework outperforms the individual strategies in terms of the area under the receiving operating characteristic curve (0.84 versus 0.78 and 0.72), specificity at 95% sensitivity (49% versus 24% and 31%) and negative predictive value (98% versus 95% and 96%). Thus, it is believed that combining CAD and clinical information to estimate the risk of active disease is a promising tool for TB screening. PMID:27126741

  17. ASSESSMENT OF SYNAPSE FORMATION IN RAT PRIMARY NEURAL CELL CULTURE USING HIGH CONTENT MICROSCOPY.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cell-based assays can model neurodevelopmental processes including neurite growth and synaptogenesis, and may be useful for screening and evaluation of large numbers of chemicals for developmental neurotoxicity. This work describes the use of high content screening (HCS) to dete...

  18. High-throughput de novo screening of receptor agonists with an automated single-cell analysis and isolation system.

    PubMed

    Yoshimoto, Nobuo; Tatematsu, Kenji; Iijima, Masumi; Niimi, Tomoaki; Maturana, Andrés D; Fujii, Ikuo; Kondo, Akihiko; Tanizawa, Katsuyuki; Kuroda, Shun'ichi

    2014-01-01

    Reconstitution of signaling pathways involving single mammalian transmembrane receptors has not been accomplished in yeast cells. In this study, intact EGF receptor (EGFR) and a cell wall-anchored form of EGF were co-expressed on the yeast cell surface, which led to autophosphorylation of the EGFR in an EGF-dependent autocrine manner. After changing from EGF to a conformationally constrained peptide library, cells were fluorescently labeled with an anti-phospho-EGFR antibody. Each cell was subjected to an automated single-cell analysis and isolation system that analyzed the fluorescent intensity of each cell and automatically retrieved each cell with the highest fluorescence. In ~3.2 × 10(6) peptide library, we isolated six novel peptides with agonistic activity of the EGFR in human squamous carcinoma A431 cells. The combination of yeast cells expressing mammalian receptors, a cell wall-anchored peptide library, and an automated single-cell analysis and isolation system might facilitate a rational approach for de novo drug screening. PMID:24577528

  19. High-throughput de novo screening of receptor agonists with an automated single-cell analysis and isolation system

    PubMed Central

    Yoshimoto, Nobuo; Tatematsu, Kenji; Iijima, Masumi; Niimi, Tomoaki; Maturana, Andrés D.; Fujii, Ikuo; Kondo, Akihiko; Tanizawa, Katsuyuki; Kuroda, Shun'ichi

    2014-01-01

    Reconstitution of signaling pathways involving single mammalian transmembrane receptors has not been accomplished in yeast cells. In this study, intact EGF receptor (EGFR) and a cell wall-anchored form of EGF were co-expressed on the yeast cell surface, which led to autophosphorylation of the EGFR in an EGF-dependent autocrine manner. After changing from EGF to a conformationally constrained peptide library, cells were fluorescently labeled with an anti-phospho-EGFR antibody. Each cell was subjected to an automated single-cell analysis and isolation system that analyzed the fluorescent intensity of each cell and automatically retrieved each cell with the highest fluorescence. In ~3.2 × 106 peptide library, we isolated six novel peptides with agonistic activity of the EGFR in human squamous carcinoma A431 cells. The combination of yeast cells expressing mammalian receptors, a cell wall-anchored peptide library, and an automated single-cell analysis and isolation system might facilitate a rational approach for de novo drug screening. PMID:24577528

  20. Fully automated screening of veterinary drugs in milk by turbulent flow chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Stolker, Alida A. M.; Peters, Ruud J. B.; Zuiderent, Richard; DiBussolo, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    There is an increasing interest in screening methods for quick and sensitive analysis of various classes of veterinary drugs with limited sample pre-treatment. Turbulent flow chromatography in combination with tandem mass spectrometry has been applied for the first time as an efficient screening method in routine analysis of milk samples. Eight veterinary drugs, belonging to seven different classes were selected for this study. After developing and optimising the method, parameters such as linearity, repeatability, matrix effects and carry-over were studied. The screening method was then tested in the routine analysis of 12 raw milk samples. Even without internal standards, the linearity of the method was found to be good in the concentration range of 50 to 500 µg/L. Regarding repeatability, RSDs below 12% were obtained for all analytes, with only a few exceptions. The limits of detection were between 0.1 and 5.2 µg/L, far below the maximum residue levels for milk set by the EU regulations. While matrix effects—ion suppression or enhancement—are obtained for all the analytes the method has proved to be useful for screening purposes because of its sensitivity, linearity and repeatability. Furthermore, when performing the routine analysis of the raw milk samples, no false positive or negative results were obtained. PMID:20379812

  1. Evaluation of automated direct sample introduction with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry for the screening analysis of dioxins of fish oil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An automated direct sample introduction technique coupled to comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (DSI-GC×GC/TOF-MS) was applied for the development of a relatively fast and easy analytical screening method for 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzo...

  2. A High Content Imaging Assay for Identification of Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Kota, Krishna P.; Soloveva, Veronica; Wanner, Laura M.; Gomba, Glenn; Kiris, Erkan; Panchal, Rekha G.; Kane, Christopher D.; Bavari, Sina

    2014-01-01

    Synaptosomal-associated protein-25 (SNAP-25) is a component of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex that is essential for synaptic neurotransmitter release. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) is a zinc metalloprotease that blocks exocytosis of neurotransmitter by cleaving the SNAP-25 component of the SNARE complex. Currently there are no licensed medicines to treat BoNT/A poisoning after internalization of the toxin by motor neurons. The development of effective therapeutic measures to counter BoNT/A intoxication has been limited, due in part to the lack of robust high-throughput assays for screening small molecule libraries. Here we describe a high content imaging (HCI) assay with utility for identification of BoNT/A inhibitors. Initial optimization efforts focused on improving the reproducibility of inter-plate results across multiple, independent experiments. Automation of immunostaining, image acquisition, and image analysis were found to increase assay consistency and minimize variability while enabling the multiparameter evaluation of experimental compounds in a murine motor neuron system. PMID:25489815

  3. A high content imaging assay for identification of Botulinum neurotoxin inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kota, Krishna P; Soloveva, Veronica; Wanner, Laura M; Gomba, Glenn; Kiris, Erkan; Panchal, Rekha G; Kane, Christopher D; Bavari, Sina

    2014-01-01

    Synaptosomal-associated protein-25 (SNAP-25) is a component of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex that is essential for synaptic neurotransmitter release. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) is a zinc metalloprotease that blocks exocytosis of neurotransmitter by cleaving the SNAP-25 component of the SNARE complex. Currently there are no licensed medicines to treat BoNT/A poisoning after internalization of the toxin by motor neurons. The development of effective therapeutic measures to counter BoNT/A intoxication has been limited, due in part to the lack of robust high-throughput assays for screening small molecule libraries. Here we describe a high content imaging (HCI) assay with utility for identification of BoNT/A inhibitors. Initial optimization efforts focused on improving the reproducibility of inter-plate results across multiple, independent experiments. Automation of immunostaining, image acquisition, and image analysis were found to increase assay consistency and minimize variability while enabling the multiparameter evaluation of experimental compounds in a murine motor neuron system. PMID:25489815

  4. Application of high-content image analysis for quantitatively estimating lipid accumulation in oleaginous yeasts with potential for use in biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Capus, Aurélie; Monnerat, Marianne; Ribeiro, Luiz Carlos; de Souza, Wanderley; Martins, Juliana Lopes; Sant'Anna, Celso

    2016-03-01

    Biodiesel from oleaginous microorganisms is a viable substitute for a fossil fuel. Current methods for microorganism lipid productivity evaluation do not analyze lipid dynamics in single cells. Here, we described a high-content image analysis (HCA) as a promising strategy for screening oleaginous microorganisms for biodiesel production, while generating single-cell lipid dynamics data in large cell density. Rhodotorula slooffiae yeast were grown in standard (CTL) or lipid trigger medium (LTM), and lipid droplet (LD) accumulation was analyzed in deconvolved confocal microscopy images of cells stained with the lipophilic fluorescent Nile red (NR) dye using automated cell and LD segmentation. The 'vesicle segmentation' method yielded valid morphometric results for limited lipid accumulation in smaller LDs (CTL samples) and for high lipid accumulation in larger LDs (LTM samples), and detected LD localization changes. Thus, HCA can be used to analyze the lipid accumulation patterns likely to be encountered in screens for biodiesel production. PMID:26744805

  5. Automated cloud screening of AVHRR imagery using split-and-merge clustering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallaudet, Timothy C.; Simpson, James J.

    1991-01-01

    Previous methods to segment clouds from ocean in AVHRR imagery have shown varying degrees of success, with nighttime approaches being the most limited. An improved method of automatic image segmentation, the principal component transformation split-and-merge clustering (PCTSMC) algorithm, is presented and applied to cloud screening of both nighttime and daytime AVHRR data. The method combines spectral differencing, the principal component transformation, and split-and-merge clustering to sample objectively the natural classes in the data. This segmentation method is then augmented by supervised classification techniques to screen clouds from the imagery. Comparisons with other nighttime methods demonstrate its improved capability in this application. The sensitivity of the method to clustering parameters is presented; the results show that the method is insensitive to the split-and-merge thresholds.

  6. iMSRC: converting a standard automated microscope into an intelligent screening platform.

    PubMed

    Carro, Angel; Perez-Martinez, Manuel; Soriano, Joaquim; Pisano, David G; Megias, Diego

    2015-01-01

    Microscopy in the context of biomedical research is demanding new tools to automatically detect and capture objects of interest. The few extant packages addressing this need, however, have enjoyed limited uptake due to complexity of use and installation. To overcome these drawbacks, we developed iMSRC, which combines ease of use and installation with high flexibility and enables applications such as rare event detection and high-resolution tissue sample screening, saving time and resources. PMID:26015081

  7. iMSRC: converting a standard automated microscope into an intelligent screening platform

    PubMed Central

    Carro, Angel; Perez-Martinez, Manuel; Soriano, Joaquim; Pisano, David G.; Megias, Diego

    2015-01-01

    Microscopy in the context of biomedical research is demanding new tools to automatically detect and capture objects of interest. The few extant packages addressing this need, however, have enjoyed limited uptake due to complexity of use and installation. To overcome these drawbacks, we developed iMSRC, which combines ease of use and installation with high flexibility and enables applications such as rare event detection and high-resolution tissue sample screening, saving time and resources. PMID:26015081

  8. Comparison of Clinical and Automated Breast Density Measurements: Implications for Risk Prediction and Supplemental Screening.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Kathleen R; Scott, Christopher G; Ma, Lin; Mahmoudzadeh, Amir P; Jensen, Matthew R; Whaley, Dana H; Wu, Fang Fang; Malkov, Serghei; Hruska, Carrie B; Norman, Aaron D; Heine, John; Shepherd, John; Pankratz, V Shane; Kerlikowske, Karla; Vachon, Celine M

    2016-06-01

    Purpose To compare the classification of breast density with two automated methods, Volpara (version 1.5.0; Matakina Technology, Wellington, New Zealand) and Quantra (version 2.0; Hologic, Bedford, Mass), with clinical Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) density classifications and to examine associations of these measures with breast cancer risk. Materials and Methods In this study, 1911 patients with breast cancer and 4170 control subjects matched for age, race, examination date, and mammography machine were evaluated. Participants underwent mammography at Mayo Clinic or one of four sites within the San Francisco Mammography Registry between 2006 and 2012 and provided informed consent or a waiver for research, in compliance with HIPAA regulations and institutional review board approval. Digital mammograms were retrieved a mean of 2.1 years (range, 6 months to 6 years) before cancer diagnosis, with the corresponding clinical BI-RADS density classifications, and Volpara and Quantra density estimates were generated. Agreement was assessed with weighted κ statistics among control subjects. Breast cancer associations were evaluated with conditional logistic regression, adjusted for age and body mass index. Odds ratios, C statistics, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. Results Agreement between clinical BI-RADS density classifications and Volpara and Quantra BI-RADS estimates was moderate, with κ values of 0.57 (95% CI: 0.55, 0.59) and 0.46 (95% CI: 0.44, 0.47), respectively. Differences of up to 14% in dense tissue classification were found, with Volpara classifying 51% of women as having dense breasts, Quantra classifying 37%, and clinical BI-RADS assessment used to classify 43%. Clinical and automated measures showed similar breast cancer associations; odds ratios for extremely dense breasts versus scattered fibroglandular densities were 1.8 (95% CI: 1.5, 2.2), 1.9 (95% CI: 1.5, 2.5), and 2.3 (95% CI: 1.9, 2.8) for Volpara, Quantra

  9. Automated eligibility screening and monitoring for genotype-driven precision oncology trials.

    PubMed

    Eubank, Michael H; Hyman, David M; Kanakamedala, Amritha D; Gardos, Stuart M; Wills, Jonathan M; Stetson, Peter D

    2016-07-01

    The Information Systems Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center developed the DARWIN Cohort Management System (DCMS). The DCMS identifies and tracks cohorts of patients based on genotypic and clinical data. It assists researchers and treating physicians in enrolling patients to genotype-matched IRB-approved clinical trials. The DCMS sends automated, actionable, and secure email notifications to users with information about eligible or enrolled patients before their upcoming appointments. The system also captures investigators input via annotations on patient eligibility and preferences on future status updates. As of August 2015, the DCMS is tracking 159,893 patients on both clinical operations and research cohorts. 134 research cohorts have been established and track 64,473 patients. 51,192 of these have had one or more genomic tests including MSK-IMPACT, comprising the pool eligible for genotype-matched studies. This paper describes the design and evolution of this Informatics solution. PMID:27016727

  10. Integrated chip-based physiometer for automated fish embryo toxicity biotests in pharmaceutical screening and ecotoxicology.

    PubMed

    Akagi, Jin; Zhu, Feng; Hall, Chris J; Crosier, Kathryn E; Crosier, Philip S; Wlodkowic, Donald

    2014-06-01

    Transgenic zebrafish (Danio rerio) models of human diseases have recently emerged as innovative experimental systems in drug discovery and molecular pathology. None of the currently available technologies, however, allow for automated immobilization and treatment of large numbers of spatially encoded transgenic embryos during real-time developmental analysis. This work describes the proof-of-concept design and validation of an integrated 3D microfluidic chip-based system fabricated directly in the poly(methyl methacrylate) transparent thermoplastic using infrared laser micromachining. At its core, the device utilizes an array of 3D micromechanical traps to actively capture and immobilize single embryos using a low-pressure suction. It also features built-in piezoelectric microdiaphragm pumps, embryo-trapping suction manifold, drug delivery manifold, and optically transparent indium tin oxide heating element to provide optimal temperature during embryo development. Furthermore, we present design of the proof-of-concept off-chip electronic interface equipped with robotic servo actuator driven stage, innovative servomotor-actuated pinch valves, and embedded miniaturized fluorescent USB microscope. Our results showed that the innovative device has 100% embryo-trapping efficiency while supporting normal embryo development for up to 72 hr in a confined microfluidic environment. We also showed data that this microfluidic system can be readily applied to kinetic analysis of a panel of investigational antiangiogenic agents in transgenic zebrafish lines. The optical transparency and embryo immobilization allow for convenient visualization of developing vasculature patterns in response to drug treatment without the need for specimen re-positioning. The integrated electronic interfaces bring the lab-on-a-chip systems a step closer to realization of complete analytical automation. PMID:24664821

  11. Fully automated screening of immunocytochemically stained specimens for early cancer detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, André A.; Schneider, Timna E.; Müller-Frank, Dirk A. C.; Meyer-Ebrecht, Dietrich; Böcking, Alfred; Aach, Til

    2007-03-01

    Cytopathological cancer diagnoses can be obtained less invasive than histopathological investigations. Cells containing specimens can be obtained without pain or discomfort, bloody biopsies are avoided, and the diagnosis can, in some cases, even be made earlier. Since no tissue biopsies are necessary these methods can also be used in screening applications, e.g., for cervical cancer. Among the cytopathological methods a diagnosis based on the analysis of the amount of DNA in individual cells achieves high sensitivity and specificity. Yet this analysis is time consuming, which is prohibitive for a screening application. Hence, it will be advantageous to retain, by a preceding selection step, only a subset of suspicious specimens. This can be achieved using highly sensitive immunocytochemical markers like p16 ink4a for preselection of suspicious cells and specimens. We present a method to fully automatically acquire images at distinct positions at cytological specimens using a conventional computer controlled microscope and an autofocus algorithm. Based on the thus obtained images we automatically detect p16 ink4a-positive objects. This detection in turn is based on an analysis of the color distribution of the p16 ink4a marker in the Lab-colorspace. A Gaussian-mixture-model is used to describe this distribution and the method described in this paper so far achieves a sensitivity of up to 90%.

  12. Sustainable synthesis and automated deposition: an accessible discovery screening library of fragment-like purines.

    PubMed

    Kamper, Christoph; Korpis, Katharina; Specker, Edgar; Anger, Lennart; Neuenschwander, Martin; Bednarski, Patrick J; Link, Andreas

    2012-08-01

    A sub-library of 88 information-rich lead-like purine derivatives were prepared and deposited in an open access academic screening facility. The rationale for the synthesis of these rigid low complexity structures was the privileged character of the purine heterocycle associated with its inherent probability of interactions with multiple adenine-related targets. Although generally expected to be weak binders in many assays, such fragment-like compounds are estimated to match diverse binding sites. It is suggested that heterocycles with many anchor points for hydrogen bonds can be anticipated to undergo very specific interactions to produce more negative enthalpies and thus provide superior starting points for lead optimization than compounds that owe their activity to entropic effects. The in vitro cytotoxicity of the small compounds on a panel of human cancer cell lines has been investigated and some of them showed marked unselective or selective toxicity. This data may be useful if these fragments are to be incorporated into drug-like structures via metabolically cleavable connections. The sub-library will be implemented as part of the ChemBioNet ( www.chembionet.info ) library, and it is open to screening campaigns of academic research groups striving for a fragment-based approach in their biological assays. PMID:22890959

  13. Automated phenotype pattern recognition of zebrafish for high-throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Schutera, Mark; Dickmeis, Thomas; Mione, Marina; Peravali, Ravindra; Marcato, Daniel; Reischl, Markus; Mikut, Ralf; Pylatiuk, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Over the last years, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a key model organism in genetic and chemical screenings. A growing number of experiments and an expanding interest in zebrafish research makes it increasingly essential to automatize the distribution of embryos and larvae into standard microtiter plates or other sample holders for screening, often according to phenotypical features. Until now, such sorting processes have been carried out by manually handling the larvae and manual feature detection. Here, a prototype platform for image acquisition together with a classification software is presented. Zebrafish embryos and larvae and their features such as pigmentation are detected automatically from the image. Zebrafish of 4 different phenotypes can be classified through pattern recognition at 72 h post fertilization (hpf), allowing the software to classify an embryo into 2 distinct phenotypic classes: wild-type versus variant. The zebrafish phenotypes are classified with an accuracy of 79-99% without any user interaction. A description of the prototype platform and of the algorithms for image processing and pattern recognition is presented. PMID:27285638

  14. Automated Zebrafish Chorion Removal and Single Embryo Placement: Optimizing Throughput of Zebrafish Developmental Toxicity Screens

    PubMed Central

    Mandrell, David; Truong, Lisa; Jephson, Caleb; Sarker, Mushfiqur R.; Moore, Aaron; Lang, Christopher; Simonich, Michael T.; Tanguay, Robert L.

    2012-01-01

    The potential of the developing zebrafish model for toxicology and drug discovery is limited by inefficient approaches to manipulating and chemically exposing zebrafish embryos—namely, manual placement of embryos into 96- or 384-well plates and exposure of embryos while still in the chorion, a barrier of poorly characterized permeability enclosing the developing embryo. We report the automated dechorionation of 1600 embryos at once at 4 h postfertilization (hpf) and placement of the dechorionated embryos into 96-well plates for exposure by 6 hpf. The process removed ≥95% of the embryos from their chorions with 2% embryo mortality by 24 hpf, and 2% of the embryos malformed at 120 hpf. The robotic embryo placement allocated 6-hpf embryos to 94.7% ± 4.2% of the wells in multiple 96-well trials. The rate of embryo mortality was 2.8% (43 of 1536) from robotic handling, the rate of missed wells was 1.2% (18 of 1536), and the frequency of multipicks was <0.1%. Embryo malformations observed at 24 hpf occurred nearly twice as frequently from robotic handling (16 of 864; 1.9%) as from manual pipetting (9 of 864; 1%). There was no statistical difference between the success of performing the embryo placement robotically or manually. PMID:22357610

  15. Keeping participants on board: increasing uptake by automated respondent reminders in an Internet-based Chlamydia Screening in the Netherlands

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Effectiveness of Chlamydia screening programs is determined by an adequate level of participation and the capturing of high-risk groups. This study aimed to evaluate the contribution of automated reminders by letter, email and short message service (SMS) on package request and sample return in an Internet-based Chlamydia screening among people aged 16 to 29 years in the Netherlands. Methods Individuals not responding to the invitation letter received a reminder letter after 1 month. Email- and SMS-reminders were sent to persons who did not return their sample. It was examined to what extent reminders enhanced the response rate (% of package requests) and participation rate (% of sample return). Sociodemographic and behavioural correlates of providing a cell phone number and participation after the reminder(s) were studied by logistic regression models. Results Of all respondents (screening round 1: 52,628, round 2: 41,729), 99% provided an email address and 72% a cell phone number. Forty-two percent of all package requests were made after the reminder letter. The proportion of invitees returning a sample increased significantly from 10% to 14% after email/SMS reminders (round 2: from 7% to 10%). Determinants of providing a cell-phone number were younger age (OR in 25-29 year olds versus 16-19 year olds = 0.8, 95%CI 0.8-0.9), non-Dutch (OR in Surinam/Antillean versus Dutch = 1.3, 95%CI 1.2-1.4, Turkish/Moroccan: 1.1, 95%CI 1.0-1.2, Sub Sahara African: 1.5, 95%CI 1.3-1.8, non-Western other 1.1, 95%CI 1.1-1.2), lower educational level (OR in high educational level versus low level = 0.8, 95%CI 0.7-0.9), no condom use during the last contact with a casual partner (OR no condom use versus condom use 1.2, 95%CI 1.1-1.3), younger age at first sexual contact (OR 19 years or older versus younger than 16: 0.7, 95%CI 0.6-0.8). Determinants for requesting a test-package after the reminder letter were male gender (OR female versus male 0.9 95%CI 0.8-0.9), non

  16. Discriminative power of an assay for automated in vitro screening of teratogens.

    PubMed

    Walmod, Peter S; Gravemann, Ute; Nau, Heinz; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2004-08-01

    Screening for potential teratogenicity of 20 test compounds was performed using a computerised microscope workstation for determination of cytotoxicity, proliferation and morphology of fibroblastoid murine L929-cells. The test compounds, which were divided into four classes according to teratogenicity were: 5-bromo-2(')-deoxyuridine, 6-aminonicotinamide, acrylamide, boric acid, D-(+)-camphor, dimethadione, dimethyl phthalate, diphenhydramine, hydroxyurea, isobutyl-ethyl-valproic acid, lithium chloride, methyl mercury chloride, methotrexate, methoxyacetic acid, penicillin G, all-trans-retinoic acid, pentyl-4-yn-valproic acid, saccharin, salicylic acid and valproic acid. All compounds, with the exception of dimethadione inhibited proliferation in a linear dose-dependent manner, and there were statistically significant compound class-dependent differences between the IC(50)-values for the compounds (p<0.0374), the strongest teratogens being the most potent. Furthermore, the average efficacies (maximum relative change) for 10 parameters describing cell morphology exhibited statistically significant compound class-dependent differences (p<0.0001), the class I and II compounds exhibiting significantly lower efficacies than the class III and IV compounds (p<0.01). Thus, test compounds affected both the proliferation and morphology of L-cells in manner demonstrating a general relationship with the teratogenic potency of the compounds. However, the moderate teratogens dimethadione and lithium chloride only had minor effects on the morphology and proliferation of the cells whereas the non-teratogen diphenhydramine had effects on both proliferation and morphology comparable to the strong teratogens. PMID:15130609

  17. Automated scheme for measuring mandibular cortical thickness on dental panoramic radiographs for osteoporosis screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, T.; Hayashi, T.; Hara, T.; Katsumata, A.; Muramatsu, C.; Zhou, X.; Iida, Y.; Matsuoka, M.; Katagi, Ki.; Fujita, H.

    2012-03-01

    Findings of dental panoramic radiographs (DPRs) have shown that the mandibular cortical thickness (MCT) was significantly correlated with osteoporosis. Identifying asymptomatic patients with osteoporosis through dental examinations may bring a supplemental benefit for the patients. However, most of the DPRs are used for only diagnosing dental conditions by dentists in their routine clinical work. The aim of this study was to develop a computeraided diagnosis scheme that automatically measures MCT to assist dentists in screening osteoporosis. First, the inferior border of mandibular bone was detected by use of an active contour method. Second, the locations of mental foramina were estimated on the basis of the inferior border of mandibular bone. Finally, MCT was measured on the basis of the grayscale profile analysis. One hundred DPRs were used to evaluate our proposed scheme. Experimental results showed that the sensitivity and specificity for identifying osteoporotic patients were 92.6 % and 100 %, respectively. We conducted multiclinic trials, in which 223 cases have been obtained and processed in about a month. Our scheme succeeded in detecting all cases of suspected osteoporosis. Therefore, our scheme may have a potential to identify osteoporotic patients at an early stage.

  18. Bilateral Image Subtraction and Multivariate Models for the Automated Triaging of Screening Mammograms

    PubMed Central

    Celaya-Padilla, José; Martinez-Torteya, Antonio; Rodriguez-Rojas, Juan; Galvan-Tejada, Jorge; Treviño, Victor; Tamez-Peña, José

    2015-01-01

    Mammography is the most common and effective breast cancer screening test. However, the rate of positive findings is very low, making the radiologic interpretation monotonous and biased toward errors. This work presents a computer-aided diagnosis (CADx) method aimed to automatically triage mammogram sets. The method coregisters the left and right mammograms, extracts image features, and classifies the subjects into risk of having malignant calcifications (CS), malignant masses (MS), and healthy subject (HS). In this study, 449 subjects (197 CS, 207 MS, and 45 HS) from a public database were used to train and evaluate the CADx. Percentile-rank (p-rank) and z-normalizations were used. For the p-rank, the CS versus HS model achieved a cross-validation accuracy of 0.797 with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.882; the MS versus HS model obtained an accuracy of 0.772 and an AUC of 0.842. For the z-normalization, the CS versus HS model achieved an accuracy of 0.825 with an AUC of 0.882 and the MS versus HS model obtained an accuracy of 0.698 and an AUC of 0.807. The proposed method has the potential to rank cases with high probability of malignant findings aiding in the prioritization of radiologists work list. PMID:26240818

  19. Automated screening of reversed-phase stationary phases for small-molecule separations using liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Appulage, Dananjaya K; Wang, Evelyn H; Carroll, Frances; Schug, Kevin A

    2016-05-01

    There are various reversed-phase stationary phases that offer significant differences in selectivity and retention. To investigate different reversed-phase stationary phases (aqueous stable C18 , biphenyl, pentafluorophenyl propyl, and polar-embedded alkyl) in an automated fashion, commercial software and associated hardware for mobile phase and column selection were used in conjunction with liquid chromatography and a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer detector. A model analyte mixture was prepared using a combination of standards from varying classes of analytes (including drugs, drugs of abuse, amino acids, nicotine, and nicotine-like compounds). Chromatographic results revealed diverse variations in selectivity and peak shape. Differences in the elution order of analytes on the polar-embedded alkyl phase for several analytes showed distinct selectivity differences compared to the aqueous C18 phase. The electron-rich pentafluorophenyl propyl phase showed unique selectivity toward protonated amines. The biphenyl phase provided further changes in selectivity relative to C18 with a methanolic phase, but it behaved very similarly to a C18 when an acetonitrile-based mobile phase was evaluated. This study shows the value of rapid column screening as an alternative to excessive mobile phase variation to obtain suitable chromatographic settings for analyte separation. PMID:26959840

  20. Establish an automated flow injection ESI-MS method for the screening of fragment based libraries: Application to Hsp90.

    PubMed

    Riccardi Sirtori, Federico; Caronni, Dannica; Colombo, Maristella; Dalvit, Claudio; Paolucci, Mauro; Regazzoni, Luca; Visco, Carlo; Fogliatto, Gianpaolo

    2015-08-30

    ESI-MS is a well established technique for the study of biopolymers (nucleic acids, proteins) and their non covalent adducts, due to its capacity to detect ligand-target complexes in the gas phase and allows inference of ligand-target binding in solution. In this article we used this approach to investigate the interaction of ligands to the Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90). This enzyme is a molecular chaperone involved in the folding and maturation of several proteins which has been subjected in the last years to intensive drug discovery efforts due to its key role in cancer. In particular, reference compounds, with a broad range of dissociation constants from 40pM to 100μM, were tested to assess the reliability of ESI-MS for the study of protein-ligand complexes. A good agreement was found between the values measured with a fluorescence polarization displacement assay and those determined by mass spectrometry. After this validation step we describe the setup of a medium throughput screening method, based on ESI-MS, suitable to explore interactions of therapeutic relevance biopolymers with chemical libraries. Our approach is based on an automated flow injection ESI-MS method (AFI-MS) and has been applied to screen the Nerviano Medical Sciences proprietary fragment library of about 2000 fragments against Hsp90. In order to discard false positive hits and to discriminate those of them interacting with the N-terminal ATP binding site, competition experiments were performed using a reference inhibitor. Gratifyingly, this group of hits matches with the ligands previously identified by NMR FAXS techniques and confirmed by X-ray co-crystallization experiments. These results support the use of AFI-MS for the screening of medium size libraries, including libraries of small molecules with low affinity typically used in fragment based drug discovery. AFI-MS is a valid alternative to other techniques with the additional opportunities to identify compounds interacting with

  1. DockoMatic: automated peptide analog creation for high throughput virtual screening.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Reed B; Bullock, Casey W; Andersen, Tim; McDougal, Owen M

    2011-10-01

    The purpose of this manuscript is threefold: (1) to describe an update to DockoMatic that allows the user to generate cyclic peptide analog structure files based on protein database (pdb) files, (2) to test the accuracy of the peptide analog structure generation utility, and (3) to evaluate the high throughput capacity of DockoMatic. The DockoMatic graphical user interface interfaces with the software program Treepack to create user defined peptide analogs. To validate this approach, DockoMatic produced cyclic peptide analogs were tested for three-dimensional structure consistency and binding affinity against four experimentally determined peptide structure files available in the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics database. The peptides used to evaluate this new functionality were alpha-conotoxins ImI, PnIA, and their published analogs. Peptide analogs were generated by DockoMatic and tested for their ability to bind to X-ray crystal structure models of the acetylcholine binding protein originating from Aplysia californica. The results, consisting of more than 300 simulations, demonstrate that DockoMatic predicts the binding energy of peptide structures to within 3.5 kcal mol(-1), and the orientation of bound ligand compares to within 1.8 Å root mean square deviation for ligand structures as compared to experimental data. Evaluation of high throughput virtual screening capacity demonstrated that Dockomatic can collect, evaluate, and summarize the output of 10,000 AutoDock jobs in less than 2 hours of computational time, while 100,000 jobs requires approximately 15 hours and 1,000,000 jobs is estimated to take up to a week. PMID:21717479

  2. Using high-content imaging data from ToxCast to analyze toxicological tipping points (TDS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Translating results obtained from high-throughput screening to risk assessment is vital for reducing dependence on animal testing. We studied the effects of 976 chemicals (ToxCast Phase I and II) in HepG2 cells using high-content imaging (HCI) to measure dose and time-depende...

  3. The motion sensitivity screening test in clinical practice in abuja, Nigeria: affordable automated perimetry for the third world?

    PubMed

    Babalola, O E

    2005-06-01

    Perimetry is essential in the clinical management and evaluation of glaucoma patients and other patients with diseases impacting on visual fields, but automated equipment may be too expensive for many practitioners in the developing world. I have used the Wu-Jones automated motion sensitivity system in a medium sized practice in Nigeria, a developing country, and hereby present an audit of our experience with it. The Wu-Jones Motion Sensitivity screening test is a lap-top computer based test which integrates a number of components including a test program and reporting facility, a self organizing neural network, a database management mechanism, and a menu-mouse-windowing user interface. The test is available on the public domain and is small enough (194 mb) to fit into a diskette. This test has been used at the Rachel Eye Center in Abuja since 1998, and has been applied to 339 individuals, 298 of whom are included in this analysis. Patients tested fell into four main groups: those with clinical glaucoma (intraocular pressure > 20 mmHg on at least one occasion and optic cup/disc ratio of 0.5 or more), glaucoma suspects, (i.e. ocular hypertensives >20 mmHg or c/d ratio of 0.5 or more and first degree relatives of glaucoma patients) patients undergoing routine tests for pre-employment ('normals'), and 'others'. These 'normals' were used as controls. Records are available for 531 eyes. It took an average of two minutes to complete the test. Significant field defects (Motion sensitivity less than 50%) were detected overall in 15.6% of tested eyes, 7.2% of normals but in 32.6% of glaucoma eyes. Using the 'normals' as controls, the sensitivity of the test in our hands varied from 33% to 72% and specificity from 57% to 93% at motion sensitivity cut off points from 50% to 97%. At the 83% cut off point, positive and negative predictive values were 86.0% and 47.5% respectively. Reliability averaged 70%. I find the test easy to administer and understand by patients. Results

  4. Evaluation of the SediMax automated microscopy sediment analyzer and the Sysmex UF-1000i flow cytometer as screening tools to rule out negative urinary tract infections.

    PubMed

    Íñigo, Melania; Coello, Andreu; Fernández-Rivas, Gema; Carrasco, María; Marcó, Clara; Fernández, Anabel; Casamajor, Teresa; Ausina, Vicente

    2016-05-01

    Urinary tract infections (UTI) are highly prevalent in nosocomial and community settings, and their diagnosis is costly and time-consuming. Screening methods represent an important advance towards the final UTI diagnosis, diminishing inappropriate treatment or clinical complications. Automated analyzers have been developed and commercialized to screen and rule out negative urine samples. The aim of this study was to evaluate two of these automated analyzers (SediMax, an automatic sediment analyzer and UF-1000i a flow cytometer) to predict negative urine cultures. A total of 1934 urine samples were analyzed. A very strong correlation for white blood cells (WBC) (rs: 0.928) and a strong correlation for bacteria (BAC) (rs: 0.693) were obtained. We also calculated optimal cut-off points for both autoanalyzers: 18WBC/μL and 97BAC/μL for SediMax (sensitivity=96.25%, specificity=63.04%, negative predictive value=97.97%), and 40WBC/μL and 460BAC/μL for UF-1000i (sensitivity=98.13%, specificity=79.16%, negative predictive value=99.18%). The use of SediMax and UF-1000i resulted in a 46.33% and 57.19% reduction of all samples cultured, respectively. In conclusion, both analyzers are good UTI screening tools in our setting. PMID:26921459

  5. Development of a high-throughput screening for nerve agent detoxifying materials using a fully-automated robot-assisted biological assay.

    PubMed

    Wille, T; Thiermann, H; Worek, F

    2010-04-01

    Developing improved medical countermeasures against chemical warfare agents (nerve agents) is urgently needed but time-consuming and costly. Here we introduce a robot-assisted liquid handling system with warming, cooling and incubating facilities to screen the detoxifying properties of biological and chemical materials against nerve agents. Two biological tests were established and plasma from various species, DFPase and three cyclodextrins were used as test materials. In test 1, plasma was mixed with sarin or VX and the inhibitory potency of the incubate was determined with human acetylcholinesterase (AChE) at 0, 30 and 60 min. In test 2, test materials and nerve agents were mixed and incubated. Between 0 and 40 min samples were taken and incubated for 3 min with AChE and the residual AChE inhibition was determined to enable the semi-quantitative evaluation of the detoxification kinetics. The automated assays proved to be highly reproducible. It was possible to pre-select detoxifying reagents with test 1 and to determine more detailed detoxifying kinetics with test 2. In conclusion, the automated assay may be considered as a versatile tool for the high-throughput screening of potential detoxifying materials against different nerve agents. With this two-step assay it is possible to screen effectively for detoxifying materials in a high-throughput system. PMID:19961920

  6. [Non-target screening of organic pollutants in sediments and sludges using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and automated mass spectral deconvolution].

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang; Ma, Huilian; Wang, Longxing; Chen, Jiping; Hou, Xiaohong

    2015-12-01

    A screening method in the combination of ultrasonic extraction, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry detection and automated mass spectrometry deconvolution technique was developed for non-target screening of non-polar and weak polar pollutants in sediments and sludges. The samples were extracted by ultrasonication for 20 min using dichloromethane for three times. The extraction solutions were cleaned-up by gel permeation chromatography and a silica gel column, and then 3 g of copper powder was used to remove the sulfur by ultrasonication for 10 min. Parallel experiments were carried out for 5 times and the RSDs were ranged from 5.8% to 14.9%. Automated mass spectral deconvolution & identification system (AMDIS) would improve the resolution of overlapping peaks, and identify the pure mass spectrum of the analytes in the cases of stronger background interference and co-extracted substances covering. Standard spectrum databases, such as NISTDRUG, NISTEPA, NISTFDA, Mass Spectral Library, etc, would qualitatively identify the organic pollutants in the samples. As a result, a total of 290 organic pollutants were identified, of which 190 and 153 pollutants were found in sediments and sludges, respectively. The identified pollutants included the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) priority pollutants, pharmaceuticals, herbicides, antioxidants, intermediates, organic solvents and chemical raw materials. The proposed method is proved to be a promising one for non-target screening of complex matrix samples with the advantages of higher sensitivity and better repeatability. PMID:27097463

  7. The Gray Institute ‘open’ high-content, fluorescence lifetime microscopes

    PubMed Central

    BARBER, PR; TULLIS, IDC; PIERCE, GP; NEWMAN, RG; PRENTICE, J; ROWLEY, MI; MATTHEWS, DR; AMEER-BEG, SM; VOJNOVIC, B

    2013-01-01

    Summary We describe a microscopy design methodology and details of microscopes built to this ‘open’ design approach. These demonstrate the first implementation of time-domain fluorescence microscopy in a flexible automated platform with the ability to ease the transition of this and other advanced microscopy techniques from development to use in routine biology applications. This approach allows easy expansion and modification of the platform capabilities, as it moves away from the use of a commercial, monolithic, microscope body to small, commercial off-the-shelf and custom made modular components. Drawings and diagrams of our microscopes have been made available under an open license for noncommercial use at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~atdgroup. Several automated high-content fluorescence microscope implementations have been constructed with this design framework and optimized for specific applications with multiwell plates and tissue microarrays. In particular, three platforms incorporate time-domain FLIM via time-correlated single photon counting in an automated fashion. We also present data from experiments performed on these platforms highlighting their automated wide-field and laser scanning capabilities designed for high-content microscopy. Devices using these designs also form radiation-beam ‘end-stations’ at Oxford and Surrey Universities, showing the versatility and extendibility of this approach. PMID:23772985

  8. DG-AMMOS: A New tool to generate 3D conformation of small molecules using Distance Geometry and Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization for in silico Screening

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Discovery of new bioactive molecules that could enter drug discovery programs or that could serve as chemical probes is a very complex and costly endeavor. Structure-based and ligand-based in silico screening approaches are nowadays extensively used to complement experimental screening approaches in order to increase the effectiveness of the process and facilitating the screening of thousands or millions of small molecules against a biomolecular target. Both in silico screening methods require as input a suitable chemical compound collection and most often the 3D structure of the small molecules has to be generated since compounds are usually delivered in 1D SMILES, CANSMILES or in 2D SDF formats. Results Here, we describe the new open source program DG-AMMOS which allows the generation of the 3D conformation of small molecules using Distance Geometry and their energy minimization via Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization. The program is validated on the Astex dataset, the ChemBridge Diversity database and on a number of small molecules with known crystal structures extracted from the Cambridge Structural Database. A comparison with the free program Balloon and the well-known commercial program Omega generating the 3D of small molecules is carried out. The results show that the new free program DG-AMMOS is a very efficient 3D structure generator engine. Conclusion DG-AMMOS provides fast, automated and reliable access to the generation of 3D conformation of small molecules and facilitates the preparation of a compound collection prior to high-throughput virtual screening computations. The validation of DG-AMMOS on several different datasets proves that generated structures are generally of equal quality or sometimes better than structures obtained by other tested methods. PMID:19912625

  9. Automated Fast Screening Method for Cocaine Identification in Seized Drug Samples Using a Portable Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Instrument.

    PubMed

    Mainali, Dipak; Seelenbinder, John

    2016-05-01

    Quick and presumptive identification of seized drug samples without destroying evidence is necessary for law enforcement officials to control the trafficking and abuse of drugs. This work reports an automated screening method to detect the presence of cocaine in seized samples using portable Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometers. The method is based on the identification of well-defined characteristic vibrational frequencies related to the functional group of the cocaine molecule and is fully automated through the use of an expert system. Traditionally, analysts look for key functional group bands in the infrared spectra and characterization of the molecules present is dependent on user interpretation. This implies the need for user expertise, especially in samples that likely are mixtures. As such, this approach is biased and also not suitable for non-experts. The method proposed in this work uses the well-established "center of gravity" peak picking mathematical algorithm and combines it with the conditional reporting feature in MicroLab software to provide an automated method that can be successfully employed by users with varied experience levels. The method reports the confidence level of cocaine present only when a certain number of cocaine related peaks are identified by the automated method. Unlike library search and chemometric methods that are dependent on the library database or the training set samples used to build the calibration model, the proposed method is relatively independent of adulterants and diluents present in the seized mixture. This automated method in combination with a portable FT-IR spectrometer provides law enforcement officials, criminal investigators, or forensic experts a quick field-based prescreening capability for the presence of cocaine in seized drug samples. PMID:27006022

  10. Establishment of a high content assay for the identification and characterisation of bioactivities in crude bacterial extracts that interfere with the eukaryotic cell cycle.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Nickels A; Gerth, Klaus; Grotjohann, Tim; Kapp, Dieter; Keck, Matthias; Niehaus, Karsten

    2009-03-10

    High content microscopy as a screening tool to identify bioactive agents has provided researchers with the ability to characterise biological activities at the level of single cells. Here, we describe the development and the application of a high content screening assay for the identification and characterisation of cytostatic bioactivities from Myxobacteria extracts. In an automated microscopy assay Sf9 insect cells were visualised utilising the stains bisbenzimide Hoechst 33342, calcein AM, and propidium iodide. Imaging data were processed by the ScanR Analysis-software to determine the ploidy and vitality of each cell and to quantify cell populations. More than 98% of the Sf9 cells were viable and the culture consisted of diploid ( approximately 30%), tetraploid ( approximately 60%), polyploidic (<10%) and apoptotic (<5%) cells. Treatment with the reference substances blasticidin, colchicine, paclitaxel, and cytochalasin D induced changes in ploidy and vitality, which were characteristic for the respective bioactive substance. Furthermore, crude extracts from the chivosazole producing Myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum So ce56 induced an increase of polyploid cells and a decrease in total cell count, while a mutant producing nearly no chivosazole triggered none of these effects. Purified chivosazole induced the same effects as the wild type extract. Similar effects have been observed for the reference compound cytochalasin D. On the basis of this assay, crude extracts of ten different Myxobacteria cultures were screened. Three extracts exhibited strong cytotoxic activities, further five extracts induced weak changes in the ploidy distribution, and two extracts showed no detectable effect within the assay. Therefore, this robust assay provides the ability to discover and characterise cytotoxic and cytostatic bioactivities in crude bacterial extracts. PMID:19111838

  11. Combining High-Content Imaging and Phenotypic Classification Analysis of Senescence-Associated Beta-Galactosidase Staining to Identify Regulators of Oncogene-Induced Senescence.

    PubMed

    Chan, Keefe T; Paavolainen, Lassi; Hannan, Katherine M; George, Amee J; Hannan, Ross D; Simpson, Kaylene J; Horvath, Peter; Pearson, Richard B

    2016-09-01

    Hyperactivation of the PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 signaling pathway is a hallmark of the majority of sporadic human cancers. Paradoxically, chronic activation of this pathway in nontransformed cells promotes senescence, which acts as a significant barrier to malignant progression. Understanding how this oncogene-induced senescence is maintained in nontransformed cells and conversely how it is subverted in cancer cells will provide insight into cancer development and potentially identify novel therapeutic targets. High-throughput screening provides a powerful platform for target discovery. Here, we describe an approach to use RNAi transfection of a pre-established AKT-induced senescent cell population and subsequent high-content imaging to screen for senescence regulators. We have incorporated multiparametric readouts, including cell number, proliferation, and senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-βGal) staining. Using machine learning and automated image analysis, we also describe methods to classify distinct phenotypes of cells with SA-βGal staining. These methods can be readily adaptable to high-throughput functional screens interrogating the mechanisms that maintain and prevent senescence in various contexts. PMID:27552145

  12. Novel KCNQ2 channel activators discovered using fluorescence-based and automated patch-clamp-based high-throughput screening techniques

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Jin-feng; Qiao, Guan-hua; Liu, Ni; Nan, Fa-jun; Gao, Zhao-bing

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To establish an improved, high-throughput screening techniques for identifying novel KCNQ2 channel activators. Methods: KCNQ2 channels were stably expressed in CHO cells (KCNQ2 cells). Thallium flux assay was used for primary screening, and 384-well automated patch-clamp IonWorks Barracuda was used for hit validation. Two validated activators were characterized using a conventional patch-clamp recording technique. Results: From a collection of 80 000 compounds, the primary screening revealed a total of 565 compounds that potentiated the fluorescence signals in thallium flux assay by more than 150%. When the 565 hits were examined in IonWorks Barracuda, 38 compounds significantly enhanced the outward currents recorded in KCNQ2 cells, and were confirmed as KCNQ2 activators. In the conventional patch-clamp recordings, two validated activators ZG1732 and ZG2083 enhanced KCNQ2 currents with EC50 values of 1.04±0.18 μmol/L and 1.37±0.06 μmol/L, respectively. Conclusion: The combination of thallium flux assay and IonWorks Barracuda assay is an efficient high-throughput screening (HTS) route for discovering KCNQ2 activators. PMID:26725738

  13. Dexterous robotic manipulation of alert adult Drosophila for high-content experimentation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Cheng; Maxey, Jessica R.; Schnitzer, Mark J.

    2015-01-01

    We present a robot that enables high-content studies of alert adult Drosophila by combining operations including gentle picking, translations and rotations, characterizations of fly phenotypes and behaviors, micro-dissection or release. To illustrate, we assessed fly morphology, tracked odor-evoked locomotion, sorted flies by sex, and dissected the cuticle to image neural activity. The robot's tireless capacity for precise manipulations enables a scalable platform for screening flies’ complex attributes and behavioral patterns. PMID:26005812

  14. Dexterous robotic manipulation of alert adult Drosophila for high-content experimentation.

    PubMed

    Savall, Joan; Ho, Eric Tatt Wei; Huang, Cheng; Maxey, Jessica R; Schnitzer, Mark J

    2015-07-01

    We present a robot that enables high-content studies of alert adult Drosophila by combining operations including gentle picking; translations and rotations; characterizations of fly phenotypes and behaviors; microdissection; or release. To illustrate, we assessed fly morphology, tracked odor-evoked locomotion, sorted flies by sex, and dissected the cuticle to image neural activity. The robot's tireless capacity for precise manipulations enables a scalable platform for screening flies' complex attributes and behavioral patterns. PMID:26005812

  15. High-content analysis of Rab protein function at the ER-Golgi interface

    PubMed Central

    Galea, George; Simpson, Jeremy C

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Rab family of small GTPases play fundamental roles in the regulation of trafficking pathways between intracellular membranes in eukaryotic cells. In this short commentary we highlight a recent high-content screening study that investigates the roles of Rab proteins in retrograde trafficking from the Golgi complex to the endoplasmic reticulum, and we discuss how the findings of this work and other literature might influence our thoughts on how the architecture of the Golgi complex is regulated. PMID:26693811

  16. High-Throughput Screening of NaV1.7 Modulators Using a Giga-Seal Automated Patch Clamp Instrument.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Chris; Witton, Ian; Adams, Cathryn; Marrington, Luke; Kammonen, Juha

    2016-03-01

    Voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels have an essential role in the initiation and propagation of action potentials in excitable cells, such as neurons. Of these channels, NaV1.7 has been indicated as a key channel for pain sensation. While extensive efforts have gone into discovering novel NaV1.7 modulating compounds for the treatment of pain, none has reached the market yet. In the last two years, new compound screening technologies have been introduced, which may speed up the discovery of such compounds. The Sophion Qube(®) is a next-generation 384-well giga-seal automated patch clamp (APC) screening instrument, capable of testing thousands of compounds per day. By combining high-throughput screening and follow-up compound testing on the same APC platform, it should be possible to accelerate the hit-to-lead stage of ion channel drug discovery and help identify the most interesting compounds faster. Following a period of instrument beta-testing, a NaV1.7 high-throughput screen was run with two Pfizer plate-based compound subsets. In total, data were generated for 158,000 compounds at a median success rate of 83%, which can be considered high in APC screening. In parallel, IC50 assay validation and protocol optimization was completed with a set of reference compounds to understand how the IC50 potencies generated on the Qube correlate with data generated on the more established Sophion QPatch(®) APC platform. In summary, the results presented here demonstrate that the Qube provides a comparable but much faster approach to study NaV1.7 in a robust and reliable APC assay for compound screening. PMID:26991360

  17. Comparative evaluation of two fully-automated real-time PCR methods for MRSA admission screening in a tertiary-care hospital.

    PubMed

    Hos, N J; Wiegel, P; Fischer, J; Plum, G

    2016-09-01

    We evaluated two fully-automated real-time PCR systems, the novel QIAGEN artus MRSA/SA QS-RGQ and the widely used BD MAX MRSA assay, for their diagnostic performance in MRSA admission screening in a tertiary-care university hospital. Two hundred sixteen clinical swabs were analyzed for MRSA DNA using the BD MAX MRSA assay. In parallel, the same specimens were tested with the QIAGEN artus MRSA/SA QS-RGQ. Automated steps included lysis of bacteria, DNA extraction, real-time PCR and interpretation of results. MRSA culture was additionally performed as a reference method for MRSA detection. Sensitivity values were similar for both assays (80 %), while the QIAGEN artus MRSA/SA QS-RGQ reached a slightly higher specificity (95.8 % versus 90.0 %). Positive (PPVs) and negative predictive values (NPVs) were 17.4 % and 99.4 % for the BD MAX MRSA assay and 33.3 % and 99.5 % for the QIAGEN artus MRSA/SA QS-RGQ, respectively. Total turn-around time (TAT) for 24 samples was 3.5 hours for both assays. In conclusion, both assays represent reliable diagnostic tools due to their high negative predictive values, especially for the rapid identification of MRSA negative patients in a low prevalence MRSA area. PMID:27259711

  18. Immunochemistry for high-throughput screening of human exhaled breath condensate (EBC) media: implementation of automated Quanterix SIMOA instrumentation.

    PubMed

    Pleil, Joachim D; Angrish, Michelle M; Madden, Michael C

    2015-12-01

    Immunochemistry is an important clinical tool for indicating biological pathways leading towards disease. Standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) are labor intensive and lack sensitivity at low-level concentrations. Here we report on emerging technology implementing fully-automated ELISA capable of molecular level detection and describe application to exhaled breath condensate (EBC) samples. The Quanterix SIMOA HD-1 analyzer was evaluated for analytical performance for inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-8). The system was challenged with human EBC representing the most dilute and analytically difficult of the biological media. Calibrations from synthetic samples and spiked EBC showed excellent linearity at trace levels (r(2)  >  0.99). Sensitivities varied by analyte, but were robust from ~0.006 (IL-6) to ~0.01 (TNF-α) pg ml(-1). All analytes demonstrated response suppression when diluted with deionized water and so assay buffer diluent was found to be a better choice. Analytical runs required ~45 min setup time for loading samples, reagents, calibrants, etc., after which the instrument performs without further intervention for up to 288 separate samples. Currently, available kits are limited to single-plex analyses and so sample volumes require adjustments. Sample dilutions should be made with assay diluent to avoid response suppression. Automation performs seamlessly and data are automatically analyzed and reported in spreadsheet format. The internal 5-parameter logistic (pl) calibration model should be supplemented with a linear regression spline at the very lowest analyte levels, (<1.3 pg ml(-1)). The implementation of the automated Quanterix platform was successfully demonstrated using EBC, which poses the greatest challenge to ELISA due to limited sample volumes and low protein levels. PMID:26658359

  19. Automated pancreatic cyst screening using natural language processing: a new tool in the early detection of pancreatic cancer

    PubMed Central

    Roch, Alexandra M; Mehrabi, Saeed; Krishnan, Anand; Schmidt, Heidi E; Kesterson, Joseph; Beesley, Chris; Dexter, Paul R; Palakal, Mathew; Schmidt, C Max

    2015-01-01

    Introduction As many as 3% of computed tomography (CT) scans detect pancreatic cysts. Because pancreatic cysts are incidental, ubiquitous and poorly understood, follow-up is often not performed. Pancreatic cysts may have a significant malignant potential and their identification represents a ‘window of opportunity’ for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. The purpose of this study was to implement an automated Natural Language Processing (NLP)-based pancreatic cyst identification system. Method A multidisciplinary team was assembled. NLP-based identification algorithms were developed based on key words commonly used by physicians to describe pancreatic cysts and programmed for automated search of electronic medical records. A pilot study was conducted prospectively in a single institution. Results From March to September 2013, 566 233 reports belonging to 50 669 patients were analysed. The mean number of patients reported with a pancreatic cyst was 88/month (range 78–98). The mean sensitivity and specificity were 99.9% and 98.8%, respectively. Conclusion NLP is an effective tool to automatically identify patients with pancreatic cysts based on electronic medical records (EMR). This highly accurate system can help capture patients ‘at-risk’ of pancreatic cancer in a registry. PMID:25537257

  20. Application of Fragment Ion Information as Further Evidence in Probabilistic Compound Screening Using Bayesian Statistics and Machine Learning: A Leap Toward Automation.

    PubMed

    Woldegebriel, Michael; Zomer, Paul; Mol, Hans G J; Vivó-Truyols, Gabriel

    2016-08-01

    In this work, we introduce an automated, efficient, and elegant model to combine all pieces of evidence (e.g., expected retention times, peak shapes, isotope distributions, fragment-to-parent ratio) obtained from liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS/MS) data for screening purposes. Combining all these pieces of evidence requires a careful assessment of the uncertainties in the analytical system as well as all possible outcomes. To-date, the majority of the existing algorithms are highly dependent on user input parameters. Additionally, the screening process is tackled as a deterministic problem. In this work we present a Bayesian framework to deal with the combination of all these pieces of evidence. Contrary to conventional algorithms, the information is treated in a probabilistic way, and a final probability assessment of the presence/absence of a compound feature is computed. Additionally, all the necessary parameters except the chromatographic band broadening for the method are learned from the data in training and learning phase of the algorithm, avoiding the introduction of a large number of user-defined parameters. The proposed method was validated with a large data set and has shown improved sensitivity and specificity in comparison to a threshold-based commercial software package. PMID:27391247

  1. Fully-Automated High-Throughput NMR System for Screening of Haploid Kernels of Maize (Corn) by Measurement of Oil Content

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaoping; Huang, Qingming; Chen, Shanshan; Yang, Peiqiang; Chen, Shaojiang; Song, Yiqiao

    2016-01-01

    One of the modern crop breeding techniques uses doubled haploid plants that contain an identical pair of chromosomes in order to accelerate the breeding process. Rapid haploid identification method is critical for large-scale selections of double haploids. The conventional methods based on the color of the endosperm and embryo seeds are slow, manual and prone to error. On the other hand, there exists a significant difference between diploid and haploid seeds generated by high oil inducer, which makes it possible to use oil content to identify the haploid. This paper describes a fully-automated high-throughput NMR screening system for maize haploid kernel identification. The system is comprised of a sampler unit to select a single kernel to feed for measurement of NMR and weight, and a kernel sorter to distribute the kernel according to the measurement result. Tests of the system show a consistent accuracy of 94% with an average screening time of 4 seconds per kernel. Field test result is described and the directions for future improvement are discussed. PMID:27454427

  2. Fully-Automated High-Throughput NMR System for Screening of Haploid Kernels of Maize (Corn) by Measurement of Oil Content.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongzhi; Liu, Jin; Xu, Xiaoping; Huang, Qingming; Chen, Shanshan; Yang, Peiqiang; Chen, Shaojiang; Song, Yiqiao

    2016-01-01

    One of the modern crop breeding techniques uses doubled haploid plants that contain an identical pair of chromosomes in order to accelerate the breeding process. Rapid haploid identification method is critical for large-scale selections of double haploids. The conventional methods based on the color of the endosperm and embryo seeds are slow, manual and prone to error. On the other hand, there exists a significant difference between diploid and haploid seeds generated by high oil inducer, which makes it possible to use oil content to identify the haploid. This paper describes a fully-automated high-throughput NMR screening system for maize haploid kernel identification. The system is comprised of a sampler unit to select a single kernel to feed for measurement of NMR and weight, and a kernel sorter to distribute the kernel according to the measurement result. Tests of the system show a consistent accuracy of 94% with an average screening time of 4 seconds per kernel. Field test result is described and the directions for future improvement are discussed. PMID:27454427

  3. Automated storage of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry data in a relational database to facilitate compound screening and identification.

    PubMed

    Staeb, J A; Epema, O J; van Duijn, P; Steevens, J; Klap, V A; Freriks, I L

    2002-10-18

    This paper describes a database containing massspectra from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry(GC-MS) measurements as a tool for easy screening for multiple compounds. In this way additional compounds can be reported from the same run together with routine pesticide monitoring with little effort. The relevant analytical data from the GC-MS measurements are transferred automatically to a database. Search algorithms in the database, containing the US EPA and Dutch NEN GC-MS identification criteria as standard settings, are used to identify compounds in the data. Screening of samples analysed in our laboratory show the ubiquitous presence of--up until now in monitoring largely overlooked--compounds in surface waters in The Netherlands. Most frequently found compounds include TAED (complexing agent), 2-methyl quinoline (industrial solvent), atrazin and desethylatrazin (pesticide and degradation product), caffeine (human consumption), surfinol-104 (anti foaming agent), HHCB (Galaxolide) and AHTN (Tonalide; fragrances). The database can also be used to quickly search a large number of datafiles for rare contaminants. This way, some interesting compounds such as pentoxifilin (a pharmaceutical) and Irgarol 1051 (an antifouling compound) were found. PMID:12458939

  4. Developing putative AOPs from high content dataDeveloping putative AOPs from high content dataDeveloping putative AOPs from high content dataDeveloping putative AOPs from high content data

    EPA Science Inventory

    Developing putative AOPs from high content data Shannon M. Bell1,2, Stephen W. Edwards2 1 Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education 2 Integrated Systems Toxicology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development,...

  5. Toxicology screen

    MedlinePlus

    Barbiturates - screen; Benzodiazepines - screen; Amphetamines - screen; Analgesics - screen; Antidepressants - screen; Narcotics - screen; Phenothiazines - screen; Drug abuse screen; Blood alcohol test

  6. Effectiveness of a Web-Based Screening and Fully Automated Brief Motivational Intervention for Adolescent Substance Use: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Elgán, Tobias H; De Paepe, Nina; Tønnesen, Hanne; Csémy, Ladislav; Thomasius, Rainer

    2016-01-01

    Background Mid-to-late adolescence is a critical period for initiation of alcohol and drug problems, which can be reduced by targeted brief motivational interventions. Web-based brief interventions have advantages in terms of acceptability and accessibility and have shown significant reductions of substance use among college students. However, the evidence is sparse among adolescents with at-risk use of alcohol and other drugs. Objective This study evaluated the effectiveness of a targeted and fully automated Web-based brief motivational intervention with no face-to-face components on substance use among adolescents screened for at-risk substance use in four European countries. Methods In an open-access, purely Web-based randomized controlled trial, a convenience sample of adolescents aged 16-18 years from Sweden, Germany, Belgium, and the Czech Republic was recruited using online and offline methods and screened online for at-risk substance use using the CRAFFT (Car, Relax, Alone, Forget, Friends, Trouble) screening instrument. Participants were randomized to a single session brief motivational intervention group or an assessment-only control group but not blinded. Primary outcome was differences in past month drinking measured by a self-reported AUDIT-C-based index score for drinking frequency, quantity, and frequency of binge drinking with measures collected online at baseline and after 3 months. Secondary outcomes were the AUDIT-C-based separate drinking indicators, illegal drug use, and polydrug use. All outcome analyses were conducted with and without Expectation Maximization (EM) imputation of missing follow-up data. Results In total, 2673 adolescents were screened and 1449 (54.2%) participants were randomized to the intervention or control group. After 3 months, 211 adolescents (14.5%) provided follow-up data. Compared to the control group, results from linear mixed models revealed significant reductions in self-reported past-month drinking in favor of the

  7. Label-free cytotoxicity screening assay by digital holographic microscopy.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Jonas; Shaffer, Etienne; Mena, Julien; Breton, Billy; Parent, Jérôme; Rappaz, Benjamin; Chambon, Marc; Emery, Yves; Magistretti, Pierre; Depeursinge, Christian; Marquet, Pierre; Turcatti, Gerardo

    2013-03-01

    We introduce a label-free technology based on digital holographic microscopy (DHM) with applicability for screening by imaging, and we demonstrate its capability for cytotoxicity assessment using mammalian living cells. For this first high content screening compatible application, we automatized a digital holographic microscope for image acquisition of cells using commercially available 96-well plates. Data generated through both label-free DHM imaging and fluorescence-based methods were in good agreement for cell viability identification and a Z'-factor close to 0.9 was determined, validating the robustness of DHM assay for phenotypic screening. Further, an excellent correlation was obtained between experimental cytotoxicity dose-response curves and known IC50 values for different toxic compounds. For comparable results, DHM has the major advantages of being label free and close to an order of magnitude faster than automated standard fluorescence microscopy. PMID:23062077

  8. Sub-population analysis based on temporal features of high content images

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background High content screening techniques are increasingly used to understand the regulation and progression of cell motility. The demand of new platforms, coupled with availability of terabytes of data has challenged the traditional technique of identifying cell populations by manual methods and resulted in development of high-dimensional analytical methods. Results In this paper, we present sub-populations analysis of cells at the tissue level by using dynamic features of the cells. We used active contour without edges for segmentation of cells, which preserves the cell morphology, and autoregressive modeling to model cell trajectories. The sub-populations were obtained by clustering static, dynamic and a combination of both features. We were able to identify three unique sub-populations in combined clustering. Conclusion We report a novel method to identify sub-populations using kinetic features and demonstrate that these features improve sub-population analysis at the tissue level. These advances will facilitate the application of high content screening data analysis to new and complex biological problems. PMID:19958514

  9. Energy efficiency by use of automated energy-saving windows with heat-reflective screens and solar battery for power supply systems of European and Russian buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, V. M.; Smirnov, N. N.; Tyutikov, V. V.; Flament, B.

    2015-10-01

    The new energy saving windows with heat-reflecting shields have been developed, and for their practical use they need to be integrated into the automated system for controlling heat supply in buildings and the efficiency of their use together with the existing energy-saving measures must be determined. The study was based on the results of field tests of windows with heat-reflective shields in a certified climate chamber. The method to determine the minimum indoor air temperature under standby heating using heat-reflective shields in the windows and multifunctional energy-efficient shutter with solar battery have been developed. Annual energy saving for the conditions of different regions of Russia and France was determined. Using windows with heat-reflecting screens and a solar battery results in a triple power effect: reduced heat losses during the heating season due to increased window resistance; lower cost of heating buildings due to lowering of indoor ambient temperature; also electric power generation.

  10. A touch screen-automated cognitive test battery reveals impaired attention, memory abnormalities, and increased response inhibition in the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Romberg, Carola; Horner, Alexa E.; Bussey, Timothy J.; Saksida, Lisa M.

    2013-01-01

    Transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with abundant β-amyloid develop memory impairments. However, multiple nonmnemonic cognitive domains such as attention and executive control are also compromised early in AD individuals, but have not been routinely assessed in animal models. Here, we assessed the cognitive abilities of TgCRND8 mice—a widely used model of β-amyloid pathology—with a touch screen-based automated test battery. The test battery comprises highly translatable tests of multiple cognitive constructs impaired in human AD, such as memory, attention, and response control, as well as appropriate control tasks. We found that familial AD mutations affect not only memory, but also cause significant alterations of sustained attention and behavioral flexibility. Because changes in attention and response inhibition may affect performance on tests of other cognitive abilities including memory, our findings have important consequences for the assessment of disease mechanisms and therapeutics in animal models of AD. A more comprehensive phenotyping with specialized, multicomponent cognitive test batteries for mice might significantly advance translation from preclinical mouse studies to the clinic. PMID:22959727

  11. High-Content Analysis of CRISPR-Cas9 Gene-Edited Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Carlson-Stevermer, Jared; Goedland, Madelyn; Steyer, Benjamin; Movaghar, Arezoo; Lou, Meng; Kohlenberg, Lucille; Prestil, Ryan; Saha, Krishanu

    2016-01-01

    Summary CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing of human cells and tissues holds much promise to advance medicine and biology, but standard editing methods require weeks to months of reagent preparation and selection where much or all of the initial edited samples are destroyed during analysis. ArrayEdit, a simple approach utilizing surface-modified multiwell plates containing one-pot transcribed single-guide RNAs, separates thousands of edited cell populations for automated, live, high-content imaging and analysis. The approach lowers the time and cost of gene editing and produces edited human embryonic stem cells at high efficiencies. Edited genes can be expressed in both pluripotent stem cells and differentiated cells. This preclinical platform adds important capabilities to observe editing and selection in situ within complex structures generated by human cells, ultimately enabling optical and other molecular perturbations in the editing workflow that could refine the specificity and versatility of gene editing. PMID:26771356

  12. A comparison of the performance and application differences between manual and automated patch-clamp techniques.

    PubMed

    Yajuan, Xiao; Xin, Liang; Zhiyuan, Li

    2012-01-01

    The patch clamp technique is commonly used in electrophysiological experiments and offers direct insight into ion channel properties through the characterization of ion channel activity. This technique can be used to elucidate the interaction between a drug and a specific ion channel at different conformational states to understand the ion channel modulators' mechanisms. The patch clamp technique is regarded as a gold standard for ion channel research; however, it suffers from low throughput and high personnel costs. In the last decade, the development of several automated electrophysiology platforms has greatly increased the screen throughput of whole cell electrophysiological recordings. New advancements in the automated patch clamp systems have aimed to provide high data quality, high content, and high throughput. However, due to the limitations noted above, automated patch clamp systems are not capable of replacing manual patch clamp systems in ion channel research. While automated patch clamp systems are useful for screening large amounts of compounds in cell lines that stably express high levels of ion channels, the manual patch clamp technique is still necessary for studying ion channel properties in some research areas and for specific cell types, including primary cells that have mixed cell types and differentiated cells that derive from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Therefore, further improvements in flexibility with regard to cell types and data quality will broaden the applications of the automated patch clamp systems in both academia and industry. PMID:23346269

  13. A high-content imaging assay for the quantification of the Burkholderia pseudomallei induced multinucleated giant cell (MNGC) phenotype in murine macrophages

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp), a Gram-negative, motile, facultative intracellular bacterium is the causative agent of melioidosis in humans and animals. The Bp genome encodes a repertoire of virulence factors, including the cluster 3 type III secretion system (T3SS-3), the cluster 1 type VI secretion system (T6SS-1), and the intracellular motility protein BimA, that enable the pathogen to invade both phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells. A unique hallmark of Bp infection both in vitro and in vivo is its ability to induce cell-to-cell fusion of macrophages to form multinucleated giant cells (MNGCs), which to date are semi-quantitatively reported following visual inspection. Results In this study we report the development of an automated high-content image acquisition and analysis assay to quantitate the Bp induced MNGC phenotype. Validation of the assay was performed using T6SS-1 (∆hcp1) and T3SS-3 (∆bsaZ) mutants of Bp that have been previously reported to exhibit defects in their ability to induce MNGCs. Finally, screening of a focused small molecule library identified several Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors that inhibited Bp-induced MNGC formation of macrophages. Conclusions We have successfully developed an automated HCI assay to quantitate MNGCs induced by Bp in macrophages. This assay was then used to characterize the phenotype of the Bp mutants for their ability to induce MNGC formation and identify small molecules that interfere with this process. Successful application of chemical genetics and functional reverse genetics siRNA approaches in the MNGC assay will help gain a better understanding of the molecular targets and cellular mechanisms responsible for the MNGC phenotype induced by Bp, by other bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or by exogenously added cytokines. PMID:24750902

  14. 1Click1View: Interactive Visualization Methodology for RNAi Cell-Based Microscopic Screening

    PubMed Central

    Zwolinski, Lukasz; Kozak, Marta; Kozak, Karol

    2013-01-01

    Technological advancements are constantly increasing the size and complexity of data resulting from large-scale RNA interference screens. This fact has led biologists to ask complex questions, which the existing, fully automated analyses are often not adequate to answer. We present a concept of 1Click1View (1C1V) as a methodology for interactive analytic software tools. 1C1V can be applied for two-dimensional visualization of image-based screening data sets from High Content Screening (HCS). Through an easy-to-use interface, one-click, one-view concept, and workflow based architecture, visualization method facilitates the linking of image data with numeric data. Such method utilizes state-of-the-art interactive visualization tools optimized for fast visualization of large scale image data sets. We demonstrate our method on an HCS dataset consisting of multiple cell features from two screening assays. PMID:23484084

  15. High-content analysis of tumour cell invasion in three-dimensional spheroid assays

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Vinton; Esteves, Filomena; Chakrabarty, Aruna; Cockle, Julia; Short, Susan; Brüning-Richardson, Anke

    2015-01-01

    Targeting infiltrating tumour cells is an attractive way of combating cancer invasion and metastasis. Here we describe a novel and reproducible method for high content analysis of invading cells using multicellular tumour spheroid assays in a high grade glioma model. Live cell imaging of spheroids generated from glioma cell lines, U87 and U251, gave insight into migration dynamics and cell morphology in response to anti-migratory drugs. Immunofluorescence imaging confirmed cytoskeletal rearrangements in the treated cells indicating a direct effect on cell morphology. Effect on migration was determined by a Migration Index (MI) from brightfield images which confirmed anti-migratory activity of the drugs. A marked effect on the core with treatment suggestive of disordered proliferation was also observed. A newly developed technique to prepare the spheroids and migratory cells for immunohistochemistry allowed an assessment of response to drug treatment with a selection of markers. A difference in protein expression was noted between cells maintained within the core and migratory cells indicative of the presence of cell subpopulations within the spheroid core. We conclude that this high content analysis allows researchers to perform screening of anti-tumour invasion compounds and study their effects on cellular dynamics, particularly in relation to protein expression, for the first time. PMID:26244167

  16. High-content analysis of tumour cell invasion in three-dimensional spheroid assays.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Vinton; Esteves, Filomena; Chakrabarty, Aruna; Cockle, Julia; Short, Susan; Brüning-Richardson, Anke

    2015-01-01

    Targeting infiltrating tumour cells is an attractive way of combating cancer invasion and metastasis. Here we describe a novel and reproducible method for high content analysis of invading cells using multicellular tumour spheroid assays in a high grade glioma model. Live cell imaging of spheroids generated from glioma cell lines, U87 and U251, gave insight into migration dynamics and cell morphology in response to anti-migratory drugs. Immunofluorescence imaging confirmed cytoskeletal rearrangements in the treated cells indicating a direct effect on cell morphology. Effect on migration was determined by a Migration Index (MI) from brightfield images which confirmed anti-migratory activity of the drugs. A marked effect on the core with treatment suggestive of disordered proliferation was also observed. A newly developed technique to prepare the spheroids and migratory cells for immunohistochemistry allowed an assessment of response to drug treatment with a selection of markers. A difference in protein expression was noted between cells maintained within the core and migratory cells indicative of the presence of cell subpopulations within the spheroid core. We conclude that this high content analysis allows researchers to perform screening of anti-tumour invasion compounds and study their effects on cellular dynamics, particularly in relation to protein expression, for the first time. PMID:26244167

  17. High-content 3D multicolor super-resolution localization microscopy.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Pedro M; Almada, Pedro; Henriques, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Super-resolution (SR) methodologies permit the visualization of cellular structures at near-molecular scale (1-30 nm), enabling novel mechanistic analysis of key events in cell biology not resolvable by conventional fluorescence imaging (∼300-nm resolution). When this level of detail is combined with computing power and fast and reliable analysis software, high-content screenings using SR becomes a practical option to address multiple biological questions. The importance of combining these powerful analytical techniques cannot be ignored, as they can address phenotypic changes on the molecular scale and in a statistically robust manner. In this work, we suggest an easy-to-implement protocol that can be applied to set up a high-content 3D SR experiment with user-friendly and freely available software. The protocol can be divided into two main parts: chamber and sample preparation, where a protocol to set up a direct STORM (dSTORM) sample is presented; and a second part where a protocol for image acquisition and analysis is described. We intend to take the reader step-by-step through the experimental process highlighting possible experimental bottlenecks and possible improvements based on recent developments in the field. PMID:25640426

  18. Automated Processing of Zebrafish Imaging Data: A Survey

    PubMed Central

    Dickmeis, Thomas; Driever, Wolfgang; Geurts, Pierre; Hamprecht, Fred A.; Kausler, Bernhard X.; Ledesma-Carbayo, María J.; Marée, Raphaël; Mikula, Karol; Pantazis, Periklis; Ronneberger, Olaf; Santos, Andres; Stotzka, Rainer; Strähle, Uwe; Peyriéras, Nadine

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Due to the relative transparency of its embryos and larvae, the zebrafish is an ideal model organism for bioimaging approaches in vertebrates. Novel microscope technologies allow the imaging of developmental processes in unprecedented detail, and they enable the use of complex image-based read-outs for high-throughput/high-content screening. Such applications can easily generate Terabytes of image data, the handling and analysis of which becomes a major bottleneck in extracting the targeted information. Here, we describe the current state of the art in computational image analysis in the zebrafish system. We discuss the challenges encountered when handling high-content image data, especially with regard to data quality, annotation, and storage. We survey methods for preprocessing image data for further analysis, and describe selected examples of automated image analysis, including the tracking of cells during embryogenesis, heartbeat detection, identification of dead embryos, recognition of tissues and anatomical landmarks, and quantification of behavioral patterns of adult fish. We review recent examples for applications using such methods, such as the comprehensive analysis of cell lineages during early development, the generation of a three-dimensional brain atlas of zebrafish larvae, and high-throughput drug screens based on movement patterns. Finally, we identify future challenges for the zebrafish image analysis community, notably those concerning the compatibility of algorithms and data formats for the assembly of modular analysis pipelines. PMID:23758125

  19. Selective-plane illumination microscopy for high-content volumetric biological imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGorty, Ryan; Huang, Bo

    2016-03-01

    Light-sheet microscopy, also named selective-plane illumination microscopy, enables optical sectioning with minimal light delivered to the sample. Therefore, it allows one to gather volumetric datasets of developing embryos and other light-sensitive samples over extended times. We have configured a light-sheet microscope that, unlike most previous designs, can image samples in formats compatible with high-content imaging. Our microscope can be used with multi-well plates or with microfluidic devices. In designing our optical system to accommodate these types of sample holders we encounter large optical aberrations. We counter these aberrations with both static optical components in the imaging path and with adaptive optics. Potential applications of this microscope include studying the development of a large number of embryos in parallel and over long times with subcellular resolution and doing high-throughput screens on organisms or cells where volumetric data is necessary.

  20. In vivo high-content evaluation of three-dimensional scaffolds biocompatibility.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Mariana B; Ribeiro, Maximiano P; Miguel, Sónia P; Neto, Ana I; Coutinho, Paula; Correia, Ilídio J; Mano, João F

    2014-11-01

    While developing tissue engineering strategies, inflammatory response caused by biomaterials is an unavoidable aspect to be taken into consideration, as it may be an early limiting step of tissue regeneration approaches. We demonstrate the application of flat and flexible films exhibiting patterned high-contrast wettability regions as implantable platforms for the high-content in vivo study of inflammatory response caused by biomaterials. Screening biomaterials by using high-throughput platforms is a powerful method to detect hit spots with promising properties and to exclude uninteresting conditions for targeted applications. High-content analysis of biomaterials has been mostly restricted to in vitro tests where crucial information is lost, as in vivo environment is highly complex. Conventional biomaterials implantation requires the use of high numbers of animals, leading to ethical questions and costly experimentation. Inflammatory response of biomaterials has also been highly neglected in high-throughput studies. We designed an array of 36 combinations of biomaterials based on an initial library of four polysaccharides. Biomaterials were dispensed onto biomimetic superhydrophobic platforms with wettable regions and processed as freeze-dried three-dimensional scaffolds with a high control of the array configuration. These chips were afterward implanted subcutaneously in Wistar rats. Lymphocyte recruitment and activated macrophages were studied on-chip, by performing immunocytochemistry in the miniaturized biomaterials after 24 h and 7 days of implantation. Histological cuts of the surrounding tissue of the implants were also analyzed. Localized and independent inflammatory responses were detected. The integration of these data with control data proved that these chips are robust platforms for the rapid screening of early-stage in vivo biomaterials' response. PMID:24568682

  1. High content analysis of the biocompatibility of nickel nanowires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, Fiona; Prina-Mello, Adriele; Whelan, Aine; Mohamed, Bashir M.; Davies, Anthony; Gun'ko, Yurii K.; Coey, J. M. D.; Volkov, Yuri

    2009-05-01

    Nickel nanowires, 20 μm long and 200 nm in diameter, were fabricated by electrodeposition into alumina templates, and characterised by superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Biocompatibility studies of nickel nanowires with differentiated THP-1 cell line-derived macrophages were carried out. From a multiparametric assay, using high content analysis (HCA), the critical time points and concentrations of nickel nanowires on THP-1 cellular response were identified. The nanowires displayed little or no toxic effects on THP-1 cells over short incubation times (10 h), and at low concentrations (<100 nanowires per cell). Our findings indicate the potential suitability of these wires for biological and clinical applications.

  2. Cermet anode compositions with high content alloy phase

    DOEpatents

    Marschman, S.C.; Davis, N.C.

    1989-10-03

    Cermet electrode compositions comprising NiO-NiFe[sub 2]O[sub 4]-Cu-Ni, and methods for making, are disclosed. Addition of nickel metal prior to formation and densification of a base mixture into the cermet allows for an increase in the total amount of copper and nickel that can be contained in the NiO-NiFe[sub 2]O[sub 4] oxide system. Nickel is present in a base mixture weight concentration of from 0.1% to 10%. Copper is present in the alloy phase in a weight concentration of from 10% to 30% of the densified composition. Such cermet electrodes can be formed to have electrical conductivities well in excess of 100 ohm[sup [minus]1] cm[sup [minus]1]. Other alloy and oxide system cermets having high content metal phases are also expected to be manufacturable in accordance with the invention.

  3. Cermet anode compositions with high content alloy phase

    DOEpatents

    Marschman, Steven C.; Davis, Norman C.

    1989-01-01

    Cermet electrode compositions comprising NiO-NiFe.sub.2 O.sub.4 -Cu-Ni, and methods for making, are disclosed. Addition of nickel metal prior to formation and densification of a base mixture into the cermet allows for an increase in the total amount of copper and nickel that can be contained in the NiO-NiFe.sub.2 O.sub.4 oxide system. Nickel is present in a base mixture weight concentration of from 0.1% to 10%. Copper is present in the alloy phase in a weight concentration of from 10% to 30% of the densified composition. Such cermet electrodes can be formed to have electrical conductivities well in excess of 100 ohm.sup.-1 cm.sup.-1. Other alloy and oxide system cermets having high content metal phases are also expected to be manufacturable in accordance with the invention.

  4. High-content Analysis of Antibody Phage-display Library Selection Outputs Identifies Tumor Selective Macropinocytosis-dependent Rapidly Internalizing Antibodies*

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Kevin D.; Bidlingmaier, Scott M.; Zhang, Yafeng; Su, Yang; Liu, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Many forms of antibody-based targeted therapeutics, including antibody drug conjugates, utilize the internalizing function of the targeting antibody to gain intracellular entry into tumor cells. Ideal antibodies for developing such therapeutics should be capable of both tumor-selective binding and efficient endocytosis. The macropinocytosis pathway is capable of both rapid and bulk endocytosis, and recent studies have demonstrated that it is selectively up-regulated by cancer cells. We hypothesize that receptor-dependent macropinocytosis can be achieved using tumor-targeting antibodies that internalize via the macropinocytosis pathway, improving potency and selectivity of the antibody-based targeted therapeutic. Although phage antibody display libraries have been utilized to find antibodies that bind and internalize to target cells, no methods have been described to screen for antibodies that internalize specifically via macropinocytosis. We hereby describe a novel screening strategy to identify phage antibodies that bind and rapidly enter tumor cells via macropinocytosis. We utilized an automated microscopic imaging-based, High Content Analysis platform to identify novel internalizing phage antibodies that colocalize with macropinocytic markers from antibody libraries that we have generated previously by laser capture microdissection-based selection, which are enriched for internalizing antibodies binding to tumor cells in situ residing in their tissue microenvironment (Ruan, W., Sassoon, A., An, F., Simko, J. P., and Liu, B. (2006) Identification of clinically significant tumor antigens by selecting phage antibody library on tumor cells in situ using laser capture microdissection. Mol. Cell. Proteomics. 5, 2364–2373). Full-length human IgG molecules derived from macropinocytosing phage antibodies retained the ability to internalize via macropinocytosis, validating our screening strategy. The target antigen for a cross-species binding antibody with a highly

  5. Synthetic Genetic Arrays: Automation of Yeast Genetics.

    PubMed

    Kuzmin, Elena; Costanzo, Michael; Andrews, Brenda; Boone, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Genome-sequencing efforts have led to great strides in the annotation of protein-coding genes and other genomic elements. The current challenge is to understand the functional role of each gene and how genes work together to modulate cellular processes. Genetic interactions define phenotypic relationships between genes and reveal the functional organization of a cell. Synthetic genetic array (SGA) methodology automates yeast genetics and enables large-scale and systematic mapping of genetic interaction networks in the budding yeast,Saccharomyces cerevisiae SGA facilitates construction of an output array of double mutants from an input array of single mutants through a series of replica pinning steps. Subsequent analysis of genetic interactions from SGA-derived mutants relies on accurate quantification of colony size, which serves as a proxy for fitness. Since its development, SGA has given rise to a variety of other experimental approaches for functional profiling of the yeast genome and has been applied in a multitude of other contexts, such as genome-wide screens for synthetic dosage lethality and integration with high-content screening for systematic assessment of morphology defects. SGA-like strategies can also be implemented similarly in a number of other cell types and organisms, includingSchizosaccharomyces pombe,Escherichia coli, Caenorhabditis elegans, and human cancer cell lines. The genetic networks emerging from these studies not only generate functional wiring diagrams but may also play a key role in our understanding of the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype. PMID:27037078

  6. ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL EFFECTS ON NEURONAL DIFFERENTIATION USING THE ARRAYSCAN HIGH CONTENT SCREENING SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development of alternative methods for toxicity testing is driven by the need for scientifically valid data that can be obtained in a rapid and cost-efficient manner. In vitro systems provide a model in which chemical effects on cellular events can be examined using technique...

  7. HIGH-CONTENT ANALYSIS OF PRIMARY RAT NEURAL CORTICALCULTURES FOR DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROTOXICITY SCREENING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Development of the vertebrate nervous system proceeds through a number of critical processes, ultimately concluding with the extension of neurites and establishment of synaptic networks. Early-life exposure to toxicants that perturb these critical developmental processes can po...

  8. Investigation of cell morphology for disease diagnostics via high content screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khatau, Shyam

    2013-03-01

    Ninety percent of all cancer-related deaths are caused by metastatic disease, i.e. the spreading of a subset of cells from a primary tumor in an organ to distal sites in other organs. Understanding this progression from localized to metastatic disease is essential for further developing effective therapeutic and treatment strategies. However, despite research efforts, no distinct genetic, epigenetic, or proteomic signature of cancer metastasis has been identified so far. Metastasis is a physical event: through invasion and migration through the dense, tortuous stromal matrix, intravasation, shear forces of blood flow, successful re-attachment to blood vessel walls, migration, the colonization of a distal site, and, finally, reactivation following dormancy, metastatic cells may share precise physical properties. Cell morphology is the most direct physical property that can be measured. In this work, we develop a high throughput cell phenotyping process and investigate the morphological signature of primary tumor cells and liver metastatic pancreatic cancer cells.

  9. Assessment of chemical effects on neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells using high content screening

    EPA Science Inventory

    Identification of chemicals that pose a hazard to the developing nervous system is the first step in reducing human exposure and preventing health risks to infants and children. In response to the need for more efficient methods to identify potential developmental neurotoxicants,...

  10. IN VITRO SCREENING OF DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROTOXICANTS IN RAT PRIMARY CORTICAL NEURONS USING HIGH CONTENT IMAGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a need for more efficient and cost-effective methods for identifying, characterizing and prioritizing chemicals which may result in developmental neurotoxicity. One approach is to utilize in vitro test systems which recapitulate the critical processes of nervous system d...

  11. Fast and accurate automated cell boundary determination for fluorescence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arce, Stephen Hugo; Wu, Pei-Hsun; Tseng, Yiider

    2013-07-01

    Detailed measurement of cell phenotype information from digital fluorescence images has the potential to greatly advance biomedicine in various disciplines such as patient diagnostics or drug screening. Yet, the complexity of cell conformations presents a major barrier preventing effective determination of cell boundaries, and introduces measurement error that propagates throughout subsequent assessment of cellular parameters and statistical analysis. State-of-the-art image segmentation techniques that require user-interaction, prolonged computation time and specialized training cannot adequately provide the support for high content platforms, which often sacrifice resolution to foster the speedy collection of massive amounts of cellular data. This work introduces a strategy that allows us to rapidly obtain accurate cell boundaries from digital fluorescent images in an automated format. Hence, this new method has broad applicability to promote biotechnology.

  12. Detection of Onchocerca volvulus in Latin American black flies for pool screening PCR using high-throughput automated DNA isolation for transmission surveillance.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Mario A; Gopal, Hemavathi; Adeleke, Monsuru Adebayo; De Luna-Santillana, Erick Jesús; Gurrola-Reyes, J Natividad; Guo, Xianwu

    2013-11-01

    The posttreatment entomological surveillance (ES) of onchocerciasis in Latin America requires quite large numbers of flies to be examined for parasite infection to prove that the control strategies have worked and that the infection is on the path of elimination. Here, we report a high-throughput automated DNA isolation of Onchocerca volvulus for PCR using a major Latin American black fly vector of onchocerciasis. The sensitivity and relative effectiveness of silica-coated paramagnetic beads was evaluated in comparison with phenol chloroform (PC) method which is known as the gold standard of DNA extraction for ES in Latin America. The automated method was optimized in the laboratory and validated in the field to detect parasite DNA in Simulium ochraceum sensu lato flies in comparison with PC. The optimization of the automated method showed that it is sensitive to detect O. volvulus with a pool size of 100 flies as compared with PC which utilizes 50 flies pool size. The validation of the automated method in comparison with PC in an endemic community showed that 5/67 and 3/134 heads pools were positive for the two methods, respectively. There was no statistical variation (P < 0.05) in the estimation of transmission indices generated by automated method when compared with PC method. The fact that the automated method is sensitive to pool size up to 100 confers advantage over PC method and can, therefore, be employed in large-scale ES of onchocerciasis transmission in endemic areas of Latin America. PMID:24030195

  13. Open access to high-content clonogenic analysis.

    PubMed

    Ricci, Fernanda; Subramanian, Aishwarya; Wade, Mark

    2015-03-01

    Image-processing programs are used to identify and classify eukaryotic cell colonies as spots following seeding at low density on dishes or in multiwell plates. The output from such approaches, however, is generally limited to 1-2 parameters, and there is no ability to extract phenotypic information at the single colony level. Furthermore, there is a lack of user-friendly pipelines for analysis of clonogenicity in the context of high-content analysis. This article describes an experimental and multiparametric image analysis workflow for clonogenic assays in multiwell format, named the Colony Assay Toolbox (CAT). CAT incorporates a cellular-level resolution of individual colonies and facilitates the extraction of phenotypic information, including the number and size of colonies and nuclei, as well as morphological parameters associated with each structure. Furthermore, the pipeline is capable of discriminating between colonies composed of senescent and nonsenescent cells. We demonstrate the accuracy and flexibility of CAT by interrogating the effects of 2 preclinical compounds, Nutlin-3a and ABT-737, on the growth of human osteosarcoma cells. CAT is accessible to virtually all laboratories because it uses common wide-field fluorescent microscopes, the open-source CellProfiler program for colony image analysis, and a single fluorescent dye for all the segmentation steps. PMID:25381257

  14. High Content Imaging (HCI) on Miniaturized Three-Dimensional (3D) Cell Cultures.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Pranav; Lee, Moo-Yeal

    2015-12-01

    High content imaging (HCI) is a multiplexed cell staining assay developed for better understanding of complex biological functions and mechanisms of drug action, and it has become an important tool for toxicity and efficacy screening of drug candidates. Conventional HCI assays have been carried out on two-dimensional (2D) cell monolayer cultures, which in turn limit predictability of drug toxicity/efficacy in vivo; thus, there has been an urgent need to perform HCI assays on three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures. Although 3D cell cultures better mimic in vivo microenvironments of human tissues and provide an in-depth understanding of the morphological and functional features of tissues, they are also limited by having relatively low throughput and thus are not amenable to high-throughput screening (HTS). One attempt of making 3D cell culture amenable for HTS is to utilize miniaturized cell culture platforms. This review aims to highlight miniaturized 3D cell culture platforms compatible with current HCI technology. PMID:26694477

  15. High Content Imaging (HCI) on Miniaturized Three-Dimensional (3D) Cell Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Pranav; Lee, Moo-Yeal

    2015-01-01

    High content imaging (HCI) is a multiplexed cell staining assay developed for better understanding of complex biological functions and mechanisms of drug action, and it has become an important tool for toxicity and efficacy screening of drug candidates. Conventional HCI assays have been carried out on two-dimensional (2D) cell monolayer cultures, which in turn limit predictability of drug toxicity/efficacy in vivo; thus, there has been an urgent need to perform HCI assays on three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures. Although 3D cell cultures better mimic in vivo microenvironments of human tissues and provide an in-depth understanding of the morphological and functional features of tissues, they are also limited by having relatively low throughput and thus are not amenable to high-throughput screening (HTS). One attempt of making 3D cell culture amenable for HTS is to utilize miniaturized cell culture platforms. This review aims to highlight miniaturized 3D cell culture platforms compatible with current HCI technology. PMID:26694477

  16. Automating Small Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swan, James

    1996-01-01

    Presents a four-phase plan for small libraries strategizing for automation: inventory and weeding, data conversion, implementation, and enhancements. Other topics include selecting a system, MARC records, compatibility, ease of use, industry standards, searching capabilities, support services, system security, screen displays, circulation modules,…

  17. Teachable, high-content analytics for live-cell, phase contrast movies.

    PubMed

    Alworth, Samuel V; Watanabe, Hirotada; Lee, James S J

    2010-09-01

    CL-Quant is a new solution platform for broad, high-content, live-cell image analysis. Powered by novel machine learning technologies and teach-by-example interfaces, CL-Quant provides a platform for the rapid development and application of scalable, high-performance, and fully automated analytics for a broad range of live-cell microscopy imaging applications, including label-free phase contrast imaging. The authors used CL-Quant to teach off-the-shelf universal analytics, called standard recipes, for cell proliferation, wound healing, cell counting, and cell motility assays using phase contrast movies collected on the BioStation CT and BioStation IM platforms. Similar to application modules, standard recipes are intended to work robustly across a wide range of imaging conditions without requiring customization by the end user. The authors validated the performance of the standard recipes by comparing their performance with truth created manually, or by custom analytics optimized for each individual movie (and therefore yielding the best possible result for the image), and validated by independent review. The validation data show that the standard recipes' performance is comparable with the validated truth with low variation. The data validate that the CL-Quant standard recipes can provide robust results without customization for live-cell assays in broad cell types and laboratory settings. PMID:20639505

  18. High content analysis of an in vitro model for metabolic toxicity: results with the model toxicants 4-aminophenol and cyclophosphamide.

    PubMed

    Cole, Stephanie D; Madren-Whalley, Janna S; Li, Albert P; Dorsey, Russell; Salem, Harry

    2014-12-01

    In vitro models that accurately and rapidly assess hepatotoxicity and the effects of hepatic metabolism on nonliver cell types are needed by the U.S. Department of Defense and the pharmaceutical industry to screen compound libraries. Here, we report the first use of high content analysis on the Integrated Discrete Multiple Organ Co-Culture (IdMOC) system, a high-throughput method for such studies. We cultured 3T3-L1 cells in the presence and absence of primary human hepatocytes, and exposed the cultures to 4-aminophenol and cyclophosphamide, model toxicants that are respectively detoxified and activated by the liver. Following staining with calcein-AM, ethidium homodimer-1, and Hoechst 33342, high content analysis of the cultures revealed four cytotoxic endpoints: fluorescence intensities of calcein-AM and ethidium homodimer-1, nuclear area, and cell density. Using these endpoints, we observed that the cytotoxicity of 4-aminophenol in 3T3-L1 cells in co-culture was less than that observed for 3T3-L1 monocultures, consistent with the known detoxification of 4-aminophenol by hepatocytes. Conversely, cyclophosphamide cytotoxicity for 3T3-L1 cells was enhanced by co-culturing with hepatocytes, consistent with the known metabolic activation of this toxicant. The use of IdMOC plates combined with high content analysis is therefore a multi-endpoint, high-throughput capability for measuring the effects of metabolism on toxicity. PMID:25239051

  19. High-Content Quantification of Single-Cell Immune Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Junkin, Michael; Kaestli, Alicia J.; Cheng, Zhang; Jordi, Christian; Albayrak, Cem; Hoffmann, Alexander; Tay, Savaş

    2016-01-01

    Summary Cells receive time-varying signals from the environment and generate functional responses by secreting their own signaling molecules. Characterizing dynamic input-output relationships in single cells is crucial for understanding and modeling cellular systems. We developed an automated microfluidic system that delivers precisely defined dynamical inputs to individual living cells and simultaneously measures key immune parameters dynamically. Our system combines nanoliter immunoassays, microfluidic input generation, and time-lapse microscopy, enabling study of previously untestable aspects of immunity by measuring time-dependent cytokine secretion and transcription factor activity from single cells stimulated with dynamic inflammatory inputs. Employing this system to analyze macrophage signal processing under pathogen inputs, we found that the dynamics of TNF secretion are highly heterogeneous and surprisingly uncorrelated with the dynamics of NF-κB, the transcription factor controlling TNF production. Computational modeling of the LPS/TLR4 pathway shows that post-transcriptional regulation by TRIF is a key determinant of noisy and uncorrelated TNF secretion dynamics in single macrophages. PMID:27050527

  20. High-Content Analysis of Pro-Apoptotic EphA4 Dependence Receptor Functions using Small Molecule Libraries

    PubMed Central

    Nelersa, Claudiu M.; Barreras, Henry; Runko, Erik; Ricard, Jerome; Shi, Yan; Bixby, John L.; Lemmon, Vance P.; Liebl, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Small molecule compounds (SMCs) can provide an inexpensive and selective approach to modifying biological responses. High-content analysis (HCA) of SMC libraries can help identify candidate molecules that inhibit or activate cellular responses. In particular, regulation of cell death has important implications for many pathological conditions. Dependence receptors are a new classification of pro-apoptotic membrane receptors that, unlike classic death receptors, initiate apoptotic signals in the absence of their ligands. EphA4 has recently been identified as a dependence receptor that may have important functions in conditions as disparate as cancer biology and CNS injury and disease. To screen potential candidate SMCs that inhibit or activate EphA4-induced cell death, HCA of a SMC library was performed using stable EphA4-expressing NIH3T3 cells. Our results describe a high-content method for screening dependence receptor-signaling pathways, and demonstrate that several candidate SMCs can inhibit EphA4-mediated cell death. PMID:22492230

  1. Comparative studies on the immunoregulatory effects of three polysaccharides using high content imaging system.

    PubMed

    Lv, Xiaocheng; Chen, Dandan; Yang, Liecheng; Zhu, Ning; Li, Jingling; Zhao, Jian; Hu, Zhibi; Wang, Fu-Jun; Zhang, Leshuai W

    2016-05-01

    In this study, polysaccharides were isolated from Astragalus membranaceus, Ganoderma lucidum and Radix ophiopogonis and named APSII, GLPII and OGPII for comparison of their immunoactivities. MTT assay indicated that these polysaccharides increased the metabolic activity of Raw264.7 macrophages and induced cell differentiation to dendritic like cells. High content screening and mathematical modeling were used to quantify the cell irregularity, a hallmark of cell differentiation by polysaccharides. The results showed that GLPII increased cell irregularity, but APSII and OGPII had slightly less effects. Imaging analysis also revealed that polysaccharides inhibited cell proliferation while inducing the cell differentiation. In addition, APSII and GLPII but not OGPII induced NO production and enhanced cell phagocytic ability. Interestingly, inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitor blocked polysaccharide-enhanced phagocytosis, indicating NO production is crucial for macrophages to acquire phagocytic ability, which was further confirmed by correlation studies. APSII and GLPII significantly promoted the maturation of macrophages by the increase in the expression of MHCII, CD40, CD80 and CD86, while OGPII had less effects. In summary, we have suggested a practical and economical method to quantify macrophage differentiation (irregularity) induced by polysaccharides for quality assurance and have found the role of NO production on macrophage phagocytic ability. PMID:26783639

  2. High Content Analysis of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Hepatocytes Reveals Drug Induced Steatosis and Phospholipidosis

    PubMed Central

    Pradip, Arvind; Steel, Daniella; Jacobsson, Susanna; Holmgren, Gustav; Ingelman-Sundberg, Magnus; Sartipy, Peter; Björquist, Petter; Johansson, Inger; Edsbagge, Josefina

    2016-01-01

    Hepatotoxicity is one of the most cited reasons for withdrawal of approved drugs from the market. The use of nonclinically relevant in vitro and in vivo testing systems contributes to the high attrition rates. Recent advances in differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into pure cultures of hepatocyte-like cells expressing functional drug metabolizing enzymes open up possibilities for novel, more relevant human cell based toxicity models. The present study aimed to investigate the use of hiPSC derived hepatocytes for conducting mechanistic toxicity testing by image based high content analysis (HCA). The hiPSC derived hepatocytes were exposed to drugs known to cause hepatotoxicity through steatosis and phospholipidosis, measuring several endpoints representing different mechanisms involved in drug induced hepatotoxicity. The hiPSC derived hepatocytes were benchmarked to the HepG2 cell line and generated robust HCA data with low imprecision between plates and batches. The different parameters measured were detected at subcytotoxic concentrations and the order of which the compounds were categorized (as severe, moderate, mild, or nontoxic) based on the degree of injury at isomolar concentration corresponded to previously published data. Taken together, the present study shows how hiPSC derived hepatocytes can be used as a platform for screening drug induced hepatotoxicity by HCA. PMID:26880940

  3. A fast method for screening and/or quantitation of tetrahydrocannabinol and metabolites in urine by automated SPE/LC/MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Jagerdeo, Eshwar; Montgomery, Madeline A; Karas, Roman P; Sibum, Martin

    2010-09-01

    Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illicit substances. The high usage of this substance results in it being commonly encountered in clinical samples throughout the USA and Europe. Due to its wide availability and use, marijuana is also commonly encountered in forensic toxicology laboratories. The proposed method utilized an automated solid phase extraction (SPE) coupled to liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS). The automated SPE procedure was developed using Hysphere C8-EC sorbent, and the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation was performed using an Xterra MS C(18) column with a total runtime of 10 min. The standard curves linearity generally fell between 6 and 500 ng/mL. The limits of detection ranged from 2 to 4 ng/mL, and the limits of quantitation ranged from 8 to 12 ng/mL. The bias and imprecision were determined using a simple analysis of variance (single factor). The results demonstrate bias as <11% and percent imprecision as <12% for all components at four quality control levels. This method has been in use for over 2 years and has been applied to numerous forensic samples. When compared to other published methods, it exceeds others in its simplicity and speed of analysis. This method takes advantage of robotics and automation for a total analysis time of 10 min, including sample preparation, separation, and detection. PMID:20582401

  4. High Content Imaging of Early Morphological Signatures Predicts Long Term Mineralization Capacity of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells upon Osteogenic Induction.

    PubMed

    Marklein, Ross A; Lo Surdo, Jessica L; Bellayr, Ian H; Godil, Saniya A; Puri, Raj K; Bauer, Steven R

    2016-04-01

    Human bone marrow-derived multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells, often referred to as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), represent an attractive cell source for many regenerative medicine applications due to their potential for multi-lineage differentiation, immunomodulation, and paracrine factor secretion. A major complication for current MSC-based therapies is the lack of well-defined characterization methods that can robustly predict how they will perform in a particular in vitro or in vivo setting. Significant advances have been made with identifying molecular markers of MSC quality and potency using multivariate genomic and proteomic approaches, and more recently with advanced techniques incorporating high content imaging to assess high-dimensional single cell morphological data. We sought to expand upon current methods of high dimensional morphological analysis by investigating whether short term cell and nuclear morphological profiles of MSCs from multiple donors (at multiple passages) correlated with long term mineralization upon osteogenic induction. Using the combined power of automated high content imaging followed by automated image analysis, we demonstrated that MSC morphology after 3 days was highly correlated with 35 day mineralization and comparable to other methods of MSC osteogenesis assessment (such as alkaline phosphatase activity). We then expanded on this initial morphological characterization and identified morphological features that were highly predictive of mineralization capacities (>90% accuracy) of MSCs from additional donors and different manufacturing techniques using linear discriminant analysis. Together, this work thoroughly demonstrates the predictive power of MSC morphology for mineralization capacity and motivates further studies into MSC morphology as a predictive marker for additional in vitro and in vivo responses. Stem Cells 2016;34:935-947. PMID:26865267

  5. Use of a Machine Learning-Based High Content Analysis Approach to Identify Photoreceptor Neurite Promoting Molecules.

    PubMed

    Fuller, John A; Berlinicke, Cynthia A; Inglese, James; Zack, Donald J

    2016-01-01

    High content analysis (HCA) has become a leading methodology in phenotypic drug discovery efforts. Typical HCA workflows include imaging cells using an automated microscope and analyzing the data using algorithms designed to quantify one or more specific phenotypes of interest. Due to the richness of high content data, unappreciated phenotypic changes may be discovered in existing image sets using interactive machine-learning based software systems. Primary postnatal day four retinal cells from the photoreceptor (PR) labeled QRX-EGFP reporter mice were isolated, seeded, treated with a set of 234 profiled kinase inhibitors and then cultured for 1 week. The cells were imaged with an Acumen plate-based laser cytometer to determine the number and intensity of GFP-expressing, i.e. PR, cells. Wells displaying intensities and counts above threshold values of interest were re-imaged at a higher resolution with an INCell2000 automated microscope. The images were analyzed with an open source HCA analysis tool, PhenoRipper (Rajaram et al., Nat Methods 9:635-637, 2012), to identify the high GFP-inducing treatments that additionally resulted in diverse phenotypes compared to the vehicle control samples. The pyrimidinopyrimidone kinase inhibitor CHEMBL-1766490, a pan kinase inhibitor whose major known targets are p38α and the Src family member lck, was identified as an inducer of photoreceptor neuritogenesis by using the open-source HCA program PhenoRipper. This finding was corroborated using a cell-based method of image analysis that measures quantitative differences in the mean neurite length in GFP expressing cells. Interacting with data using machine learning algorithms may complement traditional HCA approaches by leading to the discovery of small molecule-induced cellular phenotypes in addition to those upon which the investigator is initially focusing. PMID:26427464

  6. Multilayered, Hyaluronic Acid-Based Hydrogel Formulations Suitable for Automated 3D High Throughput Drug Screening of Cancer-Stromal Cell Cocultures.

    PubMed

    Engel, Brian J; Constantinou, Pamela E; Sablatura, Lindsey K; Doty, Nathaniel J; Carson, Daniel D; Farach-Carson, Mary C; Harrington, Daniel A; Zarembinski, Thomas I

    2015-08-01

    Validation of a high-throughput compatible 3D hyaluronic acid hydrogel coculture of cancer cells with stromal cells. The multilayered hyaluronic acid hydrogels improve drug screening predictability as evaluated with a panel of clinically relevant chemotherapeutics in both prostate and endometrial cancer cell lines compared to 2D culture. PMID:26059746

  7. An Exploratory Study of the Effect of Screen Size and Resolution on the Legibility of Graphics in Automated Job Performance Aids. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dwyer, Daniel J.

    Designed to assess the effect of alternative display (CRT) screen sizes and resolution levels on user ability to identify and locate printed circuit (PC) board points, this study is the first in a protracted research program on the legibility of graphics in computer-based job aids. Air Force maintenance training pipeline students (35 male and 1…

  8. Automated Hazard Analysis

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2003-06-26

    The Automated Hazard Analysis (AHA) application is a software tool used to conduct job hazard screening and analysis of tasks to be performed in Savannah River Site facilities. The AHA application provides a systematic approach to the assessment of safety and environmental hazards associated with specific tasks, and the identification of controls regulations, and other requirements needed to perform those tasks safely. AHA is to be integrated into existing Savannah River site work control andmore » job hazard analysis processes. Utilization of AHA will improve the consistency and completeness of hazard screening and analysis, and increase the effectiveness of the work planning process.« less

  9. Automated rapid iterative negative geotaxis assay and its use in a genetic screen for modifiers of Aβ(42)-induced locomotor decline in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haiyan; Han, Meng; Li, Qingyi; Zhang, Xiao; Wang, Wen-An; Huang, Fu-De

    2015-10-01

    The negative-geotaxis climbing assay is used to efficiently study aging and neurodegeneration in Drosophila. To make it suitable for large-scale study, a method called the rapid iterative negative geotaxis (RING) assay has been established by simultaneously photographing the climbing of multiple groups of flies when they are manually tapped down in test tubes. Here, we automated the assay by using a well-controlled electric motor to drive the tapping, and a homemade program to analyze the climbing height of flies. Using the automated RING (aRING) assay, we found that the climbing ability of a strain of wild-type flies, males in particular, declined rapidly before day 21 after eclosion, but slowly from day 21 to 35. We also found that the expression of arctic mutant Aβ42 accelerated the age-dependent decline in the climbing ability of flies. Moreover, using aRING, we examined the effect of third chromosome deficiencies on the accelerated locomotor decline in Aβ42-expressing flies, and isolated 7 suppressors and 15 enhancers. PMID:26077703

  10. Enhancement of Probe Signal for Screening of HIV-1 Protease Inhibitors in Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Huantong; Jin, Sha

    2012-01-01

    The global human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic is one of the biggest threats to human life. Mutation of the virus and toxicity of the existing drugs necessitate the development of new drugs for effective AIDS treatment. Previously, we developed a molecular probe that utilizes the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) principle to visualize HIV-1 protease inhibition within living cells for drug screening. We explored using AcGFP1 (a fluorescent mutant of the wild-type green fluorescent protein) as a donor and mCherry (a mutant of red fluorescent protein) as an acceptor for FRET microscopy imaging measurement of HIV-1 protease activity within living cells and demonstrated that the molecular probe is suitable for the High-Content Screening (HCS) of anti-HIV drugs through an automated FRET microscopy imaging measurement. In this study, we genetically engineered a probe with a tandem acceptor protein structure to enhance the probe’s signal. Both in vitro and in vivo studies revealed that the novel structure of the molecular probe exhibits a significant enhancement of FRET signals, reaching a probe FRET efficiency of 34%, as measured by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) measurement. The probe developed herein would enable high-content screening of new anti-HIV agents. PMID:23223077

  11. A comprehensive library-based, automated screening procedure for 46 synthetic cannabinoids in serum employing liquid chromatography-quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry with high-temperature electrospray ionization.

    PubMed

    Huppertz, Laura M; Kneisel, Stefan; Auwärter, Volker; Kempf, Jürgen

    2014-02-01

    Considering the vast variety of synthetic cannabinoids and herbal mixtures - commonly known as 'Spice' or 'K2' - on the market and the resulting increase of severe intoxications related to their consumption, there is a need in clinical and forensic toxicology for comprehensive up-to-date screening methods. The focus of this project aimed at developing and implementing an automated screening procedure for the detection of synthetic cannabinoids in serum using a liquid chromatography-ion trap-MS (LC-MS(n)) system and a spectra library-based approach, currently including 46 synthetic cannabinoids and 8 isotope labelled analogues. In the process of method development, a high-temperature ESI source (IonBooster(TM), Bruker Daltonik) and its effects on the ionization efficiency of the investigated synthetic cannabinoids were evaluated and compared to a conventional ESI source. Despite their structural diversity, all investigated synthetic cannabinoids benefitted from high-temperature ionization by showing remarkably higher MS intensities compared to conventional ESI. The employed search algorithm matches retention time, MS and MS(2)/MS(3) spectra. With the utilization of the ionBooster source, limits for the automated detection comparable to cut-off values of routine MRM methods were achieved for the majority of analytes. Even compounds not identified when using a conventional ESI source were detected using the ionBooster-source. LODs in serum range from 0.1 ng/ml to 0.5 ng/ml. The use of parent compounds as analytical targets offers the possibility of instantly adding new emerging compounds to the library and immediately applying the updated method to serum samples, allowing the rapid adaptation of the screening method to ongoing forensic or clinical requirements. The presented approach can also be applied to other specimens, such as oral fluid or hair, and herbal mixtures and was successfully applied to authentic serum samples. Quantitative MRM results of samples with

  12. Automated analysis of siRNA screens of cells infected by hepatitis C and dengue viruses based on immunofluorescence microscopy images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matula, Petr; Kumar, Anil; Wörz, Ilka; Harder, Nathalie; Erfle, Holger; Bartenschlager, Ralf; Eils, Roland; Rohr, Karl

    2008-03-01

    We present an image analysis approach as part of a high-throughput microscopy siRNA-based screening system using cell arrays for the identification of cellular genes involved in hepatitis C and dengue virus replication. Our approach comprises: cell nucleus segmentation, quantification of virus replication level in the neighborhood of segmented cell nuclei, localization of regions with transfected cells, cell classification by infection status, and quality assessment of an experiment and single images. In particular, we propose a novel approach for the localization of regions of transfected cells within cell array images, which combines model-based circle fitting and grid fitting. By this scheme we integrate information from single cell array images and knowledge from the complete cell arrays. The approach is fully automatic and has been successfully applied to a large number of cell array images from screening experiments. The experimental results show a good agreement with the expected behaviour of positive as well as negative controls and encourage the application to screens from further high-throughput experiments.

  13. Evaluation and validation of an accurate mass screening method for the analysis of pesticides in fruits and vegetables using liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time of flight-mass spectrometry with automated detection.

    PubMed

    López, Mónica García; Fussell, Richard J; Stead, Sara L; Roberts, Dominic; McCullagh, Mike; Rao, Ramesh

    2014-12-19

    This study reports the development and validation of a screening method for the detection of pesticides in 11 different fruit and vegetable commodities. The method was based on ultra performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time of flight-mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS). The objective was to validate the method in accordance with the SANCO guidance document (12571/2013) on analytical quality control and validation procedures for pesticide residues analysis in food and feed. Samples were spiked with 199 pesticides, each at two different concentrations (0.01 and 0.05 mg kg(-1)) and extracted using the QuEChERS approach. Extracts were analysed by UPLC-QTOF-MS using generic acquisition parameters. Automated detection and data filtering were performed using the UNIFI™ software and the peaks detected evaluated against a proprietary scientific library containing information for 504 pesticides. The results obtained using different data processing parameters were evaluated for 4378 pesticide/commodities combinations at 0.01 and 0.05 mg kg(-1). Using mass accuracy (± 5 ppm) with retention time (± 0.2 min) and a low response threshold (100 counts) the validated Screening Detection Limits (SDLs) were 0.01 mg kg(-1) and 0.05 mg kg(-1) for 57% and 79% of the compounds tested, respectively, with an average of 10 false detects per sample analysis. Excluding the most complex matrices (onion and leek) the detection rates increased to 69% and 87%, respectively. The use of additional parameters such as isotopic pattern and fragmentation information further reduced the number of false detects but compromised the detection rates, particularly at lower residue concentrations. The challenges associated with the validation and subsequent implementation of a pesticide multi-residue screening method are also discussed. PMID:25465001

  14. In Vitro Testing of Biomaterials for Neural Repair: Focus on Cellular Systems and High-Content Analysis.

    PubMed

    Baldassarro, Vito Antonio; Dolci, Luisa Stella; Mangano, Chiara; Giardino, Luciana; Gualandi, Chiara; Focarete, Maria Letizia; Calzà, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Biomimetic materials are designed to stimulate specific cellular responses at the molecular level. To improve the soundness of in vitro testing of the biological impact of new materials, appropriate cell systems and technologies must be standardized also taking regulatory issues into consideration. In this study, the biological and molecular effects of different scaffolds on three neural systems, that is, the neural cell line SH-SY5Y, primary cortical neurons, and neural stem cells, were compared. The effect of poly(L-lactic acid) scaffolds having different surface geometry (conventional two-dimensional seeding flat surface, random or aligned fibers as semi3D structure) and chemical functionalization (laminin or ECM extract) were studied. The endpoints were defined for efficacy (i.e., neural differentiation and neurite elongation) and for safety (i.e., cell death/survival) using high-content analysis. It is demonstrated that (i) the definition of the biological properties of biomaterials is profoundly influenced by the test system used; (ii) the definition of the in vitro safety profile of biomaterials for neural repair is also influenced by the test system; (iii) cell-based high-content screening may well be successfully used to characterize both the efficacy and safety of novel biomaterials, thus speeding up and improving the soundness of this critical step in material science having medical applications. PMID:27588220

  15. In Vitro Testing of Biomaterials for Neural Repair: Focus on Cellular Systems and High-Content Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Baldassarro, Vito Antonio; Dolci, Luisa Stella; Mangano, Chiara; Giardino, Luciana; Gualandi, Chiara; Focarete, Maria Letizia; Calzà, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Biomimetic materials are designed to stimulate specific cellular responses at the molecular level. To improve the soundness of in vitro testing of the biological impact of new materials, appropriate cell systems and technologies must be standardized also taking regulatory issues into consideration. In this study, the biological and molecular effects of different scaffolds on three neural systems, that is, the neural cell line SH-SY5Y, primary cortical neurons, and neural stem cells, were compared. The effect of poly(L-lactic acid) scaffolds having different surface geometry (conventional two-dimensional seeding flat surface, random or aligned fibers as semi3D structure) and chemical functionalization (laminin or ECM extract) were studied. The endpoints were defined for efficacy (i.e., neural differentiation and neurite elongation) and for safety (i.e., cell death/survival) using high-content analysis. It is demonstrated that (i) the definition of the biological properties of biomaterials is profoundly influenced by the test system used; (ii) the definition of the in vitro safety profile of biomaterials for neural repair is also influenced by the test system; (iii) cell-based high-content screening may well be successfully used to characterize both the efficacy and safety of novel biomaterials, thus speeding up and improving the soundness of this critical step in material science having medical applications. PMID:27588220

  16. The international experience of bacterial screen testing of platelet components with an automated microbial detection system: a need for consensus testing and reporting guidelines.

    PubMed

    Benjamin, Richard J; McDonald, Carl P

    2014-04-01

    The BacT/ALERT microbial detection system (bioMerieux, Inc, Durham, NC) is in routine use in many blood centers as a prerelease test for platelet collections. Published reports document wide variation in practices and outcomes. A systematic review of the English literature was performed to describe publications assessing the use of the BacT/ALERT culture system on platelet collections as a routine screen test of more than 10000 platelet components. Sixteen publications report the use of confirmatory testing to substantiate initial positive culture results but use varying nomenclature to classify the results. Preanalytical and analytical variables that may affect the outcomes differ widely between centers. Incomplete description of protocol details complicates comparison between sites. Initial positive culture results range from 539 to 10606 per million (0.054%-1.061%) and confirmed positive from 127 to 1035 per million (0.013%-0.104%) donations. False-negative results determined by outdate culture range from 662 to 2173 per million (0.066%-0.217%) and by septic reactions from 0 to 66 per million (0%-0.007%) collections. Current culture protocols represent pragmatic compromises between optimizing analytical sensitivity and ensuring the timely availability of platelets for clinical needs. Insights into the effect of protocol variations on outcomes are generally restricted to individual sites that implement limited changes to their protocols over time. Platelet manufacturers should reassess the adequacy of their BacT/ALERT screening protocols in light of the growing international experience and provide detailed documentation of all variables that may affect culture outcomes when reporting results. We propose a framework for a standardized nomenclature for reporting of the results of BacT/ALERT screening. PMID:24636779

  17. Accurate and semi-automated analysis of bacterial association with mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Murphy, C M; Paré, S; Galea, G; Simpson, J C; Smith, S G J

    2016-03-01

    To efficiently and accurately quantify the interactions of bacteria with mammalian cells, a reliable fluorescence microscopy assay was developed. Bacteria were engineered to become rapidly and stably fluorescent using Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) expressed from an inducible Tet promoter. Upon application of the fluorescent bacteria onto a monolayer, extracellular bacteria could be discriminated from intracellular bacteria by antibody staining and microscopy. All bacteria could be detected by GFP expression. External bacteria stained orange, whereas internalised bacteria did not. Internalised bacteria could thus be discriminated from external bacteria by virtue of being green but not orange fluorescent. Image acquisition and counting of various fluorophore-stained entities were accomplished with a high-content screening platform. This allowed for semi-automated and accurate counting of intracellular and extracellular bacteria. PMID:26769557

  18. An imaging-based platform for high-content, quantitative evaluation of therapeutic response in 3D tumour models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celli, Jonathan P.; Rizvi, Imran; Blanden, Adam R.; Massodi, Iqbal; Glidden, Michael D.; Pogue, Brian W.; Hasan, Tayyaba

    2014-01-01

    While it is increasingly recognized that three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models recapitulate drug responses of human cancers with more fidelity than monolayer cultures, a lack of quantitative analysis methods limit their implementation for reliable and routine assessment of emerging therapies. Here, we introduce an approach based on computational analysis of fluorescence image data to provide high-content readouts of dose-dependent cytotoxicity, growth inhibition, treatment-induced architectural changes and size-dependent response in 3D tumour models. We demonstrate this approach in adherent 3D ovarian and pancreatic multiwell extracellular matrix tumour overlays subjected to a panel of clinically relevant cytotoxic modalities and appropriately designed controls for reliable quantification of fluorescence signal. This streamlined methodology reads out the high density of information embedded in 3D culture systems, while maintaining a level of speed and efficiency traditionally achieved with global colorimetric reporters in order to facilitate broader implementation of 3D tumour models in therapeutic screening.

  19. Regenerable immuno-biochip for screening ochratoxin A in green coffee extract using an automated microarray chip reader with chemiluminescence detection.

    PubMed

    Sauceda-Friebe, Jimena C; Karsunke, Xaver Y Z; Vazac, Susanna; Biselli, Scarlett; Niessner, Reinhard; Knopp, Dietmar

    2011-03-18

    Ochratoxin A (OTA) can contaminate foodstuffs in the ppb to ppm range and once formed, it is difficult to remove. Because of its toxicity and potential risks to human health, the need exists for rapid, efficient detection methods that comply with legal maximum residual limits. In this work we have synthesized an OTA conjugate functionalized with a water-soluble peptide for covalent immobilization on a glass biochip by means of contact spotting. The chip was used for OTA determination with an indirect competitive immunoassay format with flow-through reagent addition and chemiluminescence detection, carried out with the stand-alone automated Munich Chip Reader 3 (MCR 3) platform. A buffer model and real green coffee extracts were used for this purpose. At the present, covalent conjugate immobilization allowed for at least 20 assay-regeneration cycles of the biochip surface. The total analysis time for a single sample, including measurement and surface regeneration, was 12 min and the LOQ of OTA in green coffee extract was 0.3 μg L(-1) which corresponds to 7 μg kg(-1). PMID:21397079

  20. Semi-automated imaging of tissue-specific fluorescence in zebrafish embryos.

    PubMed

    Romano, Shannon N; Gorelick, Daniel A

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish embryos are a powerful tool for large-scale screening of small molecules. Transgenic zebrafish that express fluorescent reporter proteins are frequently used to identify chemicals that modulate gene expression. Chemical screens that assay fluorescence in live zebrafish often rely on expensive, specialized equipment for high content screening. We describe a procedure using a standard epifluorescence microscope with a motorized stage to automatically image zebrafish embryos and detect tissue-specific fluorescence. Using transgenic zebrafish that report estrogen receptor activity via expression of GFP, we developed a semi-automated procedure to screen for estrogen receptor ligands that activate the reporter in a tissue-specific manner. In this video we describe procedures for arraying zebrafish embryos at 24-48 hours post fertilization (hpf) in a 96-well plate and adding small molecules that bind estrogen receptors. At 72-96 hpf, images of each well from the entire plate are automatically collected and manually inspected for tissue-specific fluorescence. This protocol demonstrates the ability to detect estrogens that activate receptors in heart valves but not in liver. PMID:24894681

  1. Semi-automated Imaging of Tissue-specific Fluorescence in Zebrafish Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Shannon N.; Gorelick, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish embryos are a powerful tool for large-scale screening of small molecules. Transgenic zebrafish that express fluorescent reporter proteins are frequently used to identify chemicals that modulate gene expression. Chemical screens that assay fluorescence in live zebrafish often rely on expensive, specialized equipment for high content screening. We describe a procedure using a standard epifluorescence microscope with a motorized stage to automatically image zebrafish embryos and detect tissue-specific fluorescence. Using transgenic zebrafish that report estrogen receptor activity via expression of GFP, we developed a semi-automated procedure to screen for estrogen receptor ligands that activate the reporter in a tissue-specific manner. In this video we describe procedures for arraying zebrafish embryos at 24-48 hours post fertilization (hpf) in a 96-well plate and adding small molecules that bind estrogen receptors. At 72-96 hpf, images of each well from the entire plate are automatically collected and manually inspected for tissue-specific fluorescence. This protocol demonstrates the ability to detect estrogens that activate receptors in heart valves but not in liver. PMID:24894681

  2. Identification of Selective Inhibitors of the Potassium Channel Kv1.1–1.2(3) by High-Throughput Virtual Screening and Automated Patch Clamp

    PubMed Central

    Wacker, Sören J; Jurkowski, Wiktor; Simmons, Katie J; Fishwick, Colin W G; Johnson, A Peter; Madge, David; Lindahl, Erik; Rolland, Jean-Francois; de Groot, Bert L

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Two voltage-dependent potassium channels, Kv1.1 (KCNA1) and Kv1.2 (KCNA2), are found to co-localize at the juxtaparanodal region of axons throughout the nervous system and are known to co-assemble in heteromultimeric channels, most likely in the form of the concatemer Kv1.1–1.2(3). Loss of the myelin sheath, as is observed in multiple sclerosis, uncovers the juxtaparanodal region of nodes of Ranvier in myelinated axons leading to potassium conductance, resulting in loss of nerve conduction. The selective blocking of these Kv channels is therefore a promising approach to restore nerve conduction and function. In the present study, we searched for novel inhibitors of Kv1.1–1.2(3) by combining a virtual screening protocol and electrophysiological measurements on a concatemer Kv1.1–1.2(3) stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary K1 (CHO-K1) cells. The combined use of four popular virtual screening approaches (eHiTS, FlexX, Glide, and Autodock-Vina) led to the identification of several compounds as potential inhibitors of the Kv1.1–1.2(3) channel. From 89 electrophysiologically evaluated compounds, 14 novel compounds were found to inhibit the current carried by Kv1.1–1.2(3) channels by more than 80 % at 10 μM. Accordingly, the IC50 values calculated from concentration–response curve titrations ranged from 0.6 to 6 μM. Two of these compounds exhibited at least 30-fold higher potency in inhibition of Kv1.1–1.2(3) than they showed in inhibition of a set of cardiac ion channels (hERG, Nav1.5, and Cav1.2), resulting in a profile of selectivity and cardiac safety. The results presented herein provide a promising basis for the development of novel selective ion channel inhibitors, with a dramatically lower demand in terms of experimental time, effort, and cost than a sole high-throughput screening approach of large compound libraries. PMID:22473914

  3. Automated platform for sensor-based monitoring and controlled assays of living cells and tissues.

    PubMed

    Wolf, P; Brischwein, M; Kleinhans, R; Demmel, F; Schwarzenberger, T; Pfister, C; Wolf, B

    2013-12-15

    Cellular assays have become a fundamental technique in scientific research, pharmaceutical drug screening or toxicity testing. Therefore, the requirements of technical developments for automated assays raised in the same rate. A novel measuring platform was developed, which combines automated assay processing with label-free high-content measuring and real-time monitoring of multiple metabolic and morphologic parameters of living cells or tissues. Core of the system is a test plate with 24 cell culture wells, each equipped with opto-chemical sensor-spots for the determination of cellular oxygen consumption and extracellular acidification, next to electrode-structures for electrical impedance sensing. An automated microscope provides the optical sensor read-out and allows continuous cell imaging. Media and drugs are supplied by a pipetting robot system. Therefore, assay can run over several days without personnel interaction. To demonstrate the performance of the platform in physiologic assays, we continuously recorded the kinetics of metabolic and morphologic parameters of MCF-7 breast cancer cells under the influence of the cytotoxin chloroacetaldehyde. The data point out the time resolved effect kinetics over the complete treatment period. Thereby, the measuring platform overcomes problems of endpoint tests, which cannot monitor the kinetics of different parameters of the same cell population over longer time periods. PMID:23838277

  4. The influence of compound admixtures on the properties of high-content slag cement

    SciTech Connect

    Dongxu, L.; Xuequan, W.; Jinlin, S.; Yujiang, W.

    2000-01-01

    Based on the activation theory of alkali and sulfate, the influence of compound admixtures on the properties of high-content slag cement was studied by testing the strength, pore structure, hydrates, and microstructure, Test results show that compound admixtures can obviously improve the properties of high-content slag cement. The emphasis of the present research is two-fold: substituting gypsum with anhydrite and calcining gypsum. These both can improve early and later performance.

  5. Quantitative assessment of neurite outgrowth in human embryonic stem-cell derived neurons using automated high-content image analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    During development neurons undergo a number of morphological changes including neurite outgrowth from the cell body. Exposure to neurotoxicants that interfere with this process may cause in permanent deficits in nervous system function. While many studies have used rodent primary...

  6. Automation or De-automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorlach, Igor; Wessel, Oliver

    2008-09-01

    In the global automotive industry, for decades, vehicle manufacturers have continually increased the level of automation of production systems in order to be competitive. However, there is a new trend to decrease the level of automation, especially in final car assembly, for reasons of economy and flexibility. In this research, the final car assembly lines at three production sites of Volkswagen are analysed in order to determine the best level of automation for each, in terms of manufacturing costs, productivity, quality and flexibility. The case study is based on the methodology proposed by the Fraunhofer Institute. The results of the analysis indicate that fully automated assembly systems are not necessarily the best option in terms of cost, productivity and quality combined, which is attributed to high complexity of final car assembly systems; some de-automation is therefore recommended. On the other hand, the analysis shows that low automation can result in poor product quality due to reasons related to plant location, such as inadequate workers' skills, motivation, etc. Hence, the automation strategy should be formulated on the basis of analysis of all relevant aspects of the manufacturing process, such as costs, quality, productivity and flexibility in relation to the local context. A more balanced combination of automated and manual assembly operations provides better utilisation of equipment, reduces production costs and improves throughput.

  7. Quantitative Analysis of Mitochondrial Morphology and Membrane Potential in Living Cells Using High-Content Imaging, Machine Learning, and Morphological Binning

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Anthony P.; Cameron, Robert B.; Speiser, Jaime L.; Wolf, Bethany J.; Peterson, Yuri K.; Schnellmann, Rick G.; Beeson, Craig C.; Rohrer, Baerbel

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the processes of mitochondrial dynamics (fission, fusion, biogenesis, and mitophagy) has been hampered by the lack of automated, deterministic methods to measure mitochondrial morphology from microscopic images. A method to quantify mitochondrial morphology and function is presented here using a commercially available automated high-content wide-field fluorescent microscopy platform and R programming-language-based semi-automated data analysis to achieve high throughput morphological categorization (puncta, rod, network, and large & round) and quantification of mitochondrial membrane potential. In conjunction with cellular respirometry to measure mitochondrial respiratory capacity, this method detected that increasing concentrations of toxicants known to directly or indirectly affect mitochondria (t-butyl hydroperoxide [TBHP], rotenone, antimycin A, oligomycin, ouabain, and carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone [FCCP]), decreased mitochondrial networked areas in cultured 661w cells to 0.60-0.80 at concentrations that inhibited respiratory capacity to 0.20-0.70 (fold change compared to vehicle). Concomitantly, mitochondrial swelling was increased from 1.4- to 2.3-fold of vehicle as indicated by changes in large & round areas in response to TBHP, oligomycin, or ouabain. Finally, the automated identification of mitochondrial location enabled accurate quantification of mitochondrial membrane potential by measuring intramitochondrial tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM) fluorescence intensity. Administration of FCCP depolarized and administration of oligomycin hyperpolarized mitochondria, as evidenced by changes in intramitochondrial TMRM fluorescence intensities to 0.33- or 5.25-fold of vehicle control values, respectively. In summary, this high-content imaging method accurately quantified mitochondrial morphology and membrane potential in hundreds of thousands of cells on a per-cell basis, with sufficient throughput for pharmacological

  8. Process automation

    SciTech Connect

    Moser, D.R.

    1986-01-01

    Process automation technology has been pursued in the chemical processing industries and to a very limited extent in nuclear fuel reprocessing. Its effective use has been restricted in the past by the lack of diverse and reliable process instrumentation and the unavailability of sophisticated software designed for process control. The Integrated Equipment Test (IET) facility was developed by the Consolidated Fuel Reprocessing Program (CFRP) in part to demonstrate new concepts for control of advanced nuclear fuel reprocessing plants. A demonstration of fuel reprocessing equipment automation using advanced instrumentation and a modern, microprocessor-based control system is nearing completion in the facility. This facility provides for the synergistic testing of all chemical process features of a prototypical fuel reprocessing plant that can be attained with unirradiated uranium-bearing feed materials. The unique equipment and mission of the IET facility make it an ideal test bed for automation studies. This effort will provide for the demonstration of the plant automation concept and for the development of techniques for similar applications in a full-scale plant. A set of preliminary recommendations for implementing process automation has been compiled. Some of these concepts are not generally recognized or accepted. The automation work now under way in the IET facility should be useful to others in helping avoid costly mistakes because of the underutilization or misapplication of process automation. 6 figs.

  9. New concepts for chip-supported multi-well-plates: realization of a 24-well-plate with integrated impedance-sensors for functional cellular screening applications and automated microscope aided cell-based assays.

    PubMed

    Ressler, J; Grothe, H; Motrescu, E; Wolf, B

    2004-01-01

    Based on the experience with multiparametric bioelectronic sensor chips for the monitoring of living cells, we have combined the established multi-well-format with the advantages of microelectronic sensors. The result is a 24-well-plate where the bottom of the wells is replaced by glass-based chips with integrated IDES (interdigital electrode structure). By using IDES it is possible to detect adhesion and morphological changes of adherent growing cell cultures. Up to now these measurements were inaccessible in conjunction with multi-well-plates, especially in high throughput applications. If microscopic monitoring of the cell culture is required, the IDES can be fabricated using transparent conductor materials like ITO (indium tin oxide). Both the transparent material for the sensors and the sensor-carrier make the multi-well-plate also applicable for all kinds of fluorescence and luminescence biological tests. In addition to the impedance-sensors optical read-out sensor layers for pH and pO2 can be integrated. For this reason there are many possible fields of application in biological and biomedical areas such as drug screening, chemosensitive testing and environmental toxicology as well as in biosensing for biological and chemical warfare. Especially the possibility of using this multi-well-plate together with automated imaging-systems has the great advantage of combining optical and sensory monitoring accessible to high-throughput-applications. PMID:17272129

  10. Automation pilot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    An important concept of the Action Information Management System (AIMS) approach is to evaluate office automation technology in the context of hands on use by technical program managers in the conduct of human acceptance difficulties which may accompany the transition to a significantly changing work environment. The improved productivity and communications which result from application of office automation technology are already well established for general office environments, but benefits unique to NASA are anticipated and these will be explored in detail.

  11. Automated Urinalysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    Information from NASA Tech Briefs assisted DiaSys Corporation in the development of the R/S 2000 which automates urinalysis, eliminating most manual procedures. An automatic aspirator is inserted into a standard specimen tube, the "Sample" button is pressed, and within three seconds a consistent amount of urine sediment is transferred to a microscope. The instrument speeds up, standardizes, automates and makes urine analysis safer. Additional products based on the same technology are anticipated.

  12. A high-content imaging workflow to study Grb2 signaling complexes by expression cloning.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Jamie; Kriston-Vizi, Janos; Seed, Brian; Ketteler, Robin

    2012-01-01

    Signal transduction by growth factor receptors is essential for cells to maintain proliferation and differentiation and requires tight control. Signal transduction is initiated by binding of an external ligand to a transmembrane receptor and activation of downstream signaling cascades. A key regulator of mitogenic signaling is Grb2, a modular protein composed of an internal SH2 (Src Homology 2) domain flanked by two SH3 domains that lacks enzymatic activity. Grb2 is constitutively associated with the GTPase Son-Of-Sevenless (SOS) via its N-terminal SH3 domain. The SH2 domain of Grb2 binds to growth factor receptors at phosphorylated tyrosine residues thus coupling receptor activation to the SOS-Ras-MAP kinase signaling cascade. In addition, other roles for Grb2 as a positive or negative regulator of signaling and receptor endocytosis have been described. The modular composition of Grb2 suggests that it can dock to a variety of receptors and transduce signals along a multitude of different pathways(1-3). Described here is a simple microscopy assay that monitors recruitment of Grb2 to the plasma membrane. It is adapted from an assay that measures changes in sub-cellular localization of green-fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Grb2 in response to a stimulus(4-6). Plasma membrane receptors that bind Grb2 such as activated Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) recruit GFP-Grb2 to the plasma membrane upon cDNA expression and subsequently relocate to endosomal compartments in the cell. In order to identify in vivo protein complexes of Grb2, this technique can be used to perform a genome-wide high-content screen based on changes in Grb2 sub-cellular localization. The preparation of cDNA expression clones, transfection and image acquisition are described in detail below. Compared to other genomic methods used to identify protein interaction partners, such as yeast-two-hybrid, this technique allows the visualization of protein complexes in mammalian cells at the sub

  13. High Content Analysis Provides Mechanistic Insights on the Pathways of Toxicity Induced by Amine-Modified Polystyrene Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Anguissola, Sergio; Garry, David; Salvati, Anna; O'Brien, Peter J.; Dawson, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    The fast-paced development of nanotechnology needs the support of effective safety testing. We have developed a screening platform measuring simultaneously several cellular parameters for exposure to various concentrations of nanoparticles (NPs). Cell lines representative of different organ cell types, including lung, endothelium, liver, kidney, macrophages, glia, and neuronal cells were exposed to 50 nm amine-modified polystyrene (PS-NH2) NPs previously reported to induce apoptosis and to 50 nm sulphonated and carboxyl-modified polystyrene NPs that were reported to be silent. All cell lines apart from Raw 264.7 executed apoptosis in response to PS-NH2 NPs, showing specific sequences of EC50 thresholds; lysosomal acidification was the most sensitive parameter. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and plasma membrane integrity measured by High Content Analysis resulted comparably sensitive to the equivalent OECD-recommended assays, allowing increased output. Analysis of the acidic compartments revealed good cerrelation between size/fluorescence intensity and dose of PS-NH2 NPs applied; moreover steatosis and phospholipidosis were observed, consistent with the lysosomal alterations revealed by Lysotracker green; similar responses were observed when comparing astrocytoma cells with primary astrocytes. We have established a platform providing mechanistic insights on the response to exposure to nanoparticles. Such platform holds great potential for in vitro screening of nanomaterials in highthroughput format. PMID:25238162

  14. Automated High Throughput Drug Target Crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Rupp, B

    2005-02-18

    The molecular structures of drug target proteins and receptors form the basis for 'rational' or structure guided drug design. The majority of target structures are experimentally determined by protein X-ray crystallography, which as evolved into a highly automated, high throughput drug discovery and screening tool. Process automation has accelerated tasks from parallel protein expression, fully automated crystallization, and rapid data collection to highly efficient structure determination methods. A thoroughly designed automation technology platform supported by a powerful informatics infrastructure forms the basis for optimal workflow implementation and the data mining and analysis tools to generate new leads from experimental protein drug target structures.

  15. A High-Content Assay Strategy for the Identification and Profiling of ABCG2 Modulators in Live Cells

    PubMed Central

    Antczak, Christophe; Wee, Boyoung; Radu, Constantin; Bhinder, Bhavneet; Holland, Eric C.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract ABCG2 is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family of transporters, the overexpression of which has been implicated in resistance to various chemotherapeutic agents. Though a number of cell-based assays to screen for inhibitors have been reported, they do not provide a content-rich platform to discriminate toxic and autofluorescent compounds. To fill this gap, we developed a live high-content cell-based assay to identify inhibitors of ABCG2-mediated transport and, at the same time, assess their cytotoxic effect and potential optical interference. We used a pair of isogenic U87MG human glioblastoma cell lines, with one stably overexpressing the ABCG2 transporter. JC-1 (J-aggregate–forming lipophilic cation 5,5′,6,6′-tetrachloro-1,1′,3,3′-tetraethylbenzimidazol carbocyanine iodide) was selected as the optimal reporter substrate for ABCG2 activity, and the resulting assay was characterized by a Z′ value of 0.50 and a signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of 14 in a pilot screen of ∼7,000 diverse chemicals. The screen led to the identification of 64 unique nontoxic positives, yielding an initial hit rate of 1%, with 58 of them being confirmed activity. In addition, treatment with two selected confirmed positives suppressed the side population of U87MG-ABCG2 cells that was able to efflux the Hoechst dye as measured by flow cytometry, confirming that they constitute potent new ABCG2 transporter inhibitors. Our results demonstrate that our live cell and content-rich platform enables the rapid identification and profiling of ABCG2 modulators, and this new strategy opens the door to the discovery of compounds targeting the expression and/or trafficking of ABC transporters as an alternative to functional inhibitors that failed in the clinic. PMID:23992118

  16. High Content Analysis of Primary Macrophages Hosting Proliferating Leishmania Amastigotes: Application to Anti-leishmanial Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Aulner, Nathalie; Danckaert, Anne; Rouault-Hardoin, Eline; Desrivot, Julie; Helynck, Olivier; Commere, Pierre-Henri; Munier-Lehmann, Hélène; Späth, Gerald F.; Shorte, Spencer L.; Milon, Geneviève; Prina, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Background/Objectives Human leishmaniases are parasitic diseases causing severe morbidity and mortality. No vaccine is available and numerous factors limit the use of current therapies. There is thus an urgent need for innovative initiatives to identify new chemotypes displaying selective activity against intracellular Leishmania amastigotes that develop and proliferate inside macrophages, thereby causing the pathology of leishmaniasis. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed a biologically sound High Content Analysis assay, based on the use of homogeneous populations of primary mouse macrophages hosting Leishmania amazonensis amastigotes. In contrast to classical promastigote-based screens, our assay more closely mimics the environment where intracellular amastigotes are growing within acidic parasitophorous vacuoles of their host cells. This multi-parametric assay provides quantitative data that accurately monitors the parasitic load of amastigotes-hosting macrophage cultures for the discovery of leishmanicidal compounds, but also their potential toxic effect on host macrophages. We validated our approach by using a small set of compounds of leishmanicidal drugs and recently published chemical entities. Based on their intramacrophagic leishmanicidal activity and their toxicity against host cells, compounds were classified as irrelevant or relevant for entering the next step in the drug discovery pipeline. Conclusions/Significance Our assay represents a new screening platform that overcomes several limitations in anti-leishmanial drug discovery. First, the ability to detect toxicity on primary macrophages allows for discovery of compounds able to cross the membranes of macrophage, vacuole and amastigote, thereby accelerating the hit to lead development process for compounds selectively targeting intracellular parasites. Second, our assay allows discovery of anti-leishmanials that interfere with biological functions of the macrophage required for parasite

  17. Habitat automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swab, Rodney E.

    1992-01-01

    A habitat, on either the surface of the Moon or Mars, will be designed and built with the proven technologies of that day. These technologies will be mature and readily available to the habitat designer. We believe an acceleration of the normal pace of automation would allow a habitat to be safer and more easily maintained than would be the case otherwise. This document examines the operation of a habitat and describes elements of that operation which may benefit from an increased use of automation. Research topics within the automation realm are then defined and discussed with respect to the role they can have in the design of the habitat. Problems associated with the integration of advanced technologies into real-world projects at NASA are also addressed.

  18. Automating Finance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, John

    2007-01-01

    In past years, higher education's financial management side has been riddled with manual processes and aging mainframe applications. This article discusses schools which had taken advantage of an array of technologies that automate billing, payment processing, and refund processing in the case of overpayment. The investments are well worth it:…

  19. Automated dispenser

    SciTech Connect

    Hollen, R.M.; Stalnaker, N.D.

    1989-04-06

    An automated dispenser having a conventional pipette attached to an actuating cylinder through a flexible cable for delivering precise quantities of a liquid through commands from remotely located computer software. The travel of the flexible cable is controlled by adjustable stops and a locking shaft. The pipette can be positioned manually or by the hands of a robot. 1 fig.

  20. Automation in biological crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Shaw Stewart, Patrick; Mueller-Dieckmann, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    Crystallization remains the bottleneck in the crystallographic process leading from a gene to a three-dimensional model of the encoded protein or RNA. Automation of the individual steps of a crystallization experiment, from the preparation of crystallization cocktails for initial or optimization screens to the imaging of the experiments, has been the response to address this issue. Today, large high-throughput crystallization facilities, many of them open to the general user community, are capable of setting up thousands of crystallization trials per day. It is thus possible to test multiple constructs of each target for their ability to form crystals on a production-line basis. This has improved success rates and made crystallization much more convenient. High-throughput crystallization, however, cannot relieve users of the task of producing samples of high quality. Moreover, the time gained from eliminating manual preparations must now be invested in the careful evaluation of the increased number of experiments. The latter requires a sophisticated data and laboratory information-management system. A review of the current state of automation at the individual steps of crystallization with specific attention to the automation of optimization is given. PMID:24915074

  1. PROLIFERATION AS A KEY EVENT IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: "CHEMICAL SCREENING IN HUMAN NEURAL STEM CELLS USING HIGH CONTENT IMAGING

    EPA Science Inventory

    New toxicity testing approaches will rely on in vitro assays to assess chemical effects at the cellular and molecular level. Cell proliferation is imperative to normal development, and chemical disruption of this process can be detrimental to the organism. As part of an effort to...

  2. CONCENTRATION-RESPONSE ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL EFFECTS ON SYNAPTOGENESIS USING A HIGH CONTENT IMAGE ANALYSIS-BASED SCREENING ASSAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Functional connectivity of the nervous system is dependent upon the development of synapses: i.e. specialized cell-cell contacts which facilitate the unidirectional flow of fast neurotransmission. Prenatal and/or early postnatal exposure to chemicals which disrupt synaptogenesis ...

  3. Workflow for High-content, Individual Cell Quantification of Fluorescent Markers from Universal Microscope Data, Supported by Open Source Software

    PubMed Central

    Stockwell, Simon R.; Mittnacht, Sibylle

    2014-01-01

    Advances in understanding the control mechanisms governing the behavior of cells in adherent mammalian tissue culture models are becoming increasingly dependent on modes of single-cell analysis. Methods which deliver composite data reflecting the mean values of biomarkers from cell populations risk losing subpopulation dynamics that reflect the heterogeneity of the studied biological system. In keeping with this, traditional approaches are being replaced by, or supported with, more sophisticated forms of cellular assay developed to allow assessment by high-content microscopy. These assays potentially generate large numbers of images of fluorescent biomarkers, which enabled by accompanying proprietary software packages, allows for multi-parametric measurements per cell. However, the relatively high capital costs and overspecialization of many of these devices have prevented their accessibility to many investigators. Described here is a universally applicable workflow for the quantification of multiple fluorescent marker intensities from specific subcellular regions of individual cells suitable for use with images from most fluorescent microscopes. Key to this workflow is the implementation of the freely available Cell Profiler software1 to distinguish individual cells in these images, segment them into defined subcellular regions and deliver fluorescence marker intensity values specific to these regions. The extraction of individual cell intensity values from image data is the central purpose of this workflow and will be illustrated with the analysis of control data from a siRNA screen for G1 checkpoint regulators in adherent human cells. However, the workflow presented here can be applied to analysis of data from other means of cell perturbation (e.g., compound screens) and other forms of fluorescence based cellular markers and thus should be useful for a wide range of laboratories. PMID:25549286

  4. ESCAPE: database for integrating high-content published data collected from human and mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huilei; Baroukh, Caroline; Dannenfelser, Ruth; Chen, Edward Y; Tan, Christopher M; Kou, Yan; Kim, Yujin E; Lemischka, Ihor R; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2013-01-01

    High content studies that profile mouse and human embryonic stem cells (m/hESCs) using various genome-wide technologies such as transcriptomics and proteomics are constantly being published. However, efforts to integrate such data to obtain a global view of the molecular circuitry in m/hESCs are lagging behind. Here, we present an m/hESC-centered database called Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence integrating data from many recent diverse high-throughput studies including chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing, genome-wide inhibitory RNA screens, gene expression microarrays or RNA-seq after knockdown (KD) or overexpression of critical factors, immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry proteomics and phosphoproteomics. The database provides web-based interactive search and visualization tools that can be used to build subnetworks and to identify known and novel regulatory interactions across various regulatory layers. The web-interface also includes tools to predict the effects of combinatorial KDs by additive effects controlled by sliders, or through simulation software implemented in MATLAB. Overall, the Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence database is a comprehensive resource for the stem cell systems biology community. Database URL: http://www.maayanlab.net/ESCAPE PMID:23794736

  5. Assessing cellular toxicities in fibroblasts upon exposure to lipid-based nanoparticles: a high content analysis approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solmesky, Leonardo J.; Shuman, Michal; Goldsmith, Meir; Weil, Miguel; Peer, Dan

    2011-12-01

    Lipid-based nanoparticles (LNPs) are widely used for the delivery of drugs and nucleic acids. Although most of them are considered safe, there is confusing evidence in the literature regarding their potential cellular toxicities. Moreover, little is known about the recovery process cells undergo after a cytotoxic insult. We have previously studied the systemic effects of common LNPs with different surface charge (cationic, anionic, neutral) and revealed that positively charged LNPs ((+)LNPs) activate pro-inflammatory cytokines and induce interferon response by acting as an agonist of Toll-like receptor 4 on immune cells. In this study, we focused on the response of human fibroblasts exposed to LNPs and their cellular recovery process. To this end, we used image-based high content analysis (HCA). Using this strategy, we were able to show simultaneously, in several intracellular parameters, that fibroblasts can recover from the cytotoxic effects of (+)LNPs. The use of HCA opens new avenues in understanding cellular response and nanotoxicity and may become a valuable tool for screening safe materials for drug delivery and tissue engineering.

  6. An imaging-based platform for high-content, quantitative evaluation of therapeutic response in 3D tumour models

    PubMed Central

    Celli, Jonathan P.; Rizvi, Imran; Blanden, Adam R.; Massodi, Iqbal; Glidden, Michael D.; Pogue, Brian W.; Hasan, Tayyaba

    2014-01-01

    While it is increasingly recognized that three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models recapitulate drug responses of human cancers with more fidelity than monolayer cultures, a lack of quantitative analysis methods limit their implementation for reliable and routine assessment of emerging therapies. Here, we introduce an approach based on computational analysis of fluorescence image data to provide high-content readouts of dose-dependent cytotoxicity, growth inhibition, treatment-induced architectural changes and size-dependent response in 3D tumour models. We demonstrate this approach in adherent 3D ovarian and pancreatic multiwell extracellular matrix tumour overlays subjected to a panel of clinically relevant cytotoxic modalities and appropriately designed controls for reliable quantification of fluorescence signal. This streamlined methodology reads out the high density of information embedded in 3D culture systems, while maintaining a level of speed and efficiency traditionally achieved with global colorimetric reporters in order to facilitate broader implementation of 3D tumour models in therapeutic screening. PMID:24435043

  7. A High-Throughput Automated Microfluidic Platform for Calcium Imaging of Taste Sensing.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Yi-Hsing; Hsu, Chia-Hsien; Chen, Chihchen

    2016-01-01

    The human enteroendocrine L cell line NCI-H716, expressing taste receptors and taste signaling elements, constitutes a unique model for the studies of cellular responses to glucose, appetite regulation, gastrointestinal motility, and insulin secretion. Targeting these gut taste receptors may provide novel treatments for diabetes and obesity. However, NCI-H716 cells are cultured in suspension and tend to form multicellular aggregates, preventing high-throughput calcium imaging due to interferences caused by laborious immobilization and stimulus delivery procedures. Here, we have developed an automated microfluidic platform that is capable of trapping more than 500 single cells into microwells with a loading efficiency of 77% within two minutes, delivering multiple chemical stimuli and performing calcium imaging with enhanced spatial and temporal resolutions when compared to bath perfusion systems. Results revealed the presence of heterogeneity in cellular responses to the type, concentration, and order of applied sweet and bitter stimuli. Sucralose and denatonium benzoate elicited robust increases in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. However, glucose evoked a rapid elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) followed by reduced responses to subsequent glucose stimulation. Using Gymnema sylvestre as a blocking agent for the sweet taste receptor confirmed that different taste receptors were utilized for sweet and bitter tastes. This automated microfluidic platform is cost-effective, easy to fabricate and operate, and may be generally applicable for high-throughput and high-content single-cell analysis and drug screening. PMID:27399663

  8. Extended Field Laser Confocal Microscopy (EFLCM): Combining automated Gigapixel image capture with in silico virtual microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Flaberg, Emilie; Sabelström, Per; Strandh, Christer; Szekely, Laszlo

    2008-01-01

    Background Confocal laser scanning microscopy has revolutionized cell biology. However, the technique has major limitations in speed and sensitivity due to the fact that a single laser beam scans the sample, allowing only a few microseconds signal collection for each pixel. This limitation has been overcome by the introduction of parallel beam illumination techniques in combination with cold CCD camera based image capture. Methods Using the combination of microlens enhanced Nipkow spinning disc confocal illumination together with fully automated image capture and large scale in silico image processing we have developed a system allowing the acquisition, presentation and analysis of maximum resolution confocal panorama images of several Gigapixel size. We call the method Extended Field Laser Confocal Microscopy (EFLCM). Results We show using the EFLCM technique that it is possible to create a continuous confocal multi-colour mosaic from thousands of individually captured images. EFLCM can digitize and analyze histological slides, sections of entire rodent organ and full size embryos. It can also record hundreds of thousands cultured cells at multiple wavelength in single event or time-lapse fashion on fixed slides, in live cell imaging chambers or microtiter plates. Conclusion The observer independent image capture of EFLCM allows quantitative measurements of fluorescence intensities and morphological parameters on a large number of cells. EFLCM therefore bridges the gap between the mainly illustrative fluorescence microscopy and purely quantitative flow cytometry. EFLCM can also be used as high content analysis (HCA) instrument for automated screening processes. PMID:18627634

  9. Evolution of Biologics Screening Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Cariuk, Peter; Gardener, Matthew J.; Vaughan, Tristan J.

    2013-01-01

    Screening for biologics, in particular antibody drugs, has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. Initially, the screening processes and technologies from many years experience with small molecules were adopted and modified to suit the needs of biologics discovery. Since then, antibody drug discovery has matured significantly and is today investing earlier in new technologies that commercial suppliers are now developing specifically to meet the growing needs of large molecule screening. Here, we review the evolution of screening and automation technologies employed in antibody discovery and highlight the benefits that these changes have brought. PMID:24276173

  10. Automated lithocell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Englisch, Andreas; Deuter, Armin

    1990-06-01

    Integration and automation have gained more and more ground in modern IC-manufacturing. It is difficult to make a direct calculation of the profit these investments yield. On the other hand, the demands to man, machine and technology have increased enormously of late; it is not difficult to see that only by means of integration and automation can these demands be coped with. Here are some salient points: U the complexity and costs incurred by the equipment and processes have got significantly higher . owing to the reduction of all dimensions, the tolerances within which the various process steps have to be carried out have got smaller and smaller and the adherence to these tolerances more and more difficult U the cycle time has become more and more important both for the development and control of new processes and, to a great extent, for a rapid and reliable supply to the customer. In order that the products be competitive under these conditions, all sort of costs have to be reduced and the yield has to be maximized. Therefore, the computer-aided control of the equipment and the process combined with an automatic data collection and a real-time SPC (statistical process control) has become absolutely necessary for successful IC-manufacturing. Human errors must be eliminated from the execution of the various process steps by automation. The work time set free in this way makes it possible for the human creativity to be employed on a larger scale in stabilizing the processes. Besides, a computer-aided equipment control can ensure the optimal utilization of the equipment round the clock.

  11. Nanomaterial Toxicity Screening in Developing Zebrafish Embryos

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess nanomaterial vertebrate toxicity, a high-content screening assay was created using developing zebrafish, Danio rerio. This included a diverse group of nanomaterials (n=42 total) ranging from metallic (Ag, Au) and metal oxide (CeO2, CuO, TiO2, ZnO) nanoparticles, to non...

  12. [From automation to robotics].

    PubMed

    1985-01-01

    The introduction of automation into the laboratory of biology seems to be unavoidable. But at which cost, if it is necessary to purchase a new machine for every new application? Fortunately the same image processing techniques, belonging to a theoretic framework called Mathematical Morphology, may be used in visual inspection tasks, both in car industry and in the biology lab. Since the market for industrial robotics applications is much higher than the market of biomedical applications, the price of image processing devices drops, and becomes sometimes less than the price of a complete microscope equipment. The power of the image processing methods of Mathematical Morphology will be illustrated by various examples, as automatic silver grain counting in autoradiography, determination of HLA genotype, electrophoretic gels analysis, automatic screening of cervical smears... Thus several heterogeneous applications may share the same image processing device, provided there is a separate and devoted work station for each of them. PMID:4091303

  13. Detection and Quantification of Intracellular Signaling Using FRET-Based Biosensors and High Content Imaging.

    PubMed

    Halls, Michelle L; Poole, Daniel P; Ellisdon, Andrew M; Nowell, Cameron J; Canals, Meritxell

    2015-01-01

    Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors represent invaluable tools to detect the spatiotemporal context of second messenger production and intracellular signaling that cannot be attained using traditional methods. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for the use of high content imaging in combination with FRET biosensors to assess second messenger production and intracellular signaling in a time-effective manner. We use four different FRET biosensors to measure cAMP levels, kinase (ERK and PKC), and GTPase activity. Importantly, we provide the protocols to express and measure these sensors in a variety of model cell lines and primary dorsal root ganglia neurons. PMID:26260599

  14. Quantification of Dynamic Morphological Drug Responses in 3D Organotypic Cell Cultures by Automated Image Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Härmä, Ville; Schukov, Hannu-Pekka; Happonen, Antti; Ahonen, Ilmari; Virtanen, Johannes; Siitari, Harri; Åkerfelt, Malin; Lötjönen, Jyrki; Nees, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Glandular epithelial cells differentiate into complex multicellular or acinar structures, when embedded in three-dimensional (3D) extracellular matrix. The spectrum of different multicellular morphologies formed in 3D is a sensitive indicator for the differentiation potential of normal, non-transformed cells compared to different stages of malignant progression. In addition, single cells or cell aggregates may actively invade the matrix, utilizing epithelial, mesenchymal or mixed modes of motility. Dynamic phenotypic changes involved in 3D tumor cell invasion are sensitive to specific small-molecule inhibitors that target the actin cytoskeleton. We have used a panel of inhibitors to demonstrate the power of automated image analysis as a phenotypic or morphometric readout in cell-based assays. We introduce a streamlined stand-alone software solution that supports large-scale high-content screens, based on complex and organotypic cultures. AMIDA (Automated Morphometric Image Data Analysis) allows quantitative measurements of large numbers of images and structures, with a multitude of different spheroid shapes, sizes, and textures. AMIDA supports an automated workflow, and can be combined with quality control and statistical tools for data interpretation and visualization. We have used a representative panel of 12 prostate and breast cancer lines that display a broad spectrum of different spheroid morphologies and modes of invasion, challenged by a library of 19 direct or indirect modulators of the actin cytoskeleton which induce systematic changes in spheroid morphology and differentiation versus invasion. These results were independently validated by 2D proliferation, apoptosis and cell motility assays. We identified three drugs that primarily attenuated the invasion and formation of invasive processes in 3D, without affecting proliferation or apoptosis. Two of these compounds block Rac signalling, one affects cellular cAMP/cGMP accumulation. Our approach supports

  15. OptoDyCE: Automated system for high-throughput all-optical dynamic cardiac electrophysiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimas, Aleksandra; Yu, Jinzhu; Ambrosi, Christina M.; Williams, John C.; Bien, Harold; Entcheva, Emilia

    2016-02-01

    In the last two decades, <30% of drugs withdrawals from the market were due to cardiac toxicity, where unintended interactions with ion channels disrupt the heart's normal electrical function. Consequently, all new drugs must undergo preclinical testing for cardiac liability, adding to an already expensive and lengthy process. Recognition that proarrhythmic effects often result from drug action on multiple ion channels demonstrates a need for integrative and comprehensive measurements. Additionally, patient-specific therapies relying on emerging technologies employing stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes (e.g. induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes, iPSC-CMs) require better screening methods to become practical. However, a high-throughput, cost-effective approach for cellular cardiac electrophysiology has not been feasible. Optical techniques for manipulation and recording provide a contactless means of dynamic, high-throughput testing of cells and tissues. Here, we consider the requirements for all-optical electrophysiology for drug testing, and we implement and validate OptoDyCE, a fully automated system for all-optical cardiac electrophysiology. We demonstrate the high-throughput capabilities using multicellular samples in 96-well format by combining optogenetic actuation with simultaneous fast high-resolution optical sensing of voltage or intracellular calcium. The system can also be implemented using iPSC-CMs and other cell-types by delivery of optogenetic drivers, or through the modular use of dedicated light-sensitive somatic cells in conjunction with non-modified cells. OptoDyCE provides a truly modular and dynamic screening system, capable of fully-automated acquisition of high-content information integral for improved discovery and development of new drugs and biologics, as well as providing a means of better understanding of electrical disturbances in the heart.

  16. High content analysis of cytotoxic effects of pDMAEMA on human intestinal epithelial and monocyte cultures.

    PubMed

    Rawlinson, Lee-Anne B; O'Brien, Peter J; Brayden, David J

    2010-08-17

    Poly(2-(dimethylamino ethyl)methacrylate) (pDMAEMA) is a cationic polymer with potential as an antimicrobial agent and as a non-viral gene delivery vector. The aim was to further elucidate the cytotoxicity of a selected pDMAEMA low molecular weight (MW) polymer against human U937 monocytes and Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells using a novel multi-parameter high content analysis (HCA) assay and to investigate histological effects on isolated rat intestinal mucosae. Seven parameters of cytotoxicity were measured: nuclear intensity (NI), nuclear area (NA), intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]i), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), plasma membrane permeability (PMP), cell number (CN) and phospholipidosis. Histological effects of pDMAEMA on excised rat ileal and colonic mucosae were investigated in Ussing chambers. Following 24-72 h exposure, 25-50 microg/ml pDMAEMA induced necrosis in U937 cells, while 100-250 microg/ml induced apoptosis in Caco-2. pDMAEMA increased NA and NI and decreased [Ca(2+)]i, PMP, MMP and CN in U937 cells. In Caco-2, it increased NI and [Ca(2+)]i, but decreased NA, PMP, MMP and CN. Phospholipidosis was not observed in either cell line. pDMAEMA (10 mg/ml) did not induce any histological damage on rat colonic tissue and only mild damage to ileal tissue following exposure for 60 min. In conclusion, HCA reveals that pDMAEMA induces cytotoxicity in different ways on different cell types at different concentrations. HCA has potential for high throughput toxicity screening in drug formulation programmes. PMID:20457190

  17. High-content analysis of single cells directly assembled on CMOS sensor based on color imaging.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Tsuyoshi; Saeki, Tatsuya; Sunaga, Yoshihiko; Matsunaga, Tadashi

    2010-12-15

    A complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor was applied to high-content analysis of single cells which were assembled closely or directly onto the CMOS sensor surface. The direct assembling of cell groups on CMOS sensor surface allows large-field (6.66 mm×5.32 mm in entire active area of CMOS sensor) imaging within a second. Trypan blue-stained and non-stained cells in the same field area on the CMOS sensor were successfully distinguished as white- and blue-colored images under white LED light irradiation. Furthermore, the chemiluminescent signals of each cell were successfully visualized as blue-colored images on CMOS sensor only when HeLa cells were placed directly on the micro-lens array of the CMOS sensor. Our proposed approach will be a promising technique for real-time and high-content analysis of single cells in a large-field area based on color imaging. PMID:20728336

  18. Human pluripotent stem cells on artificial microenvironments: a high content perspective

    PubMed Central

    Viswanathan, Priyalakshmi; Gaskell, Terri; Moens, Nathalie; Culley, Oliver J.; Hansen, Darrick; Gervasio, Mia K. R.; Yeap, Yee J.; Danovi, Davide

    2014-01-01

    Self-renewing stem cell populations are increasingly considered as resources for cell therapy and tools for drug discovery. Human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells in particular offer a virtually unlimited reservoir of homogeneous cells and can be differentiated toward diverse lineages. Many diseases show impairment in self-renewal or differentiation, abnormal lineage choice or other aberrant cell behavior in response to chemical or physical cues. To investigate these responses, there is a growing interest in the development of specific assays using hPS cells, artificial microenvironments and high content analysis. Several hurdles need to be overcome that can be grouped into three areas: (i) availability of robust, homogeneous, and consistent cell populations as a starting point; (ii) appropriate understanding and use of chemical and physical microenvironments; (iii) development of assays that dissect the complexity of cell populations in tissues while mirroring specific aspects of their behavior. Here we review recent progress in the culture of hPS cells and we detail the importance of the environment surrounding the cells with a focus on synthetic material and suitable high content analysis approaches. The technologies described, if properly combined, have the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way diseases are modeled and drug discovery is performed. PMID:25071572

  19. A Novel High-Content Immunofluorescence Assay as a Tool to Identify at the Single Cell Level γ-Globin Inducing Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Durlak, Marta; Fugazza, Cristina; Elangovan, Sudharshan; Marini, Maria Giuseppina; Marongiu, Maria Franca; Moi, Paolo; Fraietta, Ivan; Cappella, Paolo; Barbarani, Gloria; Font-Monclus, Isaura; Mauri, Mario; Ottolenghi, Sergio; Gasparri, Fabio; Ronchi, Antonella

    2015-01-01

    The identification of drugs capable of reactivating γ-globin to ameliorate β-thalassemia and Sickle Cell anemia is still a challenge, as available γ-globin inducers still have limited clinical indications. High-throughput screenings (HTS) aimed to identify new potentially therapeutic drugs require suitable first-step-screening methods combining the possibility to detect variation in the γ/β globin ratio with the robustness of a cell line. We took advantage of a K562 cell line variant expressing β-globin (β-K562) to set up a new multiplexed high-content immunofluorescence assay for the quantification of γ- and β-globin content at single-cell level. The assay was validated by using the known globin inducers hemin, hydroxyurea and butyric acid and further tested in a pilot screening that confirmed HDACs as targets for γ-globin induction (as proved by siRNA-mediated HDAC3 knockdown and by treatment with HDACs inhibitors entinostat and dacinostat) and identified Heme-oxygenases as novel candidate targets for γ-globin induction. Indeed, Heme-oxygenase2 siRNA knockdown as well as its inhibition by Tin protoporphyrin-IX (TinPPIX) greatly increased γ-globin expression. This result is particularly interesting as several metalloporphyrins have already been developed for clinical uses and could be tested (alone or in combination with other drugs) to improve pharmacological γ-globin reactivation for the treatment of β-hemoglobinopathies. PMID:26509275

  20. ToxCast Workflow: High-throughput screening assay data processing, analysis and management (SOT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    US EPA’s ToxCast program is generating data in high-throughput screening (HTS) and high-content screening (HCS) assays for thousands of environmental chemicals, for use in developing predictive toxicity models. Currently the ToxCast screening program includes over 1800 unique c...

  1. Both Automation and Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purcell, Royal

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the concept of a paperless society and the current situation in library automation. Various applications of automation and telecommunications are addressed, and future library automation is considered. Automation at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana, is described as an example. (MES)

  2. A multi-channel high time resolution detector for high content imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapington, J. S.; Fraser, G. W.; Miller, G. M.; Ashton, T. J. R.; Jarron, P.; Despeisse, M.; Powolny, F.; Howorth, J.; Milnes, J.

    2009-10-01

    Medical imaging has long benefited from advances in photon counting detectors arising from space and particle physics. We describe a microchannel plate-based detector system for high content (multi-parametric) analysis, specifically designed to provide a step change in performance and throughput for measurements in imaged live cells and tissue for the 'omics'. The detector system integrates multi-channel, high time resolution, photon counting capability into a single miniaturized detector with integrated ASIC electronics, comprising a fast, low power amplifier discriminator and TDC for every channel of the discrete pixel electronic readout, and achieving a pixel density improvement of order two magnitudes compared with current comparable devices. The device combines high performance, easy reconfigurability, and economy within a compact footprint. We present simulations and preliminary measurements in the context of our ultimate goals of 20 ps time resolution with multi-channel parallel analysis (1024 channels).

  3. Northern and Southern Permafrost Regions on Mars with High Content of Water Ice: Similarities and Differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Kozyrev, A. S.; Sanin, A. B.; Tretyakov, V. I.; Kuzmin, R. O.; Boynton, W. V.; Hamara, D. K.; Shinohara, C.; Saunders, R. S.

    2004-01-01

    The measurements by neutron detectors on Odyssey have revealed two large poleward regions with large depression of flux of epithermal and high energy neutrons. The flux of neutrons from Mars is known to be produced by the bombardment of the surface layer by galactic cosmic rays. The leakage flux of epithermal and fast neutrons has regional variation by a factor of 10 over the surface of Mars. These variations are mainly produced by variations of hydrogen content in the shallow subsurface. On Mars hydrogen is associated with water. Therefore, the Northern and Southern depressions of neutron emission could be identified as permafrost regions with very high content of water ice. These regions are much larger than the residual polar caps, and could contain the major fraction of subsurface water ice. Here we present the results of HEND neutron data deconvolution for these regions and describe the similarities and differences between them.

  4. Northern and Southern Permafrost Regions on Mars with High Content of Water Ice: Similarities and Differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Kozyrev, A. S.; Sanin, A. B.; Tretyakov, V. I.; Kuzmin, R. O.; Boynton, W. V.; Hamara, D. K.; Shinohara, C.; Saunders, R. S.

    2004-01-01

    The measurements by neutron detectors on Odyssey have revealed two large poleward regions with large depression of flux of epithermal and high energy neutrons [1-3]. The flux of neutrons from Mars is known to be produced by the bombardment of the surface layer by galactic cosmic rays. The leakage flux of epithermal and fast neutrons has regional variation by a factor of 10 over the surface of Mars (e.g. see [3- 5]). These variations are mainly produced by variations of hydrogen content in the shallow subsurface. On Mars hydrogen is associated with water. Therefore, the Northern and Southern depressions of neutron emission could be identified as permafrost regions with very high content of water ice [1-5]. These regions are much larger than the residual polar caps, and could contain the major fraction of subsurface water ice. Here we present the results of HEND neutron data deconvolution for these regions and describe the similarities and differences between them.

  5. tranSMART: An Open Source Knowledge Management and High Content Data Analytics Platform

    PubMed Central

    Scheufele, Elisabeth; Aronzon, Dina; Coopersmith, Robert; McDuffie, Michael T.; Kapoor, Manish; Uhrich, Christopher A.; Avitabile, Jean E.; Liu, Jinlei; Housman, Dan; Palchuk, Matvey B.

    2014-01-01

    The tranSMART knowledge management and high-content analysis platform is a flexible software framework featuring novel research capabilities. It enables analysis of integrated data for the purposes of hypothesis generation, hypothesis validation, and cohort discovery in translational research. tranSMART bridges the prolific world of basic science and clinical practice data at the point of care by merging multiple types of data from disparate sources into a common environment. The application supports data harmonization and integration with analytical pipelines. The application code was released into the open source community in January 2012, with 32 instances in operation. tranSMART’s extensible data model and corresponding data integration processes, rapid data analysis features, and open source nature make it an indispensable tool in translational or clinical research. PMID:25717408

  6. tranSMART: An Open Source Knowledge Management and High Content Data Analytics Platform.

    PubMed

    Scheufele, Elisabeth; Aronzon, Dina; Coopersmith, Robert; McDuffie, Michael T; Kapoor, Manish; Uhrich, Christopher A; Avitabile, Jean E; Liu, Jinlei; Housman, Dan; Palchuk, Matvey B

    2014-01-01

    The tranSMART knowledge management and high-content analysis platform is a flexible software framework featuring novel research capabilities. It enables analysis of integrated data for the purposes of hypothesis generation, hypothesis validation, and cohort discovery in translational research. tranSMART bridges the prolific world of basic science and clinical practice data at the point of care by merging multiple types of data from disparate sources into a common environment. The application supports data harmonization and integration with analytical pipelines. The application code was released into the open source community in January 2012, with 32 instances in operation. tranSMART's extensible data model and corresponding data integration processes, rapid data analysis features, and open source nature make it an indispensable tool in translational or clinical research. PMID:25717408

  7. Depth-resolved incoherent and coherent wide-field high-content imaging (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    So, Peter T.

    2016-03-01

    Recent advances in depth-resolved wide-field imaging technique has enabled many high throughput applications in biology and medicine. Depth resolved imaging of incoherent signals can be readily accomplished with structured light illumination or nonlinear temporal focusing. The integration of these high throughput systems with novel spectroscopic resolving elements further enable high-content information extraction. We will introduce a novel near common-path interferometer and demonstrate its uses in toxicology and cancer biology applications. The extension of incoherent depth-resolved wide-field imaging to coherent modality is non-trivial. Here, we will cover recent advances in wide-field 3D resolved mapping of refractive index, absorbance, and vibronic components in biological specimens.

  8. Automation, parallelism, and robotics for proteomics.

    PubMed

    Alterovitz, Gil; Liu, Jonathan; Chow, Jijun; Ramoni, Marco F

    2006-07-01

    The speed of the human genome project (Lander, E. S., Linton, L. M., Birren, B., Nusbaum, C. et al., Nature 2001, 409, 860-921) was made possible, in part, by developments in automation of sequencing technologies. Before these technologies, sequencing was a laborious, expensive, and personnel-intensive task. Similarly, automation and robotics are changing the field of proteomics today. Proteomics is defined as the effort to understand and characterize proteins in the categories of structure, function and interaction (Englbrecht, C. C., Facius, A., Comb. Chem. High Throughput Screen. 2005, 8, 705-715). As such, this field nicely lends itself to automation technologies since these methods often require large economies of scale in order to achieve cost and time-saving benefits. This article describes some of the technologies and methods being applied in proteomics in order to facilitate automation within the field as well as in linking proteomics-based information with other related research areas. PMID:16786489

  9. The changing face of screening and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Matthew A

    2012-04-01

    Screening Asia 2011, Singapore, 22–23 November 2011. The meeting covered traditional topics such as high-content screening and assay development, as well as more contemporary, emergent areas involving novel screening platforms and technologies, strategies to deal with biosimilars and biologics, and natural product diversity. Notably, many talks challenged established screening practices and the use of 'combichem' small-molecule libraries. Instead, speakers offered an alternate view of compound library design and screening strategies that could better mimic the target and cell status found in the relevant disease state. PMID:22462783

  10. Airport Screening

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2011 Photo courtesy of Dan Paluska/Flickr Denver Airport Security Screening Introduction With air travel regaining popularity and increased secu- rity measures, airport security screening has become an area of interest for ...

  11. Health Screening

    MedlinePlus

    Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they're easier ... Overweight and obesity Prostate cancer in men Which tests you need depends on your age, your sex, ...

  12. MRSA Screening

    MedlinePlus

    ... be limited. Home Visit Global Sites Search Help? MRSA Screening Share this page: Was this page helpful? Formal name: Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus Screening Related tests: Wound Culture At a Glance ...

  13. High content analysis at single cell level identifies different cellular responses dependent on nanomaterial concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manshian, Bella B.; Munck, Sebastian; Agostinis, Patrizia; Himmelreich, Uwe; Soenen, Stefaan J.

    2015-09-01

    A mechanistic understanding of nanomaterial (NM) interaction with biological environments is pivotal for the safe transition from basic science to applied nanomedicine. NM exposure results in varying levels of internalized NM in different neighboring cells, due to variances in cell size, cell cycle phase and NM agglomeration. Using high-content analysis, we investigated the cytotoxic effects of fluorescent quantum dots on cultured cells, where all effects were correlated with the concentration of NMs at the single cell level. Upon binning the single cell data into different categories related to NM concentration, this study demonstrates, for the first time, that quantum dots activate both cytoprotective and cytotoxic mechanisms, resulting in a zero net result on the overall cell population, yet with significant effects in cells with higher cellular NM levels. Our results suggest that future NM cytotoxicity studies should correlate NM toxicity with cellular NM numbers on the single cell level, as conflicting mechanisms in particular cell subpopulations are commonly overlooked using classical toxicological methods.

  14. High-Content Analysis of Breast Cancer Using Single-Cell Deep Transfer Learning.

    PubMed

    Kandaswamy, Chetak; Silva, Luís M; Alexandre, Luís A; Santos, Jorge M

    2016-03-01

    High-content analysis has revolutionized cancer drug discovery by identifying substances that alter the phenotype of a cell, which prevents tumor growth and metastasis. The high-resolution biofluorescence images from assays allow precise quantitative measures enabling the distinction of small molecules of a host cell from a tumor. In this work, we are particularly interested in the application of deep neural networks (DNNs), a cutting-edge machine learning method, to the classification of compounds in chemical mechanisms of action (MOAs). Compound classification has been performed using image-based profiling methods sometimes combined with feature reduction methods such as principal component analysis or factor analysis. In this article, we map the input features of each cell to a particular MOA class without using any treatment-level profiles or feature reduction methods. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first application of DNN in this domain, leveraging single-cell information. Furthermore, we use deep transfer learning (DTL) to alleviate the intensive and computational demanding effort of searching the huge parameter's space of a DNN. Results show that using this approach, we obtain a 30% speedup and a 2% accuracy improvement. PMID:26746583

  15. Probing calmodulin protein-protein interactions using high-content protein arrays.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, David J; Bauer, Mikael; Linse, Sara; Cahill, Dolores J

    2011-01-01

    The calcium ion (Ca(2+)) is a ubiquitous second messenger that is crucial for the regulation of a wide variety of cellular processes. The diverse transient signals transduced by Ca(2+) are mediated by intracellular -Ca(2+)-binding proteins. Calcium ions shuttle into and out of the cytosol, transported across membranes by channels, exchangers, and pumps that regulate flux across the ER, mitochondrial and plasma membranes. Calcium regulates both rapid events, such as cytoskeleton remodelling or release of vesicle contents, and slower ones, such as transcriptional changes. Moreover, sustained cytosolic calcium elevations can lead to unwanted cellular activation or apoptosis. Calmodulin represents the most significant of the Ca(2+)-binding proteins and is an essential regulator of intracellular processes in response to extracellular stimuli mediated by a rise in Ca(2+) ion concentration. To profile novel protein-protein interactions that calmodulin participates in, we probed a high-content recombinant human protein array with fluorophore-labelled calmodulin in the presence of Ca(2+). This protein array contains 37,200 redundant proteins, incorporating over 10,000 unique human proteins expressed from a human brain cDNA library. We describe the identification of a high affinity interaction between calmodulin and the single-pass transmembrane proteins STIM1 and STIM2 that localise to the ER. Translocation of STIM1 and STIM2 from the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane is a key step in store operated calcium entry in the cell. PMID:21901608

  16. A high-content platform to characterise human induced pluripotent stem cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Leha, Andreas; Moens, Nathalie; Meleckyte, Ruta; Culley, Oliver J.; Gervasio, Mia K.; Kerz, Maximilian; Reimer, Andreas; Cain, Stuart A.; Streeter, Ian; Folarin, Amos; Stegle, Oliver; Kielty, Cay M.; Durbin, Richard; Watt, Fiona M.; Danovi, Davide

    2016-01-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide invaluable opportunities for future cell therapies as well as for studying human development, modelling diseases and discovering therapeutics. In order to realise the potential of iPSCs, it is crucial to comprehensively characterise cells generated from large cohorts of healthy and diseased individuals. The human iPSC initiative (HipSci) is assessing a large panel of cell lines to define cell phenotypes, dissect inter- and intra-line and donor variability and identify its key determinant components. Here we report the establishment of a high-content platform for phenotypic analysis of human iPSC lines. In the described assay, cells are dissociated and seeded as single cells onto 96-well plates coated with fibronectin at three different concentrations. This method allows assessment of cell number, proliferation, morphology and intercellular adhesion. Altogether, our strategy delivers robust quantification of phenotypic diversity within complex cell populations facilitating future identification of the genetic, biological and technical determinants of variance. Approaches such as the one described can be used to benchmark iPSCs from multiple donors and create novel platforms that can readily be tailored for disease modelling and drug discovery. PMID:26608109

  17. A Screening Pipeline for Antiparasitic Agents Targeting Cryptosporidium Inosine Monophosphate Dehydrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Sharling, Lisa; Liu, Xiaoping; Gollapalli, Deviprasad R.; Maurya, Sushil K.; Hedstrom, Lizbeth; Striepen, Boris

    2010-01-01

    Background The protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum is responsible for significant disease burden among children in developing countries. In addition Cryptosporidiosis can result in chronic and life-threatening enteritis in AIDS patients, and the currently available drugs lack efficacy in treating these severe conditions. The discovery and development of novel anti-cryptosporidial therapeutics has been hampered by the poor experimental tractability of this pathogen. While the genome sequencing effort has identified several intriguing new targets including a unique inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), pursuing these targets and testing inhibitors has been frustratingly difficult. Methodology and Principal Findings Here we have developed a pipeline of tools to accelerate the in vivo screening of inhibitors of C. parvum IMPDH. We have genetically engineered the related parasite Toxoplasma gondii to serve as a model of C. parvum infection as the first screen. This assay provides crucial target validation and a large signal window that is currently not possible in assays involving C. parvum. To further develop compounds that pass this first filter, we established a fluorescence-based assay of host cell proliferation, and a C. parvum growth assay that utilizes automated high-content imaging analysis for enhanced throughput. Conclusions and Significance We have used these assays to evaluate C. parvum IMPDH inhibitors emerging from our ongoing medicinal chemistry effort and have identified a subset of 1,2,3-triazole ethers that exhibit excellent in vivo selectivity in the T. gondii model and improved anti-cryptosporidial activity. PMID:20706578

  18. High Content Imaging and Analysis Enable Quantitative In Situ Assessment of CYP3A4 Using Cryopreserved Differentiated HepaRG Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ranade, Aarati R.; Wilson, Melinda S.; McClanahan, Amy M.; Ball, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    High-throughput imaging-based hepatotoxicity studies capable of analyzing individual cells in situ hold enormous promise for drug safety testing but are frequently limited by a lack of sufficient metabolically competent human cells. This study examined cryopreserved HepaRG cells, a human liver cell line which differentiates into both hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells, to determine if these cells may represent a suitable metabolically competent cellular model for novel High Content Analysis (HCA) applications. Characterization studies showed that these cells retain many features characteristic of primary human hepatocytes and display significant CYP3A4 and CYP1A2 induction, unlike the HepG2 cell line commonly utilized for HCA studies. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that CYP3A4 induction can be quantified via a simple image analysis-based method, using HepaRG cells as a model system. Additionally, data demonstrate that the hepatocyte and biliary epithelial subpopulations characteristic of HepaRG cultures can be separated during analysis simply on the basis of nuclear size measurements. Proof of concept studies with fluorescent cell function reagents indicated that further multiparametric image-based assessment is achievable with HepaRG. In summary, image-based screening of metabolically competent human hepatocyte models cells such as HepaRG offers novel approaches for hepatotoxicity assessment and improved drug screening tools. PMID:25276124

  19. Impedimetric screening for bacteriuria.

    PubMed Central

    Cady, P; Dufour, S W; Lawless, P; Nunke, B; Kraeger, S J

    1978-01-01

    A rapid, automated instrumental procedure for distinguishing urine cultures containing greater than 10(5) organism per ml is described. The method is based upon the measurement of changes in impedance that take place as microorganisms alter the chemical composition of the medium. The time required to detect impedance change is inversely related to the initial concentration of microorganisms in the sample. By defining an impedance-positive culture as one that gives detectable impedance change within 2.6 h, 95.8% of 1,133 urine cultures tested were correctly classified as containing more than or fewer than 10(5) organisms per ml. Selection of a longer detection time decreases false negative results at the cost of increased false positive results. Impedance screening is compared with screening data reported in the literature using adenosine-5'-triphosphate detection, microcalorimetry, electrochemical measurements, and optical microscopy. Images PMID:348719

  20. Automated External Defibrillator

    MedlinePlus

    ... from the NHLBI on Twitter. What Is an Automated External Defibrillator? An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that ... Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services USA.gov

  1. An Introduction to Automated Flow Cytometry Gating Tools and Their Implementation

    PubMed Central

    Verschoor, Chris P.; Lelic, Alina; Bramson, Jonathan L.; Bowdish, Dawn M. E.

    2015-01-01

    Current flow cytometry (FCM) reagents and instrumentation allow for the measurement of an unprecedented number of parameters for any given cell within a homogenous or heterogeneous population. While this provides a great deal of power for hypothesis testing, it also generates a vast amount of data, which is typically analyzed manually through a processing called “gating.” For large experiments, such as high-content screens, in which many parameters are measured, the time required for manual analysis as well as the technical variability inherent to manual gating can increase dramatically, even becoming prohibitive depending on the clinical or research goal. In the following article, we aim to provide the reader an overview of automated FCM analysis as well as an example of the implementation of FLOw Clustering without K, a tool that we consider accessible to researchers of all levels of computational expertise. In most cases, computational assistance methods are more reproducible and much faster than manual gating, and for some, also allow for the discovery of cellular populations that might not be expected or evident to the researcher. We urge any researcher who is planning or has previously performed large FCM experiments to consider implementing computational assistance into their analysis pipeline. PMID:26284066

  2. MorphoNeuroNet: an automated method for dense neurite network analysis.

    PubMed

    Pani, Giuseppe; De Vos, Winnok H; Samari, Nada; de Saint-Georges, Louis; Baatout, Sarah; Van Oostveldt, Patrick; Benotmane, Mohammed Abderrafi

    2014-02-01

    High content cell-based screens are rapidly gaining popularity in the context of neuronal regeneration studies. To analyze neuronal morphology, automatic image analysis pipelines have been conceived, which accurately quantify the shape changes of neurons in cell cultures with non-dense neurite networks. However, most existing methods show poor performance for well-connected and differentiated neuronal networks, which may serve as valuable models for inter alia synaptogenesis. Here, we present a fully automated method for quantifying the morphology of neurons and the density of neurite networks, in dense neuronal cultures, which are grown for more than 10 days. MorphoNeuroNet, written as a script for ImageJ, Java based freeware, automatically determines various morphological parameters of the soma and the neurites (size, shape, starting points, and fractional occupation). The image analysis pipeline consists of a multi-tier approach in which the somas are segmented by adaptive region growing using nuclei as seeds, and the neurites are delineated by a combination of various intensity and edge detection algorithms. Quantitative comparison showed a superior performance of MorphoNeuroNet to existing analysis tools, especially for revealing subtle changes in thin neurites, which have weak fluorescence intensity compared to the rest of the network. The proposed method will help determining the effects of compounds on cultures with dense neurite networks, thereby boosting physiological relevance of cell-based assays in the context of neuronal diseases. PMID:24222510

  3. Workflow automation architecture standard

    SciTech Connect

    Moshofsky, R.P.; Rohen, W.T.

    1994-11-14

    This document presents an architectural standard for application of workflow automation technology. The standard includes a functional architecture, process for developing an automated workflow system for a work group, functional and collateral specifications for workflow automation, and results of a proof of concept prototype.

  4. Double screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gratia, Pierre; Hu, Wayne; Joyce, Austin; Ribeiro, Raquel H.

    2016-06-01

    Attempts to modify gravity in the infrared typically require a screening mechanism to ensure consistency with local tests of gravity. These screening mechanisms fit into three broad classes; we investigate theories which are capable of exhibiting more than one type of screening. Specifically, we focus on a simple model which exhibits both Vainshtein and kinetic screening. We point out that due to the two characteristic length scales in the problem, the type of screening that dominates depends on the mass of the sourcing object, allowing for different phenomenology at different scales. We consider embedding this double screening phenomenology in a broader cosmological scenario and show that the simplest examples that exhibit double screening are radiatively stable.

  5. Discovering Molecules That Regulate Efferocytosis Using Primary Human Macrophages and High Content Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Santulli-Marotto, Sandra; Gervais, Alexis; Fisher, Jamie; Strake, Brandy; Ogden, Carol Anne; Riveley, Chelsea; Giles-Komar, Jill

    2015-01-01

    Defective clearance of apoptotic cells can result in sustained inflammation and subsequent autoimmunity. Macrophages, the “professional phagocyte” of the body, are responsible for efficient, non-phlogistic, apoptotic cell clearance. Controlling phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages is an attractive therapeutic opportunity to ameliorate inflammation. Using high content imaging, we have developed a system for evaluating the effects of antibody treatment on apoptotic cell uptake in primary human macrophages by comparing the Phagocytic Index (PI) for each antibody. Herein we demonstrate the feasibility of evaluating a panel of antibodies of unknown specificities obtained by immunization of mice with primary human macrophages and show that they can be distinguished based on individual PI measurements. In this study ~50% of antibodies obtained enhance phagocytosis of apoptotic cells while approximately 5% of the antibodies in the panel exhibit some inhibition. Though the specificities of the majority of antibodies are unknown, two of the antibodies that improved apoptotic cell uptake recognize recombinant MerTK; a receptor known to function in this capacity in vivo. The agonistic impact of these antibodies on efferocytosis could be demonstrated without addition of either of the MerTK ligands, Gas6 or ProS. These results validate applying the mechanism of this fundamental biological process as a means for identification of modulators that could potentially serve as therapeutics. This strategy for interrogating macrophages to discover molecules regulating apoptotic cell uptake is not limited by access to purified protein thereby increasing the possibility of finding novel apoptotic cell uptake pathways. PMID:26674639

  6. Automated Detection of Soma Location and Morphology in Neuronal Network Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Ozcan, Burcin; Negi, Pooran; Laezza, Fernanda; Papadakis, Manos; Labate, Demetrio

    2015-01-01

    Automated identification of the primary components of a neuron and extraction of its sub-cellular features are essential steps in many quantitative studies of neuronal networks. The focus of this paper is the development of an algorithm for the automated detection of the location and morphology of somas in confocal images of neuronal network cultures. This problem is motivated by applications in high-content screenings (HCS), where the extraction of multiple morphological features of neurons on large data sets is required. Existing algorithms are not very efficient when applied to the analysis of confocal image stacks of neuronal cultures. In addition to the usual difficulties associated with the processing of fluorescent images, these types of stacks contain a small number of images so that only a small number of pixels are available along the z-direction and it is challenging to apply conventional 3D filters. The algorithm we present in this paper applies a number of innovative ideas from the theory of directional multiscale representations and involves the following steps: (i) image segmentation based on support vector machines with specially designed multiscale filters; (ii) soma extraction and separation of contiguous somas, using a combination of level set method and directional multiscale filters. We also present an approach to extract the soma’s surface morphology using the 3D shearlet transform. Extensive numerical experiments show that our algorithms are computationally efficient and highly accurate in segmenting the somas and separating contiguous ones. The algorithms presented in this paper will facilitate the development of a high-throughput quantitative platform for the study of neuronal networks for HCS applications. PMID:25853656

  7. Automation in Clinical Microbiology

    PubMed Central

    Ledeboer, Nathan A.

    2013-01-01

    Historically, the trend toward automation in clinical pathology laboratories has largely bypassed the clinical microbiology laboratory. In this article, we review the historical impediments to automation in the microbiology laboratory and offer insight into the reasons why we believe that we are on the cusp of a dramatic change that will sweep a wave of automation into clinical microbiology laboratories. We review the currently available specimen-processing instruments as well as the total laboratory automation solutions. Lastly, we outline the types of studies that will need to be performed to fully assess the benefits of automation in microbiology laboratories. PMID:23515547

  8. Automation of industrial bioprocesses.

    PubMed

    Beyeler, W; DaPra, E; Schneider, K

    2000-01-01

    The dramatic development of new electronic devices within the last 25 years has had a substantial influence on the control and automation of industrial bioprocesses. Within this short period of time the method of controlling industrial bioprocesses has changed completely. In this paper, the authors will use a practical approach focusing on the industrial applications of automation systems. From the early attempts to use computers for the automation of biotechnological processes up to the modern process automation systems some milestones are highlighted. Special attention is given to the influence of Standards and Guidelines on the development of automation systems. PMID:11092132

  9. Screening for Panic Disorder

    MedlinePlus

    ... Membership Journal & Multimedia Resources Awards Consumers Screening for Panic Disorder Main navigation FAQs Screen Yourself Screening for Depression ... Screening for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Screening for Panic Disorder Screening for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Screening for ...

  10. Genetic Screening

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Wylie; Tarini, Beth; Press, Nancy A.; Evans, James P.

    2011-01-01

    Current approaches to genetic screening include newborn screening to identify infants who would benefit from early treatment, reproductive genetic screening to assist reproductive decision making, and family history assessment to identify individuals who would benefit from additional prevention measures. Although the traditional goal of screening is to identify early disease or risk in order to implement preventive therapy, genetic screening has always included an atypical element—information relevant to reproductive decisions. New technologies offer increasingly comprehensive identification of genetic conditions and susceptibilities. Tests based on these technologies are generating a different approach to screening that seeks to inform individuals about all of their genetic traits and susceptibilities for purposes that incorporate rapid diagnosis, family planning, and expediting of research, as well as the traditional screening goal of improving prevention. Use of these tests in population screening will increase the challenges already encountered in genetic screening programs, including false-positive and ambiguous test results, overdiagnosis, and incidental findings. Whether this approach is desirable requires further empiric research, but it also requires careful deliberation on the part of all concerned, including genomic researchers, clinicians, public health officials, health care payers, and especially those who will be the recipients of this novel screening approach. PMID:21709145

  11. Optoelectronic image processing for cervical cancer screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayanswamy, Ramkumar; Sharpe, John P.; Johnson, Kristina M.

    1994-05-01

    Automation of the Pap-smear cervical screening method is highly desirable as it relieves tedium for the human operators, reduces cost and should increase accuracy and provide repeatability. We present here the design for a high-throughput optoelectronic system which forms the first stage of a two stage system to automate pap-smear screening. We use a mathematical morphological technique called the hit-or-miss transform to identify the suspicious areas on a pap-smear slide. This algorithm is implemented using a VanderLugt architecture and a time-sequential ANDing smart pixel array.

  12. A high content assay for biosensor validation and for examining stimuli that affect biosensor activity

    PubMed Central

    Slattery, Scott D.; Hahn, Klaus M.

    2015-01-01

    Biosensors are valuable tools used to monitor many different protein behaviors in vivo. Demand for new biosensors is high, but their development and characterization can be difficult. During biosensor design, it is necessary to evaluate the effects of different biosensor structures on specificity, brightness, and fluorescence responses. By co-expressing the biosensor with upstream proteins that either stimulate or inhibit the activity reported by the biosensor, one can determine the difference between the biosensor’s maximally activated and inactivated state, and examine response to specific proteins. This involves considerable labor and expense, as expression conditions must be optimized to saturate the biosensor with the regulator, and multiple replicates and controls are required. We describe here a protocol for biosensor validation in a 96-well plate format using an automated microscope. This protocol produces dose-response curves, enables efficient examination of many parameters, and unlike cell suspension assays allows visual inspection (eg for cell health and biosensor or regulator localization). Optimization of single chain and dual chain Rho GTPase biosensors is addressed, but the assay is applicable to any biosensor that can be expressed or otherwise loaded in adherent cells. The assay can also be used for purposes other than biosensor validation, using a well-characterized biosensor as a readout for variations in upstream molecules. PMID:25447074

  13. Automated NDT techniques in radioactive waste management

    SciTech Connect

    Barna, B.A.; Brown, B.W.; Anderson, B.C.

    1983-01-01

    The prime NDT method selected for characterization of the waste is real-time x-radiography (RTR). An RTR system specifically designed for the TRU waste inspection is currently being used to develop the best techniques for waste certification. It is based on a standard 420 kV constant potential x-ray machine with a rare-earth fluorescing screen (gadolinium oxysulfide) functioning as an image converter. The low-light-level image produced on the screen is picked up by a CCTV camera with an image intensifier coupled to a plumbicon imaging tube. The system was designed for automated waste container handling and translation. Image analysis is not currently automated, although the CCTV image is digitized to allow signal averaging and edge enhancement through digital filtering. The digitized image is available through an IEEE 488 I/O port for more sophisticated computerized analysis.

  14. Automated DNA Sequencing System

    SciTech Connect

    Armstrong, G.A.; Ekkebus, C.P.; Hauser, L.J.; Kress, R.L.; Mural, R.J.

    1999-04-25

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a core DNA sequencing facility to support biological research endeavors at ORNL and to conduct basic sequencing automation research. This facility is novel because its development is based on existing standard biology laboratory equipment; thus, the development process is of interest to the many small laboratories trying to use automation to control costs and increase throughput. Before automation, biology Laboratory personnel purified DNA, completed cycle sequencing, and prepared 96-well sample plates with commercially available hardware designed specifically for each step in the process. Following purification and thermal cycling, an automated sequencing machine was used for the sequencing. A technician handled all movement of the 96-well sample plates between machines. To automate the process, ORNL is adding a CRS Robotics A- 465 arm, ABI 377 sequencing machine, automated centrifuge, automated refrigerator, and possibly an automated SpeedVac. The entire system will be integrated with one central controller that will direct each machine and the robot. The goal of this system is to completely automate the sequencing procedure from bacterial cell samples through ready-to-be-sequenced DNA and ultimately to completed sequence. The system will be flexible and will accommodate different chemistries than existing automated sequencing lines. The system will be expanded in the future to include colony picking and/or actual sequencing. This discrete event, DNA sequencing system will demonstrate that smaller sequencing labs can achieve cost-effective the laboratory grow.

  15. Automated static perimetry to evaluate diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed Central

    Federman, J L; Lloyd, J

    1984-01-01

    The Octopus automated static perimeter was used to evaluate patients with early diabetic retinopathy. It showed islands of threshold sensitivity depression that were equal to areas of nonperfusion seen on fluorescein angiography. The geographic area of the fundus at risk of developing these field defects was found to be between 20 and 45 degrees, representing the central area of the midperiphery. This procedure has potential as an excellent screening test for early diabetic retinopathy. Images FIGURE 1 (Cont'd) C PMID:6549516

  16. Quantitative assessment of neurite outgrowth in human embryonic stem cell derived hN2 cells using automated high-content image analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Throughout development neurons undergo a number of morphological changes including neurite outgrowth from the cell body. Exposure to neurotoxic chemicals that interfere with this process may result in permanent deficits in nervous system function. Traditionally, rodent primary ne...

  17. COMPARISON OF NEUROSCREEN-1 AND CEREBELLAR GRANULE CELL CULTURES FOR EVALUATING NEURITE OUTGROWTH USING THE ARRAYSCAN HIGH CONTENT ANALYSIS SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    A major challenge facing the Environmental Protection Agency is the development of high-throughput screening assays amendable to resource-efficient developmental neurotoxicity for chemical screening and toxicity prioritization. One approach uses in vitro, cell-based assays which...

  18. Genetic screening

    PubMed Central

    Andermann, Anne; Blancquaert, Ingeborg

    2010-01-01

    Abstract OBJECTIVE To provide a primer for primary care professionals who are increasingly called upon to discuss the growing number of genetic screening services available and to help patients make informed decisions about whether to participate in genetic screening, how to interpret results, and which interventions are most appropriate. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE As part of a larger research program, a wide literature relating to genetic screening was reviewed. PubMed and Internet searches were conducted using broad search terms. Effort was also made to identify the gray literature. MAIN MESSAGE Genetic screening is a type of public health program that is systematically offered to a specified population of asymptomatic individuals with the aim of providing those identified as high risk with prevention, early treatment, or reproductive options. Ensuring an added benefit from screening, as compared with standard clinical care, and preventing unintended harms, such as undue anxiety or stigmatization, depends on the design and implementation of screening programs, including the recruitment methods, education and counseling provided, timing of screening, predictive value of tests, interventions available, and presence of oversight mechanisms and safeguards. There is therefore growing apprehension that economic interests might lead to a market-driven approach to introducing and expanding screening before program effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility have been demonstrated. As with any medical intervention, there is a moral imperative for genetic screening to do more good than harm, not only from the perspective of individuals and families, but also for the target population and society as a whole. CONCLUSION Primary care professionals have an important role to play in helping their patients navigate the rapidly changing terrain of genetic screening services by informing them about the benefits and risks of new genetic and genomic technologies and empowering them to

  19. Characterization of Endogenous Sodium Channels in the ND7-23 Neuroblastoma Cell Line: Implications for Use as a Heterologous Ion Channel Expression System Suitable for Automated Patch Clamp Screening

    PubMed Central

    Zidar, Nace; Kikelj, Danijel; Kirby, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The rodent neuroblastoma cell line, ND7-23, is used to express voltage-dependent sodium (Nav) and other neuronal ion channels resistant to heterologous expression in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) or human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells. Their advantage is that they provide endogenous factors and signaling pathways to promote ion channel peptide folding, expression, and function at the cell surface and are also amenable to automated patch clamping. However, ND7-23 cells exhibit endogenous tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive Nav currents, and molecular profiling has revealed the presence of Nav1.2, Nav1.3, Nav1.6, and Nav1.7 transcripts, but no study has determined which subtypes contribute to functional channels at the cell surface. We profiled the repertoire of functional Nav channels endogenously expressed in ND7-23 cells using the QPatch automated patch clamp platform and selective toxins and small molecules. The potency and subtype selectivity of the ligands (Icagen compound 68 from patent US-20060025415-A1-20060202, 4,9 anhydro TTX, and Protoxin-II) were established in human Nav1.3, Nav1.6, and Nav1.7 channel cell lines before application of selective concentrations to ND7-23 cells. Our data confirm previous studies that >97% of macroscopic Nav current in ND7-23 cells is carried by TTX-sensitive channels (300 nM TTX) and that Nav1.7 is the predominant channel contributing to this response (65% of peak inward current), followed by Nav1.6 (∼20%) and negligible Nav1.3 currents (∼2%). In addition, our data are the first to assess the Nav1.6 potency (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 33 nM) and selectivity (50-fold over Nav1.7) of 4,9 anhydro TTX in human Nav channels expressed in mammalian cells, confirming previous studies of rodent Nav channels expressed in oocytes and HEK cells. PMID:26991361

  20. Laboratory Automation and Middleware.

    PubMed

    Riben, Michael

    2015-06-01

    The practice of surgical pathology is under constant pressure to deliver the highest quality of service, reduce errors, increase throughput, and decrease turnaround time while at the same time dealing with an aging workforce, increasing financial constraints, and economic uncertainty. Although not able to implement total laboratory automation, great progress continues to be made in workstation automation in all areas of the pathology laboratory. This report highlights the benefits and challenges of pathology automation, reviews middleware and its use to facilitate automation, and reviews the progress so far in the anatomic pathology laboratory. PMID:26065792

  1. Automated System for Early Breast Cancer Detection in Mammograms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bankman, Isaac N.; Kim, Dong W.; Christens-Barry, William A.; Weinberg, Irving N.; Gatewood, Olga B.; Brody, William R.

    1993-01-01

    The increasing demand on mammographic screening for early breast cancer detection, and the subtlety of early breast cancer signs on mammograms, suggest an automated image processing system that can serve as a diagnostic aid in radiology clinics. We present a fully automated algorithm for detecting clusters of microcalcifications that are the most common signs of early, potentially curable breast cancer. By using the contour map of the mammogram, the algorithm circumvents some of the difficulties encountered with standard image processing methods. The clinical implementation of an automated instrument based on this algorithm is also discussed.

  2. Management Planning for Workplace Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDole, Thomas L.

    Several factors must be considered when implementing office automation. Included among these are whether or not to automate at all, the effects of automation on employees, requirements imposed by automation on the physical environment, effects of automation on the total organization, and effects on clientele. The reasons behind the success or…

  3. Rapid Assessment and Visualization of Normality in High-Content and Other Cell-Level Data and Its Impact on the Interpretation of Experimental Results.

    PubMed

    Haney, Steven A

    2014-06-01

    When investigators monitor effects on a population of cells following a perturbation, these events rarely occur in a classical normal (or Gaussian) distribution. A normal distribution is, however, explicitly assumed for events within a single well, in which mean values per well are used as an assay metric and, in general, measures of assay robustness, such as the Z' score and the V factor. Such analysis is not possible for many technologies; however, high-content screening (HCS) measures events of individual cells, which are averaged over the well. These individual cell-level measurements may be analyzed separately. This study quantifies the extent of nonnormality in experimental samples and their effects on determining the EC50 of a test compound and the assay robustness statistics. The results, based on five sets of publicly available data, indicate that the Z' or V-factor score can be improved by as much as 0.44 more than standard calculations, and the EC50 of a dose-response curve can be lowered by as much as fivefold when nonparametric methods are used, but not all data sets show a significant improvement. The effect on analysis depends in part on whether the greatest shift from normality occurs in the upper or lower range of the dose-response curve. PMID:24652972

  4. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry combined with automated MetaboLynx analysis approach to screen the bioactive components and their metabolites in Wen-Xin-Formula.

    PubMed

    Cao, Hongxin; Zhang, Aihua; Zhang, Fang-mei; Wang, Qin-qin; Zhang, He; Song, Yan-hua; Zhou, Ying; Sun, Hui; Yan, Guang-li; Han, Ying; Wang, Xijun

    2014-12-01

    Wen-Xin-Formula (WXF), a famous traditional prescription, has been widely used to treat myocardial ischemia syndrome for thousands of years. However, the constituents absorbed into blood after oral administration of WXF remain unknown. Here, an integrative ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization/quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS) combined with the MetaboLynx approach was established to investigate the absorbed constituents in rats after oral administration of WXF. A hyphenated electrospray ionization and quadrupole-time-of-flight analyzer was used for the determination of accurate mass of the molecule and fragment ions. With this rapid and automated analysis method, a total of 32 peaks were tentatively characterized in vivo based on MS and MS/MS data and comparison with available databasess, 26 of which were parent components and six metabolites. These components mainly were ginsenosides, paeoniflorin, galloyl glucose, berberis alkaloids, phenolic, phenolic glycosides and unsaturated fatty acids, glucuronide products of original berberis alkaloids. The present study demonstrates that integrative UPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS technique and MetaboLynx data processing method were successfully applied for the rapid discovery of potentially bioactive components and metabolites from WXF, and proved that the established method could help to explore the effective substances for further research into WXF. PMID:24853889

  5. High-Content Movement Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool in C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Peter; Lancichinetti, Andrea; Krevitt, Leah; Amaral, Luis; Morimoto, Rick

    2013-03-01

    Many neurodegenerative diseases manifest themselves through a loss of motor control and give us information about the underlying disease. This loss of coordination is observed in humans and in the model organisms used to study neurodegeneration. In Caenorhabditis elegans, there is an extensive genetic library of strains that lack functional neuronal signaling pathways and expressing proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. While most of these strains have decrease motility or cause paralysis, relatively few have been screened to look for more subtle changes in motor control such as stiffness, twitching, or other changes in behavior. we use high-resolution position and posture data to automatically analyze the movement of worms from different genetic backgrounds and characterize 14 movement characteristics. By creating a quantitative mapping between the movement characterization and an online database of gene annotation, gene expression, and anatomy, we aim to predict a likely set of cellular and molecular disruptions. This work provides a proof of concept for the use of detailed movement analysis to uncover novel disruptions in certain motor control processes. Knowledge of the molecular origin of these disruptions provided by our understanding of C. elegans genetics and physiology could lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disease.

  6. High content pharmacophores from molecular fields: a biologically relevant method for comparing and understanding ligands.

    PubMed

    Cheeseright, Timothy J; Mackey, Mark D; Scoffin, Robert A

    2011-09-01

    The question of how and why a small molecule binds to a protein is central to ligand-based drug discovery. The traditional way of approaching these questions is pharmacophore analysis. However, pharmacophores as usually applied lack quantitation and subtlety. An improvement is to consider the electrostatic and steric fields of the ligand directly. Molecular fields provide a rich view of the potential interactions that a molecule can make and can be validated through experimental data on molecular interactions and through quantum mechanics calculations. A technique is presented in this review for comparing molecules using molecular fields and assigning similarity scores. This high information content method can be used to align molecules for SAR analysis, to determine the bioactive conformation from ligand data, and to screen large libraries of compounds for structurally unrelated actives. An extension to allow interactive exploration of chemistry space via bioisostere analysis is also reviewed. Examples from the literature showing the success of these methods are presented, and future directions discussed. PMID:21726191

  7. Genome-Wide siRNA Screening Using Forward Transfection: Identification of Modulators of Membrane Trafficking in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Bexiga, Mariana G; Simpson, Jeremy C

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) has become an essential tool for molecular and cellular biologists to dissect cell function. In recent years its application has been extended to genome-wide studies, enabling the systematic identification of new cell regulation mechanisms and drug targets. In this chapter, a protocol for a genome-wide RNAi screen coupled to high-content microscopy is presented. Specifically we describe key features of assay design, plate layout, and a protocol for forward transfection of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in a 384-well plate format. As an example of its application in identifying modulators of membrane trafficking, we also provide a protocol to measure the efficacy of intracellular delivery of the B subunit of Shiga-like toxin to the Golgi complex. Finally we show an automated image analysis routine that can be used to extract single cell data from the screen, thereby providing a quantitative ranking of how a large panel of siRNAs affects this biological process. PMID:27581283

  8. Use of HCA in Subproteome-immunization and Screening of Hybridoma Supernatants to Define Distinct Antibody Binding Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Szafran, Adam T.; Mancini, Maureen G.; Nickerson, Jeffrey A.; Edwards, Dean P.; Mancini, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the properties and functions of complex biological systems depends upon knowing the proteins present and the interactions between them. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have given us greater insights into the participating proteomes, however, monoclonal antibodies remain key to understanding the structures, functions, locations and macromolecular interactions of the involved proteins. The traditional single immunogen method to produce monoclonal antibodies using hybridoma technology are time, resource and cost intensive, limiting the number of reagents that are available. Using a high content analysis screening approach, we have developed a method in which a complex mixture of proteins (e.g., subproteome) is used to generate a panel of monoclonal antibodies specific to a subproteome located in a defined subcellular compartment such as the nucleus. The immunofluorescent images in the primary hybridoma screen are analyzed using an automated processing approach and classified using a recursive partitioning forest classification model derived from images obtained from the Human Protein Atlas. Using an ammonium sulfate purified nuclear matrix fraction as an example of reverse proteomics, we identified 866 hybridoma supernatants with a positive immunofluorescent signal. Of those, 402 produced a nuclear signal from which patterns similar to known nuclear matrix associated proteins were identified. Detailed here is our method, the analysis techniques, and a discussion of the application to further in vivo antibody production. PMID:26521976

  9. Automated design of flexible linkers.

    PubMed

    Manion, Charles; Arlitt, Ryan; Campbell, Matthew I; Tumer, Irem; Stone, Rob; Greaney, P Alex

    2016-03-14

    This paper presents a method for the systematic and automated design of flexible organic linkers for construction of metal organic-frameworks (MOFs) in which flexibility, compliance, or other mechanically exotic properties originate at the linker level rather than from the framework kinematics. Our method couples a graph grammar method for systematically generating linker like molecules with molecular dynamics modeling of linkers' mechanical response. Using this approach we have generated a candidate pool of >59,000 hypothetical linkers. We screen linker candidates according to their mechanical behaviors under large deformation, and extract fragments common to the most performant candidate materials. To demonstrate the general approach to MOF design we apply our system to designing linkers for pressure switching MOFs-MOFs that undergo reversible structural collapse after a stress threshold is exceeded. PMID:26687337

  10. A one-step bioprocess for production of high-content fructo-oligosaccharides from inulin by yeast.

    PubMed

    Wang, Da; Li, Fu-Li; Wang, Shi-An

    2016-10-20

    Commercial fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are predominantly produced from sucrose by transfructosylation process that presents a maximum theoretical yield below 0.60gFOSgSucrose(-1). To obtain high-content FOS, costly purification is generally employed. Additionally, high-content FOS can be produced from inulin by using endo-inulinases. However, commercial endo-inulinases have not been extensively used in scale-up production of FOS. In the present study, a one-step bioprocess that integrated endo-inulinase production, FOS fermentation, and non-FOS sugars removal into one reactor was proposed to produce high-content FOS from inulin. The bioprocess was implemented by a recombinant yeast strain JZHΔS-TSC, in which a heterologous endo-inulinase gene was expressed and the inherent invertase gene SUC2 was disrupted. FOS fermentation at 40°C from 200g/L chicory inulin presented the maximun titer, yield, and productivity of 180.2±0.8g/L, 0.9gFOSgInulin(-1), and 7.51±0.03g/L/h, respectively. This study demonstrated that the one-step bioprocess was simple and highly efficient. PMID:27474673

  11. Robotic liquid handling and automation in epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Gaisford, Wendy

    2012-10-01

    Automated liquid-handling robots and high-throughput screening (HTS) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the screening of large compound libraries, small molecules for activity against disease-relevant target pathways, or proteins. HTS robots capable of low-volume dispensing reduce assay setup times and provide highly accurate and reproducible dispensing, minimizing variation between sample replicates and eliminating the potential for manual error. Low-volume automated nanoliter dispensers ensure accuracy of pipetting within volume ranges that are difficult to achieve manually. In addition, they have the ability to potentially expand the range of screening conditions from often limited amounts of valuable sample, as well as reduce the usage of expensive reagents. The ability to accurately dispense lower volumes provides the potential to achieve a greater amount of information than could be otherwise achieved using manual dispensing technology. With the emergence of the field of epigenetics, an increasing number of drug discovery companies are beginning to screen compound libraries against a range of epigenetic targets. This review discusses the potential for the use of low-volume liquid handling robots, for molecular biological applications such as quantitative PCR and epigenetics. PMID:22933618

  12. Potential value of automated daily screening of cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator diagnostics for prediction of major cardiovascular events: results from Home-CARE (Home Monitoring in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy) study

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Stefan; Wende, Christian Michael; Nägele, Herbert; Katz, Amos; Bauer, Wolfgang Rudolf; Barr, Craig Scott; Malinowski, Klaus; Schwacke, Harald; Leyva, Francisco; Proff, Jochen; Berdyshev, Sergey; Paul, Vincent

    2011-01-01

    Aim To investigate whether diagnostic data from implanted cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) retrieved automatically at 24 h intervals via a Home Monitoring function can enable dynamic prediction of cardiovascular hospitalization and death. Methods and results Three hundred and seventy-seven heart failure patients received CRT-Ds with Home Monitoring option. Data on all deaths and hospitalizations due to cardiovascular reasons and Home Monitoring data were collected prospectively during 1-year follow-up to develop a predictive algorithm with a predefined specificity of 99.5%. Seven parameters were included in the algorithm: mean heart rate over 24 h, heart rate at rest, patient activity, frequency of ventricular extrasystoles, atrial–atrial intervals (heart rate variability), right ventricular pacing impedance, and painless shock impedance. The algorithm was developed using a 25-day monitoring window ending 3 days before hospitalization or death. While the retrospective sensitivities of the individual parameters ranged from 23.6 to 50.0%, the combination of all parameters was 65.4% sensitive in detecting cardiovascular hospitalizations and deaths with 99.5% specificity (corresponding to 1.83 false-positive detections per patient-year of follow-up). The estimated relative risk of an event was 7.15-fold higher after a positive predictor finding than after a negative predictor finding. Conclusion We developed an automated algorithm for dynamic prediction of cardiovascular events in patients treated with CRT-D devices capable of daily transmission of their diagnostic data via Home Monitoring. This tool may increase patients’ quality of life and reduce morbidity, mortality, and health economic burden, it now warrants prospective studies. ClinicalTrials.gov  NCT00376116. PMID:21852311

  13. Get Screened

    MedlinePlus

    ... Get Ready 3 of 4 sections Take Action: Cost and Insurance What about cost? Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screening tests at no cost to you. Most insurance plans, including Medicaid and ...

  14. TORCH screen

    MedlinePlus

    ... different infections in a newborn. TORCH stands for toxoplasmosis , rubella , cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HIV, but it ... used to screen infants for infections such as toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, syphilis and others. These infections ...

  15. Developmental Screening

    MedlinePlus

    Learn More about Your Child’s Development: Developmental Monitoring and Screening Taking a first step, waving “bye-bye,” and pointing to something interesting are all developmental milestones, ...

  16. Hypertension screening

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foulke, J. M.

    1975-01-01

    An attempt was made to measure the response to an announcement of hypertension screening at the Goddard Space Center, to compare the results to those of previous statistics. Education and patient awareness of the problem were stressed.

  17. TORCH Screen

    MedlinePlus

    ... different infections in a newborn. TORCH stands for toxoplasmosis , rubella , cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HIV, but it ... used to screen infants for infections such as toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, syphilis and others. These infections ...

  18. Newborn Screening

    MedlinePlus

    ... Pulse Oximetry Screening for CCHDs Sickle Cell Disease Laboratory SCID Quality Assurance Training and Resources For Lab Professionals Data and Reports Laboratory Reports National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) Resources ...

  19. Automated drilling draws interest

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-05-01

    Interest in subsea technology includes recent purchase of both a British yard and Subsea Technology, a Houston-based BOP manufacturer. In France, key personnel from the former Comex Industries have been acquired and a base reinstalled in Marseille. ACB is also investing heavily, with the Norwegians, in automated drilling programs. These automated drilling programs are discussed.

  20. Library Automation Style Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaylord Bros., Liverpool, NY.

    This library automation style guide lists specific terms and names often used in the library automation industry. The terms and/or acronyms are listed alphabetically and each is followed by a brief definition. The guide refers to the "Chicago Manual of Style" for general rules, and a notes section is included for the convenience of individual…

  1. Automation and Cataloging.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furuta, Kenneth; And Others

    1990-01-01

    These three articles address issues in library cataloging that are affected by automation: (1) the impact of automation and bibliographic utilities on professional catalogers; (2) the effect of the LASS microcomputer software on the cost of authority work in cataloging at the University of Arizona; and (3) online subject heading and classification…

  2. Planning for Office Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherron, Gene T.

    1982-01-01

    The steps taken toward office automation by the University of Maryland are described. Office automation is defined and some types of word processing systems are described. Policies developed in the writing of a campus plan are listed, followed by a section on procedures adopted to implement the plan. (Author/MLW)

  3. The Automated Office.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naclerio, Nick

    1979-01-01

    Clerical personnel may be able to climb career ladders as a result of office automation and expanded job opportunities in the word processing area. Suggests opportunities in an automated office system and lists books and periodicals on word processing for counselors and teachers. (MF)

  4. Work and Programmable Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeVore, Paul W.

    A new industrial era based on electronics and the microprocessor has arrived, an era that is being called intelligent automation. Intelligent automation, in the form of robots, replaces workers, and the new products, using microelectronic devices, require significantly less labor to produce than the goods they replace. The microprocessor thus…

  5. Automation, Manpower, and Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, Jerry M.

    Each group in our population will be affected by automation and other forms of technological advancement. This book seeks to identify the needs of these various groups, and to present ways in which educators can best meet them. The author corrects certain prevalent misconceptions concerning manpower utilization and automation. Based on the…

  6. Automation in Immunohematology

    PubMed Central

    Bajpai, Meenu; Kaur, Ravneet; Gupta, Ekta

    2012-01-01

    There have been rapid technological advances in blood banking in South Asian region over the past decade with an increasing emphasis on quality and safety of blood products. The conventional test tube technique has given way to newer techniques such as column agglutination technique, solid phase red cell adherence assay, and erythrocyte-magnetized technique. These new technologies are adaptable to automation and major manufacturers in this field have come up with semi and fully automated equipments for immunohematology tests in the blood bank. Automation improves the objectivity and reproducibility of tests. It reduces human errors in patient identification and transcription errors. Documentation and traceability of tests, reagents and processes and archiving of results is another major advantage of automation. Shifting from manual methods to automation is a major undertaking for any transfusion service to provide quality patient care with lesser turnaround time for their ever increasing workload. This article discusses the various issues involved in the process. PMID:22988378

  7. Advances in inspection automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Walter H.; Mair, H. Douglas; Jansen, Dion; Lombardi, Luciano

    2013-01-01

    This new session at QNDE reflects the growing interest in inspection automation. Our paper describes a newly developed platform that makes the complex NDE automation possible without the need for software programmers. Inspection tasks that are tedious, error-prone or impossible for humans to perform can now be automated using a form of drag and drop visual scripting. Our work attempts to rectify the problem that NDE is not keeping pace with the rest of factory automation. Outside of NDE, robots routinely and autonomously machine parts, assemble components, weld structures and report progress to corporate databases. By contrast, components arriving in the NDT department typically require manual part handling, calibrations and analysis. The automation examples in this paper cover the development of robotic thickness gauging and the use of adaptive contour following on the NRU reactor inspection at Chalk River.

  8. Dynamic heterogeneity of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in embryonic stem cell populations captured by single-cell 3D high-content analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Tajbakhsh, Jian; Stefanovski, Darko; Tang, George; Wawrowsky, Kolja; Liu, Naiyou; Fair, Jeffrey H.

    2015-03-15

    Cell-surface markers and transcription factors are being used in the assessment of stem cell fate and therapeutic safety, but display significant variability in stem cell cultures. We assessed nuclear patterns of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC, associated with pluripotency), a second important epigenetic mark, and its combination with 5-methylcytosine (5mC, associated with differentiation), also in comparison to more established markers of pluripotency (Oct-4) and endodermal differentiation (FoxA2, Sox17) in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) over a 10-day differentiation course in vitro: by means of confocal and super-resolution imaging together with 3D high-content analysis, an essential tool in single-cell screening. In summary: 1) We did not measure any significant correlation of putative markers with global 5mC or 5hmC. 2) While average Oct-4 levels stagnated on a cell-population base (0.015 lnIU/day), Sox17 and FoxA2 increased 22-fold and 3-fold faster, respectively (Sox17: 0.343 lnIU/day; FoxA2: 0.046 lnIU/day). In comparison, global DNA methylation levels increased 4-fold faster (0.068 lnIU/day), and global hydroxymethylation declined at 0.046 lnIU/day, both with a better explanation of the temporal profile. 3) This progression was concomitant with the occurrence of distinct nuclear codistribution patterns that represented a heterogeneous spectrum of states in differentiation; converging to three major coexisting 5mC/5hmC phenotypes by day 10: 5hmC{sup +}/5mC{sup −}, 5hmC{sup +}/5mC{sup +}, and 5hmC{sup −}/5mC{sup +} cells. 4) Using optical nanoscopy we could delineate the respective topologies of 5mC/5hmC colocalization in subregions of nuclear DNA: in the majority of 5hmC{sup +}/5mC{sup +} cells 5hmC and 5mC predominantly occupied mutually exclusive territories resembling euchromatic and heterochromatic regions, respectively. Simultaneously, in a smaller subset of cells we observed a tighter colocalization of the two cytosine variants, presumably

  9. CYCLoPs: A Comprehensive Database Constructed from Automated Analysis of Protein Abundance and Subcellular Localization Patterns in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Judice L. Y.; Chong, Yolanda T.; Friesen, Helena; Moses, Alan; Boone, Charles; Andrews, Brenda J.; Moffat, Jason

    2015-01-01

    Changes in protein subcellular localization and abundance are central to biological regulation in eukaryotic cells. Quantitative measures of protein dynamics in vivo are therefore highly useful for elucidating specific regulatory pathways. Using a combinatorial approach of yeast synthetic genetic array technology, high-content screening, and machine learning classifiers, we developed an automated platform to characterize protein localization and abundance patterns from images of log phase cells from the open-reading frame−green fluorescent protein collection in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. For each protein, we produced quantitative profiles of localization scores for 16 subcellular compartments at single-cell resolution to trace proteome-wide relocalization in conditions over time. We generated a collection of ∼300,000 micrographs, comprising more than 20 million cells and ∼9 billion quantitative measurements. The images depict the localization and abundance dynamics of more than 4000 proteins under two chemical treatments and in a selected mutant background. Here, we describe CYCLoPs (Collection of Yeast Cells Localization Patterns), a web database resource that provides a central platform for housing and analyzing our yeast proteome dynamics datasets at the single cell level. CYCLoPs version 1.0 is available at http://cyclops.ccbr.utoronto.ca. CYCLoPs will provide a valuable resource for the yeast and eukaryotic cell biology communities and will be updated as new experiments become available. PMID:26048563

  10. Biomek Cell Workstation: A Variable System for Automated Cell Cultivation.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, R; Severitt, J C; Roddelkopf, T; Junginger, S; Thurow, K

    2016-06-01

    Automated cell cultivation is an important tool for simplifying routine laboratory work. Automated methods are independent of skill levels and daily constitution of laboratory staff in combination with a constant quality and performance of the methods. The Biomek Cell Workstation was configured as a flexible and compatible system. The modified Biomek Cell Workstation enables the cultivation of adherent and suspension cells. Until now, no commercially available systems enabled the automated handling of both types of cells in one system. In particular, the automated cultivation of suspension cells in this form has not been published. The cell counts and viabilities were nonsignificantly decreased for cells cultivated in AutoFlasks in automated handling. The proliferation of manual and automated bioscreening by the WST-1 assay showed a nonsignificant lower proliferation of automatically disseminated cells associated with a mostly lower standard error. The disseminated suspension cell lines showed different pronounced proliferations in descending order, starting with Jurkat cells followed by SEM, Molt4, and RS4 cells having the lowest proliferation. In this respect, we successfully disseminated and screened suspension cells in an automated way. The automated cultivation and dissemination of a variety of suspension cells can replace the manual method. PMID:26259574

  11. Systematic review automation technologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Systematic reviews, a cornerstone of evidence-based medicine, are not produced quickly enough to support clinical practice. The cost of production, availability of the requisite expertise and timeliness are often quoted as major contributors for the delay. This detailed survey of the state of the art of information systems designed to support or automate individual tasks in the systematic review, and in particular systematic reviews of randomized controlled clinical trials, reveals trends that see the convergence of several parallel research projects. We surveyed literature describing informatics systems that support or automate the processes of systematic review or each of the tasks of the systematic review. Several projects focus on automating, simplifying and/or streamlining specific tasks of the systematic review. Some tasks are already fully automated while others are still largely manual. In this review, we describe each task and the effect that its automation would have on the entire systematic review process, summarize the existing information system support for each task, and highlight where further research is needed for realizing automation for the task. Integration of the systems that automate systematic review tasks may lead to a revised systematic review workflow. We envisage the optimized workflow will lead to system in which each systematic review is described as a computer program that automatically retrieves relevant trials, appraises them, extracts and synthesizes data, evaluates the risk of bias, performs meta-analysis calculations, and produces a report in real time. PMID:25005128

  12. Colon cancer screening

    MedlinePlus

    ... screening; Sigmoidoscopy - screening; Virtual colonoscopy - screening; Fecal immunochemical test; Stool DNA test; sDNA test ... death and complications caused by colorectal cancer. SCREENING TESTS There are several ways to screen for colon ...

  13. Screening for cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, A.B.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains three sections: Fundamentals of Screening, Screening Tests, and Screening for Specific Cancer Sites. Each section consists of several chapters. Some of the chapter titles are: Principles of Screening and of the Evaluation of Screening Programs; Economic Aspects of Screening; Cervical Cytology; Screening Tests for Bladder Cancer; Fecal Occult Blood Testing; Screening for Cancer of the Cervix; Screening for Gastric Cancer; and Screening for Oral Cancer.

  14. Automated sorting of glabrous versus pubescent annual canarygrass seeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An automated imaging system was developed to identify and sort annual canarygrass seeds with the glabrous trait in order to screen bulk amounts of seed to segregate populations for this desirable trait. Glabrous seed is preferred since it does not have the irritating silica hairs that pubescent see...

  15. Automated drawing system of quantum energy levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stampoultzis, M.; Sinatkas, J.; Tsakstara, V.; Kosmas, T. S.

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of this work is to derive an automated system that provides advantageous drawings of energy spectra for quantum systems (nuclei, atoms, molecules, etc.) required in various physical sciences. The automation involves the development of appropriate computational code and graphical imaging system based on raw data insertion, theoretical calculations and experimental or bibliographic data insertion. The system determines the appropriate scale to depict graphically with the best possible way in the available space. The presently developed code operates locally and the results are displayed on the screen and can be exported to a PostScript file. We note its main features to arrange and visualize in the available space the energy levels with their identity, taking care the existence in the final diagram the least auxiliary deviations. Future improvements can be the use of Java and the availability on the Internet. The work involves the automated plotting of energy levels in molecules, atoms, nuclei and other types of quantized energy spectra. The automation involves the development of an appropriate computational code and graphical imaging system.

  16. Planning for Office Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mick, Colin K.

    1983-01-01

    Outlines a practical approach to planning for office automation termed the "Focused Process Approach" (the "what" phase, "how" phase, "doing" phase) which is a synthesis of the problem-solving and participatory planning approaches. Thirteen references are provided. (EJS)

  17. Space station automation II

    SciTech Connect

    Chiou, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains the proceedings of a conference on space station automation. Topics include the following: distributed artificial intelligence for space station energy management systems and computer architecture for tolerobots in earth orbit.

  18. Automated data analysis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teuber, D.

    Automated data analysis assists the astronomer in the decision making processes applied for extracting astronomical information from data. Automated data analysis is the step between image processing and model interpretation. Tools developed in AI are applied (classification, expert system). Programming languages and computers are chosen to fulfil the increasing requirements. Expert systems have begun in astronomy. Data banks permit the astronomical community to share the large body of resulting information.

  19. Automated Status Notification System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    NASA Lewis Research Center's Automated Status Notification System (ASNS) was born out of need. To prevent "hacker attacks," Lewis' telephone system needed to monitor communications activities 24 hr a day, 7 days a week. With decreasing staff resources, this continuous monitoring had to be automated. By utilizing existing communications hardware, a UNIX workstation, and NAWK (a pattern scanning and processing language), we implemented a continuous monitoring system.

  20. Automated Pilot Advisory System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parks, J. L., Jr.; Haidt, J. G.

    1981-01-01

    An Automated Pilot Advisory System (APAS) was developed and operationally tested to demonstrate the concept that low cost automated systems can provide air traffic and aviation weather advisory information at high density uncontrolled airports. The system was designed to enhance the see and be seen rule of flight, and pilots who used the system preferred it over the self announcement system presently used at uncontrolled airports.

  1. Automated Lattice Perturbation Theory

    SciTech Connect

    Monahan, Christopher

    2014-11-01

    I review recent developments in automated lattice perturbation theory. Starting with an overview of lattice perturbation theory, I focus on the three automation packages currently "on the market": HiPPy/HPsrc, Pastor and PhySyCAl. I highlight some recent applications of these methods, particularly in B physics. In the final section I briefly discuss the related, but distinct, approach of numerical stochastic perturbation theory.

  2. Shielded cells transfer automation

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, J J

    1984-01-01

    Nuclear waste from shielded cells is removed, packaged, and transferred manually in many nuclear facilities. Radiation exposure is absorbed by operators during these operations and limited only through procedural controls. Technological advances in automation using robotics have allowed a production waste removal operation to be automated to reduce radiation exposure. The robotic system bags waste containers out of glove box and transfers them to a shielded container. Operators control the system outside the system work area via television cameras. 9 figures.

  3. Hearing Screening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson-Curiskis, Nanette

    2012-01-01

    Hearing levels are threatened by modern life--headsets for music, rock concerts, traffic noises, etc. It is crucial we know our hearing levels so that we can draw attention to potential problems. This exercise requires that students receive a hearing screening for their benefit as well as for making the connection of hearing to listening.

  4. Classroom Screening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alpha Plus Corp., Piedmont, CA.

    This classroom screening device was developed by the Circle Preschool First Chance Project, a government-funded program to integrate handicapped children into regular classroom activities, for use in preschools, nursery schools, Head Start centers and other agencies working with young children. It is designed to give a gross measure of a child's…

  5. Automated imagery orthorectification pilot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slonecker, E. Terrence; Johnson, Brad; McMahon, Joe

    2009-10-01

    Automated orthorectification of raw image products is now possible based on the comprehensive metadata collected by Global Positioning Systems and Inertial Measurement Unit technology aboard aircraft and satellite digital imaging systems, and based on emerging pattern-matching and automated image-to-image and control point selection capabilities in many advanced image processing systems. Automated orthorectification of standard aerial photography is also possible if a camera calibration report and sufficient metadata is available. Orthorectification of historical imagery, for which only limited metadata was available, was also attempted and found to require some user input, creating a semi-automated process that still has significant potential to reduce processing time and expense for the conversion of archival historical imagery into geospatially enabled, digital formats, facilitating preservation and utilization of a vast archive of historical imagery. Over 90 percent of the frames of historical aerial photos used in this experiment were successfully orthorectified to the accuracy of the USGS 100K base map series utilized for the geospatial reference of the archive. The accuracy standard for the 100K series maps is approximately 167 feet (51 meters). The main problems associated with orthorectification failure were cloud cover, shadow and historical landscape change which confused automated image-to-image matching processes. Further research is recommended to optimize automated orthorectification methods and enable broad operational use, especially as related to historical imagery archives.

  6. Automated Telephone Calls Improved Completion of Fecal Occult Blood Testing

    PubMed Central

    Mosen, David M.; Feldstein, Adrianne C.; Perrin, Nancy; Rosales, A. Gabriela; Smith, David H.; Liles, Elizabeth G.; Schneider, Jennifer L.; Lafata, Jennifer E.; Myers, Ronald E.; Kositch, Michael; Hickey, Thomas; Glasgow, Russell E.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Although colorectal cancer (CRC) prognosis is improved by early diagnosis, screening rates remain low. OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of an automated telephone intervention on completion of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT). RESEARCH DESIGN Subjects In this randomized controlled trial conducted at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, a not-for-profit health maintenance organization, 5,905 eligible patients aged 51–80, at average risk for CRC and due for CRC screening, were randomly assigned to an automated telephone intervention (n=2,943) or usual care (UC; n=2,962). The intervention group received up to 3 one-minute automated telephone calls that provided a description and health benefits of FOBT. During the call, patients could request that an FOBT kit be mailed to their home. Those who requested but did not return the cards received an automated reminder call. Measures Cox proportional hazard method was used to determine the independent effect of automated telephone calls on completion of an FOBT, after adjusting for age, gender, and prior CRC screening. RESULTS By 6 months post call initiation, 22.5% in the intervention and 16.0% in UC had completed an FOBT. Those in the intervention group were significantly more likely to complete an FOBT (HR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.10–1.56) compared to UC. Older patients (aged 71–80 vs. aged 51–60) were also more likely to complete FOBT (HR = 1.48, 95% CI=1.07–2.04). CONCLUSIONS Automated telephone calls increased completion of FOBT. Further research is needed to evaluate automated telephone interventions among diverse populations and in other clinical settings. PMID:20508529

  7. Automated DNA electrophoresis, hybridization and detection

    SciTech Connect

    Zapolski, E.J.; Gersten, D.M.; Golab, T.J.; Ledley, R.S.

    1986-05-01

    A fully automated, computer controlled system for nucleic acid hybridization analysis has been devised and constructed. In practice, DNA is digested with restriction endonuclease enzyme(s) and loaded into the system by pipette; /sup 32/P-labelled nucleic acid probe(s) is loaded into the nine hybridization chambers. Instructions for all the steps in the automated process are specified by answering questions that appear on the computer screen at the start of the experiment. Subsequent steps are performed automatically. The system performs horizontal electrophoresis in agarose gel, fixed the fragments to a solid phase matrix, denatures, neutralizes, prehybridizes, hybridizes, washes, dries and detects the radioactivity according to the specifications given by the operator. The results, printed out at the end, give the positions on the matrix to which radioactivity remains hybridized following stringent washing.

  8. Automated diagnostic kiosk for diagnosing diseases

    DOEpatents

    Regan, John Frederick; Birch, James Michael

    2014-02-11

    An automated and autonomous diagnostic apparatus that is capable of dispensing collection vials and collections kits to users interesting in collecting a biological sample and submitting their collected sample contained within a collection vial into the apparatus for automated diagnostic services. The user communicates with the apparatus through a touch-screen monitor. A user is able to enter personnel information into the apparatus including medical history, insurance information, co-payment, and answer a series of questions regarding their illness, which is used to determine the assay most likely to yield a positive result. Remotely-located physicians can communicate with users of the apparatus using video tele-medicine and request specific assays to be performed. The apparatus archives submitted samples for additional testing. Users may receive their assay results electronically. Users may allow the uploading of their diagnoses into a central databank for disease surveillance purposes.

  9. The ToxCast Pathway Database for Identifying Toxicity Signatures and Potential Modes of Action from Chemical Screening Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its ToxCast program, is developing predictive toxicity approaches that will use in vitro high-throughput screening (HTS), high-content screening (HCS) and toxicogenomic data to predict in vivo toxicity phenotypes. There are ...

  10. Screening MR imaging versus screening ultrasound: pros and cons.

    PubMed

    Mahoney, Mary C; Newell, Mary S

    2013-08-01

    Data support greater sensitivity of MR imaging compared with mammography and ultrasound in high-risk populations, in particular BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 carriers. Screening ultrasound improves cancer yield versus mammography alone in high-risk patients and in patients with dense breasts and is less expensive. Drawbacks include low positive predictive value, operator dependence, and significant physician time expenditure. Advances, such as refinement of automated whole-breast ultrasound, new outcomes data from ultrasound-detected masses in BI-RADS 3 and 4a categories, and development of new MR imaging sequences that allow rapid screening, potentially without use of contrast, will likely reveal the most appropriate tool over time. PMID:23928240

  11. ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL EFFECTS ON NEURITE OUTGROWTH, NEURONAL POLARIZATION AND SYNAPTOGENESIS IN RAT CORTICAL NEURONS USING HIGH CONTENT IMAGE ANALYSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a need for efficient, cost-effective methods for screening and prioritization of potential developmental neurotoxicants. One approach uses in vitro cell culture models that can recapitulate the critical processes of nervous system development. In vitro, primary cultures ...

  12. Vision Screening

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    The Visi Screen OSS-C, marketed by Vision Research Corporation, incorporates image processing technology originally developed by Marshall Space Flight Center. Its advantage in eye screening is speed. Because it requires no response from a subject, it can be used to detect eye problems in very young children. An electronic flash from a 35 millimeter camera sends light into a child's eyes, which is reflected back to the camera lens. The photorefractor then analyzes the retinal reflexes generated and produces an image of the child's eyes, which enables a trained observer to identify any defects. The device is used by pediatricians, day care centers and civic organizations that concentrate on children with special needs.

  13. Automated macromolecular crystal detection system and method

    DOEpatents

    Christian, Allen T.; Segelke, Brent; Rupp, Bernard; Toppani, Dominique

    2007-06-05

    An automated macromolecular method and system for detecting crystals in two-dimensional images, such as light microscopy images obtained from an array of crystallization screens. Edges are detected from the images by identifying local maxima of a phase congruency-based function associated with each image. The detected edges are segmented into discrete line segments, which are subsequently geometrically evaluated with respect to each other to identify any crystal-like qualities such as, for example, parallel lines, facing each other, similarity in length, and relative proximity. And from the evaluation a determination is made as to whether crystals are present in each image.

  14. Automated emittance measurements in the SLC

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, M.C.; Phinney, N.; Quickfall, G.; Shoaee, H.; Sheppard, J.C.

    1987-03-01

    The emittance of the SLC beam is determined from measurements of the beam width on a profile monitor as a quadrupole field is varied. An automated system has been developed to allow this to be done rapidly and accurately. The image on a fluorescent screen profile monitor (resolution about 20 ..mu..m) is read out through an electronic interface and digitized by a transient recorder. A high level software package has been developed to set up the hardware for the measurements, acquire data, fit the beam width, and calculate the emittance.

  15. Development of a beetroot-based nutritional gel containing high content of bioaccessible dietary nitrate and antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Morgado, Marina; de Oliveira, Gustavo Vieira; Vasconcellos, Julia; Monteiro, Maria Lucia; Conte-Junior, Carlos; Pierucci, Anna Paola Trindade Rocha; Alvares, Thiago Silveira

    2016-03-01

    Beetroot, a food rich in nitrate and antioxidants has gained attention because of its potential effect on improving cardiovascular health and exercise performance. This work had the purpose of developing a beetroot-based nutritional gel (BG) and estimating the in vitro bioaccessibility of the nitrate, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total phenolic (TP) and potassium content, as compared to beetroot juice (BJ). Nitrate was assessed by a high-performance liquid chromatography system, TAC was assessed using the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay and TP was measured using the Folin-Ciocalteu method before and after an in vitro digestion. Significantly higher values of nitrate, TEAC, TP and potassium before and after digestion were observed in BG as compared to BJ. The results suggest a new nutritional strategy to give high contents of bioaccessible nutrients (nitrate, antioxidants and potassium) that are potentially relevant to improve cardiovascular health and exercise performance. PMID:26887255

  16. Large-scale tracking and classification for automatic analysis of cell migration and proliferation, and experimental optimization of high-throughput screens of neuroblastoma cells.

    PubMed

    Harder, Nathalie; Batra, Richa; Diessl, Nicolle; Gogolin, Sina; Eils, Roland; Westermann, Frank; König, Rainer; Rohr, Karl

    2015-06-01

    Computational approaches for automatic analysis of image-based high-throughput and high-content screens are gaining increased importance to cope with the large amounts of data generated by automated microscopy systems. Typically, automatic image analysis is used to extract phenotypic information once all images of a screen have been acquired. However, also in earlier stages of large-scale experiments image analysis is important, in particular, to support and accelerate the tedious and time-consuming optimization of the experimental conditions and technical settings. We here present a novel approach for automatic, large-scale analysis and experimental optimization with application to a screen on neuroblastoma cell lines. Our approach consists of cell segmentation, tracking, feature extraction, classification, and model-based error correction. The approach can be used for experimental optimization by extracting quantitative information which allows experimentalists to optimally choose and to verify the experimental parameters. This involves systematically studying the global cell movement and proliferation behavior. Moreover, we performed a comprehensive phenotypic analysis of a large-scale neuroblastoma screen including the detection of rare division events such as multi-polar divisions. Major challenges of the analyzed high-throughput data are the relatively low spatio-temporal resolution in conjunction with densely growing cells as well as the high variability of the data. To account for the data variability we optimized feature extraction and classification, and introduced a gray value normalization technique as well as a novel approach for automatic model-based correction of classification errors. In total, we analyzed 4,400 real image sequences, covering observation periods of around 120 h each. We performed an extensive quantitative evaluation, which showed that our approach yields high accuracies of 92.2% for segmentation, 98.2% for tracking, and 86.5% for

  17. Nitrogen-doped carbon and high-content alumina containing bi-active cobalt oxides for efficient storage of lithium.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bibo; Zhang, Shilin; Yao, Feng; Huo, Ruijie; Zhang, Fazhi; Xu, Sailong

    2016-01-15

    Low-content ultrathin coating of non-active alumina (Al2O3) has been extensively utilized as one of the most effective strategies to improve electrochemical performances of electrodes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), however, typically by employing expensive atomic layer deposition equipment. We herein demonstrate a simple preparation of high-content and well-dispersed Al2O3 (24.33wt.%)-containing multi-component composite (CoO/Co3O4/N-C/Al2O3) by calcination of melamine/CoAl-layered double hydroxide (CoAl-LDH) mixture. The resulting composite bundles the advantages expected to improve electrochemical performances: (i) bi-active CoO/Co3O4, (ii) highly conductive N-doped carbon, and (iii) N-doped carbon and high-content non-active Al2O3 as buffering reagents, as well as (iv) good distribution of bi- and non-active components resulted from the lattice orientation and confinement effect of the LDH layers. Electrochemical evaluation shows that the composite electrode delivers a highly enhanced reversible capacity of 1078mAhg(-1) after 50cycles at 100mAg(-1), compared with the bi-active CoO/Co3O4 mixtures with and without non-active Al2O3. Transmission electron microscopy/scanning electron microscopy observations and electrochemical impedance spectra experimentally provide the information on the good distributions of multiple components and the improved conductivity underlying the enhancements, respectively. Our LDH precursor-based preparation route may be extended to design and prepare various multi-component transition metal oxides for efficient lithium storage. PMID:26454377

  18. Abnormally High Content of Free Glucosamine Residues Identified in a Preparation of Commercially Available Porcine Intestinal Heparan Sulfate.

    PubMed

    Mulloy, Barbara; Wu, Nian; Gyapon-Quast, Frederick; Lin, Lei; Zhang, Fuming; Pickering, Matthew C; Linhardt, Robert J; Feizi, Ten; Chai, Wengang

    2016-07-01

    Heparan sulfate (HS) polysaccharides are ubiquitous in animal tissues as components of proteoglycans, and they participate in many important biological processes. HS carbohydrate chains are complex and can contain rare structural components such as N-unsubstituted glucosamine (GlcN). Commercially available HS preparations have been invaluable in many types of research activities. In the course of preparing microarrays to include probes derived from HS oligosaccharides, we found an unusually high content of GlcN residue in a recently purchased batch of porcine intestinal mucosal HS. Composition and sequence analysis by mass spectrometry of the oligosaccharides obtained after heparin lyase III digestion of the polysaccharide indicated two and three GlcN in the tetrasaccharide and hexasaccharide fractions, respectively. (1)H NMR of the intact polysaccharide showed that this unusual batch differed strikingly from other HS preparations obtained from bovine kidney and porcine intestine. The very high content of GlcN (30%) and low content of GlcNAc (4.2%) determined by disaccharide composition analysis indicated that N-deacetylation and/or N-desulfation may have taken place. HS is widely used by the scientific community to investigate HS structures and activities. Great care has to be taken in drawing conclusions from investigations of structural features of HS and specificities of HS interaction with proteins when commercial HS is used without further analysis. Pending the availability of a validated commercial HS reference preparation, our data may be useful to members of the scientific community who have used the present preparation in their studies. PMID:27295282

  19. Abnormally High Content of Free Glucosamine Residues Identified in a Preparation of Commercially Available Porcine Intestinal Heparan Sulfate

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Heparan sulfate (HS) polysaccharides are ubiquitous in animal tissues as components of proteoglycans, and they participate in many important biological processes. HS carbohydrate chains are complex and can contain rare structural components such as N-unsubstituted glucosamine (GlcN). Commercially available HS preparations have been invaluable in many types of research activities. In the course of preparing microarrays to include probes derived from HS oligosaccharides, we found an unusually high content of GlcN residue in a recently purchased batch of porcine intestinal mucosal HS. Composition and sequence analysis by mass spectrometry of the oligosaccharides obtained after heparin lyase III digestion of the polysaccharide indicated two and three GlcN in the tetrasaccharide and hexasaccharide fractions, respectively. 1H NMR of the intact polysaccharide showed that this unusual batch differed strikingly from other HS preparations obtained from bovine kidney and porcine intestine. The very high content of GlcN (30%) and low content of GlcNAc (4.2%) determined by disaccharide composition analysis indicated that N-deacetylation and/or N-desulfation may have taken place. HS is widely used by the scientific community to investigate HS structures and activities. Great care has to be taken in drawing conclusions from investigations of structural features of HS and specificities of HS interaction with proteins when commercial HS is used without further analysis. Pending the availability of a validated commercial HS reference preparation, our data may be useful to members of the scientific community who have used the present preparation in their studies. PMID:27295282

  20. Automated Camera Calibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Siqi; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg

    2006-01-01

    Automated Camera Calibration (ACAL) is a computer program that automates the generation of calibration data for camera models used in machine vision systems. Machine vision camera models describe the mapping between points in three-dimensional (3D) space in front of the camera and the corresponding points in two-dimensional (2D) space in the camera s image. Calibrating a camera model requires a set of calibration data containing known 3D-to-2D point correspondences for the given camera system. Generating calibration data typically involves taking images of a calibration target where the 3D locations of the target s fiducial marks are known, and then measuring the 2D locations of the fiducial marks in the images. ACAL automates the analysis of calibration target images and greatly speeds the overall calibration process.

  1. Automated telescope scheduling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, Mark D.

    1988-01-01

    With the ever increasing level of automation of astronomical telescopes the benefits and feasibility of automated planning and scheduling are becoming more apparent. Improved efficiency and increased overall telescope utilization are the most obvious goals. Automated scheduling at some level has been done for several satellite observatories, but the requirements on these systems were much less stringent than on modern ground or satellite observatories. The scheduling problem is particularly acute for Hubble Space Telescope: virtually all observations must be planned in excruciating detail weeks to months in advance. Space Telescope Science Institute has recently made significant progress on the scheduling problem by exploiting state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software technology. What is especially interesting is that this effort has already yielded software that is well suited to scheduling groundbased telescopes, including the problem of optimizing the coordinated scheduling of more than one telescope.

  2. Automated telescope scheduling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Mark D.

    1988-08-01

    With the ever increasing level of automation of astronomical telescopes the benefits and feasibility of automated planning and scheduling are becoming more apparent. Improved efficiency and increased overall telescope utilization are the most obvious goals. Automated scheduling at some level has been done for several satellite observatories, but the requirements on these systems were much less stringent than on modern ground or satellite observatories. The scheduling problem is particularly acute for Hubble Space Telescope: virtually all observations must be planned in excruciating detail weeks to months in advance. Space Telescope Science Institute has recently made significant progress on the scheduling problem by exploiting state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software technology. What is especially interesting is that this effort has already yielded software that is well suited to scheduling groundbased telescopes, including the problem of optimizing the coordinated scheduling of more than one telescope.

  3. Power subsystem automation study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, M. S.; Moser, R. L.; Veatch, M.

    1983-01-01

    Generic power-system elements and their potential faults are identified. Automation functions and their resulting benefits are defined and automation functions between power subsystem, central spacecraft computer, and ground flight-support personnel are partitioned. All automation activities were categorized as data handling, monitoring, routine control, fault handling, planning and operations, or anomaly handling. Incorporation of all these classes of tasks, except for anomaly handling, in power subsystem hardware and software was concluded to be mandatory to meet the design and operational requirements of the space station. The key drivers are long mission lifetime, modular growth, high-performance flexibility, a need to accommodate different electrical user-load equipment, onorbit assembly/maintenance/servicing, and potentially large number of power subsystem components. A significant effort in algorithm development and validation is essential in meeting the 1987 technology readiness date for the space station.

  4. Automated Factor Slice Sampling.

    PubMed

    Tibbits, Matthew M; Groendyke, Chris; Haran, Murali; Liechty, John C

    2014-01-01

    Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms offer a very general approach for sampling from arbitrary distributions. However, designing and tuning MCMC algorithms for each new distribution, can be challenging and time consuming. It is particularly difficult to create an efficient sampler when there is strong dependence among the variables in a multivariate distribution. We describe a two-pronged approach for constructing efficient, automated MCMC algorithms: (1) we propose the "factor slice sampler", a generalization of the univariate slice sampler where we treat the selection of a coordinate basis (factors) as an additional tuning parameter, and (2) we develop an approach for automatically selecting tuning parameters in order to construct an efficient factor slice sampler. In addition to automating the factor slice sampler, our tuning approach also applies to the standard univariate slice samplers. We demonstrate the efficiency and general applicability of our automated MCMC algorithm with a number of illustrative examples. PMID:24955002

  5. Automated Factor Slice Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Tibbits, Matthew M.; Groendyke, Chris; Haran, Murali; Liechty, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms offer a very general approach for sampling from arbitrary distributions. However, designing and tuning MCMC algorithms for each new distribution, can be challenging and time consuming. It is particularly difficult to create an efficient sampler when there is strong dependence among the variables in a multivariate distribution. We describe a two-pronged approach for constructing efficient, automated MCMC algorithms: (1) we propose the “factor slice sampler”, a generalization of the univariate slice sampler where we treat the selection of a coordinate basis (factors) as an additional tuning parameter, and (2) we develop an approach for automatically selecting tuning parameters in order to construct an efficient factor slice sampler. In addition to automating the factor slice sampler, our tuning approach also applies to the standard univariate slice samplers. We demonstrate the efficiency and general applicability of our automated MCMC algorithm with a number of illustrative examples. PMID:24955002

  6. Quadruple screen test

    MedlinePlus

    ... screen; Multiple marker screening; AFP plus; Triple screen test; AFP maternal; MSAFP; 4-marker screen ... This test is most often done between the 15th and 22nd weeks of the pregnancy. It is most accurate ...

  7. Automated knowledge generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myler, Harley R.; Gonzalez, Avelino J.

    1988-01-01

    The general objectives of the NASA/UCF Automated Knowledge Generation Project were the development of an intelligent software system that could access CAD design data bases, interpret them, and generate a diagnostic knowledge base in the form of a system model. The initial area of concentration is in the diagnosis of the process control system using the Knowledge-based Autonomous Test Engineer (KATE) diagnostic system. A secondary objective was the study of general problems of automated knowledge generation. A prototype was developed, based on object-oriented language (Flavors).

  8. Automation of analytical isotachophoresis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thormann, Wolfgang

    1985-01-01

    The basic features of automation of analytical isotachophoresis (ITP) are reviewed. Experimental setups consisting of narrow bore tubes which are self-stabilized against thermal convection are considered. Sample detection in free solution is discussed, listing the detector systems presently used or expected to be of potential use in the near future. The combination of a universal detector measuring the evolution of ITP zone structures with detector systems specific to desired components is proposed as a concept of an automated chemical analyzer based on ITP. Possible miniaturization of such an instrument by means of microlithographic techniques is discussed.

  9. Automating the CMS DAQ

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, G.; et al.

    2014-01-01

    We present the automation mechanisms that have been added to the Data Acquisition and Run Control systems of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment during Run 1 of the LHC, ranging from the automation of routine tasks to automatic error recovery and context-sensitive guidance to the operator. These mechanisms helped CMS to maintain a data taking efficiency above 90% and to even improve it to 95% towards the end of Run 1, despite an increase in the occurrence of single-event upsets in sub-detector electronics at high LHC luminosity.

  10. Automated gas chromatography

    DOEpatents

    Mowry, Curtis D.; Blair, Dianna S.; Rodacy, Philip J.; Reber, Stephen D.

    1999-01-01

    An apparatus and process for the continuous, near real-time monitoring of low-level concentrations of organic compounds in a liquid, and, more particularly, a water stream. A small liquid volume of flow from a liquid process stream containing organic compounds is diverted by an automated process to a heated vaporization capillary where the liquid volume is vaporized to a gas that flows to an automated gas chromatograph separation column to chromatographically separate the organic compounds. Organic compounds are detected and the information transmitted to a control system for use in process control. Concentrations of organic compounds less than one part per million are detected in less than one minute.

  11. Automated software development workstation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Engineering software development was automated using an expert system (rule-based) approach. The use of this technology offers benefits not available from current software development and maintenance methodologies. A workstation was built with a library or program data base with methods for browsing the designs stored; a system for graphical specification of designs including a capability for hierarchical refinement and definition in a graphical design system; and an automated code generation capability in FORTRAN. The workstation was then used in a demonstration with examples from an attitude control subsystem design for the space station. Documentation and recommendations are presented.

  12. Preparticipation athletic screening for genetic heart disease.

    PubMed

    Myerson, Merle; Sanchez-Ross, Monica; Sherrid, Mark V

    2012-01-01

    Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young athletes is relatively uncommon but tragic when it occurs. Many of these deaths can be prevented by pre-exercise screening to identify cardiac abnormalities and those at high risk. Although recent research has provided much needed information on SCD in athletes, there remain significant gaps in the knowledge needed to determine an optimal screening protocol. This review examines the incidence and demographics of SCD in athletes and the difficulties in determining whether changes in an athlete's heart are due to training or represent a potentially malignant congenital abnormality. Current guidelines for screening and the intense debate over the use of the 12-lead electrocardiogram are discussed. Lastly, the importance of a response plan to an apparent SCD event that includes on-site/on-field automated external defibrillators will be discussed. A case study that illustrates the challenges in screening is presented. PMID:22687598

  13. Human Factors In Aircraft Automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billings, Charles

    1995-01-01

    Report presents survey of state of art in human factors in automation of aircraft operation. Presents examination of aircraft automation and effects on flight crews in relation to human error and aircraft accidents.

  14. Origin and evolution of high throughput screening

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, D A; Williams, J A

    2007-01-01

    This article reviews the origin and evolution of high throughput screening (HTS) through the experience of an individual pharmaceutical company, revealing some of the mysteries of the early stages of drug discovery to the wider pharmacology audience. HTS in this company (Pfizer, Groton, USA) had its origin in natural products screening in 1986, by substituting fermentation broths with dimethyl sulphoxide solutions of synthetic compounds, using 96-well plates and reduced assay volumes of 50-100μl. A nominal 30mM source compound concentration provided high μM assay concentrations. Starting at 800 compounds each week, the process reached a steady state of 7200 compounds per week by 1989. Screening in the Applied Biotechnology and Screening Group was centralized with screens operating in lock-step to maximize efficiency. Initial screens were full files run in triplicate. Autoradiography and image analysis were introduced for 125I receptor ligand screens. Reverse transcriptase (RT) coupled with quantitative PCR and multiplexing addressed several targets in a single assay. By 1992 HTS produced ‘hits' as starting matter for approximately 40% of the Discovery portfolio. In 1995, the HTS methodology was expanded to include ADMET targets. ADME targets required each compound to be physically detected leading to the development of automated high throughput LC-MS. In 1996, 90 compounds/week were screened in microsomal, protein binding and serum stability assays. Subsequently, the mutagenic Ames assay was adapted to a 96-well plate liquid assay and novel algorithms permitted automated image analysis of the micronucleus assay. By 1999 ADME HTS was fully integrated into the discovery cycle. PMID:17603542

  15. UTILITY OF A NEUROBEHAVIORAL SCREENING BATTERY FOR DIFFERENTIATING THE EFFECTS OF TWO PYRETHROIDS PERMETHRIN AND CYPERMETHRIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ability of a neurobehavioral screening battery to differentiate the effects of two pyrethroids, permethrin and cypermethrin, was assessed in this experiment. he tests pyrethroids, permethrin and cypermethrin, included a functional observational battery (FOB) and an automated ...

  16. ATC automation concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erzberger, Heinz

    1990-01-01

    Information on the design of human-centered tools for terminal area air traffic control (ATC) is given in viewgraph form. Information is given on payoffs and products, guidelines, ATC as a team process, automation tools for ATF, and the traffic management advisor.

  17. Building Automation Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honeywell, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

    A number of different automation systems for use in monitoring and controlling building equipment are described in this brochure. The system functions include--(1) collection of information, (2) processing and display of data at a central panel, and (3) taking corrective action by sounding alarms, making adjustments, or automatically starting and…

  18. Automated Student Model Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koedinger, Kenneth R.; McLaughlin, Elizabeth A.; Stamper, John C.

    2012-01-01

    Student modeling plays a critical role in developing and improving instruction and instructional technologies. We present a technique for automated improvement of student models that leverages the DataShop repository, crowd sourcing, and a version of the Learning Factors Analysis algorithm. We demonstrate this method on eleven educational…

  19. Automated Management Of Documents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boy, Guy

    1995-01-01

    Report presents main technical issues involved in computer-integrated documentation. Problems associated with automation of management and maintenance of documents analyzed from perspectives of artificial intelligence and human factors. Technologies that may prove useful in computer-integrated documentation reviewed: these include conventional approaches to indexing and retrieval of information, use of hypertext, and knowledge-based artificial-intelligence systems.

  20. Automated solvent concentrator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffith, J. S.; Stuart, J. L.

    1976-01-01

    Designed for automated drug identification system (AUDRI), device increases concentration by 100. Sample is first filtered, removing particulate contaminants and reducing water content of sample. Sample is extracted from filtered residue by specific solvent. Concentrator provides input material to analysis subsystem.

  1. Automated Essay Scoring

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dikli, Semire

    2006-01-01

    The impacts of computers on writing have been widely studied for three decades. Even basic computers functions, i.e. word processing, have been of great assistance to writers in modifying their essays. The research on Automated Essay Scoring (AES) has revealed that computers have the capacity to function as a more effective cognitive tool (Attali,…

  2. Automation in haemostasis.

    PubMed

    Huber, A R; Méndez, A; Brunner-Agten, S

    2013-01-01

    Automatia, an ancient Greece goddess of luck who makes things happen by themselves and on her own will without human engagement, is present in our daily life in the medical laboratory. Automation has been introduced and perfected by clinical chemistry and since then expanded into other fields such as haematology, immunology, molecular biology and also coagulation testing. The initial small and relatively simple standalone instruments have been replaced by more complex systems that allow for multitasking. Integration of automated coagulation testing into total laboratory automation has become possible in the most recent years. Automation has many strengths and opportunities if weaknesses and threats are respected. On the positive side, standardization, reduction of errors, reduction of cost and increase of throughput are clearly beneficial. Dependence on manufacturers, high initiation cost and somewhat expensive maintenance are less favourable factors. The modern lab and especially the todays lab technicians and academic personnel in the laboratory do not add value for the doctor and his patients by spending lots of time behind the machines. In the future the lab needs to contribute at the bedside suggesting laboratory testing and providing support and interpretation of the obtained results. The human factor will continue to play an important role in testing in haemostasis yet under different circumstances. PMID:23460141

  3. Automated conflict resolution issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wike, Jeffrey S.

    1991-01-01

    A discussion is presented of how conflicts for Space Network resources should be resolved in the ATDRSS era. The following topics are presented: a description of how resource conflicts are currently resolved; a description of issues associated with automated conflict resolution; present conflict resolution strategies; and topics for further discussion.

  4. Mining Your Automated System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larsen, Patricia M., Ed.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Four articles address issues of collecting, compiling, reporting, and interpreting statistics generated by automated library systems for administrative decision making. Topics include using a management information system to forecast growth and assess areas for downsizing; statistics for collection development and analysis; and online system…

  5. Automated galaxy recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappaport, Barry; Anderson, Kurt

    Previous approaches to automated image processing have used both deterministic and nondeterministic techniques. These have not used any form of conceptual learning nor have they employed artificial intelligence techniques. Addition of such techniques to the task of image processing may significantly enhance the efficiencies and accuracies of the recognition and classification processes. In our application, the objects to be recognized and classified are galaxies.

  6. Automated Administrative Data Bases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marrie, M. D.; Jarrett, J. R.; Reising, S. A.; Hodge, J. E.

    1984-01-01

    Improved productivity and more effective response to information requirements for internal management, NASA Centers, and Headquarters resulted from using automated techniques. Modules developed to provide information on manpower, RTOPS, full time equivalency, and physical space reduced duplication, increased communication, and saved time. There is potential for greater savings by sharing and integrating with those who have the same requirements.

  7. Automating Food Service.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kavulla, Timothy A.

    1986-01-01

    The Wichita, Kansas, Public Schools' Food Service Department Project Reduction in Paperwork (RIP) is designed to automate certain paperwork functions, thus reducing cost and flow of paper. This article addresses how RIP manages free/reduced meal applications and meets the objectives of reducing paper and increasing accuracy, timeliness, and…

  8. Program automated documentation methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lanzano, B. C.

    1970-01-01

    The mission analysis and trajectory simulation program is summarized; it provides an understanding of the size and complexity of one simulation for which documentation is mandatory. Programs for automating documentation of subroutines, flow charts, and internal cross reference information are also included.

  9. Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) interface jointly developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service, and the University of Arizona to a...

  10. Microcontroller for automation application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, H. W.

    1975-01-01

    The description of a microcontroller currently being developed for automation application was given. It is basically an 8-bit microcomputer with a 40K byte random access memory/read only memory, and can control a maximum of 12 devices through standard 15-line interface ports.

  11. Automated CCTV Tester

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2000-09-13

    The purpose of an automated CCTV tester is to automatically and continuously monitor multiple perimeter security cameras for changes in a camera's measured resolution and alignment (camera looking at the proper area). It shall track and record the image quality and position of each camera and produce an alarm when a camera is out of specification.

  12. Validating Automated Speaking Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernstein, Jared; Van Moere, Alistair; Cheng, Jian

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents evidence that supports the valid use of scores from fully automatic tests of spoken language ability to indicate a person's effectiveness in spoken communication. The paper reviews the constructs, scoring, and the concurrent validity evidence of "facility-in-L2" tests, a family of automated spoken language tests in Spanish,…

  13. Automated EEG acquisition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, J. D., Jr.; Hillman, C. E., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Automated self-contained portable device can be used by technicians with minimal training. Data acquired from patient at remote site are transmitted to centralized interpretation center using conventional telephone equipment. There, diagnostic information is analyzed, and results are relayed back to remote site.

  14. Automation in Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Canadian Library Association, Ottawa (Ontario).

    The fourth Canadian Association of College and University Libraries (CACUL) Conference on Library Automation was held in Hamilton, June 20-21, 1970, as a pre-conference workshop of the Canadian Library Association (CLA). The purpose of the conference was to present papers on current projects and to discuss the continuing need for this type of…

  15. Staff Reactions to Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winstead, Elizabeth B.

    1994-01-01

    Describes two surveys of three libraries on a university campus, one conducted in 1987 and one in 1993, that investigated how library staff reacted to the library automation process. The hypotheses that were tested are discussed, and results are compared to a similar survey conducted in 1985. (LRW)

  16. Dockomatic - automated ligand creation and docking

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The application of computational modeling to rationally design drugs and characterize macro biomolecular receptors has proven increasingly useful due to the accessibility of computing clusters and clouds. AutoDock is a well-known and powerful software program used to model ligand to receptor binding interactions. In its current version, AutoDock requires significant amounts of user time to setup and run jobs, and collect results. This paper presents DockoMatic, a user friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) application that eases and automates the creation and management of AutoDock jobs for high throughput screening of ligand to receptor interactions. Results DockoMatic allows the user to invoke and manage AutoDock jobs on a single computer or cluster, including jobs for evaluating secondary ligand interactions. It also automates the process of collecting, summarizing, and viewing results. In addition, DockoMatic automates creation of peptide ligand .pdb files from strings of single-letter amino acid abbreviations. Conclusions DockoMatic significantly reduces the complexity of managing multiple AutoDock jobs by facilitating ligand and AutoDock job creation and management. PMID:21059259

  17. Automating spectral measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldstein, Fred T.

    2008-09-01

    This paper discusses the architecture of software utilized in spectroscopic measurements. As optical coatings become more sophisticated, there is mounting need to automate data acquisition (DAQ) from spectrophotometers. Such need is exacerbated when 100% inspection is required, ancillary devices are utilized, cost reduction is crucial, or security is vital. While instrument manufacturers normally provide point-and-click DAQ software, an application programming interface (API) may be missing. In such cases automation is impossible or expensive. An API is typically provided in libraries (*.dll, *.ocx) which may be embedded in user-developed applications. Users can thereby implement DAQ automation in several Windows languages. Another possibility, developed by FTG as an alternative to instrument manufacturers' software, is the ActiveX application (*.exe). ActiveX, a component of many Windows applications, provides means for programming and interoperability. This architecture permits a point-and-click program to act as automation client and server. Excel, for example, can control and be controlled by DAQ applications. Most importantly, ActiveX permits ancillary devices such as barcode readers and XY-stages to be easily and economically integrated into scanning procedures. Since an ActiveX application has its own user-interface, it can be independently tested. The ActiveX application then runs (visibly or invisibly) under DAQ software control. Automation capabilities are accessed via a built-in spectro-BASIC language with industry-standard (VBA-compatible) syntax. Supplementing ActiveX, spectro-BASIC also includes auxiliary serial port commands for interfacing programmable logic controllers (PLC). A typical application is automatic filter handling.

  18. Assessment of 16 chemicals on proliferation and apoptosis in human neuroprogenitor cells using high-content image analysis (HCA).

    EPA Science Inventory

    The need for efficient methods of screening chemicals for the potential to cause developmental neurotoxicity is paramount. We previously described optimization of an HCA assay for proliferation and apoptosis in ReNcell CX cells (ReN), identifying appropriate controls. Utility of ...

  19. Newborn Screening

    PubMed Central

    Pitt, James J

    2010-01-01

    Early detection of many disorders, mainly inherited, is feasible with population-wide analysis of newborn dried blood spot samples. Phenylketonuria was the prototype disorder for newborn screening (NBS) and early dietary treatment has resulted in vastly improved outcomes for this disorder. Testing for primary hypothyroidism and cystic fibrosis (CF) was later added to NBS programs following the development of robust immunoassays and molecular testing. Current CF testing usually relies on a combined immunoreactive trypsin/mutation detection strategy. Multiplex testing for approximately 25 inborn errors of metabolism using tandem mass spectrometry is a relatively recent addition to NBS. The simultaneous introduction of many disorders has caused some re-evaluation of the traditional guidelines for NBS, because very rare disorders or disorders without good treatments can be included with minimal effort. NBS tests for many other disorders have been developed, but these are less uniformly applied or are currently considered developmental. This review focuses on Australasian NBS practices. PMID:20498829

  20. [Toxicologic blood emergency screening].

    PubMed

    Cohen, Sabine; Manat, Aurélie; Dumont, Benoit; Bévalot, Fabien; Manchon, Monique; Berny, Claudette

    2010-01-01

    In order to overcome the stop marketing by Biorad company of automated high performance liquid chromatograph with UV detection (Remedi), we developed a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to detect and to give an approximation of the overdose of molecules frequently encountered in drug intoxications. Therefore two hundred eighty seventeen blood samples were collected over a period of one year and allowed us to evaluate and compare the performance of these two techniques. As identification, GC-MS does not identify all molecules detected by Remedi in 24.2% of cases; there is a lack of sensitivity for opiates and the systematic absence of certain molecules such as betablockers. However, in 75.8% of cases the GC-MS detects all molecules found by Remedi and other molecules such as meprobamate, paracetamol, benzodiazepines and phenobarbital. The concentrations obtained are interpreted in terms of overdose showed 15.7% of discrepancy and 84.3% of concordance between the two techniques. The GC-MS technique described here is robust, fast and relatively simple to implement; the identification is facilitated by macro commands and the semi quantification remains manual. Despite a sequence of cleaning the column after each sample, carryover of a sample to the next remains possible. This technique can be used for toxicologic screening in acute intoxications. Nevertheless it must be supplemented by a HPLC with UV detection if molecules such as betablockers are suspected. PMID:20348049

  1. Data Quality Screening Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strub, Richard; Lynnes, Christopher; Hearty, Thomas; Won, Young-In; Fox, Peter; Zednik, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    A report describes the Data Quality Screening Service (DQSS), which is designed to help automate the filtering of remote sensing data on behalf of science users. Whereas this process often involves much research through quality documents followed by laborious coding, the DQSS is a Web Service that provides data users with data pre-filtered to their particular criteria, while at the same time guiding the user with filtering recommendations of the cognizant data experts. The DQSS design is based on a formal semantic Web ontology that describes data fields and the quality fields for applying quality control within a data product. The accompanying code base handles several remote sensing datasets and quality control schemes for data products stored in Hierarchical Data Format (HDF), a common format for NASA remote sensing data. Together, the ontology and code support a variety of quality control schemes through the implementation of the Boolean expression with simple, reusable conditional expressions as operands. Additional datasets are added to the DQSS simply by registering instances in the ontology if they follow a quality scheme that is already modeled in the ontology. New quality schemes are added by extending the ontology and adding code for each new scheme.

  2. Use of detergents and high contents of organic solvents for simultaneous quantitation of ionic and nonionic drugs by electrokinetic chromatography.

    PubMed

    Cifuentes, A; Bernal, J L; Diez-Masa, J C

    1998-10-16

    Buffers containing high percentages of organic solvents, typically 50% of acetonitrile and/or methanol, together with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) are employed for the separation and quantitation by electrokinetic chromatography (EKC) of analytes found in a nasal spray. Solutes consist of benzalkonium chloride, a family of highly positive compounds, and 2-phenylethanol and beclomethasone dipropionate, which are electrically neutral and poorly soluble in aqueous buffers. It is observed that the effect of both concentration of SDS and temperature on the separation depends on the organic solvent used and the solute nature. It is also observed that SDS-solute interaction for neutral and cationic compounds are weaker in the presence of high contents of acetonitrile than in methanol. Concentration of SDS, temperature, and organic solvent nature and content, allow one to modify the selectivity of the separation when neutral and ionic species have to be simultaneously determined. The optimization of EKC conditions enables the analysis of compounds in less than 5 min. A one-step sample treatment consisting of centrifugation of the nasal spray solved in acetonitrile, together with the referenced optimum separation conditions enable the reproducible quantitation of the analytes. Relative standard deviation values of inter-day migration times lower than 2.45% are obtained (R.S.D.n = 12), while R.S.D.n = 12 values for inter-day peak areas were lower than 6.32%. PMID:9818431

  3. Gel spinning of PVA composite fibers with high content of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide hybrids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yizhe; Lai, Dengpan; Zou, Liming; Ling, Xinlong; Lu, Hongwei; Xu, Yongjing

    2015-07-01

    In this report, poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) composite fibers with high content of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide (MWCNTs-GO) hybrids were prepared by gel spinning, and were characterized by TGA, DSC, SEM, XL-2 yarn strength tester and electrical conductivity measurement. The total content of MWCNTs-GO hybrids in the PVA composite fibers, which is up to 25 wt%, was confirmed by TGA analysis. The DSC measurement shows that the melting and crystallization peaks decreased after the addition of nano-fillers. This is due to the reason that the motion of PVA chains is completely confined by strong hydrogen bonding interaction between PVA and nano-fillers. After the addtion of GO, the dispersibility of MWCNTs in composite fibers improved slightly. And the tensile strength and Young's modulus increased by 38% and 67%, respectively. This is caused by the increased hydrogen bonding interaction and synergistic effect through hybridization of MWCNTs and GO. More significantly, the electrical conductivity of PVA/MWCNTs/GO composite fibers enhanced by three orders of magnitude with the addition of GO.

  4. High-content imaging analysis of the knockdown effects of validated siRNAs and antisense oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Low, Jonathan; Shuguang Huang; Dowless, Michele; Blosser, Wayne; Vincent, Thomas; Davis, Scott; Hodson, Jeff; Koller, Erich; Marcusson, Eric; Blanchard, Kerry; Stancato, Louis

    2007-09-01

    High-content imaging (HCI) provides researchers with a powerful tool for understanding cellular processes. Although phenotypic analysis generated through HCI is a potent technique to determine the overall cellular effects of a given treatment, it frequently produces complex data sets requiring extensive interpretation. The authors developed statistical analyses to decrease the time spent to determine the outcome of each HCI assay and to better understand complex phenotypic changes. To test these tools, the authors performed a comparison experiment between 2 types of oligonucleotide-mediated gene silencing (OMGS), antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), and short, double-stranded RNAs (siRNAs). Although similar in chemical structure, these 2 methods differ in cellular mechanism of action and off-target effects. Using a library of 50 validated ASOs and siRNAs to the same targets, the authors characterized the differential effects of these 2 technologies using a HeLa cell G2-M cell cycle assay. Although knockdown of a variety of targets by ASOs or siRNAs affected the cell cycle profile, few of those targets were affected by both ASOs and siRNAs. Distribution analysis of population changes induced through target knockdown led to the identification of targets that, when inhibited, could affect the G2-M transition in the cell cycle in a statistically significant manner. The distinctly different mechanisms of action of these 2 forms of gene silencing may help define the use of these treatments in both clinical and research environments. PMID:17517903

  5. Retinal Imaging Techniques for Diabetic Retinopathy Screening.

    PubMed

    Goh, James Kang Hao; Cheung, Carol Y; Sim, Shaun Sebastian; Tan, Pok Chien; Tan, Gavin Siew Wei; Wong, Tien Yin

    2016-03-01

    Due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus, demand for diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening platforms is steeply increasing. Early detection and treatment of DR are key public health interventions that can greatly reduce the likelihood of vision loss. Current DR screening programs typically employ retinal fundus photography, which relies on skilled readers for manual DR assessment. However, this is labor-intensive and suffers from inconsistency across sites. Hence, there has been a recent proliferation of automated retinal image analysis software that may potentially alleviate this burden cost-effectively. Furthermore, current screening programs based on 2-dimensional fundus photography do not effectively screen for diabetic macular edema (DME). Optical coherence tomography is becoming increasingly recognized as the reference standard for DME assessment and can potentially provide a cost-effective solution for improving DME detection in large-scale DR screening programs. Current screening techniques are also unable to image the peripheral retina and require pharmacological pupil dilation; ultra-widefield imaging and confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, which address these drawbacks, possess great potential. In this review, we summarize the current DR screening methods using various retinal imaging techniques, and also outline future possibilities. Advances in retinal imaging techniques can potentially transform the management of patients with diabetes, providing savings in health care costs and resources. PMID:26830491

  6. Automated Pollution Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Patterned after the Cassini Resource Exchange (CRE), Sholtz and Associates established the Automated Credit Exchange (ACE), an Internet-based concept that automates the auctioning of "pollution credits" in Southern California. An early challenge of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Cassini mission was allocating the spacecraft's resources. To support the decision-making process, the CRE was developed. The system removes the need for the science instrument manager to know the individual instruments' requirements for the spacecraft resources. Instead, by utilizing principles of exchange, the CRE induces the instrument teams to reveal their requirements. In doing so, they arrive at an efficient allocation of spacecraft resources by trading among themselves. A Southern California RECLAIM air pollution credit trading market has been set up using same bartering methods utilized in the Cassini mission in order to help companies keep pollution and costs down.

  7. Automated Assembly Center (AAC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, Robert J.

    1993-01-01

    The objectives of this project are as follows: to integrate advanced assembly and assembly support technology under a comprehensive architecture; to implement automated assembly technologies in the production of high-visibility DOD weapon systems; and to document the improved cost, quality, and lead time. This will enhance the production of DOD weapon systems by utilizing the latest commercially available technologies combined into a flexible system that will be able to readily incorporate new technologies as they emerge. Automated assembly encompasses the following areas: product data, process planning, information management policies and framework, three schema architecture, open systems communications, intelligent robots, flexible multi-ability end effectors, knowledge-based/expert systems, intelligent workstations, intelligent sensor systems, and PDES/PDDI data standards.

  8. Automated breeder fuel fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Goldmann, L.H.; Frederickson, J.R.

    1983-09-01

    The objective of the Secure Automated Fabrication (SAF) Project is to develop remotely operated equipment for the processing and manufacturing of breeder reactor fuel pins. The SAF line will be installed in the Fuels and Materials Examination Facility (FMEF). The FMEF is presently under construction at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford site near Richland, Washington, and is operated by the Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC). The fabrication and support systems of the SAF line are designed for computer-controlled operation from a centralized control room. Remote and automated fuel fabriction operations will result in: reduced radiation exposure to workers; enhanced safeguards; improved product quality; near real-time accountability, and increased productivity. The present schedule calls for installation of SAF line equipment in the FMEF beginning in 1984, with qualifying runs starting in 1986 and production commencing in 1987. 5 figures.

  9. Automated assembly in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srivastava, Sandanand; Dwivedi, Suren N.; Soon, Toh Teck; Bandi, Reddy; Banerjee, Soumen; Hughes, Cecilia

    1989-01-01

    The installation of robots and their use of assembly in space will create an exciting and promising future for the U.S. Space Program. The concept of assembly in space is very complicated and error prone and it is not possible unless the various parts and modules are suitably designed for automation. Certain guidelines are developed for part designing and for an easy precision assembly. Major design problems associated with automated assembly are considered and solutions to resolve these problems are evaluated in the guidelines format. Methods for gripping and methods for part feeding are developed with regard to the absence of gravity in space. The guidelines for part orientation, adjustments, compliances and various assembly construction are discussed. Design modifications of various fasteners and fastening methods are also investigated.

  10. Terminal automation system maintenance

    SciTech Connect

    Coffelt, D.; Hewitt, J.

    1997-01-01

    Nothing has improved petroleum product loading in recent years more than terminal automation systems. The presence of terminal automation systems (TAS) at loading racks has increased operational efficiency and safety and enhanced their accounting and management capabilities. However, like all finite systems, they occasionally malfunction or fail. Proper servicing and maintenance can minimize this. And in the unlikely event a TAS breakdown does occur, prompt and effective troubleshooting can reduce its impact on terminal productivity. To accommodate around-the-clock loading at racks, increasingly unattended by terminal personnel, TAS maintenance, servicing and troubleshooting has become increasingly demanding. It has also become increasingly important. After 15 years of trial and error at petroleum and petrochemical storage and transfer terminals, a number of successful troubleshooting programs have been developed. These include 24-hour {open_quotes}help hotlines,{close_quotes} internal (terminal company) and external (supplier) support staff, and {open_quotes}layered{close_quotes} support. These programs are described.

  11. Automated gas chromatography

    DOEpatents

    Mowry, C.D.; Blair, D.S.; Rodacy, P.J.; Reber, S.D.

    1999-07-13

    An apparatus and process for the continuous, near real-time monitoring of low-level concentrations of organic compounds in a liquid, and, more particularly, a water stream. A small liquid volume of flow from a liquid process stream containing organic compounds is diverted by an automated process to a heated vaporization capillary where the liquid volume is vaporized to a gas that flows to an automated gas chromatograph separation column to chromatographically separate the organic compounds. Organic compounds are detected and the information transmitted to a control system for use in process control. Concentrations of organic compounds less than one part per million are detected in less than one minute. 7 figs.

  12. Automated campaign system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vondran, Gary; Chao, Hui; Lin, Xiaofan; Beyer, Dirk; Joshi, Parag; Atkins, Brian; Obrador, Pere

    2006-02-01

    To run a targeted campaign involves coordination and management across numerous organizations and complex process flows. Everything from market analytics on customer databases, acquiring content and images, composing the materials, meeting the sponsoring enterprise brand standards, driving through production and fulfillment, and evaluating results; all processes are currently performed by experienced highly trained staff. Presented is a developed solution that not only brings together technologies that automate each process, but also automates the entire flow so that a novice user could easily run a successful campaign from their desktop. This paper presents the technologies, structure, and process flows used to bring this system together. Highlighted will be how the complexity of running a targeted campaign is hidden from the user through technologies, all while providing the benefits of a professionally managed campaign.

  13. High-throughput Screening of ToxCast" Phase I Chemicals in an Embryonic Stem Cell Assay Reveals Potential Disruption of a Critical Developmental Signaling Pathway

    EPA Science Inventory

    Little is known about the developmental toxicity of the expansive chemical landscape in existence today. Significant efforts are being made to apply novel methods to predict developmental activity of chemicals utilizing high-throughput screening (HTS) and high-content screening (...

  14. Dynamic Heterogeneity of DNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation in Embryonic Stem Cell Populations Captured by Single-Cell 3D High-Content Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tajbakhsh, Jian; Stefanovski, Darko; Tang, George; Wawrowsky, Kolja; Liu, Naiyou; Fair, Jeffrey H.

    2015-01-01

    Cell-surface markers and transcription factors are being used in the assessment of stem cell fate and therapeutic safety, but display significant variability in stem cell cultures. We assessed nuclear patterns of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC, associated with pluripotency), a second important epigenetic mark, and its combination with 5-methylcytosine (5mC, associated with differentiation), also in comparison to more established markers of pluripotency (Oct-4) and endodermal differentiation (FoxA2, Sox17) in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) over a ten-day differentiation course in vitro: by means of confocal and super-resolution imaging together with high-content analysis, an essential tool in single-cell screening. In summary: 1) We did not measure any significant correlation of putative markers with global 5mC or 5hmC. 2) While average Oct-4 levels stagnated on a cell-population base (0.015 lnIU per day), Sox17 and FoxA2 increased 22-fold and 3-fold faster, respectively (Sox17:0.343 lnIU/day; FoxA2: 0.046 lnIU/day). In comparison, DNA global methylation levels increased 4-fold faster (0.068 lnIU/day), and global hydroxymethylation declined at 0.046 lnIU/day, both with a better explanation of the temporal profile. 3) This progression was concomitant with the occurrence of distinct nuclear codistribution patterns that represented a heterogeneous spectrum of states in differentiation; converging to three major coexisting 5mC/5hmC phenotypes by day 10: 5hmC+/5mC−, 5hmC+/5mC+, and 5hmC−/5mC+ cells. 4) Using optical nanoscopy we could delineate the respective topologies of 5mC/5hmC colocalization in subregions of nuclear DNA: in the majority of 5hmC+/5mC+ cells 5hmC and 5mC predominantly occupied mutually exclusive territories resembling euchromatic and heterochromatic regions, respectively. Simultaneously, in a smaller subset of cells we observed a tighter colocalization of the two cytosine variants, presumably delineating chromatin domains in remodeling. We

  15. Automated Microbial Metabolism Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Development of the automated microbial metabolism laboratory (AMML) concept is reported. The focus of effort of AMML was on the advanced labeled release experiment. Labeled substrates, inhibitors, and temperatures were investigated to establish a comparative biochemical profile. Profiles at three time intervals on soil and pure cultures of bacteria isolated from soil were prepared to establish a complete library. The development of a strategy for the return of a soil sample from Mars is also reported.

  16. Automated Cooperative Trajectories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanson, Curt; Pahle, Joseph; Brown, Nelson

    2015-01-01

    This presentation is an overview of the Automated Cooperative Trajectories project. An introduction to the phenomena of wake vortices is given, along with a summary of past research into the possibility of extracting energy from the wake by flying close parallel trajectories. Challenges and barriers to adoption of civilian automatic wake surfing technology are identified. A hardware-in-the-loop simulation is described that will support future research. Finally, a roadmap for future research and technology transition is proposed.

  17. Automated RTOP Management System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, P.

    1984-01-01

    The structure of NASA's Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology electronic information system network from 1983 to 1985 is illustrated. The RTOP automated system takes advantage of existing hardware, software, and expertise, and provides: (1) computerized cover sheet and resources forms; (2) electronic signature and transmission; (3) a data-based information system; (4) graphics; (5) intercenter communications; (6) management information; and (7) text editing. The system is coordinated with Headquarters efforts in codes R,E, and T.

  18. Components for automated microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Determann, H.; Hartmann, H.; Schade, K. H.; Stankewitz, H. W.

    1980-12-01

    A number of devices, aiming at automated analysis of microscopic objects as regards their morphometrical parameters or their photometrical values, were developed. These comprise: (1) a device for automatic focusing tuned on maximum contrast; (2) a feedback system for automatic optimization of microscope illumination; and (3) microscope lenses with adjustable pupil distances for usage in the two previous devices. An extensive test program on histological and zytological applications proves the wide application possibilities of the autofocusing device.

  19. Power subsystem automation study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tietz, J. C.; Sewy, D.; Pickering, C.; Sauers, R.

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of the phase 2 of the power subsystem automation study was to demonstrate the feasibility of using computer software to manage an aspect of the electrical power subsystem on a space station. The state of the art in expert systems software was investigated in this study. This effort resulted in the demonstration of prototype expert system software for managing one aspect of a simulated space station power subsystem.

  20. Cavendish Balance Automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, Bryan

    2000-01-01

    This is the final report for a project carried out to modify a manual commercial Cavendish Balance for automated use in cryostat. The scope of this project was to modify an off-the-shelf manually operated Cavendish Balance to allow for automated operation for periods of hours or days in cryostat. The purpose of this modification was to allow the balance to be used in the study of effects of superconducting materials on the local gravitational field strength to determine if the strength of gravitational fields can be reduced. A Cavendish Balance was chosen because it is a fairly simple piece of equipment for measuring gravity, one the least accurately known and least understood physical constants. The principle activities that occurred under this purchase order were: (1) All the components necessary to hold and automate the Cavendish Balance in a cryostat were designed. Engineering drawings were made of custom parts to be fabricated, other off-the-shelf parts were procured; (2) Software was written in LabView to control the automation process via a stepper motor controller and stepper motor, and to collect data from the balance during testing; (3)Software was written to take the data collected from the Cavendish Balance and reduce it to give a value for the gravitational constant; (4) The components of the system were assembled and fitted to a cryostat. Also the LabView hardware including the control computer, stepper motor driver, data collection boards, and necessary cabling were assembled; and (5) The system was operated for a number of periods, data collected, and reduced to give an average value for the gravitational constant.