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Sample records for automated high-content screening

  1. Automated microscopy for high-content RNAi screening

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Fluorescence microscopy is one of the most powerful tools to investigate complex cellular processes such as cell division, cell motility, or intracellular trafficking. The availability of RNA interference (RNAi) technology and automated microscopy has opened the possibility to perform cellular imaging in functional genomics and other large-scale applications. Although imaging often dramatically increases the content of a screening assay, it poses new challenges to achieve accurate quantitative annotation and therefore needs to be carefully adjusted to the specific needs of individual screening applications. In this review, we discuss principles of assay design, large-scale RNAi, microscope automation, and computational data analysis. We highlight strategies for imaging-based RNAi screening adapted to different library and assay designs. PMID:20176920

  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. Step-by-step guide to building an inexpensive 3D printed motorized positioning stage for automated high-content screening microscopy.

    PubMed

    Schneidereit, Dominik; Kraus, Larissa; Meier, Jochen C; Friedrich, Oliver; Gilbert, Daniel F

    2017-06-15

    High-content screening microscopy relies on automation infrastructure that is typically proprietary, non-customizable, costly and requires a high level of skill to use and maintain. The increasing availability of rapid prototyping technology makes it possible to quickly engineer alternatives to conventional automation infrastructure that are low-cost and user-friendly. Here, we describe a 3D printed inexpensive open source and scalable motorized positioning stage for automated high-content screening microscopy and provide detailed step-by-step instructions to re-building the device, including a comprehensive parts list, 3D design files in STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product model data) and STL (Standard Tessellation Language) format, electronic circuits and wiring diagrams as well as software code. System assembly including 3D printing requires approx. 30h. The fully assembled device is light-weight (1.1kg), small (33×20×8cm) and extremely low-cost (approx. EUR 250). We describe positioning characteristics of the stage, including spatial resolution, accuracy and repeatability, compare imaging data generated with our device to data obtained using a commercially available microplate reader, demonstrate its suitability to high-content microscopy in 96-well high-throughput screening format and validate its applicability to automated functional Cl(-)- and Ca(2+)-imaging with recombinant HEK293 cells as a model system. A time-lapse video of the stage during operation and as part of a custom assembled screening robot can be found at https://vimeo.com/158813199. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. A High-Content Assay Enables the Automated Screening and Identification of Small Molecules with Specific ALDH1A1-Inhibitory Activity

    PubMed Central

    Yasgar, Adam; Titus, Steven A.; Wang, Yuhong; Danchik, Carina; Yang, Shyh-Ming; Vasiliou, Vasilis; Jadhav, Ajit; Maloney, David J.; Simeonov, Anton

    2017-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes (ALDHs) have a broad spectrum of biological activities through the oxidation of both endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. Increased expression of ALDH1A1 has been identified in a wide-range of human cancer stem cells and is associated with cancer relapse and poor prognosis, raising the potential of ALDH1A1 as a therapeutic target. To facilitate quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) campaigns for the discovery, characterization and structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies of small molecule ALDH1A1 inhibitors with cellular activity, we show herein the miniaturization to 1536-well format and automation of a high-content cell-based ALDEFLUOR assay. We demonstrate the utility of this assay by generating dose-response curves on a comprehensive set of prior art inhibitors as well as hundreds of ALDH1A1 inhibitors synthesized in house. Finally, we established a screening paradigm using a pair of cell lines with low and high ALDH1A1 expression, respectively, to uncover novel cell-active ALDH1A1-specific inhibitors from a collection of over 1,000 small molecules. PMID:28129349

  6. A High-Content Assay Enables the Automated Screening and Identification of Small Molecules with Specific ALDH1A1-Inhibitory Activity.

    PubMed

    Yasgar, Adam; Titus, Steven A; Wang, Yuhong; Danchik, Carina; Yang, Shyh-Ming; Vasiliou, Vasilis; Jadhav, Ajit; Maloney, David J; Simeonov, Anton; Martinez, Natalia J

    2017-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes (ALDHs) have a broad spectrum of biological activities through the oxidation of both endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. Increased expression of ALDH1A1 has been identified in a wide-range of human cancer stem cells and is associated with cancer relapse and poor prognosis, raising the potential of ALDH1A1 as a therapeutic target. To facilitate quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) campaigns for the discovery, characterization and structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies of small molecule ALDH1A1 inhibitors with cellular activity, we show herein the miniaturization to 1536-well format and automation of a high-content cell-based ALDEFLUOR assay. We demonstrate the utility of this assay by generating dose-response curves on a comprehensive set of prior art inhibitors as well as hundreds of ALDH1A1 inhibitors synthesized in house. Finally, we established a screening paradigm using a pair of cell lines with low and high ALDH1A1 expression, respectively, to uncover novel cell-active ALDH1A1-specific inhibitors from a collection of over 1,000 small molecules.

  7. The beautiful cell: high-content screening in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Bickle, Marc

    2010-09-01

    The term "high-content screening" has become synonymous with imaging screens using automated microscopes and automated image analysis. The term was coined a little over 10 years ago. Since then the technology has evolved considerably and has established itself firmly in the drug discovery and development industry. Both the instruments and the software controlling the instruments and analyzing the data have come to maturity, so the full benefits of high-content screening can now be realized. Those benefits are the capability of carrying out phenotypic multiparametric cellular assays in an unbiased, fully automated, and quantitative fashion. Automated microscopes and automated image analysis are being applied at all stages of the drug discovery and development pipeline. All major pharmaceutical companies have adopted the technology and it is in the process of being embraced broadly by the academic community. This review aims at describing the current capabilities and limits of the technology as well as highlighting necessary developments that are required to exploit fully the potential of high-content screening and analysis.

  8. High Content Screening in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Shushant; van Kesteren, Ronald E.; Heutink, Peter

    2012-01-01

    neurodegenerative diseases such as axonal transport deficits or alterations in morphology properties13, 14. This approach could not be used to investigate the dynamic nature of cellular processes or pathogenic events that occur in a subset of cells. To quantify such features one has to move to multi-dimensional phenotypes termed high-content screening (HCS)4, 15-17. HCS is the cell-based quantification of several processes simultaneously, which provides a more detailed representation of the cellular response to various perturbations compared to HTS. HCS has many advantages over HTS18, 19, but conducting a high-throughput (HT)-high-content (HC) screen in neuronal models is problematic due to high cost, environmental variation and human error. In order to detect cellular responses on a 'phenomics' scale using HC imaging one has to reduce variation and error, while increasing sensitivity and reproducibility. Herein we describe a method to accurately and reliably conduct shRNA screens using automated cell culturing20 and HC imaging in neuronal cellular models. We describe how we have used this methodology to identify modulators for one particular protein, DJ1, which when mutated causes autosomal recessive parkinsonism21. Combining the versatility of HC imaging with HT methods, it is possible to accurately quantify a plethora of phenotypes. This could subsequently be utilized to advance our understanding of the genome, the pathways involved in disease pathogenesis as well as identify potential therapeutic targets. PMID:22257990

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  11. Increasing the Content of High-Content Screening

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Shantanu; Genovesio, Auguste

    2014-01-01

    Target-based high-throughput screening (HTS) has recently been critiqued for its relatively poor yield compared to phenotypic screening approaches. One type of phenotypic screening, image-based high-content screening (HCS), has been seen as particularly promising. In this article, we assess whether HCS is as high content as it can be. We analyze HCS publications and find that although the number of HCS experiments published each year continues to grow steadily, the information content lags behind. We find that a majority of high-content screens published so far (60−80%) made use of only one or two image-based features measured from each sample and disregarded the distribution of those features among each cell population. We discuss several potential explanations, focusing on the hypothesis that data analysis traditions are to blame. This includes practical problems related to managing large and multidimensional HCS data sets as well as the adoption of assay quality statistics from HTS to HCS. Both may have led to the simplification or systematic rejection of assays carrying complex and valuable phenotypic information. We predict that advanced data analysis methods that enable full multiparametric data to be harvested for entire cell populations will enable HCS to finally reach its potential. PMID:24710339

  12. Functional genomic and high-content screening for target discovery and deconvolution

    PubMed Central

    Heynen-Genel, Susanne; Pache, Lars; Chanda, Sumit K

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Functional genomic screens apply knowledge gained from the sequencing of the human genome toward rapid methods of identifying genes involved in cellular function based on a specific phenotype. This approach has been made possible through the use of advances in both molecular biology and automation. The utility of this approach has been further enhanced through the application of image-based high content screening, an automated microscopy and quantitative image analysis platform. These approaches can significantly enhance acquisition of novel targets for drug discovery. Areas covered Both the utility and potential issues associated with functional genomic screening approaches are discussed along with examples that illustrate both. The considerations for high content screening applied to functional genomics are also presented. Expert opinion Functional genomic and high content screening are extremely useful in the identification of new drug targets. However, the technical, experimental, and computational parameters have an enormous influence on the results. Thus, although new targets are identified, caution should be applied toward interpretation of screening data in isolation. Genomic screens should be viewed as an integral component of a target identification campaign that requires both the acquisition of orthogonal data, as well as a rigorous validation strategy. PMID:22860749

  13. RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization for high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Querido, Emmanuelle; Dekakra-Bellili, Lynda; Chartrand, Pascal

    2017-08-15

    Single molecule RNA imaging using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) can provide quantitative information on mRNA abundance and localization in a single cell. There is now a growing interest in screening for modifiers of RNA abundance and/or localization. For instance, microsatellite expansion within RNA can lead to toxic gain-of-function via mislocalization of these transcripts into RNA aggregate and sequestration of RNA-binding proteins. Screening for inhibitors of these RNA aggregate can be performed by high-throughput RNA FISH. Here we describe detailed methods to perform single molecule RNA FISH in multiwell plates for high-content screening (HCS) microscopy. We include protocols adapted for HCS with either standard RNA FISH with fluorescent oligonucleotide probes or the recent single molecule inexpensive FISH (smiFISH). Recommendations for success in HCS microscopy with high magnification objectives are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Facilitating drug discovery: an automated high-content inflammation assay in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Wittmann, Christine; Reischl, Markus; Shah, Asmi H; Mikut, Ralf; Liebel, Urban; Grabher, Clemens

    2012-07-16

    Zebrafish larvae are particularly amenable to whole animal small molecule screens due to their small size and relative ease of manipulation and observation, as well as the fact that compounds can simply be added to the bathing water and are readily absorbed when administered in a <1% DMSO solution. Due to the optical clarity of zebrafish larvae and the availability of transgenic lines expressing fluorescent proteins in leukocytes, zebrafish offer the unique advantage of monitoring an acute inflammatory response in vivo. Consequently, utilizing the zebrafish for high-content small molecule screens aiming at the identification of immune-modulatory compounds with high throughput has been proposed, suggesting inflammation induction scenarios e.g. localized nicks in fin tissue, laser damage directed to the yolk surface of embryos or tailfin amputation. The major drawback of these methods however was the requirement of manual larva manipulation to induce wounding, thus preventing high-throughput screening. Introduction of the chemically induced inflammation (ChIn) assay eliminated these obstacles. Since wounding is inflicted chemically the number of embryos that can be treated simultaneously is virtually unlimited. Temporary treatment of zebrafish larvae with copper sulfate selectively induces cell death in hair cells of the lateral line system and results in rapid granulocyte recruitment to injured neuromasts. The inflammatory response can be followed in real-time by using compound transgenic cldnB::GFP/lysC::DsRED2 zebrafish larvae that express a green fluorescent protein in neuromast cells, as well as a red fluorescent protein labeling granulocytes. In order to devise a screening strategy that would allow both high-content and high-throughput analyses we introduced robotic liquid handling and combined automated microscopy with a custom developed software script. This script enables automated quantification of the inflammatory response by scoring the percent area

  15. 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.

  16. Active Learning Strategies for Phenotypic Profiling of High-Content Screens.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kevin; Horvath, Peter

    2014-06-01

    High-content screening is a powerful method to discover new drugs and carry out basic biological research. Increasingly, high-content screens have come to rely on supervised machine learning (SML) to perform automatic phenotypic classification as an essential step of the analysis. However, this comes at a cost, namely, the labeled examples required to train the predictive model. Classification performance increases with the number of labeled examples, and because labeling examples demands time from an expert, the training process represents a significant time investment. Active learning strategies attempt to overcome this bottleneck by presenting the most relevant examples to the annotator, thereby achieving high accuracy while minimizing the cost of obtaining labeled data. In this article, we investigate the impact of active learning on single-cell-based phenotype recognition, using data from three large-scale RNA interference high-content screens representing diverse phenotypic profiling problems. We consider several combinations of active learning strategies and popular SML methods. Our results show that active learning significantly reduces the time cost and can be used to reveal the same phenotypic targets identified using SML. We also identify combinations of active learning strategies and SML methods which perform better than others on the phenotypic profiling problems we studied. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  17. 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. High-content screening as a universal tool for fingerprinting of cytotoxicity of nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Jan, Edward; Byrne, Stephen J; Cuddihy, Meghan; Davies, Anthony M; Volkov, Yuri; Gun'ko, Yurii K; Kotov, Nicholas A

    2008-05-01

    Recent advances and progress in nanobiotechnology have demonstrated many nanoparticles (NPs) as potential and novel drug delivery vehicles, therapeutic agents, and contrast agents and luminescent biological labels for bioimaging. The emergence of new biomedical applications based on NPs signifies the need to understand, compare, and manage their cytotoxicity. In this study, we demonstrated the use of high-content screening assay (HCA) as a universal tool to probe the cytotoxicity of NPs and specifically cadmium telluride quantum dots (CdTe QDs) and gold NPs (Au NPs) in NG108-15 murine neuroblastoma cells and HepG2 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Neural cells represent special interest for NP-induced cytotoxicity because the optical and electrical functionalities of materials necessary for neural imaging and interfacing are matched well with the properties of many NPs. In addition, the cellular morphology of neurons is particularly suitable for automated high content screening. HepG2 cells represent a good model for high content screening studies since they are commonly used as a surrogate for human hepatocytes in pharmaceutical studies. We found the CdTe QDs to induce primarily apoptotic response in a time- and dosage-dependent manner and produce different toxicological profiles and responses in undifferentiated and differentiated neural cells. Au NPs were found to inhibit the proliferation and intracellular calcium release of HepG2 cells.

  1. An oral multispecies biofilm model for high content screening applications

    PubMed Central

    Kommerein, Nadine; Stumpp, Sascha N.; Müsken, Mathias; Ehlert, Nina; Winkel, Andreas; Häussler, Susanne; Behrens, Peter; Buettner, Falk F. R.; Stiesch, Meike

    2017-01-01

    Peri-implantitis caused by multispecies biofilms is a major complication in dental implant treatment. The bacterial infection surrounding dental implants can lead to bone loss and, in turn, to implant failure. A promising strategy to prevent these common complications is the development of implant surfaces that inhibit biofilm development. A reproducible and easy-to-use biofilm model as a test system for large scale screening of new implant surfaces with putative antibacterial potency is therefore of major importance. In the present study, we developed a highly reproducible in vitro four-species biofilm model consisting of the highly relevant oral bacterial species Streptococcus oralis, Actinomyces naeslundii, Veillonella dispar and Porphyromonas gingivalis. The application of live/dead staining, quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and urea-NaCl fluorescence in situ hybridization (urea-NaCl-FISH) revealed that the four-species biofilm community is robust in terms of biovolume, live/dead distribution and individual species distribution over time. The biofilm community is dominated by S. oralis, followed by V. dispar, A. naeslundii and P. gingivalis. The percentage distribution in this model closely reflects the situation in early native plaques and is therefore well suited as an in vitro model test system. Furthermore, despite its nearly native composition, the multispecies model does not depend on nutrient additives, such as native human saliva or serum, and is an inexpensive, easy to handle and highly reproducible alternative to the available model systems. The 96-well plate format enables high content screening for optimized implant surfaces impeding biofilm formation or the testing of multiple antimicrobial treatment strategies to fight multispecies biofilm infections, both exemplary proven in the manuscript. PMID:28296966

  2. Open Source High Content Analysis Utilizing Automated Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Sean C.; Alibhai, Dominic; West, Lucien; Kumar, Sunil; Alexandrov, Yuriy; Munro, Ian; Garcia, Edwin; McGinty, James; Talbot, Clifford; Serwa, Remigiusz A.; Thinon, Emmanuelle; da Paola, Vincenzo; Murray, Edward J.; Stuhmeier, Frank; Neil, Mark A. A.; Tate, Edward W.; Dunsby, Christopher; French, Paul M. W.

    2017-01-01

    We present an open source high content analysis instrument utilizing automated fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) for assaying protein interactions using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) based readouts of fixed or live cells in multiwell plates. This provides a means to screen for cell signaling processes read out using intramolecular FRET biosensors or intermolecular FRET of protein interactions such as oligomerization or heterodimerization, which can be used to identify binding partners. We describe here the functionality of this automated multiwell plate FLIM instrumentation and present exemplar data from our studies of HIV Gag protein oligomerization and a time course of a FRET biosensor in live cells. A detailed description of the practical implementation is then provided with reference to a list of hardware components and a description of the open source data acquisition software written in µManager. The application of FLIMfit, an open source MATLAB-based client for the OMERO platform, to analyze arrays of multiwell plate FLIM data is also presented. The protocols for imaging fixed and live cells are outlined and a demonstration of an automated multiwell plate FLIM experiment using cells expressing fluorescent protein-based FRET constructs is presented. This is complemented by a walk-through of the data analysis for this specific FLIM FRET data set. PMID:28190060

  3. Open Source High Content Analysis Utilizing Automated Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Görlitz, Frederik; Kelly, Douglas J; Warren, Sean C; Alibhai, Dominic; West, Lucien; Kumar, Sunil; Alexandrov, Yuriy; Munro, Ian; Garcia, Edwin; McGinty, James; Talbot, Clifford; Serwa, Remigiusz A; Thinon, Emmanuelle; da Paola, Vincenzo; Murray, Edward J; Stuhmeier, Frank; Neil, Mark A A; Tate, Edward W; Dunsby, Christopher; French, Paul M W

    2017-01-18

    We present an open source high content analysis instrument utilizing automated fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) for assaying protein interactions using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) based readouts of fixed or live cells in multiwell plates. This provides a means to screen for cell signaling processes read out using intramolecular FRET biosensors or intermolecular FRET of protein interactions such as oligomerization or heterodimerization, which can be used to identify binding partners. We describe here the functionality of this automated multiwell plate FLIM instrumentation and present exemplar data from our studies of HIV Gag protein oligomerization and a time course of a FRET biosensor in live cells. A detailed description of the practical implementation is then provided with reference to a list of hardware components and a description of the open source data acquisition software written in µManager. The application of FLIMfit, an open source MATLAB-based client for the OMERO platform, to analyze arrays of multiwell plate FLIM data is also presented. The protocols for imaging fixed and live cells are outlined and a demonstration of an automated multiwell plate FLIM experiment using cells expressing fluorescent protein-based FRET constructs is presented. This is complemented by a walk-through of the data analysis for this specific FLIM FRET data set.

  4. High Content Screening as High Quality Assay for Biological Evaluation of Photosensitizers In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Vaz, Gisela M. F.; Paszko, Edyta; Davies, Anthony M.; Senge, Mathias O.

    2013-01-01

    A novel single step assay approach to screen a library of photdynamic therapy (PDT) compounds was developed. Utilizing high content analysis (HCA) technologies several robust cellular parameters were identified, which can be used to determine the phototoxic effects of porphyrin compounds which have been developed as potential anticancer agents directed against esophageal carcinoma. To demonstrate the proof of principle of this approach a small detailed study on five porphyrin based compounds was performed utilizing two relevant esophageal cancer cell lines (OE21 and SKGT-4). The measurable outputs from these early studies were then evaluated by performing a pilot screen using a set of 22 compounds. These data were evaluated and validated by performing comparative studies using a traditional colorimetric assay (MTT). The studies demonstrated that the HCS assay offers significant advantages over and above the currently used methods (directly related to the intracellular presence of the compounds by analysis of their integrated intensity and area within the cells). A high correlation was found between the high content screening (HCS) and MTT data. However, the HCS approach provides additional information that allows a better understanding of the behavior of these compounds when interacting at the cellular level. This is the first step towards an automated high-throughput screening of photosensitizer drug candidates and the beginnings of an integrated and comprehensive quantitative structure action relationship (QSAR) study for photosensitizer libraries. PMID:23923014

  5. Potential of label-free detection in high-content-screening applications.

    PubMed

    Proll, Guenther; Steinle, Lutz; Pröll, Florian; Kumpf, Michael; Moehrle, Bernd; Mehlmann, Martin; Gauglitz, Guenter

    2007-08-17

    The classical approach of high-content screening (HCS) is based on multiplexed, functional cell-based screening and combines several analytical technologies that have been used before separately to achieve a better level of automation (scale-up) and higher throughput. New HCS methods will help to overcome the bottlenecks, e.g. in the present development chain for lead structures for the pharmaceutical industry or during the identification and validation process of new biomarkers. In addition, there is a strong need in analytical and bioanalytical chemistry for functional high-content assays which can be provided by different hyphenated techniques. This review discusses the potential of a label-free optical biosensor based on reflectometric interference spectroscopy (RIfS) as a bridging technology for different HCS approaches. Technical requirements of RIfS are critically assessed by means of selected applications and compared to the performance characteristics of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) which is currently the leading technology in the area of label-free optical biosensors.

  6. A Multivariate Computational Method to Analyze High-Content RNAi Screening Data.

    PubMed

    Rameseder, Jonathan; Krismer, Konstantin; Dayma, Yogesh; Ehrenberger, Tobias; Hwang, Mun Kyung; Airoldi, Edoardo M; Floyd, Scott R; Yaffe, Michael B

    2015-09-01

    High-content screening (HCS) using RNA interference (RNAi) in combination with automated microscopy is a powerful investigative tool to explore complex biological processes. However, despite the plethora of data generated from these screens, little progress has been made in analyzing HC data using multivariate methods that exploit the full richness of multidimensional data. We developed a novel multivariate method for HCS, multivariate robust analysis method (M-RAM), integrating image feature selection with ranking of perturbations for hit identification, and applied this method to an HC RNAi screen to discover novel components of the DNA damage response in an osteosarcoma cell line. M-RAM automatically selects the most informative phenotypic readouts and time points to facilitate the more efficient design of follow-up experiments and enhance biological understanding. Our method outperforms univariate hit identification and identifies relevant genes that these approaches would have missed. We found that statistical cell-to-cell variation in phenotypic responses is an important predictor of hits in RNAi-directed image-based screens. Genes that we identified as modulators of DNA damage signaling in U2OS cells include B-Raf, a cancer driver gene in multiple tumor types, whose role in DNA damage signaling we confirm experimentally, and multiple subunits of protein kinase A.

  7. A multivariate computational method to analyze high-content RNAi screening data

    PubMed Central

    Rameseder, Jonathan; Krismer, Konstantin; Dayma, Yogesh; Ehrenberger, Tobias; Hwang, Mun Kyung; Airoldi, Edoardo M.; Floyd, Scott R.; Yaffe, Michael B.

    2017-01-01

    High-content screening (HCS) using RNA interference (RNAi) in combination with automated microscopy is a powerful investigative tool to explore complex biological processes. However, despite the plethora of data generated from these screens, little progress has been made in analyzing HC data using multivariate methods that exploit the full richness of multidimensional data. We developed a novel multivariate method for HCS, Multivariate Robust Analysis Method (M-RAM), integrating image feature selection with ranking of perturbations for hit identification, and applied this method to a HC RNAi screen to discover novel components of the DNA damage response in an osteosarcoma cell line. M-RAM automatically selects the most informative phenotypic readouts and time points to facilitate the more efficient design of follow-up experiments and enhance biological understanding. Our method outperforms univariate hit identification and identifies relevant genes that these approaches would have missed. We found that statistical cell-to-cell variation in phenotypic responses is an important predictor of ‘hits’ in RNAi-directed image-based screens. Genes that we identified as modulators of DNA damage signaling in U2OS cells include B-Raf, a cancer driver gene in multiple tumor types, whose role in DNA damage signaling we confirm experimentally, and multiple subunits of protein kinase A. PMID:25918037

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Advances in Predictive Toxicology for Discovery Safety through High Content Screening.

    PubMed

    Persson, Mikael; Hornberg, Jorrit J

    2016-12-19

    High content screening enables parallel acquisition of multiple molecular and cellular readouts. In particular the predictive toxicology field has progressed from the advances in high content screening, as more refined end points that report on cellular health can be studied in combination, at the single cell level, and in relatively high throughput. Here, we discuss how high content screening has become an essential tool for Discovery Safety, the discipline that integrates safety and toxicology in the drug discovery process to identify and mitigate safety concerns with the aim to design drug candidates with a superior safety profile. In addition to customized mechanistic assays to evaluate target safety, routine screening assays can be applied to identify risk factors for frequently occurring organ toxicities. We discuss the current state of high content screening assays for hepatotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and genotoxicity, including recent developments and current advances.

  12. Rapid 3-D delineation of cell nuclei for high-content screening platforms.

    PubMed

    Gertych, Arkadiusz; Ma, Zhaoxuan; Tajbakhsh, Jian; Velásquez-Vacca, Adriana; Knudsen, Beatrice S

    2016-02-01

    High-resolution three-dimensional (3-D) microscopy combined with multiplexing of fluorescent labels allows high-content analysis of large numbers of cell nuclei. The full automation of 3-D screening platforms necessitates image processing algorithms that can accurately and robustly delineate nuclei in images with little to no human intervention. Imaging-based high-content screening was originally developed as a powerful tool for drug discovery. However, cell confluency, complexity of nuclear staining as well as poor contrast between nuclei and background result in slow and unreliable 3-D image processing and therefore negatively affect the performance of studying a drug response. Here, we propose a new method, 3D-RSD, to delineate nuclei by means of 3-D radial symmetries and test it on high-resolution image data of human cancer cells treated by drugs. The nuclei detection performance was evaluated by means of manually generated ground truth from 2351 nuclei (27 confocal stacks). When compared to three other nuclei segmentation methods, 3D-RSD possessed a better true positive rate of 83.3% and F-score of 0.895±0.045 (p-value=0.047). Altogether, 3D-RSD is a method with a very good overall segmentation performance. Furthermore, implementation of radial symmetries offers good processing speed, and makes 3D-RSD less sensitive to staining patterns. In particular, the 3D-RSD method performs well in cell lines, which are often used in imaging-based HCS platforms and are afflicted by nuclear crowding and overlaps that hinder feature extraction.

  13. Rapid 3-D delineation of cell nuclei for high-content screening platforms

    PubMed Central

    Gertych, Arkadiusz; Ma, Zhaoxuan; Tajbakhsh, Jian; Velásquez-Vacca, Adriana; Knudsen, Beatrice S.

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution three-dimensional (3-D) microscopy combined with multiplexing of fluorescent labels allows high-content analysis of large numbers of cell nuclei. The full automation of 3-D screening platforms necessitates image processing algorithms that can accurately and robustly delineate nuclei in images with little to no human intervention. Imaging-based high-content screening was originally developed as a powerful tool for drug discovery. However, cell confluency, complexity of nuclear staining as well as poor contrast between nuclei and background result in slow and unreliable 3-D image processing and therefore negatively affect the performance of studying a drug response. Here, we propose a new method, 3D-RSD, to delineate nuclei by means of 3-D radial symmetries and test it on high-resolution image data of human cancer cells treated by drugs. The nuclei detection performance was evaluated by means of manually generated ground truth from 2351 nuclei (27 confocal stacks). When compared to three other nuclei segmentation methods, 3D-RSD possessed a better true positive rate of 83.3% and F-score of 0.895+/-0.045 (p- value=0.047). Altogether, 3D-RSD is a method with a very good overall segmentation performance. Furthermore, implementation of radial symmetries offers good processing speed, and makes 3D-RSD less sensitive to staining patterns. In particular the 3D-RSG method performs well in cell lines, which are often used in imaging-based HCS platforms and are afflicted by nuclear crowding and overlaps that hinder feature extraction. PMID:25982066

  14. G protein-coupled receptor internalization assays in the high-content screening format.

    PubMed

    Haasen, Dorothea; Schnapp, Andreas; Valler, Martin J; Heilker, Ralf

    2006-01-01

    High-content screening (HCS), a combination of fluorescence microscopic imaging and automated image analysis, has become a frequently applied tool to study test compound effects in cellular disease-modeling systems. This chapter describes the measurement of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) internalization in the HCS format using a high-throughput, confocal cellular imaging device. GPCRs are the most successful group of therapeutic targets on the pharmaceutical market. Accordingly, the search for compounds that interfere with GPCR function in a specific and selective way is a major focus of the pharmaceutical industry today. This chapter describes methods for the ligand-induced internalization of GPCRs labeled previously with either a fluorophore-conjugated ligand or an antibody directed against an N-terminal tag of the GPCR. Both labeling techniques produce robust assay formats. Complementary to other functional GPCR drug discovery assays, internalization assays enable a pharmacological analysis of test compounds. We conclude that GPCR internalization assays represent a valuable medium/high-throughput screening format to determine the cellular activity of GPCR ligands.

  15. High-content screening technology for studying drug-induced hepatotoxicity in cell models.

    PubMed

    Tolosa, Laia; Gómez-Lechón, M José; Donato, M Teresa

    2015-07-01

    High-content screening is the application of automated microscopy and image analysis to both cell biology and drug discovery. Over the last decade, this technique has emerged as a useful technology that allows the simultaneous measurement of different parameters at a single-cell level. Hepatotoxicity is a compelling reason for drug nonapprovals and withdrawals. It is recognized that the safety of a compound cannot be based on a single in vitro assay, and existing methods are not predictive of drug-induced toxicity. However, different HCS assays have been recently demonstrated as being powerful for identifying different mechanisms implicated in drug-induced toxicity with high sensitivity and specificity. These assays integrate the data obtained from different cell function indicators and can be easily incorporated into basic screening processes for the safety evaluation and selection of drug candidates; thus, they contribute greatly to lessen the likelihood of drug failure. Exploring the use of cellular imaging technology in drug-induced liver injury by reviewing the different tests proposed provides evidence that this technology has a strong impact on drug discovery.

  16. High-content phenotypic screening and triaging strategy to identify small molecules driving oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Peppard, Jane V; Rugg, Catherine A; Smicker, Matthew A; Powers, Elaine; Harnish, Erica; Prisco, Joy; Cirovic, Dragan; Wright, Paul S; August, Paul R; Chandross, Karen J

    2015-03-01

    Multiple Sclerosis is a demyelinating disease of the CNS and the primary cause of neurological disability in young adults. Loss of myelinating oligodendrocytes leads to neuronal dysfunction and death and is an important contributing factor to this disease. Endogenous oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), which on differentiation are responsible for replacing myelin, are present in the adult CNS. As such, therapeutic agents that can stimulate OPCs to differentiate and remyelinate demyelinated axons under pathologic conditions may improve neuronal function and clinical outcome. We describe the details of an automated, cell-based, morphometric-based, high-content screen that is used to identify small molecules eliciting the differentiation of OPCs after 3 days. Primary screening was performed using rat CG-4 cells maintained in culture conditions that normally support a progenitor cell-like state. From a library of 73,000 diverse small molecules within the Sanofi collection, 342 compounds were identified that increased OPC morphological complexity as an indicator of oligodendrocyte maturation. Subsequent to the primary high-content screen, a suite of cellular assays was established that identified 22 nontoxic compounds that selectively stimulated primary rat OPCs but not C2C12 muscle cell differentiation. This rigorous triaging yielded several chemical series for further expansion and bio- or cheminformatics studies, and their compelling biological activity merits further investigation. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. A morphology- and kinetics-based cascade for human neural cell high content screening.

    PubMed

    Richards, Gillian R; Smith, Alison J; Parry, Frances; Platts, Amy; Chan, Grace K Y; Leveridge, Mathew; Kerby, Julie E; Simpson, Peter B

    2006-04-01

    The prospect of manipulating endogenous neural stem cells to replace damaged tissue and correct functional deficits represents a novel mechanism for treating a variety of central nervous system disorders. Using human neural precursor cultures and a variety of assays for studying stem cell behavior we have screened two libraries of commercially available compounds using an endpoint high content screening assay. We then performed detailed follow-up mechanistic studies on confirmed hits using endpoint and kinetics assays to characterize and differentiate the mechanisms of action of these compounds. The screening cascade employed successfully identified a number of active compounds with differing mechanisms of action. This approach shows how hits from a phenotypic screen can be prioritized and characterized by high content screening to identify potentially novel mechanisms and druggable targets to take forward into more conventional high-throughput screening approaches.

  20. Graph cut and image intensity-based splitting improves nuclei segmentation in high-content screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farhan, Muhammad; Ruusuvuori, Pekka; Emmenlauer, Mario; Rämö, Pauli; Yli-Harja, Olli; Dehio, Christoph

    2013-02-01

    Quantification of phenotypes in high-content screening experiments depends on the accuracy of single cell analysis. In such analysis workflows, cell nuclei segmentation is typically the first step and is followed by cell body segmentation, feature extraction, and subsequent data analysis workflows. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the first steps of high-content analysis are done accurately in order to guarantee correctness of the final analysis results. In this paper, we present a novel cell nuclei image segmentation framework which exploits robustness of graph cut to obtain initial segmentation for image intensity-based clump splitting method to deliver the accurate overall segmentation. By using quantitative benchmarks and qualitative comparison with real images from high-content screening experiments with complicated multinucleate cells, we show that our method outperforms other state-of-the-art nuclei segmentation methods. Moreover, we provide a modular and easy-to-use implementation of the method for a widely used platform.

  1. 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....

  2. 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....

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Automated analysis of high-content microscopy data with deep learning.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Oren Z; Grys, Ben T; Ba, Jimmy; Chong, Yolanda; Frey, Brendan J; Boone, Charles; Andrews, Brenda J

    2017-04-18

    Existing computational pipelines for quantitative analysis of high-content microscopy data rely on traditional machine learning approaches that fail to accurately classify more than a single dataset without substantial tuning and training, requiring extensive analysis. Here, we demonstrate that the application of deep learning to biological image data can overcome the pitfalls associated with conventional machine learning classifiers. Using a deep convolutional neural network (DeepLoc) to analyze yeast cell images, we show improved performance over traditional approaches in the automated classification of protein subcellular localization. We also demonstrate the ability of DeepLoc to classify highly divergent image sets, including images of pheromone-arrested cells with abnormal cellular morphology, as well as images generated in different genetic backgrounds and in different laboratories. We offer an open-source implementation that enables updating DeepLoc on new microscopy datasets. This study highlights deep learning as an important tool for the expedited analysis of high-content microscopy data. © 2017 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.

  6. A deep learning and novelty detection framework for rapid phenotyping in high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Christoph; Hoefler, Rudolf; Samwer, Matthias; Gerlich, Daniel W

    2017-09-27

    Supervised machine learning is a powerful and widely used method to analyze high-content screening data. Despite its accuracy, efficiency, and versatility, supervised machine learning has drawbacks, most notably its dependence on a priori knowledge of expected phenotypes and time-consuming classifier training. We provide a solution to these limitations with CellCognition Explorer, a generic novelty detection and deep learning framework. Application to several large-scale screening data sets on nuclear and mitotic cell morphologies demonstrates that CellCognition Explorer enables discovery of rare phenotypes without user training, which has broad implications for improved assay development in high-content screening. © 2017 by The American Society for Cell Biology.

  7. An Image-Based High-Content Screening Assay for Compounds Targeting Intracellular Leishmania donovani Amastigotes in Human Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Gyongseon; Lee, Changbok; Moon, Hong Kee; Chatelain, Eric; Genovesio, Auguste; Cechetto, Jonathan; Freitas-Junior, Lucio H.

    2012-01-01

    Leishmaniasis is a tropical disease threatening 350 million people from endemic regions. The available drugs for treatment are inadequate, with limitations such as serious side effects, parasite resistance or high cost. Driven by this need for new drugs, we developed a high-content, high-throughput image-based screening assay targeting the intracellular amastigote stage of different species of Leishmania in infected human macrophages. The in vitro infection protocol was adapted to a 384-well-plate format, enabling acquisition of a large amount of readouts by automated confocal microscopy. The reading method was based on DNA staining and required the development of a customized algorithm to analyze the images, which enabled the use of non-modified parasites. The automated analysis generated parameters used to quantify compound activity, including infection ratio as well as the number of intracellular amastigote parasites and yielded cytotoxicity information based on the number of host cells. Comparison of this assay with one that used the promastigote form to screen 26,500 compounds showed that 50% of the hits selected against the intracellular amastigote were not selected in the promastigote screening. These data corroborate the idea that the intracellular amastigote form of the parasite is the most appropriate to be used in primary screening assay for Leishmania. PMID:22720099

  8. High-content analysis screening for cell cycle regulators using arrayed synthetic crRNA libraries.

    PubMed

    Strezoska, Žaklina; Perkett, Matthew R; Chou, Eldon T; Maksimova, Elena; Anderson, Emily M; McClelland, Shawn; Kelley, Melissa L; Vermeulen, Annaleen; Smith, Anja van Brabant

    2017-06-10

    The CRISPR-Cas9 system has been utilized for large-scale, loss-of-function screens mainly using lentiviral pooled formats and cell-survival phenotypic assays. Screening in an arrayed format expands the types of phenotypic readouts that can be used to now include high-content, morphology-based assays, and with the recent availability of synthetic crRNA libraries, new studies are emerging. Here, we use a cell cycle reporter cell line to perform an arrayed, synthetic crRNA:tracrRNA screen targeting 169 genes (>600 crRNAs) and used high content analysis (HCA) to identify genes that regulate the cell cycle. Seven parameters were used to classify cells into cell cycle categories and multiple parameters were combined using a new analysis technique to identify hits. Comprehensive hit follow-up experiments included target gene expression analysis, confirmation of DNA insertions/deletions, and validation with orthogonal reagents. Our results show that most hits had three or more independent crRNAs per gene that demonstrated a phenotype with consistent individual parameters, indicating that our screen produced high-confidence hits with low off-target effects and allowed us to identify hits with more subtle phenotypes. The results of our screen demonstrate the power of using arrayed, synthetic crRNAs for functional phenotypic screening using multiparameter HCA assays. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. The development of high-content screening (HCS) technology and its importance to drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Fraietta, Ivan; Gasparri, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    High-content screening (HCS) was introduced about twenty years ago as a promising analytical approach to facilitate some critical aspects of drug discovery. Its application has spread progressively within the pharmaceutical industry and academia to the point that it today represents a fundamental tool in supporting drug discovery and development. Here, the authors review some of significant progress in the HCS field in terms of biological models and assay readouts. They highlight the importance of high-content screening in drug discovery, as testified by its numerous applications in a variety of therapeutic areas: oncology, infective diseases, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. They also dissect the role of HCS technology in different phases of the drug discovery pipeline: target identification, primary compound screening, secondary assays, mechanism of action studies and in vitro toxicology. Recent advances in cellular assay technologies, such as the introduction of three-dimensional (3D) cultures, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and genome editing technologies (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9), have tremendously expanded the potential of high-content assays to contribute to the drug discovery process. Increasingly predictive cellular models and readouts, together with the development of more sophisticated and affordable HCS readers, will further consolidate the role of HCS technology in drug discovery.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-17

    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.

  12. Whole Organism High-Content Screening by Label-Free, Image-Based Bayesian Classification for Parasitic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Paveley, Ross A.; Mansour, Nuha R.; Hallyburton, Irene; Bleicher, Leo S.; Benn, Alex E.; Mikic, Ivana; Guidi, Alessandra; Gilbert, Ian H.; Hopkins, Andrew L.; Bickle, Quentin D.

    2012-01-01

    Sole reliance on one drug, Praziquantel, for treatment and control of schistosomiasis raises concerns about development of widespread resistance, prompting renewed interest in the discovery of new anthelmintics. To discover new leads we designed an automated label-free, high content-based, high throughput screen (HTS) to assess drug-induced effects on in vitro cultured larvae (schistosomula) using bright-field imaging. Automatic image analysis and Bayesian prediction models define morphological damage, hit/non-hit prediction and larval phenotype characterization. Motility was also assessed from time-lapse images. In screening a 10,041 compound library the HTS correctly detected 99.8% of the hits scored visually. A proportion of these larval hits were also active in an adult worm ex-vivo screen and are the subject of ongoing studies. The method allows, for the first time, screening of large compound collections against schistosomes and the methods are adaptable to other whole organism and cell-based screening by morphology and motility phenotyping. PMID:22860151

  13. High-throughput, high-content screening for novel pigmentation regulators using a keratinocyte/melanocyte co-culture system.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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 microphthalmia transcription factor (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 4000 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.

  14. 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

  15. Recombinant differential anchorage probes that tower over the spatial dimension of intracellular signals for high content screening and analysis.

    PubMed

    Schembri, Laura; Zanese, Marion; Depierre-Plinet, Gaelle; Petit, Muriel; Elkaoukabi-Chaibi, Assia; Tauzin, Loic; Florean, Cristina; Lartigue, Lydia; Medina, Chantal; Rey, Christophe; Belloc, Francis; Reiffers, Josy; Ichas, François; De Giorgi, Francesca

    2009-12-01

    Recombinant fluorescent probes allow the detection of molecular events inside living cells. Many of them exploit the intracellular space to provide positional signals and, thus, require detection by single cell imaging. We describe here a novel strategy based on probes capable of encoding the spatial dimension of intracellular signals into "all-or-none" fluorescence intensity changes (differential anchorage probes, DAPs). The resulting signals can be acquired in single cells at high throughput by automated flow cytometry, (i) bypassing image acquisition and analysis, (ii) providing a direct quantitative readout, and (iii) allowing the exploration of large experimental series. We illustrate our purpose with DAPs for Bax and the effector caspases 3 and 7, which are keys players in apoptotic cell death, and show applications in basic research, high content multiplexed library screening, compound characterization, and drug profiling.

  16. Phenotype-based high-content chemical library screening identifies statins as inhibitors of in vivo lymphangiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Martin Michael Peter; Reisen, Felix; Zgraggen, Silvana; Fischer, Stephanie; Yuen, Don; Kang, Gyeong Jin; Chen, Lu; Schneider, Gisbert; Detmar, Michael

    2012-10-02

    Lymphangiogenesis plays an important role in promoting cancer metastasis to sentinel lymph nodes and beyond and also promotes organ transplant rejection. We used human lymphatic endothelial cells to establish a reliable three-dimensional lymphangiogenic sprouting assay with automated image acquisition and analysis for inhibitor screening. This high-content phenotype-based assay quantifies sprouts by automated fluorescence microscopy and newly developed analysis software. We identified signaling pathways involved in lymphangiogenic sprouting by screening the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC)(1280) collection of pharmacologically relevant compounds. Hit characterization revealed that mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) 1/2 inhibitors substantially block lymphangiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, the drug class of statins, for the first time, emerged as potent inhibitors of lymphangiogenic sprouting in vitro and of corneal and cutaneous lymphangiogenesis in vivo. This effect was mediated by inhibition of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and subsequently the isoprenylation of Rac1. Supplementation with the enzymatic products of HMG-CoA reductase functionally rescued lymphangiogenic sprouting and the recruitment of Rac1 to the plasma membrane.

  17. 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

  18. A Multi-Functional Imaging Approach to High-Content Protein Interaction Screening

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Daniel R.; Fruhwirth, Gilbert O.; Weitsman, Gregory; Carlin, Leo M.; Ofo, Enyinnaya; Keppler, Melanie; Barber, Paul R.; Tullis, Iain D. C.; Vojnovic, Borivoj; Ng, Tony; Ameer-Beg, Simon M.

    2012-01-01

    Functional imaging can provide a level of quantification that is not possible in what might be termed traditional high-content screening. This is due to the fact that the current state-of-the-art high-content screening systems take the approach of scaling-up single cell assays, and are therefore based on essentially pictorial measures as assay indicators. Such phenotypic analyses have become extremely sophisticated, advancing screening enormously, but this approach can still be somewhat subjective. We describe the development, and validation, of a prototype high-content screening platform that combines steady-state fluorescence anisotropy imaging with fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM). This functional approach allows objective, quantitative screening of small molecule libraries in protein-protein interaction assays. We discuss the development of the instrumentation, the process by which information on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) can be extracted from wide-field, acceptor fluorescence anisotropy imaging and cross-checking of this modality using lifetime imaging by time-correlated single-photon counting. Imaging of cells expressing protein constructs where eGFP and mRFP1 are linked with amino-acid chains of various lengths (7, 19 and 32 amino acids) shows the two methodologies to be highly correlated. We validate our approach using a small-scale inhibitor screen of a Cdc42 FRET biosensor probe expressed in epidermoid cancer cells (A431) in a 96 microwell-plate format. We also show that acceptor fluorescence anisotropy can be used to measure variations in hetero-FRET in protein-protein interactions. We demonstrate this using a screen of inhibitors of internalization of the transmembrane receptor, CXCR4. These assays enable us to demonstrate all the capabilities of the instrument, image processing and analytical techniques that have been developed. Direct correlation between acceptor anisotropy and donor FLIM is observed for FRET assays, providing

  19. A high-content screening assay for small-molecule modulators of oncogene-induced senescence.

    PubMed

    Bitler, Benjamin G; Fink, Lauren S; Wei, Zhi; Peterson, Jeffrey R; Zhang, Rugang

    2013-10-01

    Cellular senescence is a state of stable cell growth arrest. Activation of oncogenes such as RAS in mammalian cells typically triggers cellular senescence. Oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) is an important tumor suppression mechanism, and suppression of OIS contributes to cell transformation. Oncogenes trigger senescence through a multitude of incompletely understood downstream signaling events that frequently involve protein kinases. To identify target proteins required for RAS-induced senescence, we developed a small-molecule screen in primary human fibroblasts undergoing senescence induced by oncogenic RAS (H-Ras(G12V)). Using a high-content imaging system to monitor two hallmarks of senescence, senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity expression and inhibition of proliferation, we screened a library of known small-molecule kinase inhibitors for those that suppressed OIS. Identified compounds were subsequently validated and confirmed using a third marker of senescence, senescence-associated heterochromatin foci. In summary, we have established a novel high-content screening platform that may be useful for elucidating signaling pathways mediating OIS by targeting critical pathway components.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. A Phenotypic High-Content Screening Assay to Identify Regulators of Membrane Protein Localization.

    PubMed

    Smith, Lorey K; Thomas, Daniel W; Simpson, Kaylene J; Humbert, Patrick O

    2016-10-01

    Correct subcellular localization of proteins is a requirement for appropriate function. This is especially true in epithelial cells, which rely on the precise localization of a diverse array of epithelial polarity and cellular adhesion proteins. Loss of cell polarity and adhesion is a hallmark of cancer, and mislocalization of core polarity proteins, such as Scribble, is observed in a range of human epithelial tumors and is prognostic of poor survival. Despite this, little is known about how Scribble membrane localization is regulated. Here, we describe the development and application of a phenotypic high-content screening assay that is designed to specifically quantify membrane levels of Scribble to identify regulators of its membrane localization. A screening platform that is capable of resolving individual cells and quantifying membrane protein localization in confluent epithelial monolayers was developed by using the cytoplasm-to-cell-membrane bioapplication integrated with the Cellomics ArrayScan high-content imaging platform. Application of this method to a boutique human epithelial polarity and signaling small interfering RNA (siRNA) library resulted in highly robust coefficient-of-variance and Z' factor values. As proof of concept, we present two candidate genes whose depletion specifically reduces Scribble protein levels at the membrane. Data mining revealed that these proteins interact with components of the Scribble polarity complex, providing support for the utility of the screening approach. This method is broadly applicable to genome-wide and large-scale compound screening of membrane-bound proteins, and when coupled with pathway analysis the dataset becomes even more valuable and can provide predictive mechanistic insight.

  4. High-content fluorescent-based assay for screening activators of DNA damage checkpoint pathways.

    PubMed

    Bin Zhang; Xiubin Gu; Uppalapati, Uma; Ashwell, Mark A; Leggett, David S; Li, Chiang J

    2008-07-01

    Activation of DNA damage checkpoint pathways, including Chk2, serves as an anticancer barrier in precancerous lesions. In an effort to identify small-molecule activators of Chk2, the authors developed a quantitative cell-based assay using a high-content analysis (HCA) platform. Induction of phosphorylated Chk2 was evaluated using several different parameters, including fold induction, Kolmogorov-Smirnov score, and percentage of positively stained cells. These measurements were highly correlated and provided an accurate method for compound ranking/binning, structure-activity relationship studies, and lead identification. Screening for Chk2 activators was undertaken with a target-focused library and a diversified library from ArQule chemical space. Several compounds exhibited submicromolar EC( 50) values for phosphorylated Chk2 induction. These compounds were further analyzed for Chk2-dependent cytotoxicity, as assessed through a high-content cell death assay in combination with siRNA silencing of Chk2 expression. Several compounds were identified and showed specific inhibition or lethality in a target-dependent manner. Therefore, identification of DNA damage checkpoint pathway activators by HCA is an attractive approach for discovering the next generation of targeted cancer therapeutics.

  5. Comparison of multivariate data analysis strategies for high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Kümmel, Anne; Selzer, Paul; Beibel, Martin; Gubler, Hanspeter; Parker, Christian N; Gabriel, Daniela

    2011-03-01

    High-content screening (HCS) is increasingly used in biomedical research generating multivariate, single-cell data sets. Before scoring a treatment, the complex data sets are processed (e.g., normalized, reduced to a lower dimensionality) to help extract valuable information. However, there has been no published comparison of the performance of these methods. This study comparatively evaluates unbiased approaches to reduce dimensionality as well as to summarize cell populations. To evaluate these different data-processing strategies, the prediction accuracies and the Z' factors of control compounds of a HCS cell cycle data set were monitored. As expected, dimension reduction led to a lower degree of discrimination between control samples. A high degree of classification accuracy was achieved when the cell population was summarized on well level using percentile values. As a conclusion, the generic data analysis pipeline described here enables a systematic review of alternative strategies to analyze multiparametric results from biological systems.

  6. High-content screen using zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos identifies a novel kinase activator and inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Geldenhuys, Werner J; Bergeron, Sadie A; Mullins, Jackie E; Aljammal, Rowaa; Gaasch, Briah L; Chen, Wei-Chi; Yun, June; Hazlehurst, Lori A

    2017-02-28

    In this report we utilized zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos in a phenotypical high-content screen (HCS) to identify novel leads in a cancer drug discovery program. We initially validated our HCS model using the flavin adenosine dinucleotide (FAD) containing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) enzyme, endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductase (ERO1) inhibitor EN460. EN460 showed a dose response effect on the embryos with a dose of 10μM being significantly lethal during early embryonic development. The HCS campaign which employed a small library identified a promising lead compound, a naphthyl-benzoic acid derivative coined compound 1 which had significant dosage and temporally dependent effects on notochord and muscle development in zebrafish embryos. Screening a 369 kinase member panel we show that compound 1 is a PIM3 kinase inhibitor (IC50=4.078μM) and surprisingly a DAPK1 kinase agonist/activator (EC50=39.525μM). To our knowledge this is the first example of a small molecule activating DAPK1 kinase. We provide a putative model for increased phosphate transfer in the ATP binding domain when compound 1 is virtually docked with DAPK1. Our data indicate that observable phenotypical changes can be used in future zebrafish screens to identify compounds acting via similar molecular signaling pathways.

  7. Adapting human pluripotent stem cells to high-throughput and high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Desbordes, Sabrina C; Studer, Lorenz

    2013-01-01

    The increasing use of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) as a source of cells for drug discovery, cytotoxicity assessment and disease modeling requires their adaptation to large-scale culture conditions and screening formats. Here, we describe a simple and robust protocol for the adaptation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to high-throughput screening (HTS). This protocol can also be adapted to human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and high-content screening (HCS). We also describe a 7-d assay to identify compounds with an effect on hESC self-renewal and differentiation. This assay can be adapted to a variety of applications. The procedure involves the culture expansion of hESCs, their adaptation to 384-well plates, the addition of small molecules or other factors, and finally data acquisition and processing. In this protocol, the optimal number of hESCs plated in 384-well plates has been adapted to HTS/HCS assays of 7 d.

  8. Normalizing for individual cell population context in the analysis of high-content cellular screens

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background High-content, high-throughput RNA interference (RNAi) offers unprecedented possibilities to elucidate gene function and involvement in biological processes. Microscopy based screening allows phenotypic observations at the level of individual cells. It was recently shown that a cell's population context significantly influences results. However, standard analysis methods for cellular screens do not currently take individual cell data into account unless this is important for the phenotype of interest, i.e. when studying cell morphology. Results We present a method that normalizes and statistically scores microscopy based RNAi screens, exploiting individual cell information of hundreds of cells per knockdown. Each cell's individual population context is employed in normalization. We present results on two infection screens for hepatitis C and dengue virus, both showing considerable effects on observed phenotypes due to population context. In addition, we show on a non-virus screen that these effects can be found also in RNAi data in the absence of any virus. Using our approach to normalize against these effects we achieve improved performance in comparison to an analysis without this normalization and hit scoring strategy. Furthermore, our approach results in the identification of considerably more significantly enriched pathways in hepatitis C virus replication than using a standard analysis approach. Conclusions Using a cell-based analysis and normalization for population context, we achieve improved sensitivity and specificity not only on a individual protein level, but especially also on a pathway level. This leads to the identification of new host dependency factors of the hepatitis C and dengue viruses and higher reproducibility of results. PMID:22185194

  9. HCS-Neurons: identifying phenotypic changes in multi-neuron images upon drug treatments of high-content screening

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background High-content screening (HCS) has become a powerful tool for drug discovery. However, the discovery of drugs targeting neurons is still hampered by the inability to accurately identify and quantify the phenotypic changes of multiple neurons in a single image (named multi-neuron image) of a high-content screen. Therefore, it is desirable to develop an automated image analysis method for analyzing multi-neuron images. Results We propose an automated analysis method with novel descriptors of neuromorphology features for analyzing HCS-based multi-neuron images, called HCS-neurons. To observe multiple phenotypic changes of neurons, we propose two kinds of descriptors which are neuron feature descriptor (NFD) of 13 neuromorphology features, e.g., neurite length, and generic feature descriptors (GFDs), e.g., Haralick texture. HCS-neurons can 1) automatically extract all quantitative phenotype features in both NFD and GFDs, 2) identify statistically significant phenotypic changes upon drug treatments using ANOVA and regression analysis, and 3) generate an accurate classifier to group neurons treated by different drug concentrations using support vector machine and an intelligent feature selection method. To evaluate HCS-neurons, we treated P19 neurons with nocodazole (a microtubule depolymerizing drug which has been shown to impair neurite development) at six concentrations ranging from 0 to 1000 ng/mL. The experimental results show that all the 13 features of NFD have statistically significant difference with respect to changes in various levels of nocodazole drug concentrations (NDC) and the phenotypic changes of neurites were consistent to the known effect of nocodazole in promoting neurite retraction. Three identified features, total neurite length, average neurite length, and average neurite area were able to achieve an independent test accuracy of 90.28% for the six-dosage classification problem. This NFD module and neuron image datasets are provided as a

  10. High content screening for G protein-coupled receptors using cell-based protein translocation assays.

    PubMed

    Grånäs, Charlotta; Lundholt, Betina Kerstin; Heydorn, Arne; Linde, Viggo; Pedersen, Hans-Christian; Krog-Jensen, Christian; Rosenkilde, Mette M; Pagliaro, Len

    2005-06-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have been one of the most productive classes of drug targets for several decades, and new technologies for GPCR-based discovery promise to keep this field active for years to come. While molecular screens for GPCR receptor agonist- and antagonist-based drugs will continue to be valuable discovery tools, the most exciting developments in the field involve cell-based assays for GPCR function. Some cell-based discovery strategies, such as the use of beta-arrestin as a surrogate marker for GPCR function, have already been reduced to practice, and have been used as valuable discovery tools for several years. The application of high content cell-based screening to GPCR discovery has opened up additional possibilities, such as direct tracking of GPCRs, G proteins and other signaling pathway components using intracellular translocation assays. These assays provide the capability to probe GPCR function at the cellular level with better resolution than has previously been possible, and offer practical strategies for more definitive selectivity evaluation and counter-screening in the early stages of drug discovery. The potential of cell-based translocation assays for GPCR discovery is described, and proof-of-concept data from a pilot screen with a CXCR4 assay are presented. This chemokine receptor is a highly relevant drug target which plays an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory disease and also has been shown to be a co-receptor for entry of HIV into cells as well as to play a role in metastasis of certain cancer cells.

  11. 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

  12. 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

    2011-01-07

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Systematic high-content genome-wide RNAi screens of endothelial cell migration and morphology

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Steven P.; Gould, Cathryn M.; Nowell, Cameron J.; Karnezis, Tara; Achen, Marc G.; Simpson, Kaylene J.; Stacker, Steven A.

    2017-01-01

    Many cell types undergo migration during embryogenesis and disease. Endothelial cells line blood vessels and lymphatics, which migrate during development as part of angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and other types of vessel remodelling. These processes are also important in wound healing, cancer metastasis and cardiovascular conditions. However, the molecular control of endothelial cell migration is poorly understood. Here, we present a dataset containing siRNA screens that identify known and novel components of signalling pathways regulating migration of lymphatic endothelial cells. These components are compared to signalling in blood vascular endothelial cells. Further, using high-content microscopy, we captured a dataset of images of migrating cells following transfection with a genome-wide siRNA library. These datasets are suitable for the identification and analysis of genes involved in endothelial cell migration and morphology, and for computational approaches to identify signalling networks controlling the migratory response and integration of cell morphology, gene function and cell signaling. This may facilitate identification of protein targets for therapeutically modulating angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in the context of human disease. PMID:28248931

  15. A high-content morphological screen identifies novel microRNAs that regulate neuroblastoma cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhenze; Ma, Xiuye; Hsiao, Tzu-Hung; Lin, Gregory; Kosti, Adam; Yu, Xiaojie; Suresh, Uthra; Chen, Yidong; Tomlinson, Gail E; Pertsemlidis, Alexander; Du, Liqin

    2014-05-15

    Neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood, arises from neural crest cell precursors that fail to differentiate. Inducing cell differentiation is an important therapeutic strategy for neuroblastoma. We developed a direct functional high-content screen to identify differentiation-inducing microRNAs, in order to develop microRNA-based differentiation therapy for neuroblastoma. We discovered novel microRNAs, and more strikingly, three microRNA seed families that induce neuroblastoma cell differentiation. In addition, we showed that microRNA seed families were overrepresented in the identified group of fourteen differentiation-inducing microRNAs, suggesting that microRNA seed families are functionally more important in neuroblastoma differentiation than microRNAs with unique sequences. We further investigated the differentiation-inducing function of the microRNA-506-3p/microRNA-124-3p seed family, which was the most potent inducer of differentiation. We showed that the differentiation-inducing function of microRNA-506-3p/microRNA-124-3p is mediated, at least partially, by down-regulating expression of their targets CDK4 and STAT3. We further showed that expression of miR-506-3p, but not miR-124-3p, is dramatically upregulated in differentiated neuroblastoma cells, suggesting the important role of endogenous miR-506-3p in differentiation and tumorigenesis. Overall, our functional screen on microRNAs provided the first comprehensive analysis on the involvements of microRNA species in neuroblastoma cell differentiation and identified novel differentiation-inducing microRNAs. Further investigations are certainly warranted to fully characterize the function of the identified microRNAs in order to eventually benefit neuroblastoma therapy.

  16. A high-content morphological screen identifies novel microRNAs that regulate neuroblastoma cell differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhenze; Ma, Xiuye; Hsiao, Tzu-Hung; Lin, Gregory; Kosti, Adam; Yu, Xiaojie; Suresh, Uthra; Chen, Yidong; Tomlinson, Gail E.; Pertsemlidis, Alexander; Du, Liqin

    2014-01-01

    Neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood, arises from neural crest cell precursors that fail to differentiate. Inducing cell differentiation is an important therapeutic strategy for neuroblastoma. We developed a direct functional high-content screen to identify differentiation-inducing microRNAs, in order to develop microRNA-based differentiation therapy for neuroblastoma. We discovered novel microRNAs, and more strikingly, three microRNA seed families that induce neuroblastoma cell differentiation. In addition, we showed that microRNA seed families were overrepresented in the identified group of fourteen differentiation-inducing microRNAs, suggesting that microRNA seed families are functionally more important in neuroblastoma differentiation than microRNAs with unique sequences. We further investigated the differentiation-inducing function of the microRNA-506-3p/microRNA-124-3p seed family, which was the most potent inducer of differentiation. We showed that the differentiation-inducing function of microRNA-506-3p/microRNA-124-3p is mediated, at least partially, by down-regulating expression of their targets CDK4 and STAT3. We further showed that expression of miR-506-3p, but not miR-124-3p, is dramatically upregulated in differentiated neuroblastoma cells, suggesting the important role of endogenous miR-506-3p in differentiation and tumorigenesis. Overall, our functional screen on microRNAs provided the first comprehensive analysis on the involvements of microRNA species in neuroblastoma cell differentiation and identified novel differentiation-inducing microRNAs. Further investigations are certainly warranted to fully characterize the function of the identified microRNAs in order to eventually benefit neuroblastoma therapy. PMID:24811707

  17. 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

  18. High content screening application for cell-type specific behaviour in heterogeneous primary breast epithelial subpopulations.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Rebecca L; Wockner, Leesa; McCart Reed, Amy E; Wiegmans, Adrian; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Khanna, Kum Kum; Lakhani, Sunil R; Smart, Chanel E

    2016-02-09

    The complex interaction between multiple cell types and the microenvironment underlies the diverse pathways to carcinogenesis and necessitates sophisticated approaches to in vitro hypotheses testing. The combination of mixed culture format with high content immunofluorescence screening technology provides a powerful platform for observation of cell type specific behavior. We have developed a versatile, high-throughput method for assessing cell-type specific responses. In addition to the specificity and sensitivity offered traditionally by immunofluorescent detection in flow cytometry, the 'in-cell' analysis method we describe provides the added benefits of higher throughput and the ability to analyse protein subcellular localisation in situ. Furthermore, elimination of the cell dissociation step allows for more immediate analysis of responses to specific extrinsic stimuli. We applied this method to investigate ionising radiation treatment response in normal breast epithelial cells, measuring growth rate, cell cycle response and double-strand DNA breaks. The 'in-cell' analysis approach elucidated several interesting donor and cell-type specific differences. Notably, in response to ionizing radiation we observed differential expression in luminal and basal-like cells of a member of the APOBEC enzyme family, recently identified as a critical driver of an oncogenic signature. Our findings suggest that this enzyme is active in the normal breast epithelium during DNA damage response. We demonstrate the practical application of a new method for assessing cell-type specific change in mixed cultures, especially the analysis of normal primary cultures, overcoming a major technical issue of dissecting the response of multiple cell types in a heterogeneous population.

  19. MyoVision: Software for Automated High-Content Analysis of Skeletal Muscle Immunohistochemistry.

    PubMed

    Wen, Yuan; Murach, Kevin Andrew; Vechetti, Ivan J; Fry, Christopher S; Vickery, Chase Daniel; Peterson, Charlotte A; McCarthy, John J; Campbell, Kenneth S

    2017-10-05

    Analysis of skeletal muscle cross sections is an important experimental technique in muscle biology. Many aspects of immunohistochemistry and fluorescence microscopy can now be automated but most image quantification techniques still require extensive human input, slowing progress and introducing the possibility of user-bias. MyoVision is a new software package that was developed to overcome these limitations. The software improves upon previously reported automatic techniques and analyzes images without requiring significant human input and correction. When compared to data derived by manual quantification, MyoVision achieves an accuracy of ≥94% for basic measurements such as fiber number, fiber type distribution, fiber cross sectional area, and myonuclear number. Scientists can download the software free from www.MyoVision.org and use it to automate the analysis of their own experimental data. This will improve the efficiency and consistency of the analysis of muscle cross sections and help to reduce the burden of routine image quantification in muscle biology. Copyright © 2017, Journal of Applied Physiology.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. A systems approach for analysis of high content screening assay data with topic modeling.

    PubMed

    Bisgin, Halil; Chen, Minjun; Wang, Yuping; Kelly, Reagan; Fang, Hong; Xu, Xiaowei; Tong, Weida

    2013-01-01

    High Content Screening (HCS) has become an important tool for toxicity assessment, partly due to its advantage of handling multiple measurements simultaneously. This approach has provided insight and contributed to the understanding of systems biology at cellular level. To fully realize this potential, the simultaneously measured multiple endpoints from a live cell should be considered in a probabilistic relationship to assess the cell's condition to response stress from a treatment, which poses a great challenge to extract hidden knowledge and relationships from these measurements. In this work, we applied a text mining method of Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to analyze cellular endpoints from in vitro HCS assays and related to the findings to in vivo histopathological observations. We measured multiple HCS assay endpoints for 122 drugs. Since LDA requires the data to be represented in document-term format, we first converted the continuous value of the measurements to the word frequency that can processed by the text mining tool. For each of the drugs, we generated a document for each of the 4 time points. Thus, we ended with 488 documents (drug-hour) each having different values for the 10 endpoints which are treated as words. We extracted three topics using LDA and examined these to identify diagnostic topics for 45 common drugs located in vivo experiments from the Japanese Toxicogenomics Project (TGP) observing their necrosis findings at 6 and 24 hours after treatment. We found that assay endpoints assigned to particular topics were in concordance with the histopathology observed. Drugs showing necrosis at 6 hour were linked to severe damage events such as Steatosis, DNA Fragmentation, Mitochondrial Potential, and Lysosome Mass. DNA Damage and Apoptosis were associated with drugs causing necrosis at 24 hours, suggesting an interplay of the two pathways in these drugs. Drugs with no sign of necrosis we related to the Cell Loss and Nuclear Size assays, which

  4. A systems approach for analysis of high content screening assay data with topic modeling

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background High Content Screening (HCS) has become an important tool for toxicity assessment, partly due to its advantage of handling multiple measurements simultaneously. This approach has provided insight and contributed to the understanding of systems biology at cellular level. To fully realize this potential, the simultaneously measured multiple endpoints from a live cell should be considered in a probabilistic relationship to assess the cell's condition to response stress from a treatment, which poses a great challenge to extract hidden knowledge and relationships from these measurements. Method In this work, we applied a text mining method of Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to analyze cellular endpoints from in vitro HCS assays and related to the findings to in vivo histopathological observations. We measured multiple HCS assay endpoints for 122 drugs. Since LDA requires the data to be represented in document-term format, we first converted the continuous value of the measurements to the word frequency that can processed by the text mining tool. For each of the drugs, we generated a document for each of the 4 time points. Thus, we ended with 488 documents (drug-hour) each having different values for the 10 endpoints which are treated as words. We extracted three topics using LDA and examined these to identify diagnostic topics for 45 common drugs located in vivo experiments from the Japanese Toxicogenomics Project (TGP) observing their necrosis findings at 6 and 24 hours after treatment. Results We found that assay endpoints assigned to particular topics were in concordance with the histopathology observed. Drugs showing necrosis at 6 hour were linked to severe damage events such as Steatosis, DNA Fragmentation, Mitochondrial Potential, and Lysosome Mass. DNA Damage and Apoptosis were associated with drugs causing necrosis at 24 hours, suggesting an interplay of the two pathways in these drugs. Drugs with no sign of necrosis we related to the Cell Loss and

  5. An Open Source Based High Content Screening Method for Cell Biology Laboratories Investigating Cell Spreading and Adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Pietro, Maurianne A.; Schwab, Martin E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Adhesion dependent mechanisms are increasingly recognized to be important for a wide range of biological processes, diseases and therapeutics. This has led to a rising demand of pharmaceutical modulators. However, most currently available adhesion assays are time consuming and/or lack sensitivity and reproducibility or depend on specialized and expensive equipment often only available at screening facilities. Thus, rapid and economical high-content screening approaches are urgently needed. Results We established a fully open source high-content screening method for identifying modulators of adhesion. We successfully used this method to detect small molecules that are able to influence cell adhesion and cell spreading of Swiss-3T3 fibroblasts in general and/or specifically counteract Nogo-A-Δ20-induced inhibition of adhesion and cell spreading. The tricyclic anti-depressant clomipramine hydrochloride was shown to not only inhibit Nogo-A-Δ20-induced cell spreading inhibition in 3T3 fibroblasts but also to promote growth and counteract neurite outgrowth inhibition in highly purified primary neurons isolated from rat cerebellum. Conclusions We have developed and validated a high content screening approach that can be used in any ordinarily equipped cell biology laboratory employing exclusively freely available open-source software in order to find novel modulators of adhesion and cell spreading. The versatility and adjustability of the whole screening method will enable not only centers specialized in high-throughput screens but most importantly also labs not routinely employing screens in their daily work routine to investigate the effects of a wide range of different compounds or siRNAs on adhesion and adhesion-modulating molecules. PMID:24205161

  6. High-Content FRET-FLIM Screening in Inhibitors of Oncogenic Transcription by c-myc in Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-06-01

    need for novel anti-breast cancer therapeutics. Our hypothesis is that by identifying small molecules that target the Myc oncogene, we will develop an...To this end, we aim to 1) develop a novel high content screen to identify inhibitors that block Myc:TRRAP interaction; 2) determine the...resonance energy transfer (FRET) in vivo. We have identified FRET pairs that are functional and established methodology using novel instrumentation

  7. 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.

  8. Bioorthogonal Probes for the Study of MDM2-p53 Inhibitors in Cells and Development of High-Content Screening Assays for Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Pier Luca; Buschmann, Nicole; Kaufmann, Markus; Furet, Pascal; Baysang, Frederic; Brunner, Reto; Marzinzik, Andreas; Vorherr, Thomas; Stachyra, Therese-Marie; Ottl, Johannes; Lizos, Dimitrios E; Cobos-Correa, Amanda

    2016-12-23

    To study the behavior of MDM2-p53 inhibitors in a disease-relevant cellular model, we have developed and validated a set of bioorthogonal probes that can be fluorescently labeled in cells and used in high-content screening assays. By using automated image analysis with single-cell resolution, we could visualize the intracellular target binding of compounds by co-localization and quantify target upregulation upon MDM2-p53 inhibition in an osteosarcoma model. Additionally, we developed a high-throughput assay to quantify target occupancy of non-tagged MDM2-p53 inhibitors by competition and to identify novel chemical matter. This approach could be expanded to other targets for lead discovery applications. © 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. A system and methodology for high-content visual screening of individual intact living cells in suspension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renaud, Olivier; Heintzmann, Rainer; Sáez-Cirión, Asier; Schnelle, Thomas; Mueller, Torsten; Shorte, Spencer

    2007-02-01

    Three dimensional imaging provides high-content information from living intact biology, and can serve as a visual screening cue. In the case of single cell imaging the current state of the art uses so-called "axial through-stacking". However, three-dimensional axial through-stacking requires that the object (i.e. a living cell) be adherently stabilized on an optically transparent surface, usually glass; evidently precluding use of cells in suspension. Aiming to overcome this limitation we present here the utility of dielectric field trapping of single cells in three-dimensional electrode cages. Our approach allows gentle and precise spatial orientation and vectored rotation of living, non-adherent cells in fluid suspension. Using various modes of widefield, and confocal microscope imaging we show how so-called "microrotation" can provide a unique and powerful method for multiple point-of-view (three-dimensional) interrogation of intact living biological micro-objects (e.g. single-cells, cell aggregates, and embryos). Further, we show how visual screening by micro-rotation imaging can be combined with micro-fluidic sorting, allowing selection of rare phenotype targets from small populations of cells in suspension, and subsequent one-step single cell cloning (with high-viability). Our methodology combining high-content 3D visual screening with one-step single cell cloning, will impact diverse paradigms, for example cytological and cytogenetic analysis on haematopoietic stem cells, blood cells including lymphocytes, and cancer cells.

  12. Discovery of a novel ROCK2 inhibitor with anti-migration effects via docking and high-content drug screening.

    PubMed

    Chong, Cheong-Meng; Kou, Man-Teng; Pan, Peichen; Zhou, Hefeng; Ai, Nana; Li, Chuwen; Zhong, Hai-Jing; Leung, Chung-Hang; Hou, Tingjun; Lee, Simon Ming-Yuen

    2016-08-16

    Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) mediated the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and has been implicated in the spread and metastatic process of cancer. In this study, structure-based high-throughput virtual screening was used to identify candidate compounds targeting ROCK2 from a chemical library. Moreover, high-content screening based on neurite outgrowth of SH-SY5Y cells (a human neuroblastoma cell line) was used for accelerating the identification of compounds with characteristics of ROCK2 inhibitors. The effects of bioactive ROCK2 inhibitor candidates were further validated using other bioassays including cell migration and wound healing in SH-SY5Y cells. Through the combined virtual and high-content drug screening, the compound 1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl[1-(5-isoquinolinylmethyl)-3-piperidinyl]-methanone (BIPM) was identified as a novel and potent ROCK2 inhibitor. Exposure of SH-SY5Y cells to BIPM led to significant changes in neurite length, cell migration and actin stress fibers. Further experiments demonstrated that BIPM was able to significantly inhibit phosphorylation of cofilin, a regulatory protein of actin cytoskeleton. These results suggest that BIPM could be considered as a promising scaffold for the further development of ROCK2 inhibitors for anti-cancer metastasis.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Toward high-content screening of mitochondrial morphology and membrane potential in living cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Mitochondria are double membrane organelles involved in various key cellular processes. Governed by dedicated protein machinery, mitochondria move and continuously fuse and divide. These "mitochondrial dynamics" are bi-directionally linked to mitochondrial and cell functional state in space and time. Due to the action of the electron transport chain (ETC), the mitochondrial inner membrane displays a inside-negative membrane potential (Δψ). The latter is considered a functional readout of mitochondrial "health" and required to sustain normal mitochondrial ATP production and mitochondrial fusion. During the last decade, live-cell microscopy strategies were developed for simultaneous quantification of Δψ and mitochondrial morphology. This revealed that ETC dysfunction, changes in Δψ and aberrations in mitochondrial structure often occur in parallel, suggesting they are linked potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Here we discuss how combining high-content and high-throughput strategies can be used for analysis of genetic and/or drug-induced effects at the level of individual organelles, cells and cell populations. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Energy Metabolism Disorders and Therapies.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2015-11-02

    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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  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.

  2. 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

    2016-05-03

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. A method for characterizing phenotypic changes in highly variable cell populations and its application to high content screening of Arabidopsis thaliana protoplasts.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Gregory R; Kangas, Joshua D; Dovzhenko, Alexander; Trojok, Rüdiger; Voigt, Karsten; Majarian, Timothy D; Palme, Klaus; Murphy, Robert F

    2017-02-28

    Quantitative image analysis procedures are necessary for the automated discovery of effects of drug treatment in large collections of fluorescent micrographs. When compared to their mammalian counterparts, the effects of drug conditions on protein localization in plant species are poorly understood and underexplored. To investigate this relationship, we generated a large collection of images of single plant cells after various drug treatments. For this, protoplasts were isolated from six transgenic lines of A. thaliana expressing fluorescently tagged proteins. Eight drugs at three concentrations were applied to protoplast cultures followed by automated image acquisition. For image analysis, we developed a cell segmentation protocol for detecting drug effects using a Hough transform-based region of interest detector and a novel cross-channel texture feature descriptor. In order to determine treatment effects, we summarized differences between treated and untreated experiments with an L1 Cramér-von Mises statistic. The distribution of these statistics across all pairs of treated and untreated replicates was compared to the variation within control replicates to determine the statistical significance of observed effects. Using this pipeline, we report the dose dependent drug effects in the first high-content Arabidopsis thaliana drug screen of its kind. These results can function as a baseline for comparison to other protein organization modeling approaches in plant cells. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  5. Effect-size measures as descriptors of assay quality in high-content screening: A brief review of some available methodologies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The field of high-content screening (HCS) typically uses measures of screen quality conceived for fairly straightforward high-throughput screening (HTS) scenarios. However, in contrast to HTS, image-based HCS systems rely on multidimensional readouts reporting biological responses associated with co...

  6. Quantification of patient-derived 3D cancer spheroids in high-content screening images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Mi-Sun; Rhee, Seon-Min; Seo, Ji-Hyun; Kim, Myoung-Hee

    2017-02-01

    We present a cell image quantification method for image-based drug response prediction from patient-derived glioblastoma cells. Drug response of each person differs at the cellular level. Therefore, quantification of a patient-derived cell phenotype is important in drug response prediction. We performed fluorescence microscopy to understand the features of patient-derived 3D cancer spheroids. A 3D cell culture simulates the in-vivo environment more closely than 2D adherence culture, and thus, allows more accurate cell analysis. Furthermore, it allows assessment of cellular aggregates. Cohesion is an important feature of cancer cells. In this paper, we demonstrate image-based quantification of cellular area, fluorescence intensity, and cohesion. To this end, we first performed image stitching to create an image of each well of the plate with the same environment. This image shows colonies of various sizes and shapes. To automatically detect the colonies, we used an intensity based classification algorithm. The morphological features of each cancer cell colony were measured. Next, we calculated the location correlation of each colony that is appeal of the cell density in the same well environment. Finally, we compared the features for drug-treated and untreated cells. This technique could potentially be applied for drug screening and quantification of the effects of the drugs.

  7. High-content screening of natural products reveals novel nuclear export inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Cautain, Bastien; de Pedro, Nuria; Murillo Garzón, Virginia; Muñoz de Escalona, María; González Menéndez, Victor; Tormo, José R; Martin, Jesús; El Aouad, Noureddine; Reyes, Fernando; Asensio, Francisco; Genilloud, Olga; Vicente, Francisca; Link, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Natural products are considered an extremely valuable source for the discovery of new drugs against diverse pathologies. As yet, we have only explored a fraction of the diversity of bioactive compounds, and opportunities for discovering new natural products leading to new drugs are huge. In the present study, U2nesRELOC, a previously established cell-based imaging assay, was employed to screen a collection of extracts of microbial origin for nuclear export inhibition activity. The fluorescent signal of untreated U2nesRELOC cells localizes predominantly to the cytoplasm. Upon treatment with the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B, the fluorescent-tagged reporter proteins appear as speckles in the nucleus. A proprietary collection of extracts from fungi, actinomycetes, and unicellular bacteria that covers an uncommonly broad chemical space was used to interrogate this nuclear export assay system. A two-step image-based analysis allowed us to identify 12 extracts with biological activities that are not associated with previously known active metabolites. The fractionation and structural elucidation of active compounds revealed several chemical structures with nuclear export inhibition activity. Here we show that substrates of the nuclear export receptor CRM1, such as Rev, FOXO3a and NF-κB, accumulate in the nucleus in the presence of the fungal metabolite MDN-0105 with an IC50 value of 3.4 µM. Many important processes in tumor formation and progression, as well as in many viral infections, critically depend on the nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of proteins and RNA molecules. Therefore, the disruption of nuclear export is emerging as a novel therapeutic approach with enormous clinical potential. Our work highlights the potential of applying high-throughput phenotypic imaging on natural product extracts to identify novel nuclear export inhibitors.

  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. Automated reticulocyte parameters for hereditary spherocytosis screening.

    PubMed

    Lazarova, Elena; Pradier, Olivier; Cotton, Frédéric; Gulbis, Béatrice

    2014-11-01

    The laboratory diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis (HS) is based on several screening and confirmatory tests; our algorithm includes clinical features, red blood cell morphology analysis and cryohaemolysis test, and, in case of positive screening, sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis as a diagnostic test. Using the UniCel DxH800 (Beckman Coulter) haematology analyser, we investigated automated reticulocyte parameters as HS screening tool, i.e. mean reticulocyte volume (MRV), immature reticulocyte fraction (IRF) and mean sphered cell volume (MSCV). A total of 410 samples were screened. Gel electrophoresis was applied to 159 samples that were positive for the screening tests. A total of 48 patients were diagnosed as HS, and seven were diagnosed as acquired autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). Some other 31 anaemic conditions were also studied. From the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, both delta (mean cell volume (MCV)-MSCV) and MRV presented an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.98. At the diagnostic cut-off of 100 % sensitivity, MRV showed the best specificity of 88 % and a positive likelihood ratio of 8.7. The parameters IRF, MRV and MSCV discriminated HS not only from controls and other tested pathologies but also from AIHA contrary to the cryohaemolysis test. In conclusion, automated reticulocyte parameters might be helpful for haemolytic anaemia diagnostic orientation even for general laboratories. In combination with cryohaemolysis, they ensure an effective and time-saving screening for HS for more specialised laboratories.

  10. Toward Discovery of Novel Microtubule Targeting Agents: A SNAP-tag-Based High-Content Screening Assay for the Analysis of Microtubule Dynamics and Cell Cycle Progression.

    PubMed

    Berges, Nina; Arens, Katharina; Kreusch, Verena; Fischer, Rainer; Di Fiore, Stefano

    2017-04-01

    Microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) are used for the treatment of cancer. Novel MTAs could provide additional and beneficial therapeutic options. To improve the sensitivity and throughput of standard immunofluorescence assays for the characterization of MTAs, we used SNAP-tag technology to produce recombinant tubulin monomers. To visualize microtubule filaments, A549 cells transfected with SNAP-tubulin were stained with a membrane-permeable, SNAP-reactive dye. The treatment of SNAP-tubulin cells with stabilizing MTAs such as paclitaxel resulted in the formation of coarsely structured microtubule filaments, whereas depolymerizing MTAs such as nocodazole resulted in diffuse staining patterns in which the tubulin filaments were no longer distinguishable. By combining these components with automated microscopy and image analysis algorithms, we established a robust high-content screening assay for MTAs with a Z' factor of 0.7. Proof of principle was achieved by testing a panel of 10 substances, allowing us to identify MTAs and to distinguish between stabilizing and destabilizing modes of action. By extending the treatment of the cells from 2 to 20 h, our assay also detected abnormalities in cell cycle progression and in the formation of microtubule spindles, providing additional readouts for the discovery of new MTAs and facilitating their early identification during drug-screening campaigns.

  11. Paired image- and FACS-based toxicity assays for high content screening of spheroid-type tumor cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Trumpi, Kari; Egan, David A; Vellinga, Thomas T; Borel Rinkes, Inne H M; Kranenburg, Onno

    2015-01-01

    Novel spheroid-type tumor cell cultures directly isolated from patients' tumors preserve tumor characteristics better than traditionally grown cell lines. However, such cultures are not generally used for high-throughput toxicity drug screens. In addition, the assays that are commonly used to assess drug-induced toxicity in such screens usually measure a proxy for cell viability such as mitochondrial activity or ATP-content per culture well, rather than actual cell death. This generates considerable assay-dependent differences in the measured toxicity values. To address this problem we developed a robust method that documents drug-induced toxicity on a per-cell, rather than on a per-well basis. The method involves automated drug dispensing followed by paired image- and FACS-based analysis of cell death and cell cycle changes. We show that the two methods generate toxicity data in 96-well format which are highly concordant. By contrast, the concordance of these methods with frequently used well-based assays was generally poor. The reported method can be implemented on standard automated microscopes and provides a low-cost approach for accurate and reproducible high-throughput toxicity screens in spheroid type cell cultures. Furthermore, the high versatility of both the imaging and FACS platforms allows straightforward adaptation of the high-throughput experimental setup to include fluorescence-based measurement of additional cell biological parameters.

  12. 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

    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 lysosome

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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 14C-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

  14. High content screening of a kinase-focused library reveals compounds broadly-active against dengue viruses.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Deu John M; Koishi, Andrea Cristine; Taniguchi, Juliana Bosso; Li, Xiaolan; Milan Bonotto, Rafaela; No, Joo Hwan; Kim, Keum Hyun; Baek, Sungmin; Kim, Hee Young; Windisch, Marc Peter; Pamplona Mosimann, Ana Luiza; de Borba, Luana; Liuzzi, Michel; Hansen, Michael Adsetts Edberg; Duarte dos Santos, Claudia Nunes; Freitas-Junior, Lucio Holanda

    2013-01-01

    Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that has a large impact in global health. It is considered as one of the medically important arboviruses, and developing a preventive or therapeutic solution remains a top priority in the medical and scientific community. Drug discovery programs for potential dengue antivirals have increased dramatically over the last decade, largely in part to the introduction of high-throughput assays. In this study, we have developed an image-based dengue high-throughput/high-content assay (HT/HCA) using an innovative computer vision approach to screen a kinase-focused library for anti-dengue compounds. Using this dengue HT/HCA, we identified a group of compounds with a 4-(1-aminoethyl)-N-methylthiazol-2-amine as a common core structure that inhibits dengue viral infection in a human liver-derived cell line (Huh-7.5 cells). Compounds CND1201, CND1203 and CND1243 exhibited strong antiviral activities against all four dengue serotypes. Plaque reduction and time-of-addition assays suggests that these compounds interfere with the late stage of viral infection cycle. These findings demonstrate that our image-based dengue HT/HCA is a reliable tool that can be used to screen various chemical libraries for potential dengue antiviral candidates.

  15. Getting the whole picture: High content screening using three-dimensional cellular model systems and whole animal assays.

    PubMed

    Kriston-Vizi, Janos; Flotow, Horst

    2017-02-01

    Phenotypic or High Content Screening (HCS) is becoming more widely used for primary screening campaigns in drug discovery. Currently the vast majority of HCS campaigns are using cell lines grown in well-established monolayer cultures (2D tissue culture). There is widespread recognition that the more biologically relevant 3D tissue culture technologies such as spheroids and organoids and even whole animal assays will eventually be run as primary HCS. Upgrading the IT infrastructure to cope with the increase in data volumes requires investments in hardware (and software) and this will be manageable. However, the main bottleneck for the effective adoption and use of 3D tissue culture and whole animal assays in HCS is anticipated to be the development of software for the analysis of 3D images. In this review we summarize the current state of the available software and how they may be applied to analyzing 3D images obtained from a HCS campaign. © 2016 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  16. 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

  17. Novel small molecule modulators of plant growth and development identified by high-content screening with plant pollen.

    PubMed

    Chuprov-Netochin, Roman; Neskorodov, Yaroslav; Marusich, Elena; Mishutkina, Yana; Volynchuk, Polina; Leonov, Sergey; Skryabin, Konstantin; Ivashenko, Andrey; Palme, Klaus; Touraev, Alisher

    2016-09-06

    Small synthetic molecules provide valuable tools to agricultural biotechnology to circumvent the need for genetic engineering and provide unique benefits to modulate plant growth and development. We developed a method to explore molecular mechanisms of plant growth by high-throughput phenotypic screening of haploid populations of pollen cells. These cells rapidly germinate to develop pollen tubes. Compounds acting as growth inhibitors or stimulators of pollen tube growth are identified in a screen lasting not longer than 8 h high-lighting the potential broad applicability of this assay to prioritize chemicals for future mechanism focused investigations in plants. We identified 65 chemical compounds that influenced pollen development. We demonstrated the usefulness of the identified compounds as promotors or inhibitors of tobacco and Arabidopsis thaliana seed growth. When 7 days old seedlings were grown in the presence of these chemicals twenty two of these compounds caused a reduction in Arabidopsis root length in the range from 4.76 to 49.20 % when compared to controls grown in the absence of the chemicals. Two of the chemicals sharing structural homology with thiazolidines stimulated root growth and increased root length by 129.23 and 119.09 %, respectively. The pollen tube growth stimulating compound (S-02) belongs to benzazepin-type chemicals and increased Arabidopsis root length by 126.24 %. In this study we demonstrate the usefulness of plant pollen tube based assay for screening small chemical compound libraries for new biologically active compounds. The pollen tubes represent an ultra-rapid screening tool with which even large compound libraries can be analyzed in very short time intervals. The broadly applicable high-throughput protocol is suitable for automated phenotypic screening of germinating pollen resulting in combination with seed germination assays in identification of plant growth inhibitors and stimulators.

  18. High-Content Genome-Wide RNAi Screen Reveals CCR3 as a Key Mediator of Neuronal Cell Death.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianmin; Wang, Huaishan; Sherbini, Omar; Ling-Lin Pai, Emily; Kang, Sung-Ung; Kwon, Ji-Sun; Yang, Jia; He, Wei; Wang, Hong; Eacker, Stephen M; Chi, Zhikai; Mao, Xiaobo; Xu, Jinchong; Jiang, Haisong; Andrabi, Shaida A; Dawson, Ted M; Dawson, Valina L

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal loss caused by ischemic injury, trauma, or disease can lead to devastating consequences for the individual. With the goal of limiting neuronal loss, a number of cell death pathways have been studied, but there may be additional contributors to neuronal death that are yet unknown. To identify previously unknown cell death mediators, we performed a high-content genome-wide screening of short, interfering RNA (siRNA) with an siRNA library in murine neural stem cells after exposure to N-methyl-N-nitroso-N'-nitroguanidine (MNNG), which leads to DNA damage and cell death. Eighty genes were identified as key mediators for cell death. Among them, 14 are known cell death mediators and 66 have not previously been linked to cell death pathways. Using an integrated approach with functional and bioinformatics analysis, we provide possible molecular networks, interconnected pathways, and/or protein complexes that may participate in cell death. Of the 66 genes, we selected CCR3 for further evaluation and found that CCR3 is a mediator of neuronal injury. CCR3 inhibition or deletion protects murine cortical cultures from oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced cell death, and CCR3 deletion in mice provides protection from ischemia in vivo. Taken together, our findings suggest that CCR3 is a previously unknown mediator of cell death. Future identification of the neural cell death network in which CCR3 participates will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neural cell death.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2016-04-08

    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.

  1. High-Content Genome-Wide RNAi Screen Reveals CCR3 as a Key Mediator of Neuronal Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Huaishan; Sherbini, Omar; Ling-lin Pai, Emily; Kwon, Ji-Sun; He, Wei; Wang, Hong; Chi, Zhikai; Xu, Jinchong; Jiang, Haisong; Andrabi, Shaida A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal loss caused by ischemic injury, trauma, or disease can lead to devastating consequences for the individual. With the goal of limiting neuronal loss, a number of cell death pathways have been studied, but there may be additional contributors to neuronal death that are yet unknown. To identify previously unknown cell death mediators, we performed a high-content genome-wide screening of short, interfering RNA (siRNA) with an siRNA library in murine neural stem cells after exposure to N-methyl-N-nitroso-N′-nitroguanidine (MNNG), which leads to DNA damage and cell death. Eighty genes were identified as key mediators for cell death. Among them, 14 are known cell death mediators and 66 have not previously been linked to cell death pathways. Using an integrated approach with functional and bioinformatics analysis, we provide possible molecular networks, interconnected pathways, and/or protein complexes that may participate in cell death. Of the 66 genes, we selected CCR3 for further evaluation and found that CCR3 is a mediator of neuronal injury. CCR3 inhibition or deletion protects murine cortical cultures from oxygen-glucose deprivation–induced cell death, and CCR3 deletion in mice provides protection from ischemia in vivo. Taken together, our findings suggest that CCR3 is a previously unknown mediator of cell death. Future identification of the neural cell death network in which CCR3 participates will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neural cell death. PMID:27822494

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Development of a 3D Tissue Culture-Based High-Content Screening Platform That Uses Phenotypic Profiling to Discriminate Selective Inhibitors of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases.

    PubMed

    Booij, Tijmen H; Klop, Maarten J D; Yan, Kuan; Szántai-Kis, Csaba; Szokol, Balint; Orfi, Laszlo; van de Water, Bob; Keri, Gyorgy; Price, Leo S

    2016-10-01

    3D tissue cultures provide a more physiologically relevant context for the screening of compounds, compared with 2D cell cultures. Cells cultured in 3D hydrogels also show complex phenotypes, increasing the scope for phenotypic profiling. Here we describe a high-content screening platform that uses invasive human prostate cancer cells cultured in 3D in standard 384-well assay plates to study the activity of potential therapeutic small molecules and antibody biologics. Image analysis tools were developed to process 3D image data to measure over 800 phenotypic parameters. Multiparametric analysis was used to evaluate the effect of compounds on tissue morphology. We applied this screening platform to measure the activity and selectivity of inhibitors of the c-Met and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinases in 3D cultured prostate carcinoma cells. c-Met and EGFR activity was quantified based on the phenotypic profiles induced by their respective ligands, hepatocyte growth factor and EGF. The screening method was applied to a novel collection of 80 putative inhibitors of c-Met and EGFR. Compounds were identified that induced phenotypic profiles indicative of selective inhibition of c-Met, EGFR, or bispecific inhibition of both targets. In conclusion, we describe a fully scalable high-content screening platform that uses phenotypic profiling to discriminate selective and nonselective (off-target) inhibitors in a physiologically relevant 3D cell culture setting.

  7. Development of a 3D Tissue Culture–Based High-Content Screening Platform That Uses Phenotypic Profiling to Discriminate Selective Inhibitors of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases

    PubMed Central

    Booij, Tijmen H.; Klop, Maarten J. D.; Yan, Kuan; Szántai-Kis, Csaba; Szokol, Balint; Orfi, Laszlo; van de Water, Bob; Keri, Gyorgy; Price, Leo S.

    2016-01-01

    3D tissue cultures provide a more physiologically relevant context for the screening of compounds, compared with 2D cell cultures. Cells cultured in 3D hydrogels also show complex phenotypes, increasing the scope for phenotypic profiling. Here we describe a high-content screening platform that uses invasive human prostate cancer cells cultured in 3D in standard 384-well assay plates to study the activity of potential therapeutic small molecules and antibody biologics. Image analysis tools were developed to process 3D image data to measure over 800 phenotypic parameters. Multiparametric analysis was used to evaluate the effect of compounds on tissue morphology. We applied this screening platform to measure the activity and selectivity of inhibitors of the c-Met and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinases in 3D cultured prostate carcinoma cells. c-Met and EGFR activity was quantified based on the phenotypic profiles induced by their respective ligands, hepatocyte growth factor and EGF. The screening method was applied to a novel collection of 80 putative inhibitors of c-Met and EGFR. Compounds were identified that induced phenotypic profiles indicative of selective inhibition of c-Met, EGFR, or bispecific inhibition of both targets. In conclusion, we describe a fully scalable high-content screening platform that uses phenotypic profiling to discriminate selective and nonselective (off-target) inhibitors in a physiologically relevant 3D cell culture setting. PMID:27412535

  8. Towards automated screening of two-dimensional crystals.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Anchi; Leung, Albert; Fellmann, Denis; Quispe, Joel; Suloway, Christian; Pulokas, James; Abeyrathne, Priyanka D; Lam, Joseph S; Carragher, Bridget; Potter, Clinton S

    2007-12-01

    Screening trials to determine the presence of two-dimensional (2D) protein crystals suitable for three-dimensional structure determination using electron crystallography is a very labor-intensive process. Methods compatible with fully automated screening have been developed for the process of crystal production by dialysis and for producing negatively stained grids of the resulting trials. Further automation via robotic handling of the EM grids, and semi-automated transmission electron microscopic imaging and evaluation of the trial grids is also possible. We, and others, have developed working prototypes for several of these tools and tested and evaluated them in a simple screen of 24 crystallization conditions. While further development of these tools is certainly required for a turn-key system, the goal of fully automated screening appears to be within reach.

  9. Computer-Aided Diagnosis and Automated Screening of Digital Mammogram.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-10-01

    AD GRANT NUMBER DAMD17-94-J-4328 TITLE: Computer-Aided Diagnosis and Automated Screening of Digital Mammogram PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Kevin S...and Automated Screening of Digital Mammogram 6. AUTHOR(S) Kevin S. Woods, Ph.D, 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES...to&E<yrirtRto. Breast Cancer, computer-aided diagnosis, digital mammography 15. NUMBER OF PAGES 19 16. PRICE CODE 17. SECURITY

  10. High-content screening technology combined with a human granuloma model as a new approach to evaluate the activities of drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. High-content screening of Aspergillus niger with both increased production and high secretion rate of glucose oxidase.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xudong; Sun, Jingchun; Chu, Ju

    2017-09-22

    To develop a rapid, dual-parameter, plate-based screening process to improve production and secretion rate of glucose oxidase simultaneously in Aspergillus niger. A morphology engineering based on CaCO3 was implemented, where the yield of GOD by A. niger was increased by up to 50%. Analysis of extracellular GOD activity was achieved in 96-well plates. There was a close negative correlation between the total GOD activity and its residual glucose of the fermentation broth. Based on this, a rapid, plate-based, qualitative analysis method of the total GOD activity was developed. Compared with the conventional analysis method using o-dianisidine, a correlation coefficient of -0.92 by statistical analysis was obtained. Using this dual-parameter screening method, we acquired a strain with GOD activity of 3126 U l(-1), which was 146% higher than the original strain. Its secretion rate of GOD was 83, 32% higher than the original strain.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-29

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Automated recombinant protein expression screening in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Busso, Didier; Stierlé, Matthieu; Thierry, Jean-Claude; Moras, Dino

    2008-01-01

    To fit the requirements of structural genomics programs, new as well as classical methods have been adapted to automation. This chapter describes the automated procedure developed within the Structural Biology and Genomics Platform, Strasbourg for performing recombinant protein expression screening in Escherichia coli. The procedure consists of parallel competent cells transformation, cell plating, and liquid culture inoculation, implemented for up to 96 samples at a time.

  4. AHCODA-DB: a data repository with web-based mining tools for the analysis of automated high-content mouse phenomics data.

    PubMed

    Koopmans, Bastijn; Smit, August B; Verhage, Matthijs; Loos, Maarten

    2017-04-04

    Systematic, standardized and in-depth phenotyping and data analyses of rodent behaviour empowers gene-function studies, drug testing and therapy design. However, no data repositories are currently available for standardized quality control, data analysis and mining at the resolution of individual mice. Here, we present AHCODA-DB, a public data repository with standardized quality control and exclusion criteria aimed to enhance robustness of data, enabled with web-based mining tools for the analysis of individually and group-wise collected mouse phenotypic data. AHCODA-DB allows monitoring in vivo effects of compounds collected from conventional behavioural tests and from automated home-cage experiments assessing spontaneous behaviour, anxiety and cognition without human interference. AHCODA-DB includes such data from mutant mice (transgenics, knock-out, knock-in), (recombinant) inbred strains, and compound effects in wildtype mice and disease models. AHCODA-DB provides real time statistical analyses with single mouse resolution and versatile suite of data presentation tools. On March 9th, 2017 AHCODA-DB contained 650 k data points on 2419 parameters from 1563 mice. AHCODA-DB provides users with tools to systematically explore mouse behavioural data, both with positive and negative outcome, published and unpublished, across time and experiments with single mouse resolution. The standardized (automated) experimental settings and the large current dataset (1563 mice) in AHCODA-DB provide a unique framework for the interpretation of behavioural data and drug effects. The use of common ontologies allows data export to other databases such as the Mouse Phenome Database. Unbiased presentation of positive and negative data obtained under the highly standardized screening conditions increase cost efficiency of publicly funded mouse screening projects and help to reach consensus conclusions on drug responses and mouse behavioural phenotypes. The website is publicly

  5. Development of a cell-based assay for measurement of c-Met phosphorylation using AlphaScreen technology and high-content imaging analysis.

    PubMed

    Smotrov, Nadya; Mathur, Anjili; Kariv, Ilona; Moxham, Christopher M; Bays, Nathan

    2009-04-01

    c-Met is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) with a critical role in many fundamental cellular processes, including cell proliferation and differentiation. Deregulated c-Met signaling has been implicated in both the initiation and progression of human cancers and therefore represents an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Monitoring the phosphorylation status of relevant tyrosine residues provides an important method of assessing c-Met kinase activity. This report describes a novel assay to monitor c-Met phosphorylation in cells using Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay (AlphaScreen) technology. Using AlphaScreen, the authors were able to detect both global and site-specific phosphorylation of c-Met in transformed cell lines. Data obtained from the AlphaScreen assay were compared to data obtained from a high-content imaging (HCI) method developed in parallel to monitor c-Met phosphorylation at the single cell level. The AlphaScreen assay was miniaturized to a 384-well format with acceptable signal-to-background ratio (S/B) and Z' statistics and was employed to measure c-Met kinase activity in situ after treatment with potent c-Met-specific kinase inhibitors. The authors discuss the utility of quantifying endogenous cellular c-Met phosphorylation in lead optimization and how the modular design of the AlphaScreen assay allows its adaptation to measure cellular activity of other kinases.

  6. Purified Human Pancreatic Duct Cell Culture Conditions Defined by Serum-Free High-Content Growth Factor Screening

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Quantification of Lipid Droplets and Associated Proteins in Cellular Models of Obesity via High-Content/High-Throughput Microscopy and Automated Image Analysis

    PubMed Central

    McDonough, Patrick M.

    2009-01-01

    Intracellular lipid droplets are associated with a myriad of afflictions including obesity, fatty liver disease, coronary artery disease, and infectious diseases (eg, HCV and tuberculosis). To develop high-content analysis (HCA) techniques to analyze lipid droplets and associated proteins, primary human preadipocytes were plated in 96-well dishes in the presence of rosiglitazone (rosi), a PPAR-© agonist that promotes adipogenesis. The cells were then labeled for nuclei, lipid droplets, and proteins such as perilipin, protein kinase C (PKC), and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). The cells were imaged via automated digital microscopy and algorithms were developed to quantify lipid droplet (Lipid Droplet algorithm) and protein expression and colocalization (Colocalization algorithm). The algorithms, which were incorporated into Vala Science Inc’s CyteSeer® image cytometry program, quantified the rosi-induced increases in lipid droplet number, size, and intensity, and the expression of perilipin with exceptional consistency (Z′ values of 0.54–0.71). Regarding colocalization with lipid droplets, Pearson’s correlation coefficients of 0.38 (highly colocalized), 0.16 (moderate), and −0.0010 (random) were found for perilipin, PKC, and HSL, respectively. For hepatocytes (AML12, HuH-7, and primary cells), the algorithms also quantified the stimulatory and inhibitory effect of oleic acid and triacsin C on lipid droplets (Z′s > 0.50) and ADFP expression/colocalization. Oleic acid-induced lipid droplets in HeLa cells and macrophages (THP-1) were also well quantified. The results suggest that HCA techniques can be utilized to quantify lipid droplets and associated proteins in many cell models relevant to a variety of diseases. PMID:19895345

  9. Quantification of lipid droplets and associated proteins in cellular models of obesity via high-content/high-throughput microscopy and automated image analysis.

    PubMed

    McDonough, Patrick M; Agustin, Ramses M; Ingermanson, Randall S; Loy, Patricia A; Buehrer, Benjamin M; Nicoll, James B; Prigozhina, Natalie L; Mikic, Ivana; Price, Jeffrey H

    2009-10-01

    Intracellular lipid droplets are associated with a myriad of afflictions including obesity, fatty liver disease, coronary artery disease, and infectious diseases (eg, HCV and tuberculosis). To develop high-content analysis (HCA) techniques to analyze lipid droplets and associated proteins, primary human preadipocytes were plated in 96-well dishes in the presence of rosiglitazone (rosi), a PPAR-(c) agonist that promotes adipogenesis. The cells were then labeled for nuclei, lipid droplets, and proteins such as perilipin, protein kinase C (PKC), and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). The cells were imaged via automated digital microscopy and algorithms were developed to quantify lipid droplet (Lipid Droplet algorithm) and protein expression and colocalization (Colocalization algorithm). The algorithms, which were incorporated into Vala Science Inc's CyteSeer((R)) image cytometry program, quantified the rosi-induced increases in lipid droplet number, size, and intensity, and the expression of perilipin with exceptional consistency (Z' values of 0.54-0.71). Regarding colocalization with lipid droplets, Pearson's correlation coefficients of 0.38 (highly colocalized), 0.16 (moderate), and -0.0010 (random) were found for perilipin, PKC, and HSL, respectively. For hepatocytes (AML12, HuH-7, and primary cells), the algorithms also quantified the stimulatory and inhibitory effect of oleic acid and triacsin C on lipid droplets (Z's > 0.50) and ADFP expression/colocalization. Oleic acid-induced lipid droplets in HeLa cells and macrophages (THP-1) were also well quantified. The results suggest that HCA techniques can be utilized to quantify lipid droplets and associated proteins in many cell models relevant to a variety of diseases.

  10. High Content Phenotypic Cell-Based Visual Screen Identifies Mycobacterium tuberculosis Acyltrehalose-Containing Glycolipids Involved in Phagosome Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Larrouy-Maumus, Gerald; Gilleron, Martine; Ewann, Fanny; Christophe, Thierry; Fenistein, Denis; Jang, Jichan; Jang, Mi-Seon; Park, Sei-Jin; Rauzier, Jean; Carralot, Jean-Philippe; Shrimpton, Rachel; Genovesio, Auguste; Gonzalo-Asensio, Jesus A.; Puzo, Germain; Martin, Carlos; Brosch, Roland; Stewart, Graham R.; Gicquel, Brigitte; Neyrolles, Olivier

    2010-01-01

    The ability of the tubercle bacillus to arrest phagosome maturation is considered one major mechanism that allows its survival within host macrophages. To identify mycobacterial genes involved in this process, we developed a high throughput phenotypic cell-based assay enabling individual sub-cellular analysis of over 11,000 Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutants. This very stringent assay makes use of fluorescent staining for intracellular acidic compartments, and automated confocal microscopy to quantitatively determine the intracellular localization of M. tuberculosis. We characterised the ten mutants that traffic most frequently into acidified compartments early after phagocytosis, suggesting that they had lost their ability to arrest phagosomal maturation. Molecular analysis of these mutants revealed mainly disruptions in genes involved in cell envelope biogenesis (fadD28), the ESX-1 secretion system (espL/Rv3880), molybdopterin biosynthesis (moaC1 and moaD1), as well as in genes from a novel locus, Rv1503c-Rv1506c. Most interestingly, the mutants in Rv1503c and Rv1506c were perturbed in the biosynthesis of acyltrehalose-containing glycolipids. Our results suggest that such glycolipids indeed play a critical role in the early intracellular fate of the tubercle bacillus. The unbiased approach developed here can be easily adapted for functional genomics study of intracellular pathogens, together with focused discovery of new anti-microbials. PMID:20844580

  11. 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.

  12. High-Content Assessment of Cardiac Function Using Heart-on-a-Chip Devices as Drug Screening Model.

    PubMed

    Conant, Genevieve; Lai, Benjamin Fook Lun; Lu, Rick Xing Ze; Korolj, Anastasia; Wang, Erika Yan; Radisic, Milica

    2017-06-01

    Drug discovery and development continues to be a challenge to the pharmaceutical industry despite great advances in cell and molecular biology that allow for the design of better targeted therapeutics. Many potential drug compounds fail during the clinical trial due to inefficacy and toxicity that were not predicted during preclinical stages. The fundamental problem lies with the use of traditional drug screening models that still largely rely on the use of cell lines or animal cell monolayers, which leads to lack of predictive power of human tissue and organ response to the drug candidates. More physiologically relevant systems are therefore critical in relieving the burden of high failure rates. Emerging knowledge and techniques in tissue engineering and microfabrication have enabled the development of micro-engineered systems - collectively known as organs-on-chips - that may lead to a paradigm shift in preclinical drug screening assays. In this review we explore the technological advances and challenges in the development of heart-on-a-chip models, by addressing current assessment methods for drug-induced cardiotoxicity and providing a perspective on the modifications that should be implemented to realize the full potential of this system.

  13. Automated imaging and other developments in whole-organism anthelmintic screening.

    PubMed

    Paveley, R A; Bickle, Q D

    2013-01-01

    Helminth infections still represent a huge public health problem throughout the developing world and in the absence of vaccines control is based on periodic mass drug administration. Poor efficacy of some anthelmintics and concerns about emergence of drug resistance has highlighted the need for new drug discovery. Most current anthelmintics were discovered through in vivo screening of selected compounds in animal models but recent approaches have shifted towards screening for activity against adult or larval stages in vitro. Larvae are normally available in greater numbers than adults, can often be produced in vitro and are small enough for microplate assays. However, the manual visualization of drug effects in vitro is subjective, laborious and slow. This can be overcome by application of automated readouts including high-content imaging. Incorporated into robotically controlled HTS platforms such methods allow the very large compound collections being made available by the pharmaceutical industry or academic organizations to be screened against helminths for the first time, invigorating the drug discovery pipeline. Here, we review the status of whole-organism screens based on in vitro activity against living worms and highlight the recent progress towards automated image-based readouts. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. High content image-based screening of a protease inhibitor library reveals compounds broadly active against Rift Valley fever virus and other highly pathogenic RNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Mudhasani, Rajini; Kota, Krishna P; Retterer, Cary; Tran, Julie P; Whitehouse, Chris A; Bavari, Sina

    2014-08-01

    High content image-based screening was developed as an approach to test a protease inhibitor small molecule library for antiviral activity against Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and to determine their mechanism of action. RVFV is the causative agent of severe disease of humans and animals throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Of the 849 compounds screened, 34 compounds exhibited ≥ 50% inhibition against RVFV. All of the hit compounds could be classified into 4 distinct groups based on their unique chemical backbone. Some of the compounds also showed broad antiviral activity against several highly pathogenic RNA viruses including Ebola, Marburg, Venezuela equine encephalitis, and Lassa viruses. Four hit compounds (C795-0925, D011-2120, F694-1532 and G202-0362), which were most active against RVFV and showed broad-spectrum antiviral activity, were selected for further evaluation for their cytotoxicity, dose response profile, and mode of action using classical virological methods and high-content imaging analysis. Time-of-addition assays in RVFV infections suggested that D011-2120 and G202-0362 targeted virus egress, while C795-0925 and F694-1532 inhibited virus replication. We showed that D011-2120 exhibited its antiviral effects by blocking microtubule polymerization, thereby disrupting the Golgi complex and inhibiting viral trafficking to the plasma membrane during virus egress. While G202-0362 also affected virus egress, it appears to do so by a different mechanism, namely by blocking virus budding from the trans Golgi. F694-1532 inhibited viral replication, but also appeared to inhibit overall cellular gene expression. However, G202-0362 and C795-0925 did not alter any of the morphological features that we examined and thus may prove to be good candidates for antiviral drug development. Overall this work demonstrates that high-content image analysis can be used to screen chemical libraries for new antivirals and to determine their mechanism of action and

  15. Large-scale screening by the automated Wassermann reaction

    PubMed Central

    Wagstaff, W.; Firth, R.; Booth, J. R.; Bowley, C. C.

    1969-01-01

    In view of the drawbacks in the use of the Kahn test for large-scale screening of blood donors, mainly those of human error through work overload and fatiguability, an attempt was made to adapt an existing automated complement-fixation technique for this purpose. This paper reports the successful results of that adaptation. PMID:5776559

  16. 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

  17. Automation to improve efficiency of field expedient injury prediction screening.

    PubMed

    Teyhen, Deydre S; Shaffer, Scott W; Umlauf, Jon A; Akerman, Raymond J; Canada, John B; Butler, Robert J; Goffar, Stephen L; Walker, Michael J; Kiesel, Kyle B; Plisky, Phillip J

    2012-07-01

    Musculoskeletal injuries are a primary source of disability in the U.S. Military. Physical training and sports-related activities account for up to 90% of all injuries, and 80% of these injuries are considered overuse in nature. As a result, there is a need to develop an evidence-based musculoskeletal screen that can assist with injury prevention. The purpose of this study was to assess the capability of an automated system to improve the efficiency of field expedient tests that may help predict injury risk and provide corrective strategies for deficits identified. The field expedient tests include survey questions and measures of movement quality, balance, trunk stability, power, mobility, and foot structure and mobility. Data entry for these tests was automated using handheld computers, barcode scanning, and netbook computers. An automated algorithm for injury risk stratification and mitigation techniques was run on a server computer. Without automation support, subjects were assessed in 84.5 ± 9.1 minutes per subject compared with 66.8 ± 6.1 minutes per subject with automation and 47.1 ± 5.2 minutes per subject with automation and process improvement measures (p < 0.001). The average time to manually enter the data was 22.2 ± 7.4 minutes per subject. An additional 11.5 ± 2.5 minutes per subject was required to manually assign an intervention strategy. Automation of this injury prevention screening protocol using handheld devices and netbook computers allowed for real-time data entry and enhanced the efficiency of injury screening, risk stratification, and prescription of a risk mitigation strategy.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. High-Content Functional Screening of AEG-1 and AKR1C2 for the Promotion of Metastasis in Liver Cancer.

    PubMed

    Li, Cong; Wu, Xia; Zhang, Wei; Li, Jia; Liu, Huawei; Hao, Ming; Wang, Junsong; Zhang, Honghai; Yang, Gengxia; Hao, Meijun; Sheng, Shoupeng; Sun, Yu; Long, Jiang; Li, Juan; Zhuang, Fengfeng; Hu, Caixia; Li, Li; Zheng, Jiasheng

    2016-01-01

    Liver cancer is one of the most lethal cancer types in humans, but our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remains insufficient. Here, we conducted high-content screening of the potential genes involved in liver cancer metastasis, which we selected from the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway database, based on the SAMcell method and RNA interference technology. We identified two powerful genes in the liver cancer metastasis process, AEG-1 and AKR1C2, both of which proved to be positive regulators in promoting metastasis in liver cancer. Further clinical results verified their roles in liver cancer. In summary, these findings could provide new insight into the liver cancer mechanism and potentially therapeutic novel targets for liver cancer therapies in the future.

  1. [High-Content siRNA Screen of the Kinome Identifies Kinases Involved in Git2-Induced Mesenchymal-Epithelial Transition].

    PubMed

    Cao, M G; Xu, J; Yang, Q F; Guo, Z P; Zhang, K B; Li, X-B; Wu, S Q; Zhou, W

    2017-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its reverse process mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) programs are involced in the metastatic process. More and more evidence confirms that EMT is vital for the initiation and dissemination of cancer cells whereas MET is critical for successful metastatic colonization of a secondary organ. The regulating mechanism of EMT mediated cancer progression and metastasis has been deeply investigated. However, what processes are dependent on MET in metastatic cascades remains unclear. Here, we created a cell based high-content siRNA screen using the breast cancer cell line 4TO7 to search for kinases that were involved in Git2-induced MET. Our results revealed that 58 kinases including transferase, phosphorylation regulators, ATP/nucleotide partners potentially participate in Git2-induced MET. Our preliminary data is expected to facilitate elucidation of the mechanism on how MET is initiated during cancer metastasis.

  2. From Omics to Drug Metabolism and High Content Screen of Natural Product in Zebrafish: A New Model for Discovery of Neuroactive Compound

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Ming Wai; Zhang, Zai Jun; Li, Shang; Lei, Benson; Yuan, Shuai; Cui, Guo Zhen; Man Hoi, Pui; Chan, Kelvin; Lee, Simon Ming Yuen

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has recently become a common model in the fields of genetics, environmental science, toxicology, and especially drug screening. Zebrafish has emerged as a biomedically relevant model for in vivo high content drug screening and the simultaneous determination of multiple efficacy parameters, including behaviour, selectivity, and toxicity in the content of the whole organism. A zebrafish behavioural assay has been demonstrated as a novel, rapid, and high-throughput approach to the discovery of neuroactive, psychoactive, and memory-modulating compounds. Recent studies found a functional similarity of drug metabolism systems in zebrafish and mammals, providing a clue with why some compounds are active in zebrafish in vivo but not in vitro, as well as providing grounds for the rationales supporting the use of a zebrafish screen to identify prodrugs. Here, we discuss the advantages of the zebrafish model for evaluating drug metabolism and the mode of pharmacological action with the emerging omics approaches. Why this model is suitable for identifying lead compounds from natural products for therapy of disorders with multifactorial etiopathogenesis and imbalance of angiogenesis, such as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, cardiotoxicity, cerebral hemorrhage, dyslipidemia, and hyperlipidemia, is addressed. PMID:22919414

  3. Semi-automated screening of biomedical citations for systematic reviews

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Systematic reviews address a specific clinical question by unbiasedly assessing and analyzing the pertinent literature. Citation screening is a time-consuming and critical step in systematic reviews. Typically, reviewers must evaluate thousands of citations to identify articles eligible for a given review. We explore the application of machine learning techniques to semi-automate citation screening, thereby reducing the reviewers' workload. Results We present a novel online classification strategy for citation screening to automatically discriminate "relevant" from "irrelevant" citations. We use an ensemble of Support Vector Machines (SVMs) built over different feature-spaces (e.g., abstract and title text), and trained interactively by the reviewer(s). Semi-automating the citation screening process is difficult because any such strategy must identify all citations eligible for the systematic review. This requirement is made harder still due to class imbalance; there are far fewer "relevant" than "irrelevant" citations for any given systematic review. To address these challenges we employ a custom active-learning strategy developed specifically for imbalanced datasets. Further, we introduce a novel undersampling technique. We provide experimental results over three real-world systematic review datasets, and demonstrate that our algorithm is able to reduce the number of citations that must be screened manually by nearly half in two of these, and by around 40% in the third, without excluding any of the citations eligible for the systematic review. Conclusions We have developed a semi-automated citation screening algorithm for systematic reviews that has the potential to substantially reduce the number of citations reviewers have to manually screen, without compromising the quality and comprehensiveness of the review. PMID:20102628

  4. Genotoxicity evaluation of individual cigarette smoke toxicants using the in vitro γH2AX assay by high content screening.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Canton, Carolina; Anadon, Arturo; Meredith, Clive

    2013-10-23

    Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture consisting of more than 5600 identified chemical constituents of which approximately 150 have been identified so far as "tobacco smoke toxicants". Proposals made by the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control mandate the lowering of nine tobacco smoke priority toxicants, including 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and monitoring the levels of a further nine including cadmium. Here, we evaluated the genotoxic potential in human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells of four cigarette smoke toxicants; NNK, NNN, B[a]P and cadmium using the novel in vitro γH2AX assay by High Content Screening (HCS). We also examined the genotoxicity of binary mixtures of NNK and NNN reporting their relative contribution to the genotoxic end-point. The results of this preliminary assessment showed that the in vitro γH2AX assay by HCS could be used as a pre-screening tool to detect and quantify the genotoxicity effect of cigarette smoke toxicants individually and in binary mixture. Moreover, the data produced could contribute to the prioritisation of toxicant reduction research in modified tobacco products.

  5. 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

  6. Confocal-based method for quantification of diffusion kinetics in microwell plates and its application for identifying a rapid mixing method for high-content/throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Song, Ok Ryul; Kim, Tae-Hee; Perrodon, Xavier; Lee, Changbok; Jeon, Hee Kyoung; Seghiri, Zahir; Kwon, Ho Jeong; Cechetto, Jonathan; Christophe, Thierry

    2010-02-01

    Rapid mixing in microplates is still an underappreciated challenge in screening assay development, particularly with the use of noncontact nanoliter liquid handlers. In high-content/throughput screening (HC/TS), fast and efficient mixing between compounds and cell culture medium is even more critical as biological kinetics dictates speed of mixing, usually within a few minutes. Moreover, mixing in HC/TS should be gentle enough to avoid any negative disruption in cell layer. Here the authors introduce a method to accurately quantify drop diffusion into a microplate well, independently of buffer, liquid handler, or dispensing protocol. This method was used to determine the effect of various mixing methods on the diffusion of a nanoliter drop of pure DMSO in aqueous buffer in 384-well plates. Rapid plate shaking and additional buffer addition were shown to be the most efficient and effective mixing methods for HC/TS. However, efficient mixing by plate shaking is limited by assay volume. Bulk addition shows fast and efficient mixing, without negative effects on cells. Moreover, this simple, fast, and inexpensive method can be easily adapted on any platform.

  7. In Vitro Optimization of EtNBS-PDT against Hypoxic Tumor Environments with a Tiered, High-Content, 3D Model Optical Screening Platform

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  8. The automated cell: compound and environment screening system (ACCESS) for chemogenomic screening.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Michael; Urbanus, Malene L; Fung, Eula L; Jaramillo, Daniel F; Davis, Ronald W; Nislow, Corey; Giaever, Guri

    2011-01-01

    The automated cell, compound and environment screening system (ACCESS) was developed as an automated platform for chemogenomic research. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a number of genomic screens rely on the modulation of gene dose to determine the mode of action of bioactive compounds or the effects of environmental/compound perturbations. These and other phenotypic experiments have been shown to benefit from high-resolution growth curves and a highly automated controlled environment system that enables a wide range of multi-well assays that can be run over many days without any manual intervention. Furthermore, precise control of drug dosing, timing of drug exposure, and precise timing of cell harvesting at specific generation times are important for optimal results. Some of these benefits include the ability to derive fine distinctions between growth rates of mutant strains (1) and the discovery of novel compounds and drug targets (2). The automation has also enabled large-scale screening projects with over 100,000 unique compounds screened to date including a thousand genome-wide screens (3). The ACCESS system also has a diverse set of software tools to enable users to set up, run, annotate, and evaluate complex screens with minimal training.

  9. Automated high-throughput nanoliter-scale protein crystallization screening.

    PubMed

    Li, Fenglei; Robinson, Howard; Yeung, Edward S

    2005-12-01

    A highly efficient method is developed for automated high-throughput screening of nanoliter-scale protein crystallization. The system integrates liquid dispensing, crystallization and detection. The automated liquid dispensing system handles nanoliters of protein and various combinations of precipitants in parallel to access diverse regions of the phase diagram. A new detection scheme, native fluorescence, with complementary visible-light detection is employed for monitoring the progress of crystallization. This detection mode can distinguish protein crystals from inorganic crystals in a nondestructive manner. A gas-permeable membrane covering the microwells simplifies evaporation rate control and probes extended conditions in the phase diagram. The system was successfully demonstrated for the screening of lysozyme crystallization under 81 different conditions.

  10. Identification of Retinoic Acid in a High Content Screen for Agents that Overcome the Anti-Myogenic Effect of TGF-Beta-1

    PubMed Central

    Krueger, Chateen; Hoffmann, F. Michael

    2010-01-01

    Background Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) is an inhibitor of muscle cell differentiation that is associated with fibrosis, poor regeneration and poor function in some diseases of muscle. When neutralizing antibodies to TGF-β1 or the angiotensin II inhibitor losartan were used to reduce TGF-β1 signaling, muscle morphology and function were restored in mouse models of Marfan Syndrome and muscular dystrophy. The goal of our studies was to identify additional agents that overcome the anti-myogenic effect of TGF-β1. Methodology/Principal Findings A high-content cell-based assay was developed in a 96-well plate format that detects the expression of myosin heavy chain (MHC) in C2C12 cells. The assay was used to quantify the dose-dependent responses of C2C12 cell differentiation to TGF-β1 and to the TGF-β1 Type 1 receptor kinase inhibitor, SB431542. Thirteen agents previously described as promoting C2C12 differentiation in the absence of TGF-β1 were screened in the presence of TGF-β1. Only all-trans retinoic acid and 9-cis retinoic acid allowed a maximal level of C2C12 cell differentiation in the presence of TGF-β1; the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril and 10 nM estrogen provided partial rescue. Vitamin D was a potent inhibitor of retinoic acid-induced myogenesis in the presence of TGF-β1. TGF-β1 inhibits myoblast differentiation through activation of Smad3; however, retinoic acid did not inhibit TGF-β1-induced activation of a Smad3-dependent reporter gene in C2C12 cells. Conclusions/Significance Retinoic acid alleviated the anti-myogenic effect of TGF-β1 by a Smad3-independent mechanism. With regard to the goal of improving muscle regeneration and function in individuals with muscle disease, the identification of retinoic acid is intriguing in that some retinoids are already approved for human therapy. However, retinoids also have well-described adverse effects. The quantitative, high-content assay will be useful to screen for

  11. Omnisphero: a high-content image analysis (HCA) approach for phenotypic developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) screenings of organoid neurosphere cultures in vitro.

    PubMed

    Schmuck, Martin R; Temme, Thomas; Dach, Katharina; de Boer, Denise; Barenys, Marta; Bendt, Farina; Mosig, Axel; Fritsche, Ellen

    2017-04-01

    Current developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) testing in animals faces major limitations, such as high cost and time demands as well as uncertainties in their methodology, evaluation and regulation. Therefore, the use of human-based 3D in vitro systems in combination with high-content image analysis (HCA) might contribute to DNT testing with lower costs, increased throughput and enhanced predictivity for human hazard identification. Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) grown as 3D neurospheres mimic basic processes of brain development including hNPC migration and differentiation and are therefore useful for DNT hazard identification. HCA of migrated neurospheres creates new challenges for automated evaluations because it encompasses variable cell densities, inconsistent z-layers and heterogeneous cell populations. We tackle those challenges with our Omnisphero software, which assesses multiple endpoints of the 'Neurosphere Assay.' For neuronal identification, Omnisphero reaches a true positive rate (TPR) of 83.8 % and a false discovery rate (FDR) of 11.4 %, thus being comparable to the interindividual difference among two researchers (TPR = 94.3, FDR = 11.0 %) and largely improving the results obtained by an existing HCA approach, whose TPR does not exceed 50 % at a FDR above 50 %. The high FDR of existing methods results in incorrect measurements of neuronal morphological features accompanied by an overestimation of compound effects. Omnisphero additionally includes novel algorithms to assess 'neurosphere-specific' endpoints like radial migration and neuronal density distribution within the migration area. Furthermore, a user-assisted parameter optimization procedure makes Omnisphero accessible to non-expert end users.

  12. A High Content Drug Screen Identifies Ursolic Acid as an Inhibitor of Amyloid β Protein Interactions with Its Receptor CD36*

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Kim; Boyd, Justin D.; Glicksman, Marcie; Moore, Kathryn J.; El Khoury, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    A pathological hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD) is deposition of amyloid β (Aβ) in the brain. Aβ binds to microglia via a receptor complex that includes CD36 leading to production of proinflammatory cytokines and neurotoxic reactive oxygen species and subsequent neurodegeneration. Interruption of Aβ binding to CD36 is a potential therapeutic strategy for AD. To identify pharmacologic inhibitors of Aβ binding to CD36, we developed a 384-well plate assay for binding of fluorescently labeled Aβ to Chinese hamster ovary cells stably expressing human CD36 (CHO-CD36) and screened an Food and Drug Administration-approved compound library. The assay was optimized based on the cells' tolerance to dimethyl sulfoxide, Aβ concentration, time required for Aβ binding, reproducibility, and signal-to-background ratio. Using this assay, we identified four compounds as potential inhibitors of Aβ binding to CD36. These compounds were ursolic acid, ellipticine, zoxazolamine, and homomoschatoline. Of these compounds, only ursolic acid, a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid, successfully inhibited binding of Aβ to CHO-CD36 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The ursolic acid effect reached a plateau at ∼20 μm, with a maximal inhibition of 64%. Ursolic acid also blocked binding of Aβ to microglial cells and subsequent ROS production. Our data indicate that cell-based high-content screening of small molecule libraries for their ability to block binding of Aβ to its receptors is a useful tool to identify novel inhibitors of receptors involved in AD pathogenesis. Our data also suggest that ursolic acid is a potential therapeutic agent for AD via its ability to block Aβ-CD36 interactions. PMID:21835916

  13. A functional high-content miRNA screen identifies miR-30 family to boost recombinant protein production in CHO cells.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Simon; Buck, Theresa; Wagner, Andreas; Ehrhart, Carolin; Giancaterino, Julia; Mang, Samuel; Schad, Matthias; Mathias, Sven; Aschrafi, Armaz; Handrick, René; Otte, Kerstin

    2014-10-01

    The steady improvement of mammalian cell factories for the production of biopharmaceuticals is a key challenge for the biotechnology community. Recently, small regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) were identified as novel targets for optimizing Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) production cells as they do not add any translational burden to the cell while being capable of regulating entire physiological pathways. The aim of the present study was to elucidate miRNA function in a recombinant CHO-SEAP cell line by means of a genome-wide high-content miRNA screen. This screen revealed that out of the 1, 139 miRNAs examined, 21% of the miRNAs enhanced cell-specific SEAP productivity mainly resulting in elevated volumetric yields, while cell proliferation was accelerated by 5% of the miRNAs. Conversely, cell death was diminished by 13% (apoptosis) or 4% (necrosis) of all transfected miRNAs. Besides these large number of identified target miRNAs, the outcome of our studies suggest that the entire miR-30 family substantially improves bioprocess performance of CHO cells. Stable miR-30 over expressing cells outperformed parental cells by increasing SEAP productivity or maximum cell density of approximately twofold. Our results highlight the application of miRNAs as powerful tools for CHO cell engineering, identified the miR-30 family as a critical component of cell proliferation, and support the notion that miRNAs are powerful determinants of cell viability. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. High-Content pSTAT3/1 Imaging Assays to Screen for Selective Inhibitors of STAT3 Pathway Activation in Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Malabika; Hua, Yun; Camarco, Daniel; Shun, Tong Ying; Lazo, John S.; Grandis, Jennifer R.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The oncogenic transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is hyperactivated in most cancers and represents a plausible therapeutic target. In the absence of STAT3-selective small-molecule inhibitors, we sought to develop pSTAT3/1 high-content imaging (HCS) assays to screen for selective inhibitors of STAT3 pathway activation in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) tumor cell lines. Based on the expression of the interleukin-6 (IL-6)Rα and gp130 subunits of the IL-6 receptor complex and STAT3, we selected the Cal33 HNSCC cell line as our model. After developing image acquisition and analysis procedures, we rigorously investigated the cytokine activation responses to optimize the dynamic ranges of both assays and demonstrated that the pan-Janus kinase inhibitor pyridone 6 nonselectively inhibited pSTAT3 and pSTAT1 activation with 50% inhibition concentrations of 7.19±4.08 and 16.38±8.45 nM, respectively. The optimized pSTAT3 HCS assay performed very well in a pilot screen of 1,726 compounds from the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds and the National Institutes of Health clinical collection sets, and we identified 51 inhibitors of IL-6-induced pSTAT3 activation. However, only three of the primary HCS actives selectively inhibited STAT3 compared with STAT1. Our follow-up studies indicated that the nonselective inhibition of cytokine induced pSTAT3 and pSTAT1 activation by G-alpha stimulatory subunit-coupled G-protein-coupled receptor agonists, and forskolin was likely due to cyclic adenosine monophosphate-mediated up-regulation of suppressors of cytokine signaling 3. Azelastine, an H1 receptor antagonist approved for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis, nonallergic vasomotor rhinitis, and ocular conjunctivitis, was subsequently confirmed as a selective inhibitor of IL-6-induced pSTAT3 activation that also reduced the growth of HNSCC cell lines. These data illustrate the power of a chemical

  15. A testing strategy to predict risk for drug-induced liver injury in humans using high-content screen assays and the 'rule-of-two' model.

    PubMed

    Chen, Minjun; Tung, Chun-Wei; Shi, Qiang; Guo, Lei; Shi, Leming; Fang, Hong; Borlak, Jürgen; Tong, Weida

    2014-07-01

    Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a major cause of drug failures in both the preclinical and clinical phase. Consequently, improving prediction of DILI at an early stage of drug discovery will reduce the potential failures in the subsequent drug development program. In this regard, high-content screening (HCS) assays are considered as a promising strategy for the study of DILI; however, the predictive performance of HCS assays is frequently insufficient. In the present study, a new testing strategy was developed to improve DILI prediction by employing in vitro assays that was combined with the RO2 model (i.e., 'rule-of-two' defined by daily dose ≥100 mg/day & logP ≥3). The RO2 model was derived from the observation that high daily doses and lipophilicity of an oral medication were associated with significant DILI risk in humans. In the developed testing strategy, the RO2 model was used for the rational selection of candidates for HCS assays, and only the negatives predicted by the RO2 model were further investigated by HCS. Subsequently, the effects of drug treatment on cell loss, nuclear size, DNA damage/fragmentation, apoptosis, lysosomal mass, mitochondrial membrane potential, and steatosis were studied in cultures of primary rat hepatocytes. Using a set of 70 drugs with clear evidence of clinically relevant DILI, the testing strategy improved the accuracies by 10 % and reduced the number of drugs requiring experimental assessment by approximately 20 %, as compared to the HCS assay alone. Moreover, the testing strategy was further validated by including published data (Cosgrove et al. in Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 237:317-330, 2009) on drug-cytokine-induced hepatotoxicity, which improved the accuracies by 7 %. Taken collectively, the proposed testing strategy can significantly improve the prediction of in vitro assays for detecting DILI liability in an early drug discovery phase.

  16. High-content analysis in toxicology: screening substances for human toxicity potential, elucidating subcellular mechanisms and in vivo use as translational safety biomarkers.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Peter J

    2014-07-01

    High-content analysis (HCA) of in vitro biochemical and morphological effects of classic (small molecule) drugs and chemicals is concordant with potential for human toxicity. For hepatotoxicity, concordance is greater for cytotoxic effects assessed by HCA than for conventional cytotoxicity tests and for regulatory animal toxicity studies. Additionally, HCA identifies chronic toxicity potential, and drugs producing idiosyncratic adverse reactions and/or toxic metabolites are also identified by HCA. Mechanistic information on the subcellular basis for the toxicity is frequently identified, including various mitochondrial effects, oxidative stress, calcium dyshomeostasis, phospholipidosis, apoptosis and antiproliferative effects, and a fingerprinting of the sequence and pattern of subcellular events. As these effects are frequently non-specific and affect many cell types, some toxicities may be detected and monitored by HCA of peripheral blood cells, such as for anticancer and anti-infective drugs. Critical methodological and interpretive features are identified that are critical to the effectiveness of the HCA cytotoxicity assessment, including the need for multiple days of exposure of cells to drug, use of a human hepatocyte cell line with metabolic competence, assessment of multiple pre-lethal effects in individual live cells, consideration of hormesis, the need for interpretation of relevance of cytotoxicity concentration compared to efficacy concentration and quality management. Limitations of the HCA include assessment of drugs that act on receptors, transporters or processes not found in hepatocytes. HCA may be used in a) screening lead candidates for potential human toxicity in drug discovery alongside of in vitro assessment of efficacy and pharmacokinetics, b) elucidating mechanisms of toxicity and c) monitoring in vivo toxicity of drugs with known toxicity of known mechanism. © 2014 Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT (former Nordic

  17. 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.

  18. Development and implementation of industrialized, fully automated high throughput screening systems

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    Automation has long been a resource for high-throughput screening at Bristol-Myers Squibb. However, with growing deck sizes and decreasing time lines, a new generation of more robust, supportable automated systems was necessary for accomplishing high-throughput screening goals. Implementation of this new generation of automated systems required numerous decisions concerning hardware, software and the value of in-house automation expertise. This project has resulted in fast, flexible, industrialized automation systems with a strong in-house support structure that we believe meets our current high-throughput screening requirements and will continue to meet them well into the future. PMID:18924614

  19. Automated microfluidic screening assay platform based on DropLab.

    PubMed

    Du, Wen-Bin; Sun, Meng; Gu, Shu-Qing; Zhu, Ying; Fang, Qun

    2010-12-01

    This paper describes DropLab, an automated microfluidic platform for programming droplet-based reactions and screening in the nanoliter range. DropLab can meter liquids with picoliter-scale precision, mix multiple components sequentially to assemble composite droplets, and perform screening reactions and assays in linear or two-dimensional droplet array with extremely low sample and reagent consumptions. A novel droplet generation approach based on the droplet assembling strategy was developed to produce multicomponent droplets in the nanoliter to picoliter range with high controllability on the size and composition of each droplet. The DropLab system was built using a short capillary with a tapered tip, a syringe pump with picoliter precision, and an automated liquid presenting system. The tapered capillary was used for precise liquid metering and mixing, droplet assembling, and droplet array storage. Two different liquid presenting systems were developed based on the slotted-vial array design and multiwell plate design to automatically present various samples, reagents, and oil to the capillary. Using the tapered-tip capillary and the picoliter-scale precision syringe pump, the minimum unit of the droplet volume in the present system reached ~20 pL. Without the need of complex microchannel networks, various droplets with different size (20 pL-25 nL), composition, and sequence were automatically assembled, aiming to multiple screening targets by simply adjusting the types, volumes, and mixing ratios of aspirated liquids on demand. The utility of DropLab was demonstrated in enzyme inhibition assays, protein crystallization screening, and identification of trace reducible carbohydrates.

  20. An automated pipeline to screen membrane protein 2D crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Changki; Vink, Martin; Hu, Minghui; Love, James; Stokes, David L.; Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban

    2011-01-01

    Electron crystallography relies on electron cryomicroscopy of two-dimensional (2D) crystals and is particularly well suited for studying the structure of membrane proteins in their native lipid bilayer environment. To obtain 2D crystals from purified membrane proteins, the detergent in a protein-lipid-detergent ternary mixture must be removed, generally by dialysis, under conditions favoring reconstitution into proteoliposomes and formation of well-ordered lattices. To identify these conditions a wide range of parameters such as pH, lipid composition, lipid-to-protein ratio, ionic strength and ligands must be screened in a procedure involving four steps: crystallization, specimen preparation for electron microscopy, image acquisition, and evaluation. Traditionally, these steps have been carried out manually and, as a result, the scope of 2D crystallization trials has been limited. We have therefore developed an automated pipeline to screen the formation of 2D crystals. We employed a 96-well dialysis block for reconstitution of the target protein over a wide range of conditions designed to promote crystallization. A 96-position magnetic platform and a liquid handling robot were used to prepare negatively stained specimens in parallel. Robotic grid insertion into the electron microscope and computerized image acquisition ensures rapid evaluation of the crystallization screen. To date, 38 2D crystallization screens have been conducted for 15 different membrane proteins, totaling over 3000 individual crystallization experiments. Three of these proteins have yielded diffracting 2D crystals. Our automated pipeline outperforms traditional 2D crystallization methods in terms of throughput and reproducibility. PMID:20349145

  1. High-throughput automated refolding screening of inclusion bodies.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

    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.

  2. Automated ion channel screening: patch clamping made easy.

    PubMed

    Farre, Cecilia; Stoelzle, Sonja; Haarmann, Claudia; George, Michael; Brüggemann, Andrea; Fertig, Niels

    2007-04-01

    Efficient high resolution techniques are required for screening efforts and research targeting ion channels. The conventional patch clamp technique, a high resolution but low efficiency technique, has been established for 25 years. Recent advances have opened up new possibilities for automated patch clamping. This new technology meets the need of drug developers for higher throughput and facilitates new experimental approaches in ion channel research. Specifically, Nanion's electrophysiology workstations, the Port-a-Patch and the Patchliner, have been successfully introduced as high-quality automated patch clamp platforms for industry as well as academic users. Both platforms give high quality patch clamp recordings, capable of true giga-seals and stable recordings, accessible to the user without the need for years of practical training. They also offer sophisticated experimental possibilities, such as accurate and fast ligand application, temperature control and internal solution exchange. This article describes the chip-based patch clamp technology and its usefulness in ion channel drug screening and academic research.

  3. Evaluation of Automated Teleretinal Screening Program for Diabetic Retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Walton, O Bennett; Garoon, Robert B; Weng, Christina Y; Gross, Jacob; Young, Alex K; Camero, Kathryn A; Jin, Haoxing; Carvounis, Petros E; Coffee, Robert E; Chu, Yvonne I

    2016-02-01

    Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness, but its detrimental effects are preventable with early detection and treatment. Screening for diabetic retinopathy has the potential to increase the number of cases treated early, especially in populations with limited access to care. To determine the efficacy of an automated algorithm in interpreting screening ophthalmoscopic photographs from patients with diabetes compared with a reading center interpretation. Retrospective cohort analysis of 15,015 patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes in the Harris Health System in Harris County, Texas, who had undergone a retinal screening examination and nonmydriatic fundus photography via the Intelligent Retinal Imaging System (IRIS) from June 2013 to April 2014 were included. The IRIS-based interpretations were compared with manual interpretation. The IRIS algorithm population statistics were calculated. Sensitivity and false-negative rate of the IRIS computer-based algorithm compared with reading center interpretation of the same images. A total of 15 015 consecutive patients (aged 18-98 years); mean 54.3 years with known type 1 or 2 diabetes underwent nonmydriatic fundus photography for a diabetic retinopathy screening examination. The sensitivity of the IRIS algorithm in detecting sight-threatening diabetic eye disease compared with the reading center interpretation was 66.4% (95% CI, 62.8%-69.9%) with a false-negative rate of 2%. The specificity was 72.8% (95% CI, 72.0%-73.5%). In a population where 15.8% of people with diabetes have sight-threatening diabetic eye disease, the IRIS algorithm positive predictive value was 10.8% (95% CI, 9.6%-11.9%) and the negative predictive value was 97.8% (95% CI, 96.8%-98.6%). In this large urban setting, the IRIS computer algorithm-based screening program had a high sensitivity and a low false-negative rate, suggesting that it may be an effective alternative to conventional reading center image interpretation. The IRIS algorithm

  4. High-Content Screening Identifies Src Family Kinases as Potential Regulators of AR-V7 Expression and Androgen-Independent Cell Growth.

    PubMed

    Szafran, Adam T; Stephan, Cliff; Bolt, Michael; Mancini, Maureen G; Marcelli, Marco; Mancini, Michael A

    2017-01-01

    AR-V7 is an androgen receptor (AR) splice variant that lacks the ligand-binding domain and is isolated from prostate cancer cell lines. Increased expression of AR-V7 is associated with the transition from hormone-sensitive prostate cancer to more advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Due to the loss of the ligand-binding domain, AR-V7 is not responsive to traditional AR-targeted therapies, and the mechanisms that regulate AR-V7 are still incompletely understood. Therefore, we aimed to explore existing classes of small molecules that may regulate AR-V7 expression and intracellular localization and their potential therapeutic role in CRPC. We used AR high-content analysis (AR-HCA) to characterize the effects of a focused library of well-characterized clinical compounds on AR-V7 expression at the single-cell level in PC3 prostate cancer cells stably expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-AR-V7 (GFP-AR-V7:PC3). In parallel, an orthogonal AR-HCA screen of a small interfering (si)RNA library targeting 635 protein kinases was performed in GFP-AR-V7:PC3. The effect of the Src-Abl inhibitor PD 180970 was further characterized using cell-proliferation assays, quantitative PCR, and western blot analysis in multiple hormone-sensitive and CRPC cell lines. Compounds that tended to target Akt, Abl, and Src family kinases (SFKs) decreased overall AR-V7 expression, nuclear translocation, absolute nuclear level, and/or altered nuclear distribution. We identified 20 protein kinases that, when knocked down, either decreased nuclear GFP-AR-V7 levels or altered AR-V7 nuclear distribution, a set that included the SFKs Src and Fyn. The Src-Abl dual kinase inhibitor PD180970 decreased expression of AR-V7 by greater than 46% and decreased ligand-independent transcription of AR target genes in the 22RV1 human prostate carcinoma cell line. Further, PD180970 inhibited androgen-independent cell proliferation in endogenous-AR-V7-expressing prostate cancer cell lines and also

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Shedding Light on Filovirus Infection with High-Content Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Pegoraro, Gianluca; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.

    2012-01-01

    Microscopy has been instrumental in the discovery and characterization of microorganisms. Major advances in high-throughput fluorescence microscopy and automated, high-content image analysis tools are paving the way to the systematic and quantitative study of the molecular properties of cellular systems, both at the population and at the single-cell level. High-Content Imaging (HCI) has been used to characterize host-virus interactions in genome-wide reverse genetic screens and to identify novel cellular factors implicated in the binding, entry, replication and egress of several pathogenic viruses. Here we present an overview of the most significant applications of HCI in the context of the cell biology of filovirus infection. HCI assays have been recently implemented to quantitatively study filoviruses in cell culture, employing either infectious viruses in a BSL-4 environment or surrogate genetic systems in a BSL-2 environment. These assays are becoming instrumental for small molecule and siRNA screens aimed at the discovery of both cellular therapeutic targets and of compounds with anti-viral properties. We discuss the current practical constraints limiting the implementation of high-throughput biology in a BSL-4 environment, and propose possible solutions to safely perform high-content, high-throughput filovirus infection assays. Finally, we discuss possible novel applications of HCI in the context of filovirus research with particular emphasis on the identification of possible cellular biomarkers of virus infection. PMID:23012631

  8. Shedding light on filovirus infection with high-content imaging.

    PubMed

    Pegoraro, Gianluca; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G

    2012-08-01

    Microscopy has been instrumental in the discovery and characterization of microorganisms. Major advances in high-throughput fluorescence microscopy and automated, high-content image analysis tools are paving the way to the systematic and quantitative study of the molecular properties of cellular systems, both at the population and at the single-cell level. High-Content Imaging (HCI) has been used to characterize host-virus interactions in genome-wide reverse genetic screens and to identify novel cellular factors implicated in the binding, entry, replication and egress of several pathogenic viruses. Here we present an overview of the most significant applications of HCI in the context of the cell biology of filovirus infection. HCI assays have been recently implemented to quantitatively study filoviruses in cell culture, employing either infectious viruses in a BSL-4 environment or surrogate genetic systems in a BSL-2 environment. These assays are becoming instrumental for small molecule and siRNA screens aimed at the discovery of both cellular therapeutic targets and of compounds with anti-viral properties. We discuss the current practical constraints limiting the implementation of high-throughput biology in a BSL-4 environment, and propose possible solutions to safely perform high-content, high-throughput filovirus infection assays. Finally, we discuss possible novel applications of HCI in the context of filovirus research with particular emphasis on the identification of possible cellular biomarkers of virus infection.

  9. Systems level-based RNAi screening by high content analysis identifies UBR5 as a regulator of estrogen receptor-α protein levels and activity.

    PubMed

    Bolt, M J; Stossi, F; Callison, A M; Mancini, M G; Dandekar, R; Mancini, M A

    2015-01-08

    Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) is a central transcription factor that regulates mammary gland physiology and a key driver in breast cancer. In the present study, we aimed to identify novel modulators of ERα-mediated transcriptional regulation via a custom-built siRNA library screen. This screen was directed against a variety of coregulators, transcription modifiers, signaling molecules and DNA damage response proteins. By utilizing a microscopy-based, multi-end point, estrogen responsive biosensor cell line platform, the primary screen identified a wide range of factors that altered ERα protein levels, chromatin remodeling and mRNA output. We then focused on UBR5, a ubiquitin ligase and known oncogene that modulates ERα protein levels and transcriptional output. Finally, we demonstrated that UBR5 also affects endogenous ERα target genes and E2-mediated cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. In conclusion, our multi-end point RNAi screen identified novel modulators of ERα levels and activity, and provided a robust systems level view of factors involved in mechanisms of nuclear receptor action and pathophysiology. Utilizing a high throughput RNAi screening approach we identified UBR5, a protein commonly amplified in breast cancer, as a novel regulator of ERα protein levels and transcriptional activity.

  10. Combinatorial parallel synthesis and automated screening of a novel class of liquid crystalline materials.

    PubMed

    Deeg, Oliver; Kirsch, Peer; Pauluth, Detlef; Bäuerle, Peter

    2002-12-07

    Combinatorial parallel synthesis has led to the rapid generation of a single-compound library of novel fluorinated quaterphenyls. Subsequent automated screening revealed liquid crystalline (LC) behaviour and gave qualitative relationships of molecular structures and solid state properties.

  11. 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

  12. An industrial engineering approach to laboratory automation for high throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Menke, K C

    2000-01-01

    Across the pharmaceutical industry, there are a variety of approaches to laboratory automation for high throughput screening. At Sphinx Pharmaceuticals, the principles of industrial engineering have been applied to systematically identify and develop those automated solutions that provide the greatest value to the scientists engaged in lead generation.

  13. A Combinatory Antibody–Antigen Microarray Assay for High-Content Screening of Single-Chain Fragment Variable Clones from Recombinant Libraries

    PubMed Central

    Jansson, Bo; Stuhr-Hansen, Nicolai; Kovács, András; Welinder, Charlotte

    2016-01-01

    We have developed a combinatory antibody–antigen microarray for direct screening of multiple single-chain fragment variable (scFv) clones with no need for pre-purification or enrichment before screening. The straightforward workflow allows for early selection of binders to predefined peptide and glycopeptide targets. A capture antibody is contact printed on microarray slides, side by side with the antigens of interest. A large number of scFv clones, in supernatants, are printed on top of the capture antibody and the antigen in a “spot-on-spot” print. The printed scFv clones, which bind to the capture antibody, are detected using biotinylated antigen, while the binding of scFv clones to the printed antigen is detected through a mouse anti-tag antibody. Two different analyses are thus performed on the same slide, generating two kinds of information: one on the ability of an individual scFv clone to bind to the soluble form of the antigen, which may favour selection for higher affinity rather than avidity, while the other allows the identification of large numbers of clones, simultaneously, due to the binding of scFv clones to densely presented antigens, thus providing an overall increased hit rate. The functionality of the new screening approach was illustrated through the generation of antibodies against peptides from the chaperone complex Ku70/Ku80 and the GalNAcα-serine/threonine epitope on the IgA1 alpha chain hinge region. In total, 659 scFv clones were screened with a hit rate of approximately 20%. This approach allowed the identification of functional antibodies in both cases, illustrating the usefulness and capacity of this combinatory microarray screening technique for efficient analysis and validation of antibodies at an early stage of antibody generation. PMID:28002485

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Upscaling and automation of electrophysiology: toward high throughput screening in ion channel drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Asmild, Margit; Oswald, Nicholas; Krzywkowski, Karen M; Friis, Søren; Jacobsen, Rasmus B; Reuter, Dirk; Taboryski, Rafael; Kutchinsky, Jonathan; Vestergaard, Ras K; Schrøder, Rikke L; Sørensen, Claus B; Bech, Morten; Korsgaard, Mads P G; Willumsen, Niels J

    2003-01-01

    Effective screening of large compound libraries in ion channel drug discovery requires the development of new electrophysiological techniques with substantially increased throughputs compared to the conventional patch clamp technique. Sophion Bioscience is aiming to meet this challenge by developing two lines of automated patch clamp products, a traditional pipette-based system called Apatchi-1, and a silicon chip-based system QPatch. The degree of automation spans from semi-automation (Apatchi-1) where a trained technician interacts with the system in a limited way, to a complete automation (QPatch 96) where the system works continuously and unattended until screening of a full compound library is completed. The performance of the systems range from medium to high throughputs.

  18. Feasibility evaluation of 3 automated cellular drug screening assays on a robotic workstation.

    PubMed

    Soikkeli, Anne; Sempio, Cristina; Kaukonen, Ann Marie; Urtti, Arto; Hirvonen, Jouni; Yliperttula, Marjo

    2010-01-01

    This study presents the implementation and optimization of 3 cell-based assays on a TECAN Genesis workstation-the Caspase-Glo 3/7 and sulforhodamine B (SRB) screening assays and the mechanistic Caco-2 permeability protocol-and evaluates their feasibility for automation. During implementation, the dispensing speed to add drug solutions and fixative trichloroacetic acid and the aspiration speed to remove the supernatant immediately after fixation were optimized. Decontamination steps for cleaning the tips and pipetting tubing were also added. The automated Caspase-Glo 3/7 screen was successfully optimized with Caco-2 cells (Z' 0.7, signal-to-base ratio [S/B] 1.7) but not with DU-145 cells. In contrast, the automated SRB screen was successfully optimized with the DU-145 cells (Z' 0.8, S/B 2.4) but not with the Caco-2 cells (Z' -0.8, S/B 1.4). The automated bidirectional Caco-2 permeability experiments separated successfully low- and high-permeability compounds (Z' 0.8, S/B 84.2) and passive drug permeation from efflux-mediated transport (Z' 0.5, S/B 8.6). Of the assays, the homogeneous Caspase-Glo 3/7 assay benefits the most from automation, but also the heterogeneous SRB assay and Caco-2 permeability experiments gain advantages from automation.

  19. Automated recycling of chemistry for virtual screening and library design.

    PubMed

    Vainio, Mikko J; Kogej, Thierry; Raubacher, Florian

    2012-07-23

    An early stage drug discovery project needs to identify a number of chemically diverse and attractive compounds. These hit compounds are typically found through high-throughput screening campaigns. The diversity of the chemical libraries used in screening is therefore important. In this study, we describe a virtual high-throughput screening system called Virtual Library. The system automatically "recycles" validated synthetic protocols and available starting materials to generate a large number of virtual compound libraries, and allows for fast searches in the generated libraries using a 2D fingerprint based screening method. Virtual Library links the returned virtual hit compounds back to experimental protocols to quickly assess the synthetic accessibility of the hits. The system can be used as an idea generator for library design to enrich the screening collection and to explore the structure-activity landscape around a specific active compound.

  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).

  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 screening versus manual screening: a comparison of the ThinPrep imaging system and manual screening in a time study.

    PubMed

    Schledermann, Doris; Hyldebrandt, Tina; Ejersbo, Dorthe; Hoelund, Berit

    2007-06-01

    The ThinPrep Imaging System (TIS) is an automated system that assists cytotechnologists in the primary screening of ThinPrep liquid based cervical samples. Between June 1, 2004, and April 1, 2005, four experienced cytotechnologists participated in the study in which the duration of the screening procedure was timed for each of the 11,354 slides included. In every slide 22 fields of view were reviewed, and the samples that contained potentially abnormal cells were fully screened. The screening time was reduced by 42% (mean) (p < 0.001). By manual rescreening of the negative TIS samples, abnormal cells were found in 10 samples (false negative rate 0.14%). In every case the abnormal cells had been identified by the scanner, but misinterpreted by the cytotechnologist. These findings stressed the importance of carefulness in the interpretation of the marked fields and beyond that helped the cytotechnologists and pathologists to have more confidence in the automated system.

  3. American Society of Cytopathology workload recommendations for automated Pap test screening: developed by the productivity and quality assurance in the era of automated screening task force.

    PubMed

    Elsheikh, Tarik M; Austin, R Marshall; Chhieng, David F; Miller, Fern S; Moriarty, Ann T; Renshaw, Andrew A

    2013-02-01

    Based on current literature and the best available research to date, the current FDA workload limits for automated image-assisted screening, including the ThinPrep Imaging System and the FocalPoint GS, of 100 slides/day (imaged only slides counted as 0.5) are extremely high and may be associated with significant reduction in sensitivity. This task force has proposed six recommendations relating to cytotechnologist (CT) workload in automated image-guided Pap test screening, which have already been endorsed by major pathology professional societies. These evidence-based recommendations, however, pertain only to gynecologic specimens with image-assisted screening, as there is no current available data to justify modifying screening practices regarding non-gynecologic specimens. The proposed recommendations are as follow: 1) CT workday should not include more than 7 hours of Pap test screening in a 24-hr period, and an 8-hr shift day must include at least 2 paid mini-breaks of 15 minutes each and a 30-minute lunch break. 2) Future Studies examining CT workload should use actual hours of screening rather than lesser number of hours extrapolated to 8-hour days. 3) Average laboratory CT workload should NOT exceed 70 slides/day (slides counted per 2010 FDA bulletin). 4) Proportion of imaged slides that undergo full manual review should be at least either 15%, or twice (2×) the epithelial cell abnormality (ECA) rate, whichever is greater. 5) ECA-adjusted workload measure is a promising method for calculating and monitoring CT workload, but further studies of this method are necessary before full endorsement. 6) CT productivity and workload limits are just one aspect of a good quality assurance program in a cytology laboratory, so other quality indicators to assess CT performance are essential. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. High-content single-cell analysis on-chip using a laser microarray scanner.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jing; Wu, Yu; Lee, Sang-Kwon; Fan, Rong

    2012-12-07

    High-content cellomic analysis is a powerful tool for rapid screening of cellular responses to extracellular cues and examination of intracellular signal transduction pathways at the single-cell level. In conjunction with microfluidics technology that provides unique advantages in sample processing and precise control of fluid delivery, it holds great potential to transform lab-on-a-chip systems for high-throughput cellular analysis. However, high-content imaging instruments are expensive, sophisticated, and not readily accessible. Herein, we report on a laser scanning cytometry approach that exploits a bench-top microarray scanner as an end-point reader to perform rapid and automated fluorescence imaging of cells cultured on a chip. Using high-content imaging analysis algorithms, we demonstrated multiplexed measurements of morphometric and proteomic parameters from all single cells. Our approach shows the improvement of both sensitivity and dynamic range by two orders of magnitude as compared to conventional epifluorescence microscopy. We applied this technology to high-throughput analysis of mesenchymal stem cells on an extracellular matrix protein array and characterization of heterotypic cell populations. This work demonstrates the feasibility of a laser microarray scanner for high-content cellomic analysis and opens up new opportunities to conduct informative cellular analysis and cell-based screening in the lab-on-a-chip systems.

  5. Automated Cell-Based Assay for Screening of Aquaporin Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Mola, Maria Grazia; Nicchia, Grazia Paola; Svelto, Maria; Spray, David C.; Frigeri, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    Aquaporins form water channels that play major roles in a variety of physiological processes so that altered expression or function may underlie pathological conditions. In order to identify compounds that modulate aquaporin function, we have implemented a functional assay based on rapid measurement of osmotically induced cell volume changes to screen several libraries of diverse drugs. The time course of fluorescence changes in calcein-loaded cells was analyzed during an osmotic challenge using a 96-multiwell fluorescence plate reader. This system was validated using astrocyte primary cultures and fibroblasts that strongly express endogenous AQP4 and AQP1 proteins, respectively, as well as AQP4-transfected cells. We screened 3575 compounds, including 418 FDA-approved and commercially available drugs, for their effect on AQP-mediated water transport. Primary screening yielded 10 compounds that affected water transport activity in both astrocytes and AQP4-transfected cells and 42 compounds that altered cell volume regulation in astrocytes. Selected drugs were then analyzed on AQP1-expressing erythrocytes and AQP4-expressing membrane vesicles by stopped-flow light scattering. Four molecules of the National Cancer Institute's chemical library (NSC164914, NSC670229, NSC168597, NSC301460) were identified that differentially affected both AQP4 and AQP1 mediated water transport, with EC50 values between 20 and 50 μM. This fluorescence microplate reader-based assay may, thus, provide a platform for high-throughput screening which, when coupled to a secondary evaluation to confirm target specificity, should allow discovery of AQP-specific compounds for novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of water balance disorders. PMID:19705854

  6. Automated cell-based assay for screening of aquaporin inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Mola, Maria Grazia; Nicchia, Grazia Paola; Svelto, Maria; Spray, David C; Frigeri, Antonio

    2009-10-01

    Aquaporins form water channels that play major roles in a variety of physiological processes so that altered expression or function may underlie pathological conditions. In order to identify compounds that modulate aquaporin function, we have implemented a functional assay based on rapid measurement of osmotically induced cell volume changes to screen several libraries of diverse drugs. The time course of fluorescence changes in calcein-loaded cells was analyzed during an osmotic challenge using a 96-multiwell fluorescence plate reader. This system was validated using astrocyte primary cultures and fibroblasts that strongly express endogenous AQP4 and AQP1 proteins, respectively, as well as AQP4-transfected cells. We screened 3575 compounds, including 418 FDA-approved and commercially available drugs, for their effect on AQP-mediated water transport. Primary screening yielded 10 compounds that affected water transport activity in both astrocytes and AQP4-transfected cells and 42 compounds that altered cell volume regulation in astrocytes. Selected drugs were then analyzed on AQP1-expressing erythrocytes and AQP4-expressing membrane vesicles by stopped-flow light scattering. Four molecules of the National Cancer Institute's chemical library (NSC164914, NSC670229, NSC168597, NSC301460) were identified that differentially affected both AQP4 and AQP1 mediated water transport, with EC50 values between 20 and 50 microM. This fluorescence microplate reader-based assay may, thus, provide a platform for high-throughput screening which, when coupled to a secondary evaluation to confirm target specificity, should allow discovery of AQP-specific compounds for novel therapeutic strategies in the treatment of water balance disorders.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. High-content screening data management for drug discovery in a small- to medium-size laboratory: results of a collaborative pilot study focused on user expectations as indicators of effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Berlinicke, Cynthia A; Ackermann, Christopher F; Chen, Steve H; Schulze, Christoph; Shafranovich, Yakov; Myneni, Sahiti; Patel, Vimla L; Wang, Jian; Zack, Donald J; Lindvall, Mikael; Bova, G Steven

    2012-08-01

    High-content screening (HCS) technology provides a powerful vantage point to approach biological problems; it allows analysis of cell parameters, including changes in cell or protein movement, shape, or texture. As part of a collaborative pilot research project to improve bioscience research data integration, we identified HCS data management as an area ripe for advancement. A primary goal was to develop an integrated data management and analysis system suitable for small- to medium-size HCS programs that would improve research productivity and increase work satisfaction. A system was developed that uses Labmatrix, a Web-based research data management platform, to integrate and query data derived from a Cellomics STORE database. Focusing on user expectations, several barriers to HCS productivity were identified and reduced or eliminated. The impact of the project on HCS research productivity was tested through a series of 18 lab-requested integrated data queries, 7 of which were fully enabled, 7 partially enabled, and 4 enabled through data export to standalone data analysis tools. The results are limited to one laboratory, but this pilot suggests that through an "implementation research" approach, a network of small- to medium-size laboratories involved in HCS projects could achieve greater productivity and satisfaction in drug discovery research.

  10. Visible-to-near IR quantum dot-based hypermulticolor high-content screening of herbal medicines for the efficacy monitoring of hair growth promotion and hair loss inhibition.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min Jung; Lim, Chaeyun; Lee, Jun Young; Im, Kyung Ran; Yoon, Kyung-Sup; Song, Joon Myong

    2013-04-01

    There is a growing interest in alopecia prevention strategies, as the number of alopecia patients is increasing. We examine the efficacy of herbal medicine for hair growth promotion/hair loss inhibition in two cell lines via Western blot and high-content screening (HCS). Nine herbal extracts were obtained from three different herbal medicine mixtures using 3 different extraction methods. Five target proteins-IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), TGF-β2 (transforming growth factor-β2), VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), DKK-1 (Dickkopf-1), and Wnt5α-were observed for the assessment of hair growth promotion/hair loss inhibition efficacy. The efficacies of nine extracts were compared with minoxidil as control. Efficacy was defined as a rise in the expression levels of IGF-1, VEGF, and Wnt5α but a decrease in DKK-1 and TGF-β2. Intracellular concurrent imaging of these proteins was successfully achieved using HCS, employing visible-to-near infrared probing based on quantum-antibody conjugates and hypermulticolor imaging.

  11. 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

    2016-07-01

    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. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Automation of cross-matching and red cell antibody screening.

    PubMed

    Wattar, B; Lambermont, M; Govaerts, A

    1982-01-01

    This automatic system combines the major cross-match with screening for allo- and autoantibodies. Moreover, the detected antibodies can be identified on a panel of frozen and thawed red blood cells (RBC). The system is made up of two connected samplers, three channels working, respectively, with bromelin PVP, LISP and saline PVP at 4 degrees C, three colorimeters or three red cell autocounters and their recorders. The optimal speed is 50 samples/h and one whole test requires 19 min. Our experience indicates that this automatic system is appreciably more sensitive and much more rapid and efficient than manual techniques. In spite of increased sensitivity, the ratio of rejected bags does not exceed 2.7%.

  15. Evaluation of an automated connective tissue disease screening assay in Korean patients with systemic rheumatic diseases.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Seri; Yang, Heeyoung; Hwang, Hyunyong

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic utilities of the automated connective tissues disease screening assay, CTD screen, in patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. A total of 1093 serum samples were assayed using CTD screen and indirect immunofluorescent (IIF) methods. Among them, 162 were diagnosed with systemic rheumatic disease, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and mixed connective tissue disease (MCT). The remaining 931 with non-systemic rheumatic disease were assigned to the control group. The median ratios of CTD screen tests were significantly higher in the systemic rheumatic disease group than in the control group. The positive likelihood ratios of the CTD screen were higher than those of IIF in patients with total rheumatic diseases (4.1 vs. 1.6), including SLE (24.3 vs. 10.7). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC-AUCs) of the CTD screen for discriminating total rheumatic diseases, RA, SLE, and MCT from controls were 0.68, 0.56, 0.92 and 0.80, respectively. The ROC-AUCs of the combinations with IIF were significantly higher in patients with total rheumatic diseases (0.72) and MCT (0.85) than in those of the CTD screen alone. Multivariate analysis indicated that both the CTD screen and IIF were independent variables for predicting systemic rheumatic disease. CTD screen alone and in combination with IIF were a valuable diagnostic tool for predicting systemic rheumatic diseases, particularly for SLE.

  16. Evaluation of an automated connective tissue disease screening assay in Korean patients with systemic rheumatic diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Seri; Yang, Heeyoung; Hwang, Hyunyong

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic utilities of the automated connective tissues disease screening assay, CTD screen, in patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. A total of 1093 serum samples were assayed using CTD screen and indirect immunofluorescent (IIF) methods. Among them, 162 were diagnosed with systemic rheumatic disease, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and mixed connective tissue disease (MCT). The remaining 931 with non-systemic rheumatic disease were assigned to the control group. The median ratios of CTD screen tests were significantly higher in the systemic rheumatic disease group than in the control group. The positive likelihood ratios of the CTD screen were higher than those of IIF in patients with total rheumatic diseases (4.1 vs. 1.6), including SLE (24.3 vs. 10.7). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC-AUCs) of the CTD screen for discriminating total rheumatic diseases, RA, SLE, and MCT from controls were 0.68, 0.56, 0.92 and 0.80, respectively. The ROC-AUCs of the combinations with IIF were significantly higher in patients with total rheumatic diseases (0.72) and MCT (0.85) than in those of the CTD screen alone. Multivariate analysis indicated that both the CTD screen and IIF were independent variables for predicting systemic rheumatic disease. CTD screen alone and in combination with IIF were a valuable diagnostic tool for predicting systemic rheumatic diseases, particularly for SLE. PMID:28273146

  17. Towards automating the initial screening phase of a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Bekhuis, Tanja; Demner-Fushman, Dina

    2010-01-01

    Systematic review authors synthesize research to guide clinicians in their practice of evidence-based medicine. Teammates independently identify provisionally eligible studies by reading the same set of hundreds and sometimes thousands of citations during an initial screening phase. We investigated whether supervised machine learning methods can potentially reduce their workload. We also extended earlier research by including observational studies of a rare condition. To build training and test sets, we used annotated citations from a search conducted for an in-progress Cochrane systematic review. We extracted features from titles, abstracts, and metadata, then trained, optimized, and tested several classifiers with respect to mean performance based on 10-fold cross-validations. In the training condition, the evolutionary support vector machine (EvoSVM) with an Epanechnikov or radial kernel is the best classifier: mean recall=100%; mean precision=48% and 41%, respectively. In the test condition, EvoSVM performance degrades: mean recall=77%, mean precision ranges from 26% to 37%. Because near-perfect recall is essential in this context, we conclude that supervised machine learning methods may be useful for reducing workload under certain conditions.

  18. Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of an automated screening algorithm in an inpatient clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Beauharnais, Catherine C; Larkin, Mary E; Zai, Adrian H; Boykin, Emily C; Luttrell, Jennifer; Wexler, Deborah J

    2012-04-01

    Screening and recruitment for clinical trials can be costly and time-consuming. Inpatient trials present additional challenges because enrollment is time sensitive based on length of stay. We hypothesized that using an automated prescreening algorithm to identify eligible subjects would increase screening efficiency and enrollment and be cost-effective compared to manual review of a daily admission list. Using a before-and-after design, we compared time spent screening, number of patients screened, enrollment rate, and cost-effectiveness of each screening method in an inpatient diabetes trial conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital. Manual chart review (CR) involved reviewing a daily list of admitted patients to identify eligible subjects. The automated prescreening (APS) method used an algorithm to generate a daily list of patients with glucose levels ≥ 180 mg/dL, an insulin order, and/or admission diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. The census generated was then manually screened to confirm eligibility and eliminate patients who met our exclusion criteria. We determined rates of screening and enrollment and cost-effectiveness of each method based on study sample size. Total screening time (prescreening and screening) decreased from 4 to 2 h, allowing subjects to be approached earlier in the course of the hospital stay. The average number of patients prescreened per day increased from 13 ± 4 to 30 ± 16 (P < 0.0001). Rate of enrollment increased from 0.17 to 0.32 patients per screening day. Developing the computer algorithm added a fixed cost of US$3000 to the study. Based on our screening and enrollment rates, the algorithm was cost-neutral after enrolling 12 patients. Larger sample sizes further favored screening with an algorithm. By contrast, higher recruitment rates favored individual CR. Because of the before-and-after design of this study, it is possible that unmeasured factors contributed to increased enrollment. Using a computer algorithm to identify

  19. Automated panning and screening procedure on microplates for antibody generation from phage display libraries.

    PubMed

    Turunen, Laura; Takkinen, Kristiina; Söderlund, Hans; Pulli, Timo

    2009-03-01

    Antibody phage display technology is well established and widely used for selecting specific antibodies against desired targets. Using conventional manual methods, it is laborious to perform multiple selections with different antigens simultaneously. Furthermore, manual screening of the positive clones requires much effort. The authors describe optimized and automated procedures of these processes using a magnetic bead processor for the selection and a robotic station for the screening step. Both steps are performed in a 96-well microplate format. In addition, adopting the antibody phage display technology to automated platform polyethylene glycol precipitation of the enriched phage pool was unnecessary. For screening, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay protocol suitable for a robotic station was developed. This system was set up using human gamma-globulin as a model antigen to select antibodies from a VTT naive human single-chain antibody (scFv) library. In total, 161 gamma-globulin-selected clones were screened, and according to fingerprinting analysis, 9 of the 13 analyzed clones were different. The system was further tested using testosterone bovine serum albumin (BSA) and beta-estradiol-BSA as antigens with the same library. In total, 1536 clones were screened from 4 rounds of selection with both antigens, and 29 different testosterone-BSA and 23 beta-estradiol-BSA binding clones were found and verified by sequencing. This automated antibody phage display procedure increases the throughput of generating wide panels of target-binding antibody candidates and allows the selection and screening of antibodies against several different targets in parallel with high efficiency.

  20. An Automated Microscale Thermophoresis Screening Approach for Fragment-Based Lead Discovery.

    PubMed

    Linke, Pawel; Amaning, Kwame; Maschberger, Melanie; Vallee, Francois; Steier, Valerie; Baaske, Philipp; Duhr, Stefan; Breitsprecher, Dennis; Rak, Alexey

    2016-04-01

    Fragment-based lead discovery has proved to be an effective alternative to high-throughput screenings in identifying chemical matter that can be developed into robust lead compounds. The search for optimal combinations of biophysical techniques that can correctly and efficiently identify and quantify binding can be challenging due to the physicochemical properties of fragments. In order to minimize the time and costs of screening, optimal combinations of biophysical techniques with maximal information content, sensitivity, and robustness are needed. Here we describe an approach utilizing automated microscale thermophoresis (MST) affinity screening to identify fragments active against MEK1 kinase. MST identified multiple hits that were confirmed by X-ray crystallography but not detected by orthogonal methods. Furthermore, MST also provided information about ligand-induced aggregation and protein denaturation. The technique delivered a large number of binders while reducing experimentation time and sample consumption, demonstrating the potential of MST to execute and maximize the efficacy of fragment screening campaigns.

  1. An Automated Microscale Thermophoresis Screening Approach for Fragment-Based Lead Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Linke, Pawel; Amaning, Kwame; Maschberger, Melanie; Vallee, Francois; Steier, Valerie; Baaske, Philipp; Duhr, Stefan; Breitsprecher, Dennis; Rak, Alexey

    2015-01-01

    Fragment-based lead discovery has proved to be an effective alternative to high-throughput screenings in identifying chemical matter that can be developed into robust lead compounds. The search for optimal combinations of biophysical techniques that can correctly and efficiently identify and quantify binding can be challenging due to the physicochemical properties of fragments. In order to minimize the time and costs of screening, optimal combinations of biophysical techniques with maximal information content, sensitivity, and robustness are needed. Here we describe an approach utilizing automated microscale thermophoresis (MST) affinity screening to identify fragments active against MEK1 kinase. MST identified multiple hits that were confirmed by X-ray crystallography but not detected by orthogonal methods. Furthermore, MST also provided information about ligand-induced aggregation and protein denaturation. The technique delivered a large number of binders while reducing experimentation time and sample consumption, demonstrating the potential of MST to execute and maximize the efficacy of fragment screening campaigns. PMID:26637553

  2. 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.

  3. Comparison of automated treponemal and nontreponemal test algorithms as first-line syphilis screening assays.

    PubMed

    Huh, Hee Jin; Chung, Jae Woo; Park, Seong Yeon; Chae, Seok Lae

    2016-01-01

    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. 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). 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Automated screening for high-frequency hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Vlaming, Marcel S M G; MacKinnon, Robert C; Jansen, Marije; Moore, David R

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. 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 tests was about 2.1 (HF-triplet) and 1

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. 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

    2013-02-27

    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.

  10. High-content assays for hepatotoxicity using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cells.

    PubMed

    Sirenko, Oksana; Hesley, Jayne; Rusyn, Ivan; Cromwell, Evan F

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Fenglei

    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

  13. Clinical evaluation of the vector algorithm for neonatal hearing screening using automated auditory brainstem response.

    PubMed

    Keohane, Bernie M; Mason, Steve M; Baguley, David M

    2004-02-01

    A novel auditory brainstem response (ABR) detection and scoring algorithm, entitled the Vector algorithm is described. An independent clinical evaluation of the algorithm using 464 tests (120 non-stimulated and 344 stimulated tests) on 60 infants, with a mean age of approximately 6.5 weeks, estimated test sensitivity greater than 0.99 and test specificity at 0.87 for one test. Specificity was estimated to be greater than 0.95 for a two stage screen. Test times were of the order of 1.5 minutes per ear for detection of an ABR and 4.5 minutes per ear in the absence of a clear response. The Vector algorithm is commercially available for both automated screening and threshold estimation in hearing screening devices.

  14. Adding precise nanoliter volume capabilities to liquid-handling automation for compound screening experimentation.

    PubMed

    Murthy, Tal V; Kroncke, Doug; Bonin, Paul D

    2011-06-01

    Miniaturizing experimental sample volumes to the nanoliter volume range is one of the most economical ways to perform mid- and high-throughput compound screening experiments. Existing automation platforms for nanoliter fluid handling can be bulky, expensive, and require periodic calibration to provide consistent liquid dispensing. In addition, even with frequent calibration, significant instrument-to-instrument variation in low-volume dispensing can occur between different instrument platforms. Many of these issues can be addressed by the use of PocketTips. PocketTips are tips with a defined internal pocket designed to hold specific nanoliter volumes of compound dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide. Although the overall liquid-handling process with PocketTips uses the aspirate/dispense features of the specific liquid-handling device being used, the dispensed nanoliter volume is solely based on the dimensions of the pocket of the PocketTip and thus, the liquid-handling device itself need not have nanoliter dispensing capabilities. In this report, we demonstrate the performance of PocketTips on different automation platforms. In addition, we used a cell-based ß-lactamase reporter assay system to demonstrate that compound delivery by PocketTips compares favorably with a standard compound addition technique. Copyright © 2011 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. New paradigm for macromolecular crystallography experiments at SSRL: automated crystal screening and remote data collection

    PubMed Central

    Soltis, S. Michael; Cohen, Aina E.; Deacon, Ashley; Eriksson, Thomas; González, Ana; McPhillips, Scott; Chui, Hsui; Dunten, Pete; Hollenbeck, Michael; Mathews, Irimpan; Miller, Mitch; Moorhead, Penjit; Phizackerley, R. Paul; Smith, Clyde; Song, Jinhu; van dem Bedem, Henry; Ellis, Paul; Kuhn, Peter; McPhillips, Timothy; Sauter, Nicholas; Sharp, Kenneth; Tsyba, Irina; Wolf, Guenter

    2008-01-01

    Complete automation of the macromolecular crystallography experiment has been achieved at SSRL through the combination of robust mechanized experimental hardware and a flexible control system with an intuitive user interface. These highly reliable systems have enabled crystallography experiments to be carried out from the researchers’ home institutions and other remote locations while retaining complete control over even the most challenging systems. A breakthrough component of the system, the Stanford Auto-Mounter (SAM), has enabled the efficient mounting of cryocooled samples without human intervention. Taking advantage of this automation, researchers have successfully screened more than 200 000 samples to select the crystals with the best diffraction quality for data collection as well as to determine optimal crystallization and cryocooling conditions. These systems, which have been deployed on all SSRL macromolecular crystallography beamlines and several beamlines worldwide, are used by more than 80 research groups in remote locations, establishing a new paradigm for macromolecular crystallo­graphy experimentation. PMID:19018097

  19. Fully automated cellular-resolution vertebrate screening platform with parallel animal processing.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tsung-Yao; Pardo-Martin, Carlos; Allalou, Amin; Wählby, Carolina; Yanik, Mehmet Fatih

    2012-02-21

    The zebrafish larva is an optically-transparent vertebrate model with complex organs that is widely used to study genetics, developmental biology, and to model various human diseases. In this article, we present a set of novel technologies that significantly increase the throughput and capabilities of our previously described vertebrate automated screening technology (VAST). We developed a robust multi-thread system that can simultaneously process multiple animals. System throughput is limited only by the image acquisition speed rather than by the fluidic or mechanical processes. We developed image recognition algorithms that fully automate manipulation of animals, including orienting and positioning regions of interest within the microscope's field of view. We also identified the optimal capillary materials for high-resolution, distortion-free, low-background imaging of zebrafish larvae.

  20. Fully automated cellular-resolution vertebrate screening platform with parallel animal processing

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Tsung-Yao; Pardo-Martin, Carlos; Allalou, Amin; Wählby, Carolina; Yanik, Mehmet Fatih

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish larva is an optically-transparent vertebrate model with complex organs that is widely used to study genetics, developmental biology, and to model various human diseases. In this article, we present a set of novel technologies that significantly increase the throughput and capabilities of previously described vertebrate automated screening technology (VAST). We developed a robust multi-thread system that can simultaneously process multiple animals. System throughput is limited only by the image acquisition speed rather than by the fluidic or mechanical processes. We developed image recognition algorithms that fully automate manipulation of animals, including orienting and positioning regions of interest within the microscope’s field of view. We also identified the optimal capillary materials for high-resolution, distortion-free, low-background imaging of zebrafish larvae. PMID:22159032

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Color features as an approach for the automated screening of Salmonella strain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trujillo, Alejandra Serrano; González, Viridiana Contreras; Andrade Rincón, Saulo E.; Palafox, Luis E.

    2016-11-01

    We present the implementation of a feature extraction approach for the automated screening of Salmonella sp., a task visually carried out by a microbiologist, where the resulting color characteristics of the culture media plate indicate the presence of this strain. The screening of Salmonella sp. is based on the inoculation and incubation of a sample on an agar plate, allowing the isolation of this strain, if present. This process uses three media: Xylose lysine deoxycholate, Salmonella Shigella, and Brilliant Green agar plates, which exhibit specific color characteristics over the colonies and over the surrounding medium for a presumed positive interpretation. Under a controlled illumination environment, images of plates are captured and the characteristics found over each agar are processed separately. Each agar is analyzed using statistical descriptors for texture, to determine the presence of colonies, followed by the extraction of color features. A comparison among the color features seen over the three media, according to the FDA Bacteriological Analytical Manual, determines the presence of Salmonella sp. on a given sample. The implemented process proves that the task addressed can be accomplished under an image processing approach, leading to the future validation and automation of additional screening processes.

  4. Consistency of breast density categories in serial screening mammograms: A comparison between automated and human assessment.

    PubMed

    Holland, Katharina; van Zelst, Jan; den Heeten, Gerard J; Imhof-Tas, Mechli; Mann, Ritse M; van Gils, Carla H; Karssemeijer, Nico

    2016-10-01

    Reliable breast density measurement is needed to personalize screening by using density as a risk factor and offering supplemental screening to women with dense breasts. We investigated the categorization of pairs of subsequent screening mammograms into density classes by human readers and by an automated system. With software (VDG) and by four readers, including three specialized breast radiologists, 1000 mammograms belonging to 500 pairs of subsequent screening exams were categorized into either two or four density classes. We calculated percent agreement and the percentage of women that changed from dense to non-dense and vice versa. Inter-exam agreement (IEA) was calculated with kappa statistics. Results were computed for each reader individually and for the case that each mammogram was classified by one of the four readers by random assignment (group reading). Higher percent agreement was found with VDG (90.4%, CI 87.9-92.9%) than with readers (86.2-89.2%), while less plausible changes from non-dense to dense occur less often with VDG (2.8%, CI 1.4-4.2%) than with group reading (4.2%, CI 2.4-6.0%). We found an IEA of 0.68-0.77 for the readers using two classes and an IEA of 0.76-0.82 using four classes. IEA is significantly higher with VDG compared to group reading. The categorization of serial mammograms in density classes is more consistent with automated software than with a mixed group of human readers. When using breast density to personalize screening protocols, assessment with software may be preferred over assessment by radiologists. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. Added value of a mandible movement automated analysis in the screening of obstructive sleep apnea.

    PubMed

    Maury, Gisele; Cambron, Laurent; Jamart, Jacques; Marchand, Eric; Senny, Frédéric; Poirrier, Robert

    2013-02-01

    In-laboratory polysomnography is the 'gold standard' for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, but is time consuming and costly, with long waiting lists in many sleep laboratories. Therefore, the search for alternative methods to detect respiratory events is growing. In this prospective study, we compared attended polysomnography with two other methods, with or without mandible movement automated analysis provided by a distance-meter and added to airflow and oxygen saturation analysis for the detection of respiratory events. The mandible movement automated analysis allows for the detection of salient mandible movement, which is a surrogate for arousal. All parameters were recorded simultaneously in 570 consecutive patients (M/F: 381/189; age: 50±14 years; body mass index: 29±7 kg m(-2) ) visiting a sleep laboratory. The most frequent main diagnoses were: obstructive sleep apnea (344; 60%); insomnia/anxiety/depression (75; 13%); and upper airway resistance syndrome (25; 4%). The correlation between polysomnography and the method with mandible movement automated analysis was excellent (r: 0.95; P<0.001). Accuracy characteristics of the methods showed a statistical improvement in sensitivity and negative predictive value with the addition of mandible movement automated analysis. This was true for different diagnostic thresholds of obstructive sleep severity, with an excellent efficiency for moderate to severe index (apnea-hypopnea index ≥15h(-1) ). A Bland & Altman plot corroborated the analysis. The addition of mandible movement automated analysis significantly improves the respiratory index calculation accuracy compared with an airflow and oxygen saturation analysis. This is an attractive method for the screening of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, increasing the ability to detect hypopnea thanks to the salient mandible movement as a marker of arousals.

  7. Development of an automated processing and screening system for the space shuttle orbiter flight test data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccutchen, D. K.; Brose, J. F.; Palm, W. E.

    1982-01-01

    One nemesis of the structural dynamist is the tedious task of reviewing large quantities of data. This data, obtained from various types of instrumentation, may be represented by oscillogram records, root-mean-squared (rms) time histories, power spectral densities, shock spectra, 1/3 octave band analyses, and various statistical distributions. In an attempt to reduce the laborious task of manually reviewing all of the space shuttle orbiter wideband frequency-modulated (FM) analog data, an automated processing system was developed to perform the screening process based upon predefined or predicted threshold criteria.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Age and automation interact to influence performance of a simulated luggage screening task.

    PubMed

    Wiegmann, Douglas; McCarley, Jason S; Kramer, Arthur F; Wickens, Christopher D

    2006-08-01

    An experiment examined the impact of automation on young and old adults' abilities to detect threat objects in a simulated baggage-screening task. Younger and older adult participants viewed X-ray images of cluttered baggage, 20% of which contained a hidden knife. Some participants were provided an automated aid with a hit rate of 0.90 and a false alarm rate of 0.25. The aid provided assistance to participants in one of three forms: a text message that appeared before the stimulus image; a text message that appeared following the stimulus image; or a spatial cue concurrent with the stimulus image. Control participants performed the task with no assistance from an aid. Spatial cuing improved performance for both age groups. Text cuing improved young adults' performance, but had no benefit for older participants. Effects were similar whether the text cue preceded or followed the search stimulus itself. Results indicate that spatial cuing rather than text alerts may be more effective in aiding performance during a baggage screening task and such benefits are likely to occur regardless of operator age.

  11. Routine screening for the presence of adulteration in raw materials using automated nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Meriage, David; Rogers, Gary; Phillips, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to increase the security of the supply chain for raw materials used in the manufacture of human therapeutics, a routine screen to detect the presence of adulteration using fully automated nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been developed and qualified for use in quality control laboratories. The method involves the collection of one-dimensional (1)H and (13)C spectra, which are subsequently processed to identify and quantitate raw material constituents by comparison to a spectral database. The resulting method is an easy-to-use limit test that can automatically determine the integrity of incoming raw materials. The method is intended to be used in good manufacturing practice production facilities and is suitable for excipients and aqueous soluble raw materials used in biopharmaceutical processes. In an effort to increase the security of the supply chain for raw materials used in the manufacture of human therapeutics, a routine screen to detect the presence of adulteration using fully automated nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has been developed and qualified for use in quality control laboratories. The method involves the collection of NMR spectra, which are subsequently processed to identify and quantitate raw material constituents by comparison to a spectral database. The resulting method is an easy-to-use limit test that can automatically determine the integrity of incoming raw materials. The method is intended to be used in good manufacturing practice production facilities and is suitable for excipients and aqueous soluble raw materials used in biopharmaceutical processes.

  12. The use of the PAPNET automated cytological screening system for the diagnosis of oral squamous carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Levine, T S; Njemenze, V; Cowpe, J G; Coleman, D V

    1998-12-01

    The automated PAPNET screening system has been developed to recognize abnormal cells in cervical smears. Given that the oral mucosa sheds cells resembling superficial and intermediate cells of the cervix, the aim of this study was to assess whether the PAPNET system could be used to detect dysplastic cells in oral mucosal smears. Sixty-two oral smears from 27 patients were examined by both light microscopy and using the PAPNET system from clinically abnormal and normal areas by two pathologists. The clinically abnormal sites were also biopsied for histological analysis. There was 100% correlation between the manual and PAPNET screening results. Cytological interpretation of oral smears by both manual and PAPNET screening methods correctly diagnosed squamous cell carcinoma in 14/23 (61%) of patients who had all been confirmed by biopsy. The nine patients with false-negative cases could be attributed to poor smear technique and preparation. The PAPNET system can be used to identify abnormal cells in oral smears and, as such, may have an application for screening those populations at high risk of oral cancer--provided that adequate tuition is given in smear technique.

  13. 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.

  14. Automated toxicological screening reports of modified Agilent MSD Chemstation combined with Microsoft Visual Basic application programs.

    PubMed

    Choe, Sanggil; Kim, Suncheun; Choi, Hyeyoung; Choi, Hwakyoung; Chung, Heesun; Hwang, Bangyeon

    2010-06-15

    Agilent GC-MS MSD Chemstation offers automated library search report for toxicological screening using total ion chromatogram (TIC) and mass spectroscopy in normal mode. Numerous peaks appear in the chromatogram of biological specimen such as blood or urine and often large migrating peaks obscure small target peaks, in addition, any target peaks of low abundance regularly give wrong library search result or low matching score. As a result, retention time and mass spectrum of all the peaks in the chromatogram have to be checked to see if they are relevant. These repeated actions are very tedious and time-consuming to toxicologists. MSD Chemstation software operates using a number of macro files which give commands and instructions on how to work on and extract data from the chromatogram and spectroscopy. These macro files are developed by the own compiler of the software. All the original macro files can be modified and new macro files can be added to the original software by users. To get more accurate results with more convenient method and to save time for data analysis, we developed new macro files for reports generation and inserted new menus in the Enhanced Data Analysis program. Toxicological screening reports generated by these new macro files are in text mode or graphic mode and these reports can be generated with three different automated subtraction options. Text reports have Brief mode and Full mode and graphic reports have the option with or without mass spectrum mode. Matched mass spectrum and matching score for detected compounds are printed in reports by modified library searching modules. We have also developed an independent application program named DrugMan. This program manages drug groups, lists and parameters that are in use in MSD Chemstation. The incorporation of DrugMan with modified macro modules provides a powerful tool for toxicological screening and save a lot of valuable time on toxicological work.

  15. Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy in the Central Region of Portugal. Added Value of Automated 'Disease/No Disease' Grading.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Luisa; Oliveira, Carlos Manta; Neves, Catarina; Ramos, João Diogo; Ferreira, Hélder; Cunha-Vaz, José

    2014-11-26

    Purpose: To describe the procedures of a nonmydriatic diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening program in the Central Region of Portugal and the added value of the introduction of an automated disease/no disease analysis. Methods: The images from the DR screening program are analyzed in a central reading center using first an automated disease/no disease analysis followed by human grading of the disease cases. The grading scale used is as follows: R0 - no retinopathy, RL - nonproliferative DR, M - maculopathy, RP - proliferative DR and NC - not classifiable. Results: Since the introduction of automated analysis in July 2011, a total of 89,626 eyes (45,148 patients) were screened with the following distribution: R0 - 71.5%, RL - 22.7%, M - 2.2%, RP - 0.1% and NC - 3.5%. The implemented automated system showed the potential for human grading burden reduction of 48.42%. Conclusions: Screening for DR using automated analysis allied to a simplified grading scale identifies DR vision-threatening complications well while decreasing human burden. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. 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

  17. Optoelectronic parallel processing with smart pixel arrays for automated screening of cervical smear imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metz, John Langdon

    2000-10-01

    This thesis investigates the use of optoelectronic parallel processing systems with smart photosensor arrays (SPAs) to examine cervical smear images. The automation of cervical smear screening seeks to reduce human workload and improve the accuracy of detecting pre- cancerous and cancerous conditions. Increasing the parallelism of image processing improves the speed and accuracy of locating regions-of-interest (ROI) from images of the cervical smear for the first stage of a two-stage screening system. The two-stage approach first detects ROI optoelectronically before classifying them using more time consuming electronic algorithms. The optoelectronic hit/miss transform (HMT) is computed using gray scale modulation spatial light modulators in an optical correlator. To further the parallelism of this system, a novel CMOS SPA computes the post processing steps required by the HMT algorithm. The SPA reduces the subsequent bandwidth passed into the second, electronic image processing stage classifying the detected ROI. Limitations in the miss operation of the HMT suggest using only the hit operation for detecting ROI. This makes possible a single SPA chip approach using only the hit operation for ROI detection which may replace the optoelectronic correlator in the screening system. Both the HMT SPA postprocessor and the SPA ROI detector design provide compact, efficient, and low-cost optoelectronic solutions to performing ROI detection on cervical smears. Analysis of optoelectronic ROI detection with electronic ROI classification shows these systems have the potential to perform at, or above, the current error rates for manual classification of cervical smears.

  18. Simultaneous Automated Screening and Confirmatory Testing for Vasculitis-Specific ANCA

    PubMed Central

    Sowa, Mandy; Grossmann, Kai; Knütter, Ilka; Hiemann, Rico; Röber, Nadja; Anderer, Ursula; Csernok, Elena; Bogdanos, Dimitrios P.; Borghi, Maria Orietta; Meroni, Pier Luigi; Schierack, Peter; Reinhold, Dirk; Conrad, Karsten; Roggenbuck, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are the serological hallmark of small vessel vasculitis, so called ANCA-associated vasculitis. The international consensus requires testing by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) on human ethanol-fixed neutrophils (ethN) as screening followed by confirmation with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). This study evaluates the combination of cell- and microbead-based digital IIF analysis of ANCA in one reaction environment by the novel multiplexing CytoBead technology for simultaneous screening and confirmatory ANCA testing. Sera of 592 individuals including 118 patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis, 133 with rheumatoid arthritis, 49 with infectious diseases, 77 with inflammatory bowel syndrome, 20 with autoimmune liver diseases, 70 with primary sclerosing cholangitis and 125 blood donors were tested for cytoplasmic ANCA (C-ANCA) and perinuclear ANCA (P-ANCA) by classical IIF and ANCA to proteinase 3 (PR3) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) by ELISA. These findings were compared to respective ANCA results determined by automated multiplex CytoBead technology using ethN and antigen-coated microbeads for microbead immunoassays. There was a good agreement for PR3- and MPO-ANCA and a very good one for P-ANCA and C-ANCA by classical and multiplex analysis (Cohen's kappa [κ] = 0.775, 0.720, 0.876, 0.820, respectively). The differences between classical testing and CytoBead analysis were not significant for PR3-ANCA, P-ANCA, and C-ANCA (p<0.05, respectively). The prevalence of confirmed positive ANCA findings by classical testing (IIF and ELISA) compared with multiplex CytoBead analysis (IIF and microbead immunoassay positive) resulted in a very good agreement (κ = 0.831) with no significant difference of both methods (p = 0.735). Automated endpoint-ANCA titer detection in one dilution demonstrated a very good agreement with classical analysis requiring dilution of samples (κ = 0.985). Multiplexing by Cyto

  19. Autonomy Versus Automation: Perceptions of Nonmydriatic Camera Choice for Teleretinal Screening in an Urban Safety Net Clinic

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Erin; Patty Daskivich, Lauren; George, Sheba; Teklehaimanot, Senait; Ilapakurthi, Ramarao; Lopez, Kevin; Norris, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Objective: Teleretinal screening with nonmydriatic cameras has been presented as a means of increasing the number of patients assessed for diabetic retinopathy in urban safety net clinics. It has been hypothesized that automated nonmydriatic cameras may improve screening rates by reducing the learning curve for camera use. In this article, we examine the impact of introducing automated nonmydriatic cameras to urban safety net clinics whose photographers had previously used manual cameras. Materials and Methods: We evaluated the impact of manual and automated digital nonmydriatic cameras on teleretinal screening using a quantitative analysis of readers' image quality ratings as well as a qualitative analysis, through in-depth interviews, of photographers' experiences. Results: With the manual camera, 68% of images were rated “adequate” or better, including 24% rated “good” and 20% rated “excellent.” With the automated camera, 61% were rated “adequate” or better, including 9% rated “good” and 0% rated “excellent.” Photographers expressed frustration with their inability to control image-taking settings with the automated camera, which led to unexpected delays. Conclusions: For safety net clinics in which medical assistants are already trained to take photographs for diabetic retinopathy screening with a manual camera, the introduction of automated cameras may lead to frustration and paradoxically contribute to increased patient wait times. When photographers have achieved a high degree of aptitude with manual cameras and value the control they have over camera features, the introduction of automated cameras should be approached with caution and may require extensive training to increase user acceptability. PMID:23763609

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Toward Automated Interpretation of LC-MS Data for Quality Assurance of a Screening Collection.

    PubMed

    Addison, Daniel H

    2016-12-01

    The AstraZeneca Compound Management group uses high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry for structure elucidation and purity determination of the AstraZeneca compound collection. These activities are conducted in a high-throughput environment where the rate-limiting step is the review and interpretation of analytical results, which is time-consuming and experience dependent. Despite the development of a semiautomated review system, manual interpretation of results remains a bottleneck. Data-mining techniques were applied to archived data to further automate the review process. Various classification models were evaluated using WEKA and Pipeline Pilot (Pipeline Pilot version 8.5.0.200, BIOVIA, San Diego, CA). Results were assessed using criteria including precision, recall, and receiver operating characteristic area. Each model was evaluated as a cost-insensitive classifier and again using MetaCost to apply cost sensitivity. Pruning and variable importance were also investigated. A 10-tree random forest generated with Pipeline Pilot reduced the number of analyses requiring manual review to 36.4% using a threshold of 90% confidence in predictions. This represents a 45% reduction in manual reviews compared with the previous system, delivering an annual savings of $45,000 or an increase in capacity from 25,000 analyses per month up to 45,000 with the same resource levels. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  3. Screening for von Willebrand disease: contribution of an automated assay for von Willebrand factor activity.

    PubMed

    Lasne, D; Dey, C; Dautzenberg, M-D; Cherqaoui, Z; Monge, F; Aouba, A; Torchet, M-F; Geloen, D; Landais, P; Rothschild, C

    2012-05-01

    Measuring von Willebrand factor (VWF) activity is essential to the diagnosis of von Willebrand disease (VWD). The VWF activity is usually assessed based on measurement of the ristocetin cofactor (VWF:RCo). However, that test is technically challenging and has high intra- and inter-assay variabilities. The HemosIL VWF activity (VWF:AC) is a fully automated assay, recently proposed as a good alternative to VWF:RCo for VWD diagnosis. This study was undertaken to assess this new method. First, the analytical performance of VWF:AC on an automated coagulo-meter (ACLTop) was determined, and then this new method was compared with VWF:RCo and the platelet function analyzer (PFA100) for 160 patients referred for VWD screening. The VWF:AC achieved acceptable precision with within-run and between-run coefficients of variation ranging from 2.3% to 14.1%, and linearity from 10% to 100%. Despite some marked differences between VWF:AC and VWF:RCo for 10 plasmas tested, their agreement for VWD diagnosis was good. The VWF:AC had sensitivity similar to that of PFA100 (close to 100%), but better specificity (97.7% vs. 66% or 60%, depending on the cartridge used). The good analytical performance, and the sensitivity and specificity of VWF:AC to detect VWF deficiency renders it a suitable method for VWD screening. Our findings support VWF:AC use for the diagnostic work-up of VWD, paying close attention to concomitant clinical signs and bleeding score, as recommended for VWD. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. An open framework for automated chemical hazard assessment based on GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals: A proof of concept.

    PubMed

    Wehage, Kristopher; Chenhansa, Panan; Schoenung, Julie M

    2017-01-01

    GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals is a framework for comparative chemical hazard assessment. It is the first transparent, open and publicly accessible framework of its kind, allowing manufacturers and governmental agencies to make informed decisions about the chemicals and substances used in consumer products and buildings. In the GreenScreen® benchmarking process, chemical hazards are assessed and classified based on 18 hazard endpoints from up to 30 different sources. The result is a simple numerical benchmark score and accompanying assessment report that allows users to flag chemicals of concern and identify safer alternatives. Although the screening process is straightforward, aggregating and sorting hazard data is tedious, time-consuming, and prone to human error. In light of these challenges, the present work demonstrates the usage of automation to cull chemical hazard data from publicly available internet resources, assign metadata, and perform a GreenScreen® hazard assessment using the GreenScreen® "List Translator." The automated technique, written as a module in the Python programming language, generates GreenScreen® List Translation data for over 3000 chemicals in approximately 30 s. Discussion of the potential benefits and limitations of automated techniques is provided. By embedding the library into a web-based graphical user interface, the extensibility of the library is demonstrated. The accompanying source code is made available to the hazard assessment community. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:167-176. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  5. 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.

  6. The Gray Institute 'open' high-content, fluorescence lifetime microscopes.

    PubMed

    Barber, P R; Tullis, I D C; Pierce, G P; Newman, R G; Prentice, J; Rowley, M I; Matthews, D R; Ameer-Beg, S M; Vojnovic, B

    2013-08-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. High-content analysis to leverage a robust phenotypic profiling approach to vascular modulation.

    PubMed

    Isherwood, Beverley J; Walls, Rebecca E; Roberts, Mark E; Houslay, Thomas M; Brave, Sandra R; Barry, Simon T; Carragher, Neil O

    2013-12-01

    Phenotypic screening seeks to identify substances that modulate phenotypes in a desired manner with the aim of progressing first-in-class agents. Successful campaigns require physiological relevance, robust screening, and an ability to deconvolute perturbed pathways. High-content analysis (HCA) is increasingly used in cell biology and offers one approach to prosecution of phenotypic screens, but challenges exist in exploitation where data generated are high volume and complex. We combine development of an organotypic model with novel HCA tools to map phenotypic responses to pharmacological perturbations. We describe implementation for angiogenesis, a process that has long been a focus for therapeutic intervention but has lacked robust models that recapitulate more completely mechanisms involved. The study used human primary endothelial cells in co-culture with stromal fibroblasts to model multiple aspects of angiogenic signaling: cell interactions, proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Multiple quantitative descriptors were derived from automated microscopy using custom-designed algorithms. Data were extracted using a bespoke informatics platform that integrates processing, statistics, and feature display into a streamlined workflow for building and interrogating fingerprints. Ninety compounds were characterized, defining mode of action by phenotype. Our approach for assessing phenotypic outcomes in complex assay models is robust and capable of supporting a range of phenotypic screens at scale.

  9. A novel organelle map framework for high-content cell morphology analysis in high throughput.

    PubMed

    Schauer, Kristine; Grossier, Jean-Philippe; Duong, Tarn; Chapuis, Violaine; Degot, Sébastien; Lescure, Aurianne; Del Nery, Elaine; Goud, Bruno

    2014-02-01

    A screening procedure was developed that takes advantage of the cellular normalization by micropatterning and a novel quantitative organelle mapping approach that allows unbiased and automated cell morphology comparison using black-box statistical testing. Micropatterns of extracellular matrix proteins force cells to adopt a reproducible shape and distribution of intracellular compartments avoiding strong cell-to-cell variation that is a major limitation of classical culture conditions. To detect changes in cell morphology induced by compound treatment, fluorescently labeled intracellular structures from several tens of micropatterned cells were transformed into probabilistic density maps. Then, the similarity or difference between two given density maps was quantified using statistical testing that evaluates differences directly from the data without additional analysis or any subjective decision. The versatility of this organelle mapping approach for different magnifications and its performance for different cell shapes has been assessed. Density-based analysis detected changes in cell morphology due to compound treatment in a small-scale proof-of-principle screen demonstrating its compatibility with high-throughput screening. This novel tool for high-content and high-throughput cellular phenotyping can potentially be used for a wide range of applications from drug screening to careful characterization of cellular processes.

  10. Comparison of handheld ultrasound and automated breast ultrasound in women recalled after mammography screening.

    PubMed

    Hellgren, Roxanna; Dickman, Paul; Leifland, Karin; Saracco, Ariel; Hall, Per; Celebioglu, Fuat

    2017-05-01

    Background Automated breast volume scanner (ABVS) is an ultrasound (US) device with a wide scanner that sweeps over a large area of the breast and the acquired transverse images are sent to a workstation for reconstruction and review. Whether ABVS is as reliable as handheld US is, however, still not established. Purpose To compare the sensitivity and specificity of ABVS to handheld breast US for detection of breast cancer, in the situation of recall after mammography screening. Material and Methods A total of 113 women, five with bilateral suspicious findings, undergoing handheld breast US due to a suspicious mammographic finding in screening, underwent additional ABVS. The methods were assessed for each breast and each detected lesion separately and classified into two categories: breasts with mammographic suspicion of malignancy and breasts with a negative mammogram. Results Twenty-six cancers were found in 25 women. In the category of breasts with a suspicious mammographic finding (n = 118), the sensitivity of both handheld US and ABVS was 88% (22/25). The specificity of handheld US was 93.5% (87/93) and ABVS was 89.2% (83/93). In the category of breasts with a negative mammography (n = 103), the sensitivity of handheld US and ABVS was 100% (1/1). The specificity of handheld US was 100% (102/102) and ABVS was 94.1% (96/102). Conclusion ABVS can potentially replace handheld US in the investigation of women recalled from mammography screening due to a suspicious finding. Due to the small size of our study population, further investigation with larger study populations is necessary before the implementation of such practice.

  11. 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

  12. High content analysis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Federica; Motti, Dario; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Kaspar, Brian K

    2017-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. Neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglial cells all undergo pathological modifications in the onset and progression of ALS. A number of genes involved in the etiopathology of the disease have been identified, but a complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms of ALS has yet to be determined. Currently, people affected by ALS have a life expectancy of only two to five years from diagnosis. The search for a treatment has been slow and mostly unsuccessful, leaving patients in desperate need of better therapies. Until recently, most pre-clinical studies utilized the available ALS animal models. In the past years, the development of new protocols for isolation of patient cells and differentiation into relevant cell types has provided new tools to model ALS, potentially more relevant to the disease itself as they directly come from patients. The use of stem cells is showing promise to facilitate ALS research by expanding our understanding of the disease and help to identify potential new therapeutic targets and therapies to help patients. Advancements in high content analysis (HCA) have the power to contribute to move ALS research forward by combining automated image acquisition along with digital image analysis. With modern HCA machines it is possible, in a period of just a few hours, to observe changes in morphology and survival of cells, under the stimulation of hundreds, if not thousands of drugs and compounds. In this article, we will summarize the major molecular and cellular hallmarks of ALS, describe the advancements provided by the in vitro models developed in the last few years, and review the studies that have applied HCA to the ALS field to date. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Automated drug screening with contractile muscle tissue engineered from dystrophic myoblasts

    PubMed Central

    Vandenburgh, Herman; Shansky, Janet; Benesch-Lee, Frank; Skelly, Kirsten; Spinazzola, Janelle M.; Saponjian, Yero; Tseng, Brian S.

    2009-01-01

    Identification of factors that improve muscle function in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) could lead to an improved quality of life. To establish a functional in vitro assay for muscle strength, mdx murine myoblasts, the genetic homologue of DMD, were tissue engineered in 96-microwell plates into 3-dimensional muscle constructs with parallel arrays of striated muscle fibers. When electrically stimulated, they generated tetanic forces measured with an automated motion tracking system. Thirty-one compounds of interest as potential treatments for patients with DMD were tested at 3 to 6 concentrations. Eleven of the compounds (insulin-like growth factor-1, creatine, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, trichostatin A, lisinopril, and 6 from the glucocorticoid family) significantly increased tetanic force relative to placebo-treated controls. The glucocorticoids methylprednisolone, deflazacort, and prednisone increased tetanic forces at low doses (EC50 of 6, 19, and 56 nM, respectively), indicating a direct muscle mechanism by which they may be benefitting DMD patients. The tetanic force assay also identified beneficial compound interactions (arginine plus deflazacort and prednisone plus creatine) as well as deleterious interactions (prednisone plus creatine inhibited by pentoxifylline) of combinatorial therapies taken by some DMD patients. Since mdx muscle in vivo and DMD patients respond in a similar manner to many of these compounds, the in vitro assay will be a useful tool for the rapid identification of new potential treatments for muscle weakness in DMD and other muscle disorders.—Vandenburgh, H., Shansky, J., Benesch-Lee, F., Skelly, K., Spinazzola, J.M., Saponjian, Y., Tseng, B.S. Automated drug screening with contractile muscle tissue engineered from dystrophic myoblasts. PMID:19487307

  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

    2014-02-26

    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. Process automation toward ultra-high-throughput screening of combinatorial one-bead-one-compound (OBOC) peptide libraries.

    PubMed

    Cha, Junhoe; Lim, Jaehong; Zheng, Yiran; Tan, Sylvia; Ang, Yi Li; Oon, Jessica; Ang, Mei Wei; Ling, Jingjing; Bode, Marcus; Lee, Su Seong

    2012-06-01

    With an aim to develop peptide-based protein capture agents that can replace antibodies for in vitro diagnosis, an ultra-high-throughput screening strategy has been investigated by automating labor-intensive, time-consuming processes that are the construction of peptide libraries, sorting of positive beads, and peptide sequencing through analysis of tandem mass spectrometry data. Although instruments for automation, such as peptide synthesizers and automatic bead sorters, have been used in some groups, the overall process has not been well optimized to minimize time, cost, and efforts, as well as to maximize product quality and performance. Herein we suggest and explore several solutions to the existing problems with the automation of the key processes. The overall process optimization has been done successfully in orchestration with the technologies such as rapid cleavage of peptides from beads and semiautomatic peptide sequencing that we have developed previously. This optimization allowed one-round screening, from peptide library construction to peptide sequencing, to be completed within 4 to 5 days. We also successfully identified a 6-mer ligand for carcinoembryonic antigen-cell adhesion molecule 5 (CEACAM 5) through three-round screenings, including one-round screening of a focused library.

  17. From Sample Changer to the Robotic Rheometer: Automation and High Throughput Screening in Rotational Rheometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Läuger, Jörg; Krenn, Michael

    2008-07-01

    A fully automated, robotically operated rheometer was developed. The full functionality, modularity and accuracy of the rotational rheometer are available, which means the modern principles of high-throughput screening are brought to full function on the rheometer. The basic rheometer setup remains as modular as before including the ability to run all test modes the rheometer offers with the difference that the high-throughput rheometer now performs all measuring steps automatically. In addition, the standard and proven environmental chambers of the rheometer are available. The rheometer itself runs by the standard rheometer software and the measurement data and analysis results can be transferred to a monitoring database. The sample loading and the cleaning of the geometries is assisted by a sample preparation unit and a cleaning station, respectively. The sample throughput is further maximized by the use of multiple geometries allowing the simultaneous rheological measurement by the rheometer and the cleaning of the geometries at the cleaning station by the robot. The High-Throughput Rheometer (HTR) and its special adaptation to different applications like dispersions and polymer melts are described.

  18. AutoDensity: an automated method to measure mammographic breast density that predicts breast cancer risk and screening outcomes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction While Cumulus – a semi-automated method for measuring breast density – is utilised extensively in research, it is labour-intensive and unsuitable for screening programmes that require an efficient and valid measure on which to base screening recommendations. We develop an automated method to measure breast density (AutoDensity) and compare it to Cumulus in terms of association with breast cancer risk and breast cancer screening outcomes. Methods AutoDensity automatically identifies the breast area in the mammogram and classifies breast density in a similar way to Cumulus, through a fast, stand-alone Windows or Linux program. Our sample comprised 985 women with screen-detected cancers, 367 women with interval cancers and 4,975 controls (women who did not have cancer), sampled from first and subsequent screening rounds of a film mammography screening programme. To test the validity of AutoDensity, we compared the effect estimates using AutoDensity with those using Cumulus from logistic regression models that tested the association between breast density and breast cancer risk, risk of small and large screen-detected cancers and interval cancers, and screening programme sensitivity (the proportion of cancers that are screen-detected). As a secondary analysis, we report on correlation between AutoDensity and Cumulus measures. Results AutoDensity performed similarly to Cumulus in all associations tested. For example, using AutoDensity, the odds ratios for women in the highest decile of breast density compared to women in the lowest quintile for invasive breast cancer, interval cancers, large and small screen-detected cancers were 3.2 (95% CI 2.5 to 4.1), 4.7 (95% CI 3.0 to 7.4), 6.4 (95% CI 3.7 to 11.1) and 2.2 (95% CI 1.6 to 3.0) respectively. For Cumulus the corresponding odds ratios were: 2.4 (95% CI 1.9 to 3.1), 4.1 (95% CI 2.6 to 6.3), 6.6 (95% CI 3.7 to 11.7) and 1.3 (95% CI 0.9 to 1.8). Correlation between Cumulus and AutoDensity measures was 0

  19. Automated antinuclear immunofluorescence antibody screening: a comparative study of six computer-aided diagnostic systems.

    PubMed

    Bizzaro, Nicola; Antico, Antonio; Platzgummer, Stefan; Tonutti, Elio; Bassetti, Danila; Pesente, Fiorenza; Tozzoli, Renato; Tampoia, Marilina; Villalta, Danilo

    2014-03-01

    Indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) plays an important role in immunological assays for detecting and measuring autoantibodies. However, the method is burdened by some unfavorable features: the need for expert morphologists, the subjectivity of interpretation, and a low degree of standardization and automation. Following the recent statement by the American College of Rheumatology that the IIF technique should be considered as the standard screening method for the detection of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), the biomedical industry has developed technological solutions which might significantly improve automation of the procedure, not only in the preparation of substrates and slides, but also in microscope reading. We collected 104 ANA-positive sera from patients with a confirmed clinical diagnosis of autoimmune disease and 40 ANA-negative sera from healthy blood donors. One aliquot of each serum, without information about pattern and titer, was sent to six laboratories of our group, where the sera were tested with the IIF manual method provided by each of the six manufacturers of automatic systems. Assignment of result (pos/neg), of pattern and titer was made by consensus at a meeting attended by all members of the research team. Result was assigned if consensus for pos/neg was reached by at least four of six certifiers, while for the pattern and for the titer, the value observed with higher frequency (mode) was adopted. Seventeen ANA-positive sera and six ANA-negative sera were excluded. Therefore, the study with the following automatic instrumentation was conducted on 92 ANA-positive sera and on 34 ANA-negative sera: Aklides, EUROPattern, G-Sight (I-Sight-IFA), Helios, Image Navigator, and Nova View. Analytical imprecision was measured in five aliquots of the same serum, randomly added to the sample series. Overall sensitivity of the six automated systems was 96.7% and overall specificity was 89.2%. Most false negatives were recorded for cytoplasmic patterns

  20. Cost-effectiveness analysis of the optimal threshold of an automated immunochemical test for colorectal cancer screening: performances of immunochemical colorectal cancer screening.

    PubMed

    Berchi, Célia; Guittet, Lydia; Bouvier, Véronique; Launoy, Guy

    2010-01-01

    Most industrialized countries, including France, have undertaken to generalize colorectal cancer screening using guaiac fecal occult blood tests (G-FOBT). However, recent researches demonstrate that immunochemical fecal occult blood tests (I-FOBT) are more effective than G-FOBT. Moreover, new generation I-FOBT benefits from a quantitative reading technique allowing the positivity threshold to be chosen, hence offering the best balance between effectiveness and cost. We aimed at comparing the cost and the clinical performance of one round of screening using I-FOBT at different positivity thresholds to those obtained with G-FOBT to determine the optimal cut-off for I-FOBT. Data were derived from an experiment conducted from June 2004 to December 2005 in Calvados (France) where 20,322 inhabitants aged 50-74 years performed both I-FOBT and G-FOBT. Clinical performance was assessed by the number of advanced tumors screened, including large adenomas and cancers. Costs were assessed by the French Social Security Board and included only direct costs. Screening using I-FOBT resulted in better health outcomes and lower costs than screening using G-FOBT for thresholds comprised between 75 and 93 ng/ml. I-FOBT at 55 ng/ml also offers a satisfactory alternative to G-FOBT, because it is 1.8-fold more effective than G-FOBT, without increasing the number of unnecessary colonoscopies, and at an extra cost of 2,519 euros per advanced tumor screened. The use of an automated I-FOBT at 75 ng/ml would guarantee more efficient screening than currently used G-FOBT. Health authorities in industrialized countries should consider the replacement of G-FOBT by an automated I-FOBT test in the near future.

  1. Toward a trustworthy voice: increasing the effectiveness of automated outreach calls to promote colorectal cancer screening among African Americans.

    PubMed

    Albright, Karen; Richardson, Terri; Kempe, Karin L; Wallace, Kristin

    2014-01-01

    Colorectal cancer screening rates are lower among African-American members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) than among members of other races and ethnicities. This study evaluated use of a linguistically congruent voice in interactive voice response outreach calls about colorectal cancer screening as a strategy to increase call completion and response. After an initial discussion group to assess cultural acceptability of the project, 6 focus groups were conducted with 33 KPCO African-American members. Participants heard and discussed recordings of 5 female voices reading the same segment of the standard-practice colorectal cancer message using interactive voice response. The linguistic palette included the voices of a white woman, a lightly accented Latina, and 3 African-American women. Participants strongly preferred the African-American voices, particularly two voices. Participants considered these voices the most trustworthy and reported that they would be the most effective at increasing motivation to complete an automated call. Participants supported the use of African-American voices when designing outgoing automated calls for African Americans because the sense of familiarity engendered trust among listeners. Participants also indicated that effective automated messages should provide immediate clarity of purpose; explain why the issue is relevant to African Americans; avoid sounding scripted; emphasize that the call is for the listener's benefit only; sound personable, warm, and positive; and not create fear among listeners. Establishing linguistic congruence between African Americans and the voices used in automated calls designed to reach them may increase the effectiveness of outreach efforts.

  2. Toxicological screening in urine: comparison of two automated HPLC screening systems, toxicological identification system (TOX.I.S.*) versus REMEDI-HS.

    PubMed

    Schönberg, Lena; Grobosch, Thomas; Lampe, Dagmar; Kloft, Charlotte

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, the comparison of two automated high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) screening systems, a newly developed toxicological identification system (TOX.I.S.) versus the commercially available Remedi-HS (Bio-Rad), is presented. Urine samples from 405 cases screened positive for amphetamines, cocaine, and opiates by immunological assays and confirmed by GC-MS were analyzed with both systems. In more than 80% (TOX.I.S.) and 78% (Remedi-HS) of the cases (except for cocaine), the results obtained by both HPLC methods showed agreement with the earlier obtained results by immunoassay prescreening and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The evaluation showed that both automated HPLC methods led to comparable results and can be used alternatively. As the confirmation results for cocaine were rather poor (45% TOX.I.S., 54% Remedi-HS) in comparison to GC-MS, the TOX.I.S. was further optimized for the detection of the cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine (BEC). The BEC method improved the detectability of BEC from 45% to 80%. Besides confirmation screening, the use of both systems in cases of acute intoxications was investigated. Information about basic compounds was obtained from urine screening by both systems, which therefore were useful as complementary techniques in the toxicological laboratory. The TOX.I.S. offers advantages such as common equipment, modern software, and higher versatility with the opportunity to establish additional methods in the system.

  3. Automated NMR fragment based screening identified a novel interface blocker to the LARG/RhoA complex.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Progress towards automated diabetic ocular screening: a review of image analysis and intelligent systems for diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Teng, T; Lefley, M; Claremont, D

    2002-01-01

    Patients with diabetes require annual screening for effective timing of sight-saving treatment. However, the lack of screening and the shortage of ophthalmologists limit the ocular health care available. This is stimulating research into automated analysis of the reflectance images of the ocular fundus. Publications applicable to the automated screening of diabetic retinopathy are summarised. The review has been structured to mimic some of the processes that an ophthalmologist performs when examining the retina. Thus image processing tasks, such as vessel and lesion location, are reviewed before any intelligent or automated systems. Most research has been undertaken in identification of the retinal vasculature and analysis of early pathological changes. Progress has been made in the identification of the retinal vasculature and the more common pathological features, such as small aneurysms and exudates. Ancillary research into image preprocessing has also been identified. In summary, the advent of digital data sets has made image analysis more accessible, although questions regarding the assessment of individual algorithms and whole systems are only just being addressed.

  7. High content kinetic assays of neuronal signaling implemented on BD pathway HT.

    PubMed

    Chan, Grace K Y; Richards, Gillian R; Peters, Marco; Simpson, Peter B

    2005-12-01

    A great deal of information can be gained from kinetic fluorescence-based measurement of cellular responses; however, until recently the use of such approaches has been limited by the manual nature of the instrumentation available. Higher-throughput kinetic studies of signaling pathways are greatly facilitated by new confocal, liquid handling-enabled, high content screening (HCS) platforms. In the present work, we have implemented one such instrument, the BD(TM) Pathway HT bioimager (BD Biosciences, Rockville, MD), for studying regulation of neuronal signaling pathways. We have established a neuronal calcium oscillation model, whereby rate of oscillation, amplitude of oscillation, and level of synchronicity across the culture can be measured. We have implemented membrane potential measurement using fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based dyes, for single cell characterization on this platform, showing the benefits of a truly flexible excitation and recording system; this dye combination cannot be readily implemented on all HCS platforms because of constraints of excitation wavelengths. We have validated long-term intracellular calcium imaging experiments, using innovative dyes and BD Pathway HT's spinning disk-based confocal excitation. To maximize both throughput and reproducibility, walk-away automation integration of this bioimaging technology has been implemented, producing an affordable, compact platform for fully automated kinetic HCS.

  8. High-content analysis of α-synuclein aggregation and cell death in a cellular model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Macchi, Francesca; Deleersnijder, Angélique; Van den Haute, Chris; Munck, Sebastian; Pottel, Hans; Michiels, Annelies; Debyser, Zeger; Gerard, Melanie; Baekelandt, Veerle

    2016-03-01

    Alpha-synuclein (α-SYN) aggregates represent a key feature of Parkinson's disease, but the exact relationship between α-SYN aggregation and neurodegeneration remains incompletely understood. Therefore, the availability of a cellular assay that allows medium-throughput analysis of α-SYN-linked pathology will be of great value for studying the aggregation process and for advancing α-SYN-based therapies. Here we describe a high-content neuronal cell assay that simultaneously measures oxidative stress-induced α-SYN aggregation and apoptosis. We optimized an automated and reproducible assay to quantify both α-SYN aggregation and cell death in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Quantification of α-SYN aggregates in cells has typically relied on manual imaging and counting or cell-free assays, which are time consuming and do not allow a concurrent analysis of cell viability. Our high-content analysis method for quantification of α-SYN aggregation allows simultaneous measurements of multiple cell parameters at a single-cell level in a fast, objective and automated manner. The presented analysis approach offers a rapid, objective and multiparametric approach for the screening of compounds and genes that might alter α-SYN aggregation and/or toxicity. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Automation-assisted cervical cancer screening in manual liquid-based cytology with hematoxylin and eosin staining.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ling; Kong, Hui; Ting Chin, Chien; Liu, Shaoxiong; Fan, Xinmin; Wang, Tianfu; Chen, Siping

    2014-03-01

    Current automation-assisted technologies for screening cervical cancer mainly rely on automated liquid-based cytology slides with proprietary stain. This is not a cost-efficient approach to be utilized in developing countries. In this article, we propose the first automation-assisted system to screen cervical cancer in manual liquid-based cytology (MLBC) slides with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain, which is inexpensive and more applicable in developing countries. This system consists of three main modules: image acquisition, cell segmentation, and cell classification. First, an autofocusing scheme is proposed to find the global maximum of the focus curve by iteratively comparing image qualities of specific locations. On the autofocused images, the multiway graph cut (GC) is performed globally on the a* channel enhanced image to obtain cytoplasm segmentation. The nuclei, especially abnormal nuclei, are robustly segmented by using GC adaptively and locally. Two concave-based approaches are integrated to split the touching nuclei. To classify the segmented cells, features are selected and preprocessed to improve the sensitivity, and contextual and cytoplasm information are introduced to improve the specificity. Experiments on 26 consecutive image stacks demonstrated that the dynamic autofocusing accuracy was 2.06 μm. On 21 cervical cell images with nonideal imaging condition and pathology, our segmentation method achieved a 93% accuracy for cytoplasm, and a 87.3% F-measure for nuclei, both outperformed state of the art works in terms of accuracy. Additional clinical trials showed that both the sensitivity (88.1%) and the specificity (100%) of our system are satisfyingly high. These results proved the feasibility of automation-assisted cervical cancer screening in MLBC slides with H&E stain, which is highly desirable in community health centers and small hospitals.

  10. High content live cell imaging for the discovery of new antimalarial marine natural products

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The human malaria parasite remains a burden in developing nations. It is responsible for up to one million deaths a year, a number that could rise due to increasing multi-drug resistance to all antimalarial drugs currently available. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the discovery of new drug therapies. Recently, our laboratory developed a simple one-step fluorescence-based live cell-imaging assay to integrate the complex biology of the human malaria parasite into drug discovery. Here we used our newly developed live cell-imaging platform to discover novel marine natural products and their cellular phenotypic effects against the most lethal malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Methods A high content live cell imaging platform was used to screen marine extracts effects on malaria. Parasites were grown in vitro in the presence of extracts, stained with RNA sensitive dye, and imaged at timed intervals with the BD Pathway HT automated confocal microscope. Results Image analysis validated our new methodology at a larger scale level and revealed potential antimalarial activity of selected extracts with a minimal cytotoxic effect on host red blood cells. To further validate our assay, we investigated parasite's phenotypes when incubated with the purified bioactive natural product bromophycolide A. We show that bromophycolide A has a strong and specific morphological effect on parasites, similar to the ones observed from the initial extracts. Conclusion Collectively, our results show that high-content live cell-imaging (HCLCI) can be used to screen chemical libraries and identify parasite specific inhibitors with limited host cytotoxic effects. All together we provide new leads for the discovery of novel antimalarials. PMID:22214291

  11. 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.

  12. High-Content Analysis of Sequential Events during the Early Phase of Influenza A Virus Infection

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. ClinicalTrials.gov as a data source for semi-automated point-of-care trial eligibility screening.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. To evaluate the utility of the ClinicalTrials.gov registry as a data source for semi-automated trial eligibility screening. 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. 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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Automated direct screening for resistance of Gram-negative blood cultures using the BD Kiestra WorkCell.

    PubMed

    Heather, C S; Maley, M

    2017-10-02

    Early detection of resistance in sepsis due to Gram-negative organisms may lead to improved outcomes by reducing the time to effective antibiotic therapy. Traditional methods of resistance detection require incubation times of 18 to 48 h to detect resistance. We have utilised automated specimen processing, digital imaging and zone size measurements in conjunction with direct disc susceptibility testing to develop a method for the rapid screening of Gram-negative blood culture isolates for resistance. Positive clinical blood cultures with Gram-negative organisms were prospectively identified and additional resistant mock specimens were prepared. Broth was plated and antibiotic-impregnated discs (ampicillin, ceftriaxone, piperacillin-tazobactam, meropenem, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin) were added. Plates were incubated, digitally imaged and zone sizes were measured using the BD Kiestra WorkCell laboratory automation system. Minimum, clinically useful, incubation times and optimised zone size cut-offs for resistance detection were determined. We included 187 blood cultures in the study. At 5 h of incubation, > 90% of plates yielded interpretable results. Using optimised zone size cut-offs, the sensitivity for resistance detection ranged from 87 to 100%, while the specificity ranged from 84.7 to 100%. The sensitivity and specificity for piperacillin-tazobactam resistance detection was consistently worse than for the other agents. Automated direct disc susceptibility screening is a rapid and sensitive tool for resistance detection in Gram-negative isolates from blood cultures for most of the agents tested.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Dalecki, Alex G.; Wolschendorf, Frank

    2016-01-01

    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 Mycobacterium 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

  18. Reagent strip screening for sediment abnormalities identified by automated microscopy in urine from patients suspected to have urinary tract disease.

    PubMed

    Bartlett, R C; Zern, D A; Ratkiewicz, I; Tetreault, J Z

    1994-11-01

    We assessed the ability of reagent strip screening to predict the finding of blood cells and bacteria using an automated urinalysis workstation (The Yellow IRIS, International Remote Imaging Systems, Chatsworth, Calif) in 427 specimens submitted for urine culture. The sensitivities of leukocyte esterase, hemoglobin, and nitrite detection on reagent strips were 71.9%, 70.8%, and 56.7%, respectively, at 5 or more white blood cells per high-power field, at 3 or more red blood cells per high-power field and bacteria observed using the IRIS. Screening results for leukocyte esterase associated with negative results using the IRIS for white blood cells represented mostly false-positive screening test results based on chart review. Positive screening test results for hemoglobin associated with negative results obtained with the IRIS for red blood cells consisted of equal numbers of false-positive screening test results and IRIS test results based on chart review. A common screening algorithm using a combination of these three reagent strip variables exhibited a false-negative rate of 30.1%: review of medical records found clinical evidence of urinary tract infection in 14 patients and genitourinary or renal disease or hypertension in another 13 patients. Adding more variables to the algorithm increases the sensitivity and decreases the specificity. Both microscopic examination and reagent strip testing of urine are necessary for the detection of abnormalities associated with disease.

  19. Automated Confocal Microscope Bias Correction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorval, Thierry; Genovesio, Auguste

    2006-10-01

    Illumination artifacts systematically occur in 2D cross-section confocal microscopy imaging . These bias can strongly corrupt an higher level image processing such as a segmentation, a fluorescence evaluation or even a pattern extraction/recognition. This paper presents a new fully automated bias correction methodology based on large image database preprocessing. This method is very appropriate to the High Content Screening (HCS), method dedicated to drugs discovery. Our method assumes that the amount of pictures available is large enough to allow a reliable statistical computation of an average bias image. A relevant segmentation evaluation protocol and experimental results validate our correction algorithm by outperforming object extraction on non corrupted images.

  20. A High-content In Vitro Pancreatic Islet β-cell Replication Discovery Platform.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhengshan; Abdolazimi, Yassan; Armstrong, Neali A; Annes, Justin P

    2016-07-16

    Loss of insulin-producing β-cells is a central feature of diabetes. While a variety of potential replacement therapies are being explored, expansion of endogenous insulin-producing pancreatic islet β-cells remains an attractive strategy. β-cells have limited spontaneous regenerative activity; consequently, a crucial research effort is to develop a precise understanding of the molecular pathways that restrain β-cell growth and to identify drugs capable of overcoming these restraints. Herein an automated high-content image-based primary-cell screening method to identify β-cell replication-promoting small molecules is presented. Several, limitations of prior methodologies are surmounted. First, use of primary islet cells rather than an immortalized cell-line maximizes retention of in vivo growth restraints. Second, use of mixed-composition islet-cell cultures rather than a β-cell-line allows identification of both lineage-restricted and general growth stimulators. Third, the technique makes practical the use of primary islets, a limiting resource, through use of a 384-well format. Fourth, detrimental experimental variability associated with erratic islet culture quality is overcome through optimization of isolation, dispersion, plating and culture parameters. Fifth, the difficulties of accurately and consistently measuring the low basal replication rate of islet endocrine-cells are surmounted with optimized immunostaining parameters, automated data acquisition and data analysis; automation simultaneously enhances throughput and limits experimenter bias. Notable limitations of this assay are the use of dispersed islet cultures which disrupts islet architecture, the use of rodent rather than human islets and the inherent limitations of throughput and cost associated with the use of primary cells. Importantly, the strategy is easily adapted for human islet replication studies. This assay is well suited for investigating the mitogenic effect of substances on

  1. Design and implementation of high-content imaging platforms: lessons learned from end user-developer collaboration.

    PubMed

    Adams, Cynthia L; Sjaastad, Michael D

    2009-11-01

    Automated high-content screening and analysis (HCS/HCA) technology solutions have become indispensable in expediting the pace of drug discovery. Because of the complexity involved in designing, building, and validating HCS/HCA platforms, it is important to design, build, and validate a HCS/HCA platform before it is actually needed. Managed properly, collaboration between technology providers and end users in research is essential in accelerating development of the hardware and software of new HCS/HCA platforms before they become commercially available. Such a collaboration results in the cost effective creation of new technologies that meet specific and customized industrial requirements. This review outlines the history of, and considerations relevant to, the development of the Cytometrix Profiling System by Cytokinetics, Inc. and the "Complete Imaging Solution" for high-content screening, developed by Molecular Devices Corporation (MDC) (now MDS Analytical Technologies), from original conception and testing of various components, to multiple development cycles from 1998 to the present, and finally to market consolidation.

  2. Toward a Trustworthy Voice: Increasing the Effectiveness of Automated Outreach Calls to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening among African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Albright, Karen; Richardson, Terri; Kempe, Karin L; Wallace, Kristin

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Colorectal cancer screening rates are lower among African-American members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) than among members of other races and ethnicities. This study evaluated use of a linguistically congruent voice in interactive voice response outreach calls about colorectal cancer screening as a strategy to increase call completion and response. Methods: After an initial discussion group to assess cultural acceptability of the project, 6 focus groups were conducted with 33 KPCO African-American members. Participants heard and discussed recordings of 5 female voices reading the same segment of the standard-practice colorectal cancer message using interactive voice response. The linguistic palette included the voices of a white woman, a lightly accented Latina, and 3 African-American women. Results: Participants strongly preferred the African-American voices, particularly two voices. Participants considered these voices the most trustworthy and reported that they would be the most effective at increasing motivation to complete an automated call. Participants supported the use of African-American voices when designing outgoing automated calls for African Americans because the sense of familiarity engendered trust among listeners. Participants also indicated that effective automated messages should provide immediate clarity of purpose; explain why the issue is relevant to African Americans; avoid sounding scripted; emphasize that the call is for the listener’s benefit only; sound personable, warm, and positive; and not create fear among listeners. Discussion: Establishing linguistic congruence between African Americans and the voices used in automated calls designed to reach them may increase the effectiveness of outreach efforts. PMID:24867548

  3. Automated grid handling and image acquisition for two-dimensional crystal screening.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Anchi

    2013-01-01

    Routine large-scale two-dimensional (2D) crystallization trials are good candidates for automation. For imaging the large number of grids prepared from 2D crystallization trials, a two-pass imaging protocol using Leginon and a grid handling robot is described. A manual target selection bridges the two imaging passes. The two passes can be combined into one if objects of interests at different stages of trials can be reliably found using automated methods.

  4. A high-throughput screening system for barley/powdery mildew interactions based on automated analysis of light micrographs

    PubMed Central

    Ihlow, Alexander; Schweizer, Patrick; Seiffert, Udo

    2008-01-01

    Background To find candidate genes that potentially influence the susceptibility or resistance of crop plants to powdery mildew fungi, an assay system based on transient-induced gene silencing (TIGS) as well as transient over-expression in single epidermal cells of barley has been developed. However, this system relies on quantitative microscopic analysis of the barley/powdery mildew interaction and will only become a high-throughput tool of phenomics upon automation of the most time-consuming steps. Results We have developed a high-throughput screening system based on a motorized microscope which evaluates the specimens fully automatically. A large-scale double-blind verification of the system showed an excellent agreement of manual and automated analysis and proved the system to work dependably. Furthermore, in a series of bombardment experiments an RNAi construct targeting the Mlo gene was included, which is expected to phenocopy resistance mediated by recessive loss-of-function alleles such as mlo5. In most cases, the automated analysis system recorded a shift towards resistance upon RNAi of Mlo, thus providing proof of concept for its usefulness in detecting gene-target effects. Conclusion Besides saving labor and enabling a screening of thousands of candidate genes, this system offers continuous operation of expensive laboratory equipment and provides a less subjective analysis as well as a complete and enduring documentation of the experimental raw data in terms of digital images. In general, it proves the concept of enabling available microscope hardware to handle challenging screening tasks fully automatically. PMID:18215267

  5. 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.

  6. Automated Assessment of Patients' Self-Narratives for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Screening Using Natural Language Processing and Text Mining.

    PubMed

    He, Qiwei; Veldkamp, Bernard P; Glas, Cees A W; de Vries, Theo

    2017-03-01

    Patients' narratives about traumatic experiences and symptoms are useful in clinical screening and diagnostic procedures. In this study, we presented an automated assessment system to screen patients for posttraumatic stress disorder via a natural language processing and text-mining approach. Four machine-learning algorithms-including decision tree, naive Bayes, support vector machine, and an alternative classification approach called the product score model-were used in combination with n-gram representation models to identify patterns between verbal features in self-narratives and psychiatric diagnoses. With our sample, the product score model with unigrams attained the highest prediction accuracy when compared with practitioners' diagnoses. The addition of multigrams contributed most to balancing the metrics of sensitivity and specificity. This article also demonstrates that text mining is a promising approach for analyzing patients' self-expression behavior, thus helping clinicians identify potential patients from an early stage.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    We have designed a software to facilitate the planning and execution of screenings performed manually or in semi-automation mode, which follow a sequential sequence 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 in order to achieve reliable outcomes. The Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook presented in this study analyzes and breaks down the timings for all tasks, calculates the maximum 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 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. 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/.

  9. Image-based siRNA screen to identify kinases regulating Weibel-Palade body size control using electroporation.

    PubMed

    Ketteler, Robin; Freeman, Jamie; Ferraro, Francesco; Bata, Nicole; Cutler, Dan F; Kriston-Vizi, Janos

    2017-03-01

    High-content screening of kinase inhibitors is important in order to identify biogenesis and function mechanisms of subcellular organelles. Here, we present a human kinome siRNA high-content screen on primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells, that were transfected by electroporation. The data descriptor contains a confocal fluorescence, microscopic image dataset. We also describe an open source, automated image analysis workflow that can be reused to perform high-content analysis of other organelles. This dataset is suitable for analysis of morphological parameters that are linked to human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) biology.

  10. Image-based siRNA screen to identify kinases regulating Weibel-Palade body size control using electroporation

    PubMed Central

    Ketteler, Robin; Freeman, Jamie; Ferraro, Francesco; Bata, Nicole; Cutler, Dan F.; Kriston-Vizi, Janos

    2017-01-01

    High-content screening of kinase inhibitors is important in order to identify biogenesis and function mechanisms of subcellular organelles. Here, we present a human kinome siRNA high-content screen on primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells, that were transfected by electroporation. The data descriptor contains a confocal fluorescence, microscopic image dataset. We also describe an open source, automated image analysis workflow that can be reused to perform high-content analysis of other organelles. This dataset is suitable for analysis of morphological parameters that are linked to human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) biology. PMID:28248923

  11. A Parallel Microfluidic Flow Cytometer for High Content Screening

    PubMed Central

    McKenna, Brian K.; Evans, James G.; Cheung, Man Ching; Ehrlich, Daniel J.

    2011-01-01

    A parallel microfluidic cytometer (PMC) uses a high-speed scanning photomultiplier-based detector to combine low-pixel-count 1-D imaging with flow cytometry. The 384 parallel flow channels of the PMC decouple count rate from signal-to-noise ratio. Using 6-pixel 1-D images, we investigated protein-localization in a yeast model for a human protein-misfolding disease and demonstrated the feasibility of a nuclear-translocation assay in Chinese-hamster-ovary (CHO) cells expressing a NFκB-GFP reporter. PMID:21478861

  12. Automated analysis of behavior: a computer-controlled system for drug screening and the investigation of learning.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Caitlin; Sorocco, Debra; Levin, Michael

    2006-08-01

    Efforts to understand cognition will be greatly facilitated by computerized systems that enable the automated analysis of animal behavior. A number of controversies in the invertebrate learning field have resulted from difficulties inherent in manual experiments. Driven by the necessity to overcome these problems during investigation of neural function in planarian flatworms and frog larvae, we designed and developed a prototype for an inexpensive, flexible system that enables automated control and analysis of behavior and learning. Applicable to a variety of small animals such as flatworms and zebrafish, this system allows automated analysis of innate behavior, as well as of learning and memory in a plethora of conditioning paradigms. We present here the schematics of a basic prototype, which overcomes experimenter effects and operator tedium, enabling a large number of animals to be analyzed with transparent on-line access to primary data. A scaled-up version of this technology represents an efficient methodology to screen pharmacological and genetic libraries for novel neuroactive reagents of basic and biomedical relevance.

  13. Screening for anabolic steroids in urine of forensic cases using fully automated solid phase extraction and LC-MS-MS.

    PubMed

    Andersen, David W; Linnet, Kristian

    2014-01-01

    A screening method for 18 frequently measured exogenous anabolic steroids and the testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio in forensic cases has been developed and validated. The method involves a fully automated sample preparation including enzyme treatment, addition of internal standards and solid phase extraction followed by analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) using electrospray ionization with adduct formation for two compounds. Urine samples from 580 forensic cases were analyzed to determine the T/E ratio and occurrence of exogenous anabolic steroids. Extraction recoveries ranged from 77 to 95%, matrix effects from 48 to 78%, overall process efficiencies from 40 to 54% and the lower limit of identification ranged from 2 to 40 ng/mL. In the 580 urine samples analyzed from routine forensic cases, 17 (2.9%) were found positive for one or more anabolic steroids. Only seven different steroids including testosterone were found in the material, suggesting that only a small number of common steroids are likely to occur in a forensic context. The steroids were often in high concentrations (>100 ng/mL), and a combination of steroids and/or other drugs of abuse were seen in the majority of cases. The method presented serves as a fast and automated screening procedure, proving the suitability of LC-MS-MS for analyzing anabolic steroids. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluation of the URIT-2900 automated hematology analyzer for screening of thalassemia and hemoglobinopathies in Southeast Asian populations.

    PubMed

    Karnpean, Rossarin; Pansuwan, Anupong; Fucharoen, Goonnapa; Fucharoen, Supan

    2011-07-01

    The effectiveness of the URIT-2900 Hematology Analyzer for screening of hemoglobinopathies commonly found in Southeast Asian populations was examined. Appropriate cut-off values of MCV and MCH for screening of α(0) and β thalassemias were derived from the receiver operator characteristic curve conducted initially on 279 subjects with various thalassemia genotypes. Validation was performed additionally in a cohort of another unrelated 313 subjects. The best cut off values of MCV and MCH were found to be 78fL and 27pg, respectively. Using these cut off values in combination with the dichlorophenolindophenol test in screening of α(0) thalassemia, β thalassemia and Hb E in a cohort study revealed 100% sensitivity, 79.6% specificity, 80.0% positive predictive value and 100% negative predictive value. The combined blood cell counting using the URIT-2900 Automated Hematology Analyzer and dichlorophenolindophenol test is suitable for population screening of thalassemia and hemoglobinopathies in Southeast Asia. Copyright © 2011 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  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. 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...

  19. A model for automated screening of thalassemia in hematology (math study).

    PubMed

    Kneifati-Hayek, Jerard; Fleischman, William; Bernstein, Larry H; Riccioli, Anthony; Bellevue, Rita

    2007-01-01

    beta-thalassemia screening is primarily limited to pregnant women. The ratio of the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and red blood cell count (RBC) can be automatically calculated with any of the newer hematology analyzers. The results of 398 patient screens were collected. Data from the set were divided into training and validation subsets. The Mentzer ratio was determined through a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve on the first subset, and screened for thalassemia using the second subset. HgbA2 levels were used to confirm beta-thalassemia. We determined the correct decision point of the Mentzer index to be a ratio of 20. Physicians can screen patients using this index before further evaluation for beta-thalassemia (P < .05). The proposed method can be implemented by hospitals and laboratories to flag positive matches for further definitive evaluation, and will enable beta-thalassemia screening of a much larger population at little to no additional cost.

  20. Screening urine samples for the absence of urinary tract infection using the sediMAX automated microscopy analyser.

    PubMed

    Sterry-Blunt, Rosanne E; S Randall, Karen; J Doughton, Michael; H Aliyu, Sani; Enoch, David A

    2015-06-01

    Urinalysis culminates in a workload skew within the clinical microbiology laboratory. Routine processing involves screening via manual microscopy or biochemical dipstick measurement, followed by culture for each sample. Despite this, as many as 80% of specimens are reported as negative; thus, there is vast wastage of resources and time, as well as delayed turnaround time of results as numerous negative cultures fulfil their required incubation time. Automation provides the potential for streamlining sample screening by efficiently (>30% sample exclusion) and reliably [negative predictive value (NPV) ≥ 95%] ruling out those likely to be negative, whilst also reducing resource usage and hands-on time. The present study explored this idea by using the sediMAX automated microscopy urinalysis platform. We prospectively collected and processed 1411 non-selected samples directly after routine laboratory processing. The results from this study showed multiple optimum cut-off values for microscopy. However, although optimum cut-off values permitted rule-out of 40.1% of specimens, an associated 87.5% NPV was lower than the acceptable limit of 95%. Sensitivity and specificity of leukocytes and bacteria in determining urinary tract infection was assessed by receiver operator characteristic curves with area under the curve values found to be 0.697 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.665-0.729] and 0.587 (95% CI: 0.551-0.623), respectively. We suggested that the sediMAX was not suitable for use as a rule-out screen prior to culture and further validation work must be carried out before routine use of the analyser.

  1. Feasibility of implementing an automated culture system for bacteria screening in platelets in the blood bank routine.

    PubMed

    Castro, E; Bueno, J L; Barea, L; González, R

    2005-06-01

    Bacterial contamination of blood components is the principal infectious complication linked to transfusion. The aim of the study was to evaluate the applicability of an automated culture system for platelets. 10 141 platelet concentrates were cultured individually and in pools of five on storage days 1 and 7 using Bact/Alert system aerobic bottles. A modified collection bag was used for improved sampling. Five-millilitre samples were cultured at 37 degrees C for 7 days. Only those samples where the same bacteria were identified in reculture were considered true positives (TP). Homogeneity of proportions was tested by Fisher's exact test. The rate of TP was 30 per 100 000 (95% CI, 6.1-86.4) sampling on day 1; 33 per 100 000 (95% CI, 7-96) on day 7; and 40 per 100 000 (95% CI, 1.28-122.4) if the screening was based on taking both samples (day 1 and 7). Only one TP was detected in the pool testing. The time for detection among TPs on day 1 ranged between 30 and 134 h. The system is not considered practical for use as a routine screening method, as the time for detection is too long. Pool testing is insensitive. Faster screening methods or pathogen-inactivation systems are needed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  3. Evaluation of the automated urine particle analyzer UF-1000i screening for urinary tract infection in nonpregnant women.

    PubMed

    Dai, Qingkai; Jiang, Yongmei; Shi, Hua; Zhou, Wei; Zhou, Shengjie; Yang, Hui

    2014-01-01

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a widespread disease in women. Urine culture is still the "gold standard" diagnostic test for UTI, but most of them are negative. To reduce unnecessary culture, we evaluated the automated urine particle analyzer UF-1000i screening for UTI in nonpregnant women. The urine specimens submitted to our laboratory were submitted for culture and tested by the Sysmex UF-1000i. Bacteria and white blood cell (WBC) counts were compared to standard urine culture results to assess the best cutoff values. In this study, 272 urine samples were included, of which 98 (36.0%) were culture positive with a bacterial cutoff value of 10 x 10(5) CFU/mL. A combination of bacterial (> 95/microL) and/or WBC count (> 24/microL) provided the best screening for UTI, with a sensitivity of 0.99 and a specificity of 0.82 compared with the urine culture. Sysmex UF-1000i could be used as a screening test for UTI in nonpregnant women. According to the distribution and range of the bacterial scattergram, we could primarily identify and differentiate between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.

  4. High-content imaging with micropatterned multiwell plates reveals influence of cell geometry and cytoskeleton on chromatin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Harkness, Ty; McNulty, Jason D; Prestil, Ryan; Seymour, Stephanie K; Klann, Tyler; Murrell, Michael; Ashton, Randolph S; Saha, Krishanu

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underpinning cellular responses to microenvironmental cues requires tight control not only of the complex milieu of soluble signaling factors, extracellular matrix (ECM) connections and cell-cell contacts within cell culture, but also of the biophysics of human cells. Advances in biomaterial fabrication technologies have recently facilitated detailed examination of cellular biophysics and revealed that constraints on cell geometry arising from the cellular microenvironment influence a wide variety of human cell behaviors. Here, we create an in vitro platform capable of precise and independent control of biochemical and biophysical microenvironmental cues by adapting microcontact printing technology into the format of standard six- to 96-well plates to create MicroContact Printed Well Plates (μCP Well Plates). Automated high-content imaging of human cells seeded on μCP Well Plates revealed tight, highly consistent control of single-cell geometry, cytoskeletal organization, and nuclear elongation. Detailed subcellular imaging of the actin cytoskeleton and chromatin within live human fibroblasts on μCP Well Plates was then used to describe a new relationship between cellular geometry and chromatin dynamics. In summary, the μCP Well Plate platform is an enabling high-content screening technology for human cell biology and cellular engineering efforts that seek to identify key biochemical and biophysical cues in the cellular microenvironment.

  5. Advanced Cell Classifier: User-Friendly Machine-Learning-Based Software for Discovering Phenotypes in High-Content Imaging Data.

    PubMed

    Piccinini, Filippo; Balassa, Tamas; Szkalisity, Abel; Molnar, Csaba; Paavolainen, Lassi; Kujala, Kaisa; Buzas, Krisztina; Sarazova, Marie; Pietiainen, Vilja; Kutay, Ulrike; Smith, Kevin; Horvath, Peter

    2017-06-28

    High-content, imaging-based screens now routinely generate data on a scale that precludes manual verification and interrogation. Software applying machine learning has become an essential tool to automate analysis, but these methods require annotated examples to learn from. Efficiently exploring large datasets to find relevant examples remains a challenging bottleneck. Here, we present Advanced Cell Classifier (ACC), a graphical software package for phenotypic analysis that addresses these difficulties. ACC applies machine-learning and image-analysis methods to high-content data generated by large-scale, cell-based experiments. It features methods to mine microscopic image data, discover new phenotypes, and improve recognition performance. We demonstrate that these features substantially expedite the training process, successfully uncover rare phenotypes, and improve the accuracy of the analysis. ACC is extensively documented, designed to be user-friendly for researchers without machine-learning expertise, and distributed as a free open-source tool at www.cellclassifier.org. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Microfluidic microscopy-assisted label-free approach for cancer screening: automated microfluidic cytology for cancer screening.

    PubMed

    Jagannadh, Veerendra Kalyan; Gopakumar, G; Subrahmanyam, Gorthi R K Sai; Gorthi, Sai Siva

    2016-07-22

    Each year, about 7-8 million deaths occur due to cancer around the world. More than half of the cancer-related deaths occur in the less-developed parts of the world. Cancer mortality rate can be reduced with early detection and subsequent treatment of the disease. In this paper, we introduce a microfluidic microscopy-based cost-effective and label-free approach for identification of cancerous cells. We outline a diagnostic framework for the same and detail an instrumentation layout. We have employed classical computer vision techniques such as 2D principal component analysis-based cell type representation followed by support vector machine-based classification. Analogous to criminal face recognition systems implemented with help of surveillance cameras, a signature-based approach for cancerous cell identification using microfluidic microscopy surveillance is demonstrated. Such a platform would facilitate affordable mass screening camps in the developing countries and therefore help decrease cancer mortality rate.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Automated phone and mail population outreach to promote colorectal cancer screening.

    PubMed

    Kempe, Karin L; Shetterly, Susan M; France, Eric K; Levin, Theodore R

    2012-07-01

    To evaluate a population outreach program to promote screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) among average-risk insured men and women. In 2008, 58,440 Kaiser Permanente Colorado members unscreened for CRC received an interactive voice response (IVR) call followed by mailed fecal immunochemical test (FIT), or colonoscopy if requested. We used a quasi-experimental design with staged implementation, in which a random subset of eligible members was selected each week to receive the intervention. This design allowed the entire group to ultimately receive the intervention. Survival models summarized time-specific comparisons of screening behaviors for members who received immediate outreach compared with those who had not yet received it. A total of 26,003 (45%) of the unscreened population completed screening, predominately due to the mailed kits. The unadjusted hazard ratio (HR) for the outreach effect on screening completion was 4.08 (95% confidence interval: 3.93-4.25) and adjusted HR was 3.75 (3.60-3.91). Lower levels of screening were seen in African Americans (HR 0.83; 0.77-0.90) and Hispanics (HR 0.84; 0.80-0.88) compared with whites, and in smokers (HR 0.77; 0.74-0.80) compared with nonsmokers. The outreach had greater impact among those without a primary care (HR 4.5 vs 3.0, P <.0001) or specialty care (HR 5.2 vs 3.5, P <.0001) visit compared with those with 1 or more visits. The rate of colorectal cancer screening in members after mailed FIT with IVR was almost 4 times higher than usual care, particularly in those without an office visit. Targeted approaches are needed for groups at risk for not screening.

  9. Enzyme engineering: A synthetic biology approach for more effective library generation and automated high-throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Quaglia, Daniela; Ebert, Maximilian C C J C; Mugford, Paul F; Pelletier, Joelle N

    2017-01-01

    The Golden Gate strategy entails the use of type IIS restriction enzymes, which cut outside of their recognition sequence. It enables unrestricted design of unique DNA fragments that can be readily and seamlessly recombined. Successfully employed in other synthetic biology applications, we demonstrate its advantageous use to engineer a biocatalyst. Hot-spots for mutations were individuated in three distinct regions of Candida antarctica lipase A (Cal-A), the biocatalyst chosen as a target to demonstrate the versatility of this recombination method. The three corresponding gene segments were subjected to the most appropriate method of mutagenesis (targeted or random). Their straightforward reassembly allowed combining products of different mutagenesis methods in a single round for rapid production of a series of diverse libraries, thus facilitating directed evolution. Screening to improve discrimination of short-chain versus long-chain fatty acid substrates was aided by development of a general, automated method for visual discrimination of the hydrolysis of varied substrates by whole cells.

  10. Feasibility of automated pre-screening for lifestyle and behavioral health risk factors in primary care.

    PubMed

    Rose, Gail L; Ferraro, Tonya A; Skelly, Joan M; Badger, Gary J; MacLean, Charles D; Fazzino, Tera L; Helzer, John E

    2015-10-23

    Screening of primary care patients for unhealthy behaviors and mental health issues is recommended by numerous governing bodies internationally, yet evidence suggests that provider-initiated screening is not routine practice. The objective of this study was to implement systematic pre-screening of primary care patients for common preventive health issues on a large scale. Patients registered for non-acute visits to one of 40 primary care providers from eight clinics in an Academic Medical Center health care network in the United States from May, 2012 to May, 2014 were contacted one- to three-days prior to their visit. Patients were invited to complete a questionnaire using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Six items assessed pain, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, concern about weight, and mood. The acceptance rate among eligible patients reached by phone was 65.6 %, of which 95.5 % completed the IVR-Screen (N = 8,490; mean age 57; 57 % female). Sample demographics were representative of the overall primary care population from which participants were drawn on gender, race, and insurance status, but participants were slightly older and more likely to be married. Eighty-seven percent of patients screened positive on at least one item, and 59 % endorsed multiple problems. The majority of respondents (64.2 %) reported being never or only somewhat physically active. Weight concern was reported by 43.9 % of respondents, 36.4 % met criteria for unhealthy alcohol use, 23.4 % reported current pain, 19.6 % reported low mood, and 9.4 % reported smoking. The percent endorsement for each behavioral health concern was generally consistent with studies of screening using other methods, and contrasts starkly with the reported low rates of screening and intervention for such concerns in typical PC practice. Results support the feasibility of IVR-based, large-scale pre-appointment behavioral health/ lifestyle risk factor screening of primary care patients. Pre-screening

  11. 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

  12. A High Throughput, 384-Well, Semi-Automated, Hepatocyte Intrinsic Clearance Assay for Screening New Molecular Entities in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Heinle, Lance; Peterkin, Vincent; de Morais, Sonia M; Jenkins, Gary J; Badagnani, Ilaria

    2015-01-01

    A high throughput, semi-automated clearance screening assay in hepatocytes was developed allowing a scientist to generate data for 96 compounds in one week. The 384-well format assay utilizes a Thermo Multidrop Combi and an optimized LC-MS/MS method. The previously reported LCMS/ MS method reduced the analytical run time by 3-fold, down to 1.2 min injection-to-injection. The Multidrop was able to deliver hepatocytes to 384-well plates with minimal viability loss. Comparison of results from the new 384-well and historical 24-well assays yielded a correlation of 0.95. In addition, results obtained for 25 marketed drugs with various metabolism pathways had a correlation of 0.75 when compared with literature values. Precision was maintained in the new format as 8 compounds tested in ≥39 independent experiments had coefficients of variation ≤21%. The ability to predict in vivo clearances using the new stability assay format was also investigated using 22 marketed drugs and 26 AbbVie compounds. Correction of intrinsic clearance values with binding to hepatocytes (in vitro data) and plasma (in vivo data) resulted in a higher in vitro to in vivo correlation when comparing 22 marketed compounds in human (0.80 vs 0.35) and 26 AbbVie Discovery compounds in rat (0.56 vs 0.17), demonstrating the importance of correcting for binding in clearance studies. This newly developed high throughput, semi-automated clearance assay allows for rapid screening of Discovery compounds to enable Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) analysis based on high quality hepatocyte stability data in sufficient quantity and quality to drive the next round of compound synthesis.

  13. Automated Analysis of siRNA Screens of Virus Infected Cells Based on Immunofluorescence Microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    We present an image analysis approach as part of a high-throughput microscopy screening system based on cell arrays for the identification of genes involved in Hepatitis C and Dengue virus replication. Our approach comprises: cell nucleus segmentation, quantification of virus replication level in cells, localization of regions with transfected cells, cell classification by infection status, and quality assessment of an experiment. 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 behavior of positive as well as negative controls and encourage the application to screens from further high-throughput experiments.

  14. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. Detection and classification of threat agents via high-content assays of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Tencza, Sarah B; Sipe, Michael A

    2004-01-01

    One property common to all chemical or biological threat agents is that they damage mammalian cells. A threat detection and classification method based on the effects of compounds on cells has been developed. This method employs high-content screening (HCS), a concept in drug discovery that enables those who practice cell-based assays to generate deeper biological information about the compounds they are testing. A commercial image-based cell screening platform comprising fluorescent reagents, automated image acquisition hardware, image analysis algorithms, data management and informatics was used to develop assays and detection/classification methods for threat agents. These assays measure a cell's response to a compound, which may include activation or inhibition of signal transduction pathways, morphological changes or cytotoxic effects. Data on cell responses to a library of compounds was collected and used as a training set. At the EILATox-Oregon Workshop, cellular responses following exposure to unknown samples were measured by conducting assays of p38 MAP kinase, NF-kappaB, extracellular-signal related kinase (ERK) MAP kinase, cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB), cell permeability, lysosomal mass and nuclear morphology. Although the assays appeared to perform well, only four of the nine toxic samples were detected. However the system was specific, because no false positives were detected. Opportunities for improvement to the system were identified during the course of this enlightening workshop. Some of these improvements were applied in subsequent tests in the Cellomics laboratories, resulting in a higher level of detection. Thus, an HCS approach was shown to have potential in detecting threat agents, but additional work is necessary to make this a comprehensive detection and classification system.

  16. A tool for automated diabetic retinopathy pre-screening based on retinal image computer analysis.

    PubMed

    Gegundez-Arias, Manuel E; Marin, Diego; Ponte, Beatriz; Alvarez, Fatima; Garrido, Javier; Ortega, Carlos; Vasallo, Manuel J; Bravo, Jose M

    2017-09-01

    This paper presents a methodology and first results of an automatic detection system of first signs of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) in fundus images, developed for the Health Ministry of the Andalusian Regional Government (Spain). The system detects the presence of microaneurysms and haemorrhages in retinography by means of techniques of digital image processing and supervised classification. Evaluation was conducted on 1058 images of 529 diabetic patients at risk of presenting evidence of DR (an image of each eye is provided). To this end, a ground-truth diagnosis was created based on gradations performed by 3 independent ophthalmology specialists. The comparison between the diagnosis provided by the system and the reference clinical diagnosis shows that the system can work at a level of sensitivity that is similar to that achieved by experts (0.9380 sensitivity per patient against 0.9416 sensitivity of several specialists). False negatives have proven to be mild cases. Moreover, while the specificity of the system is significantly lower than that of human graders (0.5098), it is high enough to screen more than half of the patients unaffected by the disease. Results are promising in integrating this system in DR screening programmes. At an early stage, the system could act as a pre-screening system, by screening healthy patients (with no obvious signs of DR) and identifying only those presenting signs of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Automation and validation of the Transflour technology: a universal screening assay for G protein-coupled receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, Christine C.; Oakley, Robert H.; Cruickshank, Rachael D.; Rhem, Shay M.; Loomis, Carson R.

    2002-06-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are historically the richest targets for drug discovery, accounting for nearly 60 percent of prescription drugs. The ligands and functions of only 200 out of possibly 1000 GPCRs are known. Screening methods that directly and accurately measure GPCR activation and inhibition are required to identify ligands for orphan receptors and cultivate superior drugs for known GPCRs. Norak Biosciences utilizes the redistribution of a fluorescently-labeled protein, arrestin, as a novel screen for monitoring GPCR activation. In contrast to the present methods of analyzing GPCR function, the power of the Transfluor technology is in its simplicity, large signal to noise ratio, and applicability to all GPCRs. Here, we demonstrate that the Transfluor technology can be automated and quantitated on high throughput image analysis systems. Cells transfected with an arrestin-green fluorescent protein conjugate and the neurokinin-1 GPCR were seeded on 96-well plates. Activation of the NK-1 receptor with Substance P induced translocation of arrestin-GFP from the cytosol to the receptor. Image quantitation of the arrestin-GFP translocation was used to generate dose dependent curves. These results reveal that the Transfluor technology combined with an image analysis system forms a universal platform capable of measuring ligand-receptor interactions for all GPCRs.

  20. Focused directed evolution of pentaerythritol tetranitrate reductase by using automated anaerobic kinetic screening of site-saturated libraries.

    PubMed

    Hulley, Martyn E; Toogood, Helen S; Fryszkowska, Anna; Mansell, David; Stephens, Gill M; Gardiner, John M; Scrutton, Nigel S

    2010-11-22

    This work describes the development of an automated robotic platform for the rapid screening of enzyme variants generated from directed evolution studies of pentraerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) reductase, a target for industrial biocatalysis. By using a 96-well format, near pure enzyme was recovered and was suitable for high throughput kinetic assays; this enabled rapid screening for improved and new activities from libraries of enzyme variants. Initial characterisation of several single site-saturation libraries targeted at active site residues of PETN reductase, are described. Two mutants (T26S and W102F) were shown to have switched in substrate enantiopreference against substrates (E)-2-aryl-1-nitropropene and α-methyl-trans-cinnamaldehyde, respectively, with an increase in ee (62 % (R) for W102F). In addition, the detection of mutants with weak activity against α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acid substrates showed progress in the expansion of the substrate range of PETN reductase. These methods can readily be adapted for rapid evolution of enzyme variants with other oxidoreductase enzymes.

  1. Localization of interictal epileptic spikes with MEG: optimization of an automated beamformer screening method (SAMepi) in a diverse epilepsy population

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Jonathan M.; Robinson, Stephen E.; Holroyd, Tom; Coppola, Richard; Sato, Susumu; Inati, Sara K.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To describe and optimize an automated beamforming technique followed by identification of locations with excess kurtosis (g2) for efficient detection and localization of interictal spikes in medically refractory epilepsy patients. METHODS Synthetic Aperture Magnetometry with g2 averaged over a sliding time window (SAMepi) was performed in 7 focal epilepsy patients and 5 healthy volunteers. The effect of varied window lengths on detection of spiking activity was evaluated. RESULTS Sliding window lengths of 0.5–10 seconds performed similarly, with 0.5 and 1 second windows detecting spiking activity in one of the 3 virtual sensor locations with highest kurtosis. These locations were concordant with the region of eventual surgical resection in these 7 patients who remained seizure free at one year. Average g2 values increased with increasing sliding window length in all subjects. In healthy volunteers kurtosis values stabilized in datasets longer than two minutes. CONCLUSIONS SAMepi using g2 averaged over 1 second sliding time windows in datasets of at least 2 minutes duration reliably identified interictal spiking and the presumed seizure focus in these 7 patients. Screening the 5 locations with highest kurtosis values for spiking activity is an efficient and accurate technique for localizing interictal activity using MEG. SIGNIFICANCE SAMepi should be applied using the parameter values and procedure described for optimal detection and localization of interictal spikes. Use of this screening procedure could significantly improve the efficiency of MEG analysis if clinically validated. PMID:27760068

  2. Automation and miniaturization of the bioluminescent UGT-Glo assay for screening of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase inhibition by various compounds.

    PubMed

    Larson, Brad; Kelts, Jessica L; Banks, Peter; Cali, James J

    2011-02-01

    The uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) family of enzymes is involved in the metabolism of various compounds. These enzymes transfer a hydrophilic glucuronic acid moiety to their substrates, rendering them more water soluble and amenable to excretion. The UGTs act on various endogenous substrates, such as bilirubin, 17β-estradiol, and testosterone, and drugs and other xenobiotics. The function of these enzymes is essential for the clearance of drugs and toxicants, and alteration of UGT activity is a potential cause of adverse drug-drug interactions in vivo. This has stimulated an increased interest in the study of UGT function and inhibition, and the desire to profile new drug entities against UGT enzymes, similar to CYP450 profiling. However, certain factors have hindered the development of a robust method for UGT profiling. Current methods for assessing UGT enzyme activity are laborious and involve protein precipitation and/or chromatographic separation steps, which are not amenable to rapid screening applications for UGT inhibitors or substrates. The approach presented here is a bioluminescent assay for measuring UGT enzyme activity and inhibition in vitro. Using flexible, robust instrumentation in a 384-well microplate format, this study highlights the quick and easy assay implementation for estimation of inhibition kinetics with a variety of known and suspected UGT substrates and inhibitors. Copyright © 2011 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Prioritizing multiple therapeutic targets in parallel using automated DNA-encoded library screening

    PubMed Central

    Machutta, Carl A.; Kollmann, Christopher S.; Lind, Kenneth E.; Bai, Xiaopeng; Chan, Pan F.; Huang, Jianzhong; Ballell, Lluis; Belyanskaya, Svetlana; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Barros-Aguirre, David; Bates, Robert H.; Centrella, Paolo A.; Chang, Sandy S.; Chai, Jing; Choudhry, Anthony E.; Coffin, Aaron; Davie, Christopher P.; Deng, Hongfeng; Deng, Jianghe; Ding, Yun; Dodson, Jason W.; Fosbenner, David T.; Gao, Enoch N.; Graham, Taylor L.; Graybill, Todd L.; Ingraham, Karen; Johnson, Walter P.; King, Bryan W.; Kwiatkowski, Christopher R.; Lelièvre, Joël; Li, Yue; Liu, Xiaorong; Lu, Quinn; Lehr, Ruth; Mendoza-Losana, Alfonso; Martin, John; McCloskey, Lynn; McCormick, Patti; O’Keefe, Heather P.; O’Keeffe, Thomas; Pao, Christina; Phelps, Christopher B.; Qi, Hongwei; Rafferty, Keith; Scavello, Genaro S.; Steiginga, Matt S.; Sundersingh, Flora S.; Sweitzer, Sharon M.; Szewczuk, Lawrence M.; Taylor, Amy; Toh, May Fern; Wang, Juan; Wang, Minghui; Wilkins, Devan J.; Xia, Bing; Yao, Gang; Zhang, Jean; Zhou, Jingye; Donahue, Christine P.; Messer, Jeffrey A.; Holmes, David; Arico-Muendel, Christopher C.; Pope, Andrew J.; Gross, Jeffrey W.; Evindar, Ghotas

    2017-01-01

    The identification and prioritization of chemically tractable therapeutic targets is a significant challenge in the discovery of new medicines. We have developed a novel method that rapidly screens multiple proteins in parallel using DNA-encoded library technology (ELT). Initial efforts were focused on the efficient discovery of antibacterial leads against 119 targets from Acinetobacter baumannii and Staphylococcus aureus. The success of this effort led to the hypothesis that the relative number of ELT binders alone could be used to assess the ligandability of large sets of proteins. This concept was further explored by screening 42 targets from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Active chemical series for six targets from our initial effort as well as three chemotypes for DHFR from M. tuberculosis are reported. The findings demonstrate that parallel ELT selections can be used to assess ligandability and highlight opportunities for successful lead and tool discovery. PMID:28714473

  5. Prioritizing multiple therapeutic targets in parallel using automated DNA-encoded library screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machutta, Carl A.; Kollmann, Christopher S.; Lind, Kenneth E.; Bai, Xiaopeng; Chan, Pan F.; Huang, Jianzhong; Ballell, Lluis; Belyanskaya, Svetlana; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Barros-Aguirre, David; Bates, Robert H.; Centrella, Paolo A.; Chang, Sandy S.; Chai, Jing; Choudhry, Anthony E.; Coffin, Aaron; Davie, Christopher P.; Deng, Hongfeng; Deng, Jianghe; Ding, Yun; Dodson, Jason W.; Fosbenner, David T.; Gao, Enoch N.; Graham, Taylor L.; Graybill, Todd L.; Ingraham, Karen; Johnson, Walter P.; King, Bryan W.; Kwiatkowski, Christopher R.; Lelièvre, Joël; Li, Yue; Liu, Xiaorong; Lu, Quinn; Lehr, Ruth; Mendoza-Losana, Alfonso; Martin, John; McCloskey, Lynn; McCormick, Patti; O'Keefe, Heather P.; O'Keeffe, Thomas; Pao, Christina; Phelps, Christopher B.; Qi, Hongwei; Rafferty, Keith; Scavello, Genaro S.; Steiginga, Matt S.; Sundersingh, Flora S.; Sweitzer, Sharon M.; Szewczuk, Lawrence M.; Taylor, Amy; Toh, May Fern; Wang, Juan; Wang, Minghui; Wilkins, Devan J.; Xia, Bing; Yao, Gang; Zhang, Jean; Zhou, Jingye; Donahue, Christine P.; Messer, Jeffrey A.; Holmes, David; Arico-Muendel, Christopher C.; Pope, Andrew J.; Gross, Jeffrey W.; Evindar, Ghotas

    2017-07-01

    The identification and prioritization of chemically tractable therapeutic targets is a significant challenge in the discovery of new medicines. We have developed a novel method that rapidly screens multiple proteins in parallel using DNA-encoded library technology (ELT). Initial efforts were focused on the efficient discovery of antibacterial leads against 119 targets from Acinetobacter baumannii and Staphylococcus aureus. The success of this effort led to the hypothesis that the relative number of ELT binders alone could be used to assess the ligandability of large sets of proteins. This concept was further explored by screening 42 targets from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Active chemical series for six targets from our initial effort as well as three chemotypes for DHFR from M. tuberculosis are reported. The findings demonstrate that parallel ELT selections can be used to assess ligandability and highlight opportunities for successful lead and tool discovery.

  6. 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.

  7. Development of an Automated Modality-Independent Elastographic Image Analysis System for Tumor Screening

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-02-01

    increased computational complexity, developing and testing metrics for the evaluation of reconstructions, and the fabrication of a compression chamber... tested on a tissue-like polymer phantom. elastography, breast cancer screening, image processing 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION...design and a share of 100 CPUs on the Vanderbilt University Advanced Computing Center for Research and 5 Education cluster, this has been tested to be

  8. 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

  9. Thalassemia Screening Using Different Automated Blood Cell Counters: Consideration of Appropriate Cutoff Values.

    PubMed

    Chaitraiphop, Chanintorn; Sanchaisuriya, Kanokwan; Inthavong, Sakoun; Fucharoen, Goonnapa; Sanchaisuriya, Pattara; Changtrakun, Yossombut; Fucharoen, Supan

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the use of MCV and MCH cutoffs for thalassemia screening in areas with a high frequency of thalassemia and hemoglobinopathies using different hematology analyzers. Blood samples of known α(0)-thalassemia and β-thalassemia carriers were analyzed to establish the appropriate cutoffs for each analyzer. These selected cutoffs were validated prospectively for screening of α-thalassemia, β-thalassemia in combination with the dichlorophenolindophenol test for hemoglobin E on another 288 Thai and 325 Laotian students. Genotypes were defined by standard hemoglobin and DNA analyses. The appropriate cutoffs for the Sysmex XS-800i and Sysmex XN-1000, Coulter LH 780, and Pentra ES-60 were found to be 78 fL for MCV and 25 pg for MCH. These were 82 fL and 25 pg for the Cell-Dyn Ruby. Further validation on Thai and Laotian students revealed 100% sensitivity and specificity of higher than 80% for all analyzers. While using MCV in screening requires establishment of appropriate cutoffs, MCH appears to be applicable to all analyzers. Each analyzer should be evaluated and appropriate cutoffs should be established before application in the field.

  10. Automated image-based phenotypic analysis in zebrafish embryos

    PubMed Central

    Vogt, Andreas; Cholewinski, Andrzej; Shen, Xiaoqiang; Nelson, Scott; Lazo, John S.; Tsang, Michael; Hukriede, Neil A.

    2009-01-01

    Presently, the zebrafish is the only vertebrate model compatible with contemporary paradigms of drug discovery. Zebrafish embryos are amenable to automation necessary for high-throughput chemical screens, and optical transparency makes them potentially suited for image-based screening. However, the lack of tools for automated analysis of complex images presents an obstacle to utilizing the zebrafish as a high-throughput screening model. We have developed an automated system for imaging and analyzing zebrafish embryos in multi-well plates regardless of embryo orientation and without user intervention. Images of fluorescent embryos were acquired on a high-content reader and analyzed using an artificial intelligence-based image analysis method termed Cognition Network Technology (CNT). CNT reliably detected transgenic fluorescent embryos (Tg(fli1:EGFP)y1) arrayed in 96-well plates and quantified intersegmental blood vessel development in embryos treated with small molecule inhibitors of anigiogenesis. The results demonstrate it is feasible to adapt image-based high-content screening methodology to measure complex whole organism phenotypes. PMID:19235725

  11. High-throughput screening of stem cell therapy for globoid cell leukodystrophy using automated neurophenotyping of twitcher mice.

    PubMed

    Scruggs, Brittni A; Bowles, Annie C; Zhang, Xiujuan; Semon, Julie A; Kyzar, Evan J; Myers, Leann; Kalueff, Allan V; Bunnell, Bruce A

    2013-01-01

    Globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe's disease) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder that results from the deficiency of galactosylceramidase, a lysosomal enzyme involved in active myelination. Due to the progressive, lethal nature of this disease and the limited treatment options available, multiple laboratories are currently exploring novel therapies using the mouse model of globoid cell leukodystrophy. In order to establish a protocol for motor function assessment of the twitcher mouse, this study tested the capability of an automated system to detect phenotypic differences across mouse genotypes and/or treatment groups. The sensitivity of this system as a screening tool for the assessment of therapeutic interventions was determined by the administration of murine bone marrow-derived stem cells into twitcher mice via intraperitoneal injection. Animal behavior was analyzed using the Noldus EthoVision XT7 software. Novel biomarkers, including abnormal locomotion (e.g., velocity, moving duration, distance traveled, turn angle) and observed behaviors (e.g., rearing activity, number of defecation boli), were established for the twitcher mouse. These parameters were monitored across all mouse groups, and the automated system detected improved locomotion in the treated twitcher mice based on the correction of angular velocity, turn angle, moving duration, and exploratory behavior, such as thigmotaxis. Further supporting these findings, the treated mice showed improved lifespan, gait, wire hang ability, twitching severity and frequency, and sciatic nerve histopathology. Taken together, these data demonstrate the utility of computer-based neurophenotyping for motor function assessment of twitcher mice and support its utility for detecting the efficacy of stem cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. High-throughput screening of stem cell therapy for globoid cell leukodystrophy using automated neurophenotyping of twitcher mice

    PubMed Central

    Scruggs, Brittni A.; Bowles, Annie C.; Zhang, Xiujuan; Semon, Julie A.; Kyzar, Evan J.; Myers, Leann; Kalueff, Allan V.; Bunnell, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    Globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe’s disease) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder that results from the deficiency of galactosylceramidase, a lysosomal enzyme involved in active myelination. Due to the progressive, lethal nature of this disease and the limited treatment options available, multiple laboratories are currently exploring novel therapies using the mouse model of globoid cell leukodystrophy. In order to establish a protocol for motor function assessment of the twitcher mouse, this study tested the capability of an automated system to detect phenotypic differences across mouse genotypes and/or treatment groups. The sensitivity of this system as a screening tool for the assessment of therapeutic interventions was determined by the administration of murine bone marrow-derived stem cells into twitcher mice via intraperitoneal injection. Animal behavior was analyzed using the Noldus EthoVision XT7 software. Novel biomarkers, including abnormal locomotion (e.g., velocity, moving duration, distance traveled, turn angle) and observed behaviors (e.g., rearing activity, number of defecation boli), were established for the twitcher mouse. These parameters were monitored across all mouse groups, and the automated system detected improved locomotion in the treated twitcher mice based on the correction of angular velocity, turn angle, moving duration, and exploratory behavior, such as thigmotaxis. Further supporting these findings, the treated mice showed improved lifespan, gait, wire hang ability, twitching severity and frequency, and sciatic nerve histopathology. Taken together, these data demonstrate the utility of computer-based neurophenotyping for motor function assessment of twitcher mice and support its utility for detecting the efficacy of stem cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:22951180

  13. Automated, high-throughput platform for protein solubility screening using a split-GFP system

    PubMed Central

    Listwan, Pawel; Terwilliger, Thomas C.

    2010-01-01

    Overproduction of soluble and stable proteins for functional and structural studies is a major bottleneck for structural genomics programs and traditional biochemistry laboratories. Many high-payoff proteins that are important in various biological processes are “difficult to handle” as protein reagents in their native form. We have recently made several advances in enabling biochemical technologies for improving protein stability (http://www.lanl.gov/projects/gfp/), allowing stratagems for efficient protein domain trapping, solubility-improving mutations, and finding protein folding partners. In particular split-GFP protein tags are a very powerful tool for detection of stable protein domains. Soluble, stable proteins tagged with the 15 amino acid GFP fragment (amino acids 216–228) can be detected in vivo and in vitro using the engineered GFP 1–10 “detector” fragment (amino acids 1–215). If the small tag is accessible, the detector fragment spontaneously binds resulting in fluorescence. Here, we describe our current and on-going efforts to move this process from the bench (manual sample manipulation) to an automated, high-throughput, liquid-handling platform. We discuss optimization and validation of bacterial culture growth, lysis protocols, protein extraction, and assays of soluble and insoluble protein in multiple 96 well plate format. The optimized liquid-handling protocol can be used for rapid determination of the optimal, compact domains from single ORFS, collections of ORFS, or cDNA libraries. PMID:19039681

  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. Automated, high-throughput platform for protein solubility screening using a split-GFP system.

    PubMed

    Listwan, Pawel; Terwilliger, Thomas C; Waldo, Geoffrey S

    2009-03-01

    Overproduction of soluble and stable proteins for functional and structural studies is a major bottleneck for structural genomics programs and traditional biochemistry laboratories. Many high-payoff proteins that are important in various biological processes are "difficult to handle" as protein reagents in their native form. We have recently made several advances in enabling biochemical technologies for improving protein stability (http://www.lanl.gov/projects/gfp/), allowing stratagems for efficient protein domain trapping, solubility-improving mutations, and finding protein folding partners. In particular split-GFP protein tags are a very powerful tool for detection of stable protein domains. Soluble, stable proteins tagged with the 15 amino acid GFP fragment (amino acids 216-228) can be detected in vivo and in vitro using the engineered GFP 1-10 "detector" fragment (amino acids 1-215). If the small tag is accessible, the detector fragment spontaneously binds resulting in fluorescence. Here, we describe our current and on-going efforts to move this process from the bench (manual sample manipulation) to an automated, high-throughput, liquid-handling platform. We discuss optimization and validation of bacterial culture growth, lysis protocols, protein extraction, and assays of soluble and insoluble protein in multiple 96 well plate format. The optimized liquid-handling protocol can be used for rapid determination of the optimal, compact domains from single ORFS, collections of ORFS, or cDNA libraries.

  16. 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%.

  17. 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.

  18. SleepAp: an automated obstructive sleep apnoea screening application for smartphones.

    PubMed

    Behar, Joachim; Roebuck, Aoife; Shahid, Mohammed; Daly, Jonathan; Hallack, Andre; Palmius, Niclas; Stradling, John; Clifford, Gari D

    2015-01-01

    Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a sleep disorder with long-term consequences. Long-term effects include sleep-related issues and cardiovascular diseases. OSA is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram. Monitoring can be costly with long wait times for diagnosis. In this paper, a novel OSA screening framework and prototype phone application are introduced. A database of 856 patients that underwent at-home polygraphy was collected. Features were derived from audio, actigraphy, photoplethysmography (PPG), and demographics, and used as the inputs of a support vector machine (SVM) classifier. The SVM was trained on 735 patients and tested on 121 patients. Classification on the test set had an accuracy of up to 92.2% when classifying subjects as having moderate or severe OSA versus being healthy or a snorer based on the clinicians' diagnoses. The signal processing and machine learning algorithms were ported to Java and integrated into the phone application-SleepAp. SleepAp records the body position, audio, actigraphy and PPG signals, and implements the clinically validated STOP-BANG questionnaire. It derives features from the signals and classifies the user as having OSA or not using the SVM trained on the clinical database. The resulting software could provide a new, easy-to-use, low-cost, and widely available modality for OSA screening.

  19. Enabling quantitative screening in retinal organoids: 3D automated reporter quantification technology (3D-ARQ).

    PubMed

    Vergara, M Natalia; Flores-Bellver, Miguel; Aparicio-Domingo, Silvia; McNally, Minda; Wahlin, Karl J; Saxena, Meera T; Mumm, Jeff S; Canto-Soler, M Valeria

    2017-09-04

    The advent of stem cell-derived retinal organoids has brought forth unprecedented opportunities for developmental and physiological studies, while presenting new therapeutic promise for retinal degenerative diseases. From a translational perspective, organoid systems provide exciting new prospects for drug discovery, offering the possibility to perform compound screening in a 3-dimensional (3D) human tissue context that resembles the native histoarchitecture and cellular interactions. However, inherent variability issues and a general lack of robust quantitative technologies for analyzing organoids in large-scale pose severe limitations for their use in translational applications. To address this need, we have developed a screening platform that enables accurate quantification of fluorescent reporters in complex human iPSC-derived retinal organoids. This platform incorporates a fluorescence microplate reader that allows XYZ-dimensional detection and fine-tuned wavelength selection. We have established optimal parameters for fluorescent reporter signal detection, devised methods to compensate for organoid size variability, evaluated performance and sensitivity parameters, and validated this technology for functional applications. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. An integrated lab-on-a-disc for automated cell-based allergen screening bioassays.

    PubMed

    Chen, Q L; Cheung, K L; Kong, S K; Zhou, J Q; Kwan, Y W; Wong, C K; Ho, H P

    2012-08-15

    We have utilized various valving scheme to leverage purely rotation-regulated flow control to enable comprehensive cell-based bioassays (CBBs) on centrifuge-based lab-on-a-disc (LOAD). A LOAD has been developed to examine allergic degranulation from live basophils for allergens screening for the first time, which can also be adjusted to suit a wide range of CBBs. In this system, controlled allergic reaction together with mediator separation from basophils using siphon valving and centrifugal sedimentation are realized inside microstructured network. The entire degranulation analysis process including on-demand release of samples, reaction and degranulation, allergic mediator separation and detection is executed in an automatic sequence within a single run. To validate our cell-based approach, detection of degranulation mediated by known secretagagues, ionomycin or chemotatic peptide formyl-methionine-leucine-pheylalanine (fMLP), is first demonstrated. Further experiments using real allergens house dust mite protein (Der p1) and its corresponding human serum IgE also show positive results. The overall efficiency of the assay is 80.6%, which is comparable to other conventional methods. With 4 identical units on a disc running in a parallel format, the device offers the possibility of single-step, multiplexed allergens screening. The device is capable of reporting a result within 30 min. It has many desirable merits including fast and multiplexed analysis, low cost, single-step operation, minimal sample volume, less discomfort and most importantly increased safety as patients are no longer susceptible to possible anaphylactic shock reactions induced by the common skin-prick-test. The flexibility of the flow control within the device makes it suitable to a wide range of CBBs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. A mobile platform for automated screening of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, Daniel B; Kodgule, Rahul; Fletcher, Richard Ribon

    2016-08-01

    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma each represent a large proportion of the global disease burden; COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide and asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases, afflicting over 300 million people. Much of this burden is concentrated in the developing world, where patients lack access to physicians trained in the diagnosis of pulmonary disease. As a result, these patients experience high rates of underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis. To address this need, we present a mobile platform capable of screening for Asthma and COPD. Our solution is based on a mobile smart phone and consists of an electronic stethoscope, a peak flow meter application, and a patient questionnaire. This data is combined with a machine learning algorithm to identify patients with asthma and COPD. To test and validate the design, we collected data from 119 healthy and sick participants using our custom mobile application and ran the analysis on a PC computer. For comparison, all subjects were examined by an experienced pulmonologist using a full pulmonary testing laboratory. Employing a two-stage logistic regression model, our algorithms were first able to identify patients with either asthma or COPD from the general population, yielding an ROC curve with an AUC of 0.95. Then, after identifying these patients, our algorithm was able to distinguish between patients with asthma and patients with COPD, yielding an ROC curve with AUC of 0.97. This work represents an important milestone towards creating a self-contained mobile phone-based platform that can be used for screening and diagnosis of pulmonary disease in many parts of the world.

  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. 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...

  4. An automated high-throughput screening method for the identification of high-yield, soluble protein variants using cell-free expression and systematic truncation.

    PubMed

    Bursey, Evan H; Kim, Chang-Yub; Yu, Minmin; Terwilliger, Thomas C; Hung, Li-Wei

    2006-12-01

    A highly automated method for rapidly identifying soluble protein variants with good expression yields has been developed. This method is based on a commercially available in vitro protein expression system. It consists of two polymerase chain reactions (PCR) followed by in vitro protein expression and protein quantification by dot blot. The PCR protocols have been improved and optimized to allow automation using commercial fluid handling devices. A PCR primer design program has also been implemented to streamline protein variant design. This automated protocol is highly reliable and has tremendously improved the throughput of expression screening as compared to conventional cell-based methods and manual in vitro methods. We have applied this method to 32 problematic targets from the TB Structural Genomics Consortium. Experimental results of these studies are reported.

  5. A Multi-Institutional Feasibility Study on the Use of Automated Screening Systems for Quality Control Rescreening of Cervical Cytology.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Yuko; Sasaki, Hiroshi; Komatsu, Kyoko; Yabushita, Ryuji; Oda, Mizue; Yanoh, Kenji; Ueda, Masatsugu; Itamochi, Hiroaki; Okugawa, Kaoru; Fujita, Hiromasa; Tase, Toru; Nakatani, Eiji; Moriya, Takuya

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of the automated screening system FocalPoint for cervical cytology quality control (QC) rescreening. False-negative rates (FNRs) were evaluated by a multi-institutional retrospective study. Cervical cytology slides that had already been reported as negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy (NILM) were chosen arbitrarily for FocalPoint rescreening. Slides stratified into the highest 15% probability of being abnormal were rescreened by a cytotechnologist. The slides that were abnormal were reevaluated by a cytopathologist to be false negatives. Rescreening of 12,000 slides, i.e. 9,000 conventional slides and 3,000 liquid-based cytology (LBC) slides, was performed; 9,826 (7,393 conventional and 2,433 LBC) were satisfactory for FocalPoint (2,174 were determined unsatisfactory) and those within the highest 15% of probability (1,496, i.e. 1,123 conventional and 373 LBC) were rescreened. As a result, 117 (96 conventional and 21 LBC) were determined as abnormal (other than NILM) and the FNR was 1.19%. Among these 117 slides, 40 (35 conventional and 5 LBC) were determined as high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion and greater (HSIL+). Of 117 (1.19%) abnormal slides detected, 40 (0.41%) were determined to be HSIL+. This result suggests that FocalPoint is effective for QC rescreening of cervical cytology. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Enzyme engineering: A synthetic biology approach for more effective library generation and automated high-throughput screening

    PubMed Central

    Ebert, Maximilian C. C. J. C.; Mugford, Paul F.; Pelletier, Joelle N.

    2017-01-01

    The Golden Gate strategy entails the use of type IIS restriction enzymes, which cut outside of their recognition sequence. It enables unrestricted design of unique DNA fragments that can be readily and seamlessly recombined. Successfully employed in other synthetic biology applications, we demonstrate its advantageous use to engineer a biocatalyst. Hot-spots for mutations were individuated in three distinct regions of Candida antarctica lipase A (Cal-A), the biocatalyst chosen as a target to demonstrate the versatility of this recombination method. The three corresponding gene segments were subjected to the most appropriate method of mutagenesis (targeted or random). Their straightforward reassembly allowed combining products of different mutagenesis methods in a single round for rapid production of a series of diverse libraries, thus facilitating directed evolution. Screening to improve discrimination of short-chain versus long-chain fatty acid substrates was aided by development of a general, automated method for visual discrimination of the hydrolysis of varied substrates by whole cells. PMID:28178357

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. A high-content assay for identifying small molecules that reprogram C. elegans germ cell fate.

    PubMed

    Benson, Joshua A; Cummings, Erin E; O'Reilly, Linda P; Lee, Myon-Hee; Pak, Stephen C

    2014-08-01

    Recent breakthrough discoveries have shown that committed cell fates can be reprogrammed by genetic, chemical and environmental manipulations. The germline of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides a tractable system for studying cell fate reprogramming within the context of a whole organism. To explore the possibility of using C. elegans in high-throughput screens (HTS), we developed a high-throughput workflow for testing compounds that modulate cell fate reprogramming. We utilized puf-8; lip-1 mutants that have enhanced MPK-1 (an ERK homolog)/MAP kinase (MAPK) signaling. Wild-type C. elegans hermaphrodites produce both sperm and oocytes, and are thus self-fertile. However, puf-8; lip-1 mutants produce only sperm and are sterile. Notably, compounds that pharmacologically down-regulate MPK-1 (an ERK homolog)/MAP kinase (MAPK) signaling are able to reprogram germ cell fate and restore fertility to these animals. puf-8; lip-1 mutants provide numerous challenges for HTS. First, they are sterile as homozygotes and must be maintained as heterozygotes using a balancer chromosome. Second, homozygous animals for experimentation must be physically separated from the rest of the population. Third, a high quality, high-content assay has not been developed to measure compound effects on germ cell fate reprogramming. Here we describe a semi-automated high-throughput workflow that enables effective sorting of homozygous puf-8; lip-1 mutants into 384-well plates using the COPAS™ BIOSORT. In addition, we have developed an image-based assay for rapidly measuring germ cell reprogramming by measuring the number of viable progeny in wells. The methods presented in this report enable the use of puf-8; lip-1 mutants in HTS campaigns for chemical modulators of germ cell reprogramming within the context of a whole organism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. A micropatterned hepatocyte coculture model for assessment of liver toxicity using high-content imaging analysis.

    PubMed

    Trask, O Joseph; Moore, Amanda; LeCluyse, Edward L

    2014-01-01

    The current landscape of in vitro models used to identify drug- or chemical-induced hepatotoxicity relies heavily on cell culture models consisting of HepG2, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived, or primary hepatocytes. While these in vitro models offer powerful approaches for predicting toxicity, each system has challenges, including variable metabolic capacity, brief ex vivo life span in culture, and adoption with standard automated microscopy high-content screening (HCS) systems to measure reproducibility data at the single-cell level. In this report we introduce a novel primary hepatocyte coculture model, HepatoPac™, as an alternative to current model systems for evaluation of in vitro hepatotoxicity in 96-well microtiter plate format examined by HCS. The coculture model consists of primary hepatocytes that are micropatterned to form a discrete microarchitecture or "hepatocyte islands" that are surrounded by supporting fibroblasts resulting in long-term viability and metabolic function of primary hepatocytes. Using multiple HCS image capture and image analysis strategies, we established methods to interrogate various morphometric parameters, such as size, shape, and intensity, at the island or single-cell level. We applied these approaches to identify subpopulations of both fibroblasts and hepatocytes that exhibited alterations in nuclear parameters, cell permeability, mitochondria function, and apoptosis using known reference control compounds and an eight-point dose curve. Subpopulation analysis with additional bioprobe sets can provide a powerful means of addressing differential cell and tissue susceptibilities during compound profiling. Our data show that the HepatoPac is amendable for HCS imaging applications and provides a unique approach for studying hepatotoxicity over prolonged periods of time.

  11. 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

  12. Expanding the mammalian phenotype ontology to support automated exchange of high throughput mouse phenotyping data generated by large-scale mouse knockout screens.

    PubMed

    Smith, Cynthia L; Eppig, Janan T

    2015-01-01

    A vast array of data is about to emerge from the large scale high-throughput mouse knockout phenotyping projects worldwide. It is critical that this information is captured in a standardized manner, made accessible, and is fully integrated with other phenotype data sets for comprehensive querying and analysis across all phenotype data types. The volume of data generated by the high-throughput phenotyping screens is expected to grow exponentially, thus, automated methods and standards to exchange phenotype data are required. The IMPC (International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium) is using the Mammalian Phenotype (MP) ontology in the automated annotation of phenodeviant data from high throughput phenotyping screens. 287 new term additions with additional hierarchy revisions were made in multiple branches of the MP ontology to accurately describe the results generated by these high throughput screens. Because these large scale phenotyping data sets will be reported using the MP as the common data standard for annotation and data exchange, automated importation of these data to MGI (Mouse Genome Informatics) and other resources is possible without curatorial effort. Maximum biomedical value of these mutant mice will come from integrating primary high-throughput phenotyping data with secondary, comprehensive phenotypic analyses combined with published phenotype details on these and related mutants at MGI and other resources.

  13. A novel tool for high-throughput screening of granulocyte-specific antibodies using the automated flow cytometric granulocyte immunofluorescence test (Flow-GIFT).

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Xuan Duc; Dengler, Thomas; Schulz-Linkholt, Monika; Klüter, Harald

    2011-02-03

    Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a severe complication related with blood transfusion. TRALI has usually been associated with antibodies against leukocytes. The flow cytometric granulocyte immunofluorescence test (Flow-GIFT) has been introduced for routine use when investigating patients and healthy blood donors. Here we describe a novel tool in the automation of the Flow-GIFT that enables a rapid screening of blood donations. We analyzed 440 sera from healthy female blood donors for the presence of granulocyte antibodies. As positive controls, 12 sera with known antibodies against anti-HNA-1a, -b, -2a; and -3a were additionally investigated. Whole-blood samples from HNA-typed donors were collected and the test cells isolated using cell sedimentation in a Ficoll density gradient. Subsequently, leukocytes were incubated with the respective serum and binding of antibodies was detected using FITC-conjugated antihuman antibody. 7-AAD was used to exclude dead cells. Pipetting steps were automated using the Biomek NXp Multichannel Automation Workstation. All samples were prepared in the 96-deep well plates and analyzed by flow cytometry. The standard granulocyte immunofluorescence test (GIFT) and granulocyte agglutination test (GAT) were also performed as reference methods. Sixteen sera were positive in the automated Flow-GIFT, while five of these sera were negative in the standard GIFT (anti-HNA 3a, n = 3; anti-HNA-1b, n = 1) and GAT (anti-HNA-2a, n = 1). The automated Flow-GIFT was able to detect all granulocyte antibodies, which could be only detected in GIFT in combination with GAT. In serial dilution tests, the automated Flow-GIFT detected the antibodies at higher dilutions than the reference methods GIFT and GAT. The Flow-GIFT proved to be feasible for automation. This novel high-throughput system allows an effective antigranulocyte antibody detection in a large donor population in order to prevent TRALI due to transfusion of blood products.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. High content image cytometry in the context of subnuclear organization.

    PubMed

    De Vos, W H; Van Neste, L; Dieriks, B; Joss, G H; Van Oostveldt, P

    2010-01-01

    The organization of proteins in space and time is essential to their function. To accurately quantify subcellular protein characteristics in a population of cells with regard for the stochasticity of events in a natural context, there is a fast-growing need for image-based cytometry. Simultaneously, the massive amount of data that is generated by image-cytometric analyses, calls for tools that enable pattern recognition and automated classification. In this article, we present a general approach for multivariate phenotypic profiling of individual cell nuclei and quantification of subnuclear spots using automated fluorescence mosaic microscopy, optimized image processing tools, and supervised classification. We demonstrate the efficiency of our analysis by determination of differential DNA damage repair patterns in response to genotoxic stress and radiation, and we show the potential of data mining in pinpointing specific phenotypes after transient transfection. The presented approach allowed for systematic analysis of subnuclear features in large image data sets and accurate classification of phenotypes at the level of the single cell. Consequently, this type of nuclear fingerprinting shows potential for high-throughput applications, such as functional protein assays or drug compound screening.

  17. Comparing Visually Assessed BI-RADS Breast Density and Automated Volumetric Breast Density Software: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Breast Cancer Screening Setting.

    PubMed

    van der Waal, Daniëlle; den Heeten, Gerard J; Pijnappel, Ruud M; Schuur, Klaas H; Timmers, Johanna M H; Verbeek, André L M; Broeders, Mireille J M

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to compare different methods for measuring breast density, both visual assessments and automated volumetric density, in a breast cancer screening setting. These measures could potentially be implemented in future screening programmes, in the context of personalised screening or screening evaluation. Digital mammographic exams (N = 992) of women participating in the Dutch breast cancer screening programme (age 50-75y) in 2013 were included. Breast density was measured in three different ways: BI-RADS density (5th edition) and with two commercially available automated software programs (Quantra and Volpara volumetric density). BI-RADS density (ordinal scale) was assessed by three radiologists. Quantra (v1.3) and Volpara (v1.5.0) provide continuous estimates. Different comparison methods were used, including Bland-Altman plots and correlation coefficients (e.g., intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]). Based on the BI-RADS classification, 40.8% of the women had 'heterogeneously or extremely dense' breasts. The median volumetric percent density was 12.1% (IQR: 9.6-16.5) for Quantra, which was higher than the Volpara estimate (median 6.6%, IQR: 4.4-10.9). The mean difference between Quantra and Volpara was 5.19% (95% CI: 5.04-5.34) (ICC: 0.64). There was a clear increase in volumetric percent dense volume as BI-RADS density increased. The highest accuracy for predicting the presence of BI-RADS c+d (heterogeneously or extremely dense) was observed with a cut-off value of 8.0% for Volpara and 13.8% for Quantra. Although there was no perfect agreement, there appeared to be a strong association between all three measures. Both volumetric density measures seem to be usable in breast cancer screening programmes, provided that the required data flow can be realized.

  18. Comparing Visually Assessed BI-RADS Breast Density and Automated Volumetric Breast Density Software: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Breast Cancer Screening Setting

    PubMed Central

    van der Waal, Daniëlle; den Heeten, Gerard J.; Pijnappel, Ruud M.; Schuur, Klaas H.; Timmers, Johanna M. H.; Verbeek, André L. M.; Broeders, Mireille J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The objective of this study is to compare different methods for measuring breast density, both visual assessments and automated volumetric density, in a breast cancer screening setting. These measures could potentially be implemented in future screening programmes, in the context of personalised screening or screening evaluation. Materials and Methods Digital mammographic exams (N = 992) of women participating in the Dutch breast cancer screening programme (age 50–75y) in 2013 were included. Breast density was measured in three different ways: BI-RADS density (5th edition) and with two commercially available automated software programs (Quantra and Volpara volumetric density). BI-RADS density (ordinal scale) was assessed by three radiologists. Quantra (v1.3) and Volpara (v1.5.0) provide continuous estimates. Different comparison methods were used, including Bland-Altman plots and correlation coefficients (e.g., intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]). Results Based on the BI-RADS classification, 40.8% of the women had ‘heterogeneously or extremely dense’ breasts. The median volumetric percent density was 12.1% (IQR: 9.6–16.5) for Quantra, which was higher than the Volpara estimate (median 6.6%, IQR: 4.4–10.9). The mean difference between Quantra and Volpara was 5.19% (95% CI: 5.04–5.34) (ICC: 0.64). There was a clear increase in volumetric percent dense volume as BI-RADS density increased. The highest accuracy for predicting the presence of BI-RADS c+d (heterogeneously or extremely dense) was observed with a cut-off value of 8.0% for Volpara and 13.8% for Quantra. Conclusion Although there was no perfect agreement, there appeared to be a strong association between all three measures. Both volumetric density measures seem to be usable in breast cancer screening programmes, provided that the required data flow can be realized. PMID:26335569

  19. High-throughput pharmacokinetics screen of VLA-4 antagonists by LC/MS/MS coupled with automated solid-phase extraction sample preparation.

    PubMed

    Tong, Xinchun S; Wang, Junying; Zheng, Song; Pivnichny, James V

    2004-06-29

    Automation of plasma sample preparation for pharmacokinetic studies on VLA-4 antagonists has been achieved by using 96-well format solid-phase extraction operated by Beckman Coulter Biomek 2000 liquid handling system. A Biomek 2000 robot is used to perform fully automated plasma sample preparation tasks that include serial dilution of standard solutions, pipetting plasma samples, addition of standard and internal standard solutions, performing solid-phase extraction (SPE) on Waters OASIS 96-well plates. This automated sample preparation process takes less than 2 h for a typical pharmacokinetic study, including 51 samples, 24 standards, 9 quality controls, and 3-6 dose checks with minimal manual intervention. Extensive validation has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of this method. A two-stage vacuum pressure controller has been incorporated in the program to improve SPE efficiency. This automated SPE sample preparation approach combined with liquid chromatography coupled with the high sensitivity and selectivity of tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS)/MS has been successfully applied on both individual and cassette dosing for pharmacokinetic screening of a large number of VLA-4 antagonists with a limit of quantitation in the range of 1-5 ng/ml. Consequently, a significant throughput increase has been achieved along with an elimination of tedious labor and its consequential tendency to produce errors. Copyright 2004 Elsevier B.V.

  20. Using High-Content Imaging to Analyze Toxicological Tipping ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Presentation at International Conference on Toxicological Alternatives & Translational Toxicology (ICTATT) held in China and Discussing the possibility of using High Content Imaging to Analyze Toxicological Tipping Points Slide Presentation at International Conference on Toxicological Alternatives & Translational Toxicology (ICTATT) held in China and Discussing the possibility of using High Content Imaging to Analyze Toxicological Tipping Points

  1. 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: 18 WBC/μL and 97 BAC/μL for SediMax (sensitivity=96.25%, specificity=63.04%, negative predictive value=97.97%), and 40 WBC/μL and 460 BAC/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.

  2. A procedure for setting up high-throughput nanolitre crystallization experiments. Crystallization workflow for initial screening, automated storage, imaging and optimization.

    PubMed

    Walter, Thomas S; Diprose, Jonathan M; Mayo, Chris J; Siebold, Christian; Pickford, Mike G; Carter, Lester; Sutton, Geoff C; Berrow, Nick S; Brown, James; Berry, Ian M; Stewart-Jones, Guillaume B E; Grimes, Jonathan M; Stammers, David K; Esnouf, Robert M; Jones, E Yvonne; Owens, Ray J; Stuart, David I; Harlos, Karl

    2005-06-01

    Crystallization trials at the Division of Structural Biology in Oxford are now almost exclusively carried out using a high-throughput workflow implemented in the Oxford Protein Production Facility. Initial crystallization screening is based on nanolitre-scale sitting-drop vapour-diffusion experiments (typically 100 nl of protein plus 100 nl of reservoir solution per droplet) which use standard crystallization screening kits and 96-well crystallization plates. For 294 K crystallization trials the barcoded crystallization plates are entered into an automated storage system with a fully integrated imaging system. These plates are imaged in accordance with a pre-programmed schedule and the resulting digital data for each droplet are harvested into a laboratory information-management system (LIMS), scored by crystal recognition software and displayed for user analysis via a web-based interface. Currently, storage for trials at 277 K is not automated and for imaging the crystallization plates are fed by hand into an imaging system from which the data enter the LIMS. The workflow includes two procedures for nanolitre-scale optimization of crystallization conditions: (i) a protocol for variation of pH, reservoir dilution and protein:reservoir ratio and (ii) an additive screen. Experience based on 592 crystallization projects is reported.

  3. 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. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Agreement between Breast Percentage Density Estimations from Standard-Dose versus Synthetic Digital Mammograms: Results from a Large Screening Cohort Using Automated Measures.

    PubMed

    Conant, Emily F; Keller, Brad M; Pantalone, Lauren; Gastounioti, Aimilia; McDonald, Elizabeth S; Kontos, Despina

    2017-06-01

    Purpose To evaluate agreement between automated estimates of breast density made from standard-dose versus synthetic digital mammograms in a large cohort of women undergoing screening. Materials and Methods This study received institutional review board approval with waiver of consent. A total of 3668 negative (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System category 1 or 2) digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) screening examinations consecutively performed over a 4-month period at one institution for which both standard-dose and synthetic mammograms were available for analysis were retrospectively analyzed. All mammograms were acquired with a Selenia Dimensions system (Hologic, Bedford, Mass), and synthetic mammograms were generated by using the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved "C-View" software module. The "For Presentation" standard-dose mammograms and synthetic images were analyzed by using a fully automated algorithm. Agreement between density estimates was assessed by using Pearson correlation, linear regression, and Bland-Altman analysis. Differences were evaluated by using the paired Student t test. Results Breast percentage density (PD) estimates from synthetic and standard-dose mammograms were highly correlated (r = 0.92, P < .001), and the 95% Bland-Altman limits of agreement between PD estimates were -6.4% to 9.9%. Synthetic mammograms had PD estimates by an average of 1.7% higher than standard-dose mammograms (P < .001), with a larger disagreement by 1.56% in women with highly dense breast tissue (P < .0001). Conclusion Fully automated estimates of breast density made from synthetic mammograms are generally comparable to those made from standard-dose mammograms. This may be important, as standard two-dimensional mammographic images are increasingly being replaced by synthetic mammograms in DBT screening in an attempt to reduce radiation dose. (©) RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

  6. 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. © The Author(s) 2016.

  7. An RNA replication-center assay for high content image-based quantifications of human rhinovirus and coxsackievirus infections

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Picornaviruses are common human and animal pathogens, including polio and rhinoviruses of the enterovirus family, and hepatits A or food-and-mouth disease viruses. There are no effective countermeasures against the vast majority of picornaviruses, with the exception of polio and hepatitis A vaccines. Human rhinoviruses (HRV) are the most prevalent picornaviruses comprising more than one hundred serotypes. The existing and also emerging HRVs pose severe health risks for patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Here, we developed a serotype-independent infection assay using a commercially available mouse monoclonal antibody (mabJ2) detecting double-strand RNA. Results Immunocytochemical staining for RNA replication centers using mabJ2 identified cells that were infected with either HRV1A, 2, 14, 16, 37 or coxsackievirus (CV) B3, B4 or A21. MabJ2 labeled-cells were immunocytochemically positive for newly synthesized viral capsid proteins from HRV1A, 14, 16, 37 or CVB3, 4. We optimized the procedure for detection of virus replication in settings for high content screening with automated fluorescence microscopy and single cell analysis. Our data show that the infection signal was dependent on multiplicity, time and temperature of infection, and the mabJ2-positive cell numbers correlated with viral titres determined in single step growth curves. The mabJ2 infection assay was adapted to determine the efficacy of anti-viral compounds and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) blocking enterovirus infections. Conclusions We report a broadly applicable, rapid protocol to measure infection of cultured cells with enteroviruses at single cell resolution. This assay can be applied to a wide range of plus-sense RNA viruses, and hence allows comparative studies of viral infection biology without dedicated reagents or procedures. This protocol also allows to directly compare results from small compound or siRNA infection screens for different serotypes

  8. A neuronal and astrocyte co-culture assay for high content analysis of neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Anderl, Janet L; Redpath, Stella; Ball, Andrew J

    2009-05-05

    High Content Analysis (HCA) assays combine cells and detection reagents with automated imaging and powerful image analysis algorithms, allowing measurement of multiple cellular phenotypes within a single assay. In this study, we utilized HCA to develop a novel assay for neurotoxicity. Neurotoxicity assessment represents an important part of drug safety evaluation, as well as being a significant focus of environmental protection efforts. Additionally, neurotoxicity is also a well-accepted in vitro marker of the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Recently, the application of HCA to neuronal screening has been reported. By labeling neuronal cells with betaIII-tubulin, HCA assays can provide high-throughput, non-subjective, quantitative measurements of parameters such as neuronal number, neurite count and neurite length, all of which can indicate neurotoxic effects. However, the role of astrocytes remains unexplored in these models. Astrocytes have an integral role in the maintenance of central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis, and are associated with both neuroprotection and neurodegradation when they are activated in response to toxic substances or disease states. GFAP is an intermediate filament protein expressed predominantly in the astrocytes of the CNS. Astrocytic activation (gliosis) leads to the upregulation of GFAP, commonly accompanied by astrocyte proliferation and hypertrophy. This process of reactive gliosis has been proposed as an early marker of damage to the nervous system. The traditional method for GFAP quantitation is by immunoassay. This approach is limited by an inability to provide information on cellular localization, morphology and cell number. We determined that HCA could be used to overcome these limitations and to simultaneously measure multiple features associated with gliosis - changes in GFAP expression, astrocyte hypertrophy, and astrocyte proliferation - within a single assay. In co

  9. Automated patch-clamp technique: increased throughput in functional characterization and in pharmacological screening of small-conductance Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Schrøder, Rikke L; Friis, Søren; Sunesen, Morten; Mathes, Chris; Willumsen, Niels J

    2008-08-01

    The suitability of an automated patch clamp for the characterization and pharmacological screening of calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channels endogenously expressed in RBL-2H3 cells was explored with the QPatch system. CRAC currents (I( CRAC)) are small, and thus precise recordings require high signal-to-noise ratios obtained by high seal resistances. Automated whole-cell establishment resulted in membrane resistances of 1728 +/- 226 MOmega (n = 44). CRAC channels were activated by a number of methods that raise intracellular calcium concentration, including EGTA, ionomycin, Ins(1,4,5)P3, and thapsigargin. I(CRAC) whole-cell currents ranged from 30 to 120 pA with rise times of 40 to 150 s. An initial delay in current activation was observed in particular when I(CRAC) was activated by passive store depletion using EGTA. Apparent rundown of I(CRAC) was commonly observed, and the current could be reactivated by subsequent addition of thapsigargin. I(CRAC) was blocked by SKF-96365 and 2-APB with IC50 values of 4.7 +/- 1.1 microM (n = 9) and 7.5 +/- 0.7 (n = 9) microM, respectively. The potencies of these blockers were similar to values reported for I(CRAC) in similar conventional patch-clamp experiments. The study demonstrates that CRAC channels can be rapidly and efficiently targeted with automated patch-clamp techniques for characterization of physiological and pharmacological properties.

  10. Automated screening of 2D crystallization trials using transmission electron microscopy: a high-throughput tool-chain for sample preparation and microscopic analysis.

    PubMed

    Coudray, Nicolas; Hermann, Gilles; Caujolle-Bert, Daniel; Karathanou, Argyro; Erne-Brand, Françoise; Buessler, Jean-Luc; Daum, Pamela; Plitzko, Juergen M; Chami, Mohamed; Mueller, Urs; Kihl, Hubert; Urban, Jean-Philippe; Engel, Andreas; Rémigy, Hervé-W

    2011-02-01

    We have built and extensively tested a tool-chain to prepare and screen two-dimensional crystals of membrane proteins by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) at room temperature. This automated process is an extension of a new procedure described recently that allows membrane protein 2D crystallization in parallel (Iacovache et al., 2010). The system includes a gantry robot that transfers and prepares the crystalline solutions on grids suitable for TEM analysis and an entirely automated microscope that can analyze 96 grids at once without human interference. The operation of the system at the user level is solely controlled within the MATLAB environment: the commands to perform sample handling (loading/unloading in the microscope), microscope steering (magnification, focus, image acquisition, etc.) as well as automatic crystal detection have been implemented. Different types of thin samples can efficiently be screened provided that the particular detection algorithm is adapted to the specific task. Hence, operating time can be shared between multiple users. This is a major step towards the integration of transmission electron microscopy into a high throughput work-flow.

  11. High-Throughput Screening of Na(V)1.7 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 (Na(V)) channels have an essential role in the initiation and propagation of action potentials in excitable cells, such as neurons. Of these channels, Na(V)1.7 has been indicated as a key channel for pain sensation. While extensive efforts have gone into discovering novel Na(V)1.7 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 Na(V)1.7 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 Na(V)1.7 in a robust and reliable APC assay for compound screening.

  12. New automated indirect immunofluorescent antinuclear antibody testing compares well with established manual immunofluorescent screening and titration for antinuclear antibody on HEp-2 cells.

    PubMed

    Daves, M; Blecken, J; Matthias, T; Frey, A; Perkmann, V; Dall Acqua, A; Joos, A; Platzgummer, S

    2017-02-01

    The IIF using the HEp-2 cell substrate should be still considered the "gold standard" techniques for determination of antinuclear antibody (ANA). Standardization and automation can be considered to be still in progress. Aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of the commercially automated indirect immunofluorescent antinuclear HEp-2 antibody assay. The study was designed to compare two commercially available HEp-2 ANA by indirect immunofluorescent antibody assays using a sensitivity panel (120 clinically determined patients) and a specificity panel consisting of 78 clinically confirmed negative patients. We compared the NOVA View(®) system [INOVA Diagnostics San Diego, USA] with the new HELIOS Processor from AESKU Systems/AESKU.Diagnostics (Wendelsheim, Germany) to assess their capability for screening, pattern recognition and titration of the samples. These automated methods were directly compared to manual reading of the same processed slides on respective microscopes and also compared with the known clinical information. The results of the two automated methods were in very good agreement with recognizing negative and positive samples. The HELIOS system detected 188 samples correctly as negative or positive versus 187 detected by the NOVA View(®) system. The diagnostic sensitivity of the systems was 95.8 versus 96.7 % for HELIOS and NOVA View(®), respectively. The systems exhibited a diagnostic specificity of 93.5 % for the HELIOS system and 91.0 % for the NOVA View(®). Both systems are suitable for fast and reliable detection of positivity/negativity due to their high sensitivity and will lead to a further increase of standardization in autoimmunity.

  13. Development of high-content assays for kidney progenitor cell expansion in transgenic zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sanker, Subramaniam; Cirio, Maria Cecilia; Vollmer, Laura L; Goldberg, Natasha D; McDermott, Lee A; Hukriede, Neil A; Vogt, Andreas

    2013-12-01

    Reactivation of genes normally expressed during organogenesis is a characteristic of kidney regeneration. Enhancing this reactivation could potentially be a therapeutic target to augment kidney regeneration. The inductive events that drive kidney organogenesis in zebrafish are similar to the initial steps in mammalian kidney organogenesis. Therefore, quantifying embryonic signals that drive zebrafish kidney development is an attractive strategy for the discovery of potential novel therapeutic modalities that accelerate kidney regeneration. The Lim1 homeobox protein, Lhx1, is a marker of kidney development that is also expressed in the regenerating kidneys after injury. Using a fluorescent Lhx1a-EGFP transgene whose phenotype faithfully recapitulates that of the endogenous protein, we developed a high-content assay for Lhx1a-EGFP expression in transgenic zebrafish embryos employing an artificial intelligence-based image analysis method termed cognition network technology (CNT). Implementation of the CNT assay on high-content readers enabled automated real-time in vivo time-course, dose-response, and variability studies in the developing embryo. The Lhx1a assay was complemented with a kidney-specific secondary CNT assay that enables direct measurements of the embryonic renal tubule cell population. The integration of fluorescent transgenic zebrafish embryos with automated imaging and artificial intelligence-based image analysis provides an in vivo analysis system for structure-activity relationship studies and de novo discovery of novel agents that augment innate regenerative processes.

  14. Multiplexed assays by high-content imaging for assessment of GPCR activity.

    PubMed

    Ross, D A; Lee, S; Reiser, V; Xue, J; Alves, K; Vaidya, S; Kreamer, A; Mull, R; Hudak, E; Hare, T; Detmers, P A; Lingham, R; Ferrer, M; Strulovici, B; Santini, F

    2008-07-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) participate in many disease pathways and represent the largest family of therapeutic targets. Thus, great investments are made to discover drugs modulating GPCR-mediated events. Among functional assays for screening GPCRs, the Transfluor imaging assay is based on redistribution of cytosolic beta-arrestin to an activated GPCR and has become widely used in high-content screening. However, assessing Transfluor alone has limitations: relying on a single mechanistic step of beta-arrestin redistribution during GPCR activation, providing no information on the stimulated GPCR's intracellular fate, and using only a single fluorescent color (green fluorescent protein). Taking full advantage of high-content imaging to screen approximately 2000 compounds, the authors multiplexed the Transfluor assay with an immunofluorescence-based quantification of GPCR internalization. This approach identified and classified 377 compounds interfering with agonist-induced activation of the Transfluor assay, receptor internalization, or both. In addition, a subset of compounds was analyzed for their performance across imaging, cell-based calcium release (fluorometric imaging plate reader [FLIPR]), and biochemical receptor binding assays (scintillation proximity assay). This indicated that the imaging assays have even better predictive power for direct inhibition of receptor binding than the FLIPR assay. In conclusion, compounds inducing unique responses can suggest novel mechanisms of action and be used as tools to study GPCR activation and internalization.

  15. 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,...

  16. 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,...

  17. Detailed study of precipitation of a poorly water soluble test compound using methodologies as in activity and solubility screening - mixing and automation effects.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Cheska; Kennedy, Alan R; Edwards, Darren; Dowden, Lee; Daublain, Pierre; Halling, Peter

    2013-09-01

    Storage of pharmaceutical discovery compounds dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is commonplace within industry. Often, the DMSO stock solution is added to an aqueous system (e.g. in bioassay or kinetic solubility testing)- since most test compounds are hydrophobic, precipitation could occur. Little is known about the factors affecting this precipitation process at the low (µM) concentrations used in screening analyses. Here, a poorly water soluble test compound (tolnaftate) was used to compare manual and automated pipetting, and explore the effect of mixing variables on precipitation. The amount of drug present in the supernatant after precipitation and centrifugation of the samples was quantified. An unusual result was obtained in three different laboratories: results of experiments performed initially were statistically significantly higher than those performed after a few days in the same lab. No significant differences were found between automated and manual pipetting, including in variability. Vortex mixing was found to give significantly lower supernatant amounts compared to milder mixing types. The mixing employed affects the particle growth of the precipitate. These findings are of relevance to discovery stage bioassay and kinetic solubility analyses.

  18. Automated screening of microtubule growth dynamics identifies MARK2 as a regulator of leading edge microtubules downstream of Rac1 in migrating cells.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Yukako; Applegate, Kathryn; Davidson, Michael W; Danuser, Gaudenz; Waterman, Clare M

    2012-01-01

    Polarized microtubule (MT) growth in the leading edge is critical to directed cell migration, and is mediated by Rac1 GTPase. To find downstream targets of Rac1 that affect MT assembly dynamics, we performed an RNAi screen of 23 MT binding and regulatory factors and identified RNAi treatments that suppressed changes in MT dynamics induced by constitutively activated Rac1. By analyzing fluorescent EB3 dynamics with automated tracking, we found that RNAi treatments targeting p150(glued), APC2, spastin, EB1, Op18, or MARK2 blocked Rac1-mediated MT growth in lamellipodia. MARK2 was the only protein whose RNAi targeting additionally suppressed Rac1 effects on MT orientation in lamellipodia, and thus became the focus of further study. We show that GFP-MARK2 rescued effects of MARK2 depletion on MT growth lifetime and orientation, and GFP-MARK2 localized in lamellipodia in a Rac1-activity-dependent manner. In a wound-edge motility assay, MARK2-depleted cells failed to polarize their centrosomes or exhibit oriented MT growth in the leading edge, and displayed defects in directional cell migration. Thus, automated image analysis of MT assembly dynamics identified MARK2 as a target regulated downstream of Rac1 that promotes oriented MT growth in the leading edge to mediate directed cell migration.

  19. Automated Screening of Microtubule Growth Dynamics Identifies MARK2 as a Regulator of Leading Edge Microtubules Downstream of Rac1 in Migrating Cells

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Yukako; Applegate, Kathryn; Davidson, Michael W.; Danuser, Gaudenz; Waterman, Clare M.

    2012-01-01

    Polarized microtubule (MT) growth in the leading edge is critical to directed cell migration, and is mediated by Rac1 GTPase. To find downstream targets of Rac1 that affect MT assembly dynamics, we performed an RNAi screen of 23 MT binding and regulatory factors and identified RNAi treatments that suppressed changes in MT dynamics induced by constitutively activated Rac1. By analyzing fluorescent EB3 dynamics with automated tracking, we found that RNAi treatments targeting p150glued, APC2, spastin, EB1, Op18, or MARK2 blocked Rac1-mediated MT growth in lamellipodia. MARK2 was the only protein whose RNAi targeting additionally suppressed Rac1 effects on MT orientation in lamellipodia, and thus became the focus of further study. We show that GFP-MARK2 rescued effects of MARK2 depletion on MT growth lifetime and orientation, and GFP-MARK2 localized in lamellipodia in a Rac1-activity-dependent manner. In a wound-edge motility assay, MARK2-depleted cells failed to polarize their centrosomes or exhibit oriented MT growth in the leading edge, and displayed defects in directional cell migration. Thus, automated image analysis of MT assembly dynamics identified MARK2 as a target regulated downstream of Rac1 that promotes oriented MT growth in the leading edge to mediate directed cell migration. PMID:22848487

  20. Quantification of bacteria on abiotic surfaces by laser scanning cytometry: an automated approach to screen the antifouling properties of new surface coatings.

    PubMed

    Regina, Viduthalai Rasheedkhan; Poulsen, Morten; Søhoel, Helmer; Bischoff, Claus; Meyer, Rikke Louise

    2012-08-01

    Bacterial biofilms are a persistent source of contamination, and much effort has been invested in developing antifouling surfaces or coatings. A bottleneck in developing such coatings is often the time-consuming task of screening and evaluating a large number of surface materials. An automated high-throughput assay is therefore needed. In this study, we present a promising technique, laser scanning cytometry (LSC), for automated quantification of bacteria on surfaces. The method was evaluated by quantifying young Staphylococcus xylosus biofilms on glass surfaces using LSC and comparing the results with cell counts obtained by fluorescence microscopy. As an example of application, we quantified bacterial adhesion to seven different sol-gel-based coatings on stainless steel. The surface structure and hydrophobicity of the coatings were analyzed using atomic force microscopy and water contact angle measurements. Among the coatings tested, a significant reduction in adhesion of S. xylosus was observed only for one coating, which also had a unique surface microstructure. LSC was particularly sensitive for quantification at low cell densities, and the adhered bacteria could be quantified both as cell number and as area coverage. The method proved to be an excellent alternative to microscopy for fast and reproducible quantification of microbial colonization on abiotic surfaces.

  1. High content analysis of phagocytic activity and cell morphology with PuntoMorph.

    PubMed

    Al-Ali, Hassan; Gao, Han; Dalby-Hansen, Camilla; Peters, Vanessa Ann; Shi, Yan; Brambilla, Roberta

    2017-11-01

    Phagocytosis is essential for maintenance of normal homeostasis and healthy tissue. As such, it is a therapeutic target for a wide range of clinical applications. The development of phenotypic screens targeting phagocytosis has lagged behind, however, due to the difficulties associated with image-based quantification of phagocytic activity. We present a robust algorithm and cell-based assay system for high content analysis of phagocytic activity. The method utilizes fluorescently labeled beads as a phagocytic substrate with defined physical properties. The algorithm employs statistical modeling to determine the mean fluorescence of individual beads within each image, and uses the information to conduct an accurate count of phagocytosed beads. In addition, the algorithm conducts detailed and sophisticated analysis of cellular morphology, making it a standalone tool for high content screening. We tested our assay system using microglial cultures. Our results recapitulated previous findings on the effects of microglial stimulation on cell morphology and phagocytic activity. Moreover, our cell-level analysis revealed that the two phenotypes associated with microglial activation, specifically cell body hypertrophy and increased phagocytic activity, are not highly correlated. This novel finding suggests the two phenotypes may be under the control of distinct signaling pathways. We demonstrate that our assay system outperforms preexisting methods for quantifying phagocytic activity in multiple dimensions including speed, accuracy, and resolution. We provide a framework to facilitate the development of high content assays suitable for drug screening. For convenience, we implemented our algorithm in a standalone software package, PuntoMorph. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Automated decision stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tischendorf, Mark

    1990-01-01

    This paper discusses the combination of software robots and expert systems to automate everyday business tasks. Tasks which require people to repetitively interact with multiple systems screens as well as multiple systems.

  3. Toward fully automated high performance computing drug discovery: a massively parallel virtual screening pipeline for docking and molecular mechanics/generalized Born surface area rescoring to improve enrichment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaohua; Wong, Sergio E; Lightstone, Felice C

    2014-01-27

    In this work we announce and evaluate a high throughput virtual screening pipeline for in-silico screening of virtual compound databases using high performance computing (HPC). Notable features of this pipeline are an automated receptor preparation scheme with unsupervised binding site identification. The pipeline includes receptor/target preparation, ligand preparation, VinaLC docking calculation, and molecular mechanics/generalized Born surface area (MM/GBSA) rescoring using the GB model by Onufriev and co-workers [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2007, 3, 156-169]. Furthermore, we leverage HPC resources to perform an unprecedented, comprehensive evaluation of MM/GBSA rescoring when applied to the DUD-E data set (Directory of Useful Decoys: Enhanced), in which we selected 38 protein targets and a total of ∼0.7 million actives and decoys. The computer wall time for virtual screening has been reduced drastically on HPC machines, which increases the feasibility of extremely large ligand database screening with more accurate methods. HPC resources allowed us to rescore 20 poses per compound and evaluate the optimal number of poses to rescore. We find that keeping 5-10 poses is a good compromise between accuracy and computational expense. Overall the results demonstrate that MM/GBSA rescoring has higher average receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under curve (AUC) values and consistently better early recovery of actives than Vina docking alone. Specifically, the enrichment performance is target-dependent. MM/GBSA rescoring significantly out performs Vina docking for the folate enzymes, kinases, and several other enzymes. The more accurate energy function and solvation terms of the MM/GBSA method allow MM/GBSA to achieve better enrichment, but the rescoring is still limited by the docking method to generate the poses with the correct binding modes.

  4. Developing a UHPLC-QTOF-MS and Automated Library Search Method for Screening Drugs and Toxic Compounds in Postmortem Specimens.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hsiu-Chuan; Yang, Chu-An; Liu, Ray H; Lin, Dong-Liang

    2017-03-24

    Screening and confirming the presence of drugs and toxic compounds in various matrices are important and challenging tasks routinely faced by forensic and clinical laboratories. Recent advances in the liquid chromatographic and mass spectrometric technologies have provided an opportunity for the development of more specific and effective approaches to achieve the "screening" and "confirmation" goals in a single analytical step. The objectives of this study are: (i) the establishment of an ultra-high performance liquid chromatographic, quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometric mass spectrometric and MS-MS spectral database, including 1,200 compounds of interest; and (ii) the development of an effective protocol, using this database and three searching algorithms, for general unknown screening of these compounds. The established database and protocol were evaluated through the analysis of 30 external proficiency test and 100 postmortem samples and found to be significantly more effective than the LC-IT-MS and GC-MS approaches previously established in our laboratory.

  5. Computerized screening devices and performance assessment: development of a policy towards automation. International Academy of Cytology Task Force summary. Diagnostic Cytology Towards the 21st Century: An International Expert Conference and Tutorial.

    PubMed

    Bartels, P H; Bibbo, M; Hutchinson, M L; Gahm, T; Grohs, H K; Gwi-Mak, E; Kaufman, E A; Kaufman, R H; Knight, B K; Koss, L G; Magruder, L E; Mango, L J; McCallum, S M; Melamed, M R; Peebles, A; Richart, R M; Robinowitz, M; Rosenthal, D L; Sauer, T; Schenck, U; Tanaka, N; Topalidis, T; Verhest, A P; Wertlake, P T; Wilbur, D C

    1998-01-01

    The extension of automation to the diagnostic assessment of clinical materials raises issues of professional responsibility, on the part of both the medical professional and designer of the device. The International Academy of Cytology (IAC) and other professional cytology societies should develop a policy towards automation in the diagnostic assessment of clinical cytologic materials. The following summarizes the discussion of the initial position statement at the International Expert Conference on Diagnostic Cytology Towards the 21st Century, Hawaii, June 1997. 1. The professional in charge of a clinical cytopathology laboratory continues to bear the ultimate medical responsibility for diagnostic decisions made at the facility, whether automated devices are involved or not. 2. The introduction of automated procedures into clinical cytology should under no circumstances lead to a lowering of standards of performance. A prime objective of any guidelines should be to ensure that an automated procedure, in principle, does not expose any patient to new risks, nor should it increase already-existing, inherent risks. 3. Automated devices should provide capabilities for the medical professional to conduct periodic tests of the appropriate performance of the device. 4. Supervisory personnel should continue visual quality control screening of a certain percentage of slides dismissed at primary screening as within normal limits (WNL), even when automated procedures are employed in the laboratory. 5. Specifications for the design of primary screening devices for the detection of cervical cancer issued by the IAC in 1984 were reaffirmed. 6. The setting of numeric performance criteria is the proper charge of regulatory agencies, which also have the power of enforcement. 7. Human expert verification of results represents the "gold standard" at this time. Performance characteristics of computerized cytology devices should be determined by adherence to defined and well

  6. HC StratoMineR: A Web-Based Tool for the Rapid Analysis of High-Content Datasets.

    PubMed

    Omta, Wienand A; van Heesbeen, Roy G; Pagliero, Romina J; van der Velden, Lieke M; Lelieveld, Daphne; Nellen, Mehdi; Kramer, Maik; Yeong, Marley; Saeidi, Amir M; Medema, Rene H; Spruit, Marco; Brinkkemper, Sjaak; Klumperman, Judith; Egan, David A

    2016-10-01

    High-content screening (HCS) can generate large multidimensional datasets and when aligned with the appropriate data mining tools, it can yield valuable insights into the mechanism of action of bioactive molecules. However, easy-to-use data mining tools are not widely available, with the result that these datasets are frequently underutilized. Here, we present HC StratoMineR, a web-based tool for high-content data analysis. It is a decision-supportive platform that guides even non-expert users through a high-content data analysis workflow. HC StratoMineR is built by using My Structured Query Language for storage and querying, PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor as the main programming language, and jQuery for additional user interface functionality. R is used for statistical calculations, logic and data visualizations. Furthermore, C++ and graphical processor unit power is diffusely embedded in R by using the rcpp and rpud libraries for operations that are computationally highly intensive. We show that we can use HC StratoMineR for the analysis of multivariate data from a high-content siRNA knock-down screen and a small-molecule screen. It can be used to rapidly filter out undesirable data; to select relevant data; and to perform quality control, data reduction, data exploration, morphological hit picking, and data clustering. Our results demonstrate that HC StratoMineR can be used to functionally categorize HCS hits and, thus, provide valuable information for hit prioritization.

  7. Validating automated screening for psychological distress by means of computer touchscreens for use in routine oncology practice.

    PubMed

    Cull, A; Gould, A; House, A; Smith, A; Strong, V; Velikova, G; Wright, P; Selby, P

    2001-12-14

    The aim of the study was to confirm the validity of using touchscreen computers for screening for clinically significant levels of distress among cancer patients in routine oncology practice. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), EORTC Quality of Life questionnaire (QLQ-C30), Mental Health Inventory-MHI5 and a Concerns Checklist were administered via touchscreen computer to 172 chemotherapy out-patients, twice, 2-4 weeks apart. A standard psychiatric interview (Present State Examination - PSE) was conducted within a week of the second assessment. On interview, 23% of patients were identified as 'cases'. Using the available data (questionnaires, sociodemographic details, self-reported past psychiatric history), the best screening strategy combined scores from MHI-5 and HADS from a single time-point with the following rules: if MHI-5 < 11 = non-case; if MHI-5 > or = 11 then use HADS; then, if HADS > or = 9 = 'case' (sensitivity 85%; specificity 71%; misclassification rate 26%; positive predictive value 47%). The computerized screening system enabled data to be collected, scored, collated and reported in real time to identify patients who warrant further clinical assessment. It offers the potential for improving 'case' detection in routine oncology practice while reducing the burden of questions put to 'non-cases'. Further work is needed to develop optimal choice of screening questions for this purpose.

  8. Validating automated screening for psychological distress by means of computer touchscreens for use in routine oncology practice

    PubMed Central

    Cull, A; Gould, A; House, A; Smith, A; Strong, V; Velikova, G; Wright, P; Selby, P

    2001-01-01

    The aim of the study was to confirm the validity of using touchscreen computers for screening for clinically significant levels of distress among cancer patients in routine oncology practice. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), EORTC Quality of Life questionnaire (QLQ-C30), Mental Health Inventory-MHI5 and a Concerns Checklist were administered via touchscreen computer to 172 chemotherapy out-patients, twice, 2–4 weeks apart. A standard psychiatric interview (Present State Examination – PSE) was conducted within a week of the second assessment. On interview, 23% of patients were identified as ‘cases’. Using the available data (questionnaires, sociodemographic details, self-reported past psychiatric history), the best screening strategy combined scores from MHI-5 and HADS from a single time-point with the following rules: if MHI-5 < 11 = non-case; if MHI-5 ≥ 11 then use HADS; then, if HADS ≥ 9 = ‘case’ (sensitivity 85%; specificity 71%; misclassification rate 26%; positive predictive value 47%). The computerized screening system enabled data to be collected, scored, collated and reported in real time to identify patients who warrant further clinical assessment. It offers the potential for improving ‘case’ detection in routine oncology practice while reducing the burden of questions put to ‘non-cases’. Further work is needed to develop optimal choice of screening questions for this purpose. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com PMID:11747324

  9. A Novel Automated Lazy Learning QSAR (ALL-QSAR) Approach: Method Development, Applications, and Virtual Screening of Chemical Databases Using Validated ALL-QSAR Models

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shuxing; Golbraikh, Alexander; Oloff, Scott; Kohn, Harold; Tropsha, Alexander

    2008-01-01

    A novel Automated Lazy Learning Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (ALL-QSAR) modeling approach has been developed based on the lazy learning theory. The activity of a test compound is predicted from locally weighted linear regression model using chemical descriptors and biological activity of the training set compounds most chemically similar to this test compound. The weights with which training set compounds are included in the regression depend on the similarity of those compounds to a test compound. We have applied the ALL-QSAR method to several experimental chemical datasets including 48 anticonvulsant agents with known ED50 values, 48 dopamine D1-receptor antagonists with known competitive binding affinities (Ki), and a Tetrahymena pyriformis dataset containing 250 phenolic compounds with toxicity IGC50 values. When applied to database screening, models developed for anticonvulsant agents identified several known anticonvulsant compounds that were not only absent in the training set but highly chemically dissimilar to the training set compounds. This initial success indicates that ALL-QSAR can be further exploited as a general tool for accurate bioactivity prediction and database screening in drug design and discovery. Due to its local nature, the ALL-QSAR approach appears to be especially well suited for the development of highly predictive models for the sparse or unevenly distributed datasets. PMID:16995729

  10. A novel automated lazy learning QSAR (ALL-QSAR) approach: method development, applications, and virtual screening of chemical databases using validated ALL-QSAR models.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuxing; Golbraikh, Alexander; Oloff, Scott; Kohn, Harold; Tropsha, Alexander

    2006-01-01

    A novel automated lazy learning quantitative structure-activity relationship (ALL-QSAR) modeling approach has been developed on the basis of the lazy learning theory. The activity of a test compound is predicted from a locally weighted linear regression model using chemical descriptors and the biological activity of the training set compounds most chemically similar to this test compound. The weights with which training set compounds are included in the regression depend on the similarity of those compounds to a test compound. We have applied the ALL-QSAR method to several experimental chemical data sets including 48 anticonvulsant agents with known ED50 values, 48 dopamine D1-receptor antagonists with known competitive binding affinities (Ki), and a Tetrahymena pyriformis data set containing 250 phenolic compounds with toxicity IGC50 values. When applied to database screening, models developed for anticonvulsant agents identified several known anticonvulsant compounds that were not only absent in the training set but highly chemically dissimilar to the training set compounds. This initial success indicates that ALL-QSAR can be further exploited as a general tool for accurate bioactivity prediction and database screening in drug design and discovery. Because of its local nature, the ALL-QSAR approach appears to be especially well-suited for the development of highly predictive models for the sparse or unevenly distributed data sets.

  11. 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

    2016-08-02

    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.

  12. A screen-printed, amperometric biosensor array incorporated into a novel automated system for the simultaneous determination of organophosphate pesticides.

    PubMed

    Crew, A; Lonsdale, D; Byrd, N; Pittson, R; Hart, J P

    2011-02-15

    Organophosphate pesticides present serious risks to human and environmental health. A rapid reliable, economical and portable analytical system will be of great benefit in the detection and prevention of contamination. A biosensor array based on six acetylcholinesterase enzymes for use in a novel automated instrument incorporating a neural network program is described. Electrochemical analysis was carried out using chronoamperometry and the measurement was taken 10s after applying a potential of 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl. The total analysis time for the complete assay was less than 6 min. The array was used to produce calibration data with six organophosphate pesticides (OPs) in the concentration range of 10(-5) M to 10(-9) M to train a neural network. The output of the neural network was subsequently evaluated using different sample matrices. There were no detrimental matrix effects observed from water, phosphate buffer, food or vegetable extracts. Furthermore, the sensor system was not detrimentally affected by the contents of water samples taken from each stage of the water treatment process. The biosensor system successfully identified and quantified all samples where an OP was present in water, food and vegetable extracts containing different OPs. There were no false positives or false negatives observed during the evaluation of the analytical system. The biosensor arrays and automated instrument were evaluated in situ in field experiments where the instrument was successfully applied to the analysis of a range of environmental samples. It is envisaged that the analytical system could provide a rapid detection system for the early warning of contamination in water and food. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. High-Content Assay to Identify Inhibitors of Dengue Virus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Shum, David; Smith, Jessica L.; Hirsch, Alec J.; Bhinder, Bhavneet; Radu, Constantin; Stein, David A.; Nelson, Jay A.; Früh, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Dengue virus (DENV) infections are vectored by mosquitoes and constitute one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in many parts of the world, affecting millions of people annually. Current treatments for DENV infections are nonspecific and largely ineffective. In this study, we describe the adaptation of a high-content cell-based assay for screening against DENV-infected cells to identify inhibitors and modulators of DENV infection. Using this high-content approach, we monitored the inhibition of test compounds on DENV protein production by means of immunofluorescence staining of DENV glycoprotein envelope, simultaneously evaluating cytotoxicity in HEK293 cells. The adapted 384-well microtiter-based assay was validated using a small panel of compounds previously reported as having inhibitory activity against DENV infections of cell cultures, including compounds with antiviral activity (ribavirin), inhibitors of cellular signaling pathways (U0126), and polysaccharides that are presumed to interfere with virus attachment (carrageenan). A screen was performed against a collection of 5,632 well-characterized bioactives, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved drugs. Assay control statistics show an average Z' of 0.63, indicative of a robust assay in this cell-based format. Using a threshold of >80% DENV inhibition with <20% cellular cytotoxicity, 79 compounds were initially scored as positive hits. A follow-up screen confirmed 73 compounds with IC50 potencies ranging from 60 nM to 9 μM and yielding a hit rate of 1.3%. Over half of the confirmed hits are known to target transporters, receptors, and protein kinases, providing potential opportunity for drug repurposing to treat DENV infections. In summary, this assay offers the opportunity to screen libraries of chemical compounds, in an effort to identify and develop novel drug candidates against DENV infections. PMID:20973722

  15. High-content assay to identify inhibitors of dengue virus infection.

    PubMed

    Shum, David; Smith, Jessica L; Hirsch, Alec J; Bhinder, Bhavneet; Radu, Constantin; Stein, David A; Nelson, Jay A; Früh, Klaus; Djaballah, Hakim

    2010-10-01

    Dengue virus (DENV) infections are vectored by mosquitoes and constitute one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in many parts of the world, affecting millions of people annually. Current treatments for DENV infections are nonspecific and largely ineffective. In this study, we describe the adaptation of a high-content cell-based assay for screening against DENV-infected cells to identify inhibitors and modulators of DENV infection. Using this high-content approach, we monitored the inhibition of test compounds on DENV protein production by means of immunofluorescence staining of DENV glycoprotein envelope, simultaneously evaluating cytotoxicity in HEK293 cells. The adapted 384-well microtiter-based assay was validated using a small panel of compounds previously reported as having inhibitory activity against DENV infections of cell cultures, including compounds with antiviral activity (ribavirin), inhibitors of cellular signaling pathways (U0126), and polysaccharides that are presumed to interfere with virus attachment (carrageenan). A screen was performed against a collection of 5,632 well-characterized bioactives, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs. Assay control statistics show an average Z' of 0.63, indicative of a robust assay in this cell-based format. Using a threshold of >80% DENV inhibition with <20% cellular cytotoxicity, 79 compounds were initially scored as positive hits. A follow-up screen confirmed 73 compounds with IC₅₀ potencies ranging from 60 nM to 9 μM and yielding a hit rate of 1.3%. Over half of the confirmed hits are known to target transporters, receptors, and protein kinases, providing potential opportunity for drug repurposing to treat DENV infections. In summary, this assay offers the opportunity to screen libraries of chemical compounds, in an effort to identify and develop novel drug candidates against DENV infections.

  16. Comparison of the Accuracy of Noninvasive Hemoglobin Sensor (NBM-200) and Portable Hemoglobinometer (HemoCue) with an Automated Hematology Analyzer (LH500) in Blood Donor Screening

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Moon Jung; Park, Quehn; Kim, Myung Hee; Shin, Jeong Won

    2013-01-01

    Background The Hb levels of prospective blood donors are usually determined using a finger prick test. A new noninvasive Hb device has the advantage of not causing any sampling pain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the noninvasive Hb sensor and to compare its measurements with those of a currently used portable hemoglobinometer. Methods Hb was measured using a noninvasive Hb sensor (NBM-200; OrSense, Israel), a portable hemoglobinometer (HemoCue; HemoCue AB, Sweden), and an automated hematology analyzer (LH500; Beckman Coulter, USA). The correlations between Hb measurements taken by the NBM-200 and HemoCue with those by an automated hematology analyzer were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Hb measurements were compared among 3 different Hb level groups. Results The mean Hb values of 506 blood donors were 14.1 g/dL by the NBM-200, 14.0 g/dL by the LH500, and 14.3 g/dL by the HemoCue. The correlation between the LH500 and the NBM-200 was substantial (ICC=0.69), while that between the LH500 and the HemoCue agreed almost perfectly (ICC=0.86). Conclusions The possibility to judge to be eligible for donors who are ineligible to donate was substantial when using NBM-200. Even though the NBM-200 has the apparent advantage of noninvasiveness, its use in pre-screening should be given meticulous attention. Since pre-donation testing is crucial to protecting donors' health, complete evaluation of the instrument should be performed prior to use. PMID:23826562

  17. High-Content Analysis Provides Mechanistic Insights into the Testicular Toxicity of Bisphenol A and Selected Analogues in Mouse Spermatogonial Cells.

    PubMed

    Liang, Shenxuan; Yin, Lei; Shengyang Yu, Kevin; Hofmann, Marie-Claude; Yu, Xiaozhong

    2017-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting compound, was found to be a testicular toxicant in animal models. Bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol AF (BPAF), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) were recently introduced to the market as alternatives to BPA. However, toxicological data of these compounds in the male reproductive system are still limited so far. This study developed and validated an automated multi-parametric high-content analysis (HCA) using the C18-4 spermatogonial cell line as a model. We applied these validated HCA, including nuclear morphology, DNA content, cell cycle progression, DNA synthesis, cytoskeleton integrity, and DNA damage responses, to characterize and compare the testicular toxicities of BPA and 3 selected commercial available BPA analogues, BPS, BPAF, and TBBPA. HCA revealed BPAF and TBBPA exhibited higher spermatogonial toxicities as compared with BPA and BPS, including dose- and time-dependent alterations in nuclear morphology, cell cycle, DNA damage responses, and perturbation of the cytoskeleton. Our results demonstrated that this specific culture model together with HCA can be utilized for quantitative screening and discriminating of chemical-specific testicular toxicity in spermatogonial cells. It also provides a fast and cost-effective approach for the identification of environmental chemicals that could have detrimental effects on reproduction.

  18. Routine Self-administered, Touch-Screen Computer Based Suicidal Ideation Assessment Linked to Automated Response Team Notification in an HIV Primary Care Setting

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Sarah T.; Willig, James H.; Crane, Heidi M.; Ye, Jiatao; Aban, Inmaculada; Lober, William; Nevin, Christa R.; Batey, D. Scott; Mugavero, Michael J.; McCullumsmith, Cheryl; Wright, Charles; Kitahata, Mari; Raper, James L.; Saag, Micheal S.; Schumacher, Joseph E.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The implementation of routine computer-based screening for suicidal ideation and other psychosocial domains through standardized patient reported outcome instruments in two high volume urban HIV clinics is described. Factors associated with an increased risk of self-reported suicidal ideation were determined. Background HIV/AIDS continues to be associated with an under-recognized risk for suicidal ideation, attempted as well as completed suicide. Suicidal ideation represents an important predictor for subsequent attempted and completed suicide. We sought to implement routine screening of suicidal ideation and associated conditions using computerized patient reported outcome (PRO) assessments. Methods Two geographically distinct academic HIV primary care clinics enrolled patients attending scheduled visits from 12/2005 to 2/2009. Touch-screen-based, computerized PRO assessments were implemented into routine clinical care. Substance abuse (ASSIST), alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C), depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (PHQ-A) were assessed. The PHQ-9 assesses the frequency of suicidal ideation in the preceding two weeks. A response of “nearly every day” triggered an automated page to pre-determined clinic personnel who completed more detailed self-harm assessments. Results Overall 1,216 (UAB= 740; UW= 476) patients completed initial PRO assessment during the study period. Patients were white (53%; n=646), predominantly males (79%; n=959) with a mean age of 44 (± 10). Among surveyed patients, 170 (14%) endorsed some level of suicidal ideation, while 33 (3%) admitted suicidal ideation nearly every day. In multivariable analysis, suicidal ideation risk was lower with advancing age (OR=0.74 per 10 years;95%CI=0.58-0.96) and was increased with current substance abuse (OR=1.88;95%CI=1.03-3.44) and more severe depression (OR=3.91 moderate;95%CI=2.12-7.22; OR=25.55 severe;95%CI=12.73-51.30). Discussion Suicidal ideation was associated with current substance abuse and

  19. Quantitative characterization of mitosis-blocked tetraploid cells using high content analysis.

    PubMed

    Grove, Linnette E; Ghosh, Richik N

    2006-08-01

    A range of cellular evidence supporting a G1 tetraploidy checkpoint was obtained from different assay methods including flow cytometry, immunoblotting, and microscopy. Cancer research would benefit if these cellular properties could instead be measured by a single, quantitative, automated assay method, such as high content analysis (HCA). Thus, nocodazole-treated cells were fluorescently labeled for different cell cycle-associated properties, including DNA content, retinoblastoma (Rb) and histone H3 phosphorylation, p53 and p21(WAF1) expression, nuclear and cell sizes, and cell morphology, and automatically imaged, analyzed, and correlated using HCA. HCA verified that nocodazole-induced mitosis block resulted in tetraploid cells. Rb and histone H3 were maximally hyperphosphorylated by 24 h of nocodazole treatment, accompanied by cell and nuclear size decreases and cellular rounding. Cells remained tetraploid and mononucleated with longer treatments, but other targets reverted to G1 levels, including Rb and histone H3 dephosphorylation accompanied by cellular respreading. This was accompanied by increased p53 and p21(WAF1) expression levels. The range of effects accompanying nocodazole-induced block of mitosis and the resulting tetraploid cells' reversal to a pseudo-G1 state can be quantitatively measured by HCA in an automated manner, recommending this assay method for the large-scale biology challenges of modern cancer drug discovery.

  20. A Comparison of the Performance and Application Differences Between Manual and Automated Patch-Clamp Techniques

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. Automated high-performance cIMT measurement techniques using patented AtheroEdge™: a screening and home monitoring system.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Filippo; Meiburger, Kristen M; Suri, Jasjit

    2011-01-01

    The evaluation of the carotid artery wall is fundamental for the assessment of cardiovascular risk. This paper presents the general architecture of an automatic strategy, which segments the lumen-intima and media-adventitia borders, classified under a class of Patented AtheroEdge™ systems (Global Biomedical Technologies, Inc, CA, USA). Guidelines to produce accurate and repeatable measurements of the intima-media thickness are provided and the problem of the different distance metrics one can adopt is confronted. We compared the results of a completely automatic algorithm that we developed with those of a semi-automatic algorithm, and showed final segmentation results for both techniques. The overall rationale is to provide user-independent high-performance techniques suitable for screening and remote monitoring.

  2. First experience with a fully automated extraction system for simultaneous on-line direct tandem mass spectrometric analysis of amino acids and (acyl-)carnitines in a newborn screening setting.

    PubMed

    Fingerhut, Ralph; Silva Polanco, Maria Lucia; Silva Arevalo, Gabriel De Jesus; Swiderska, Magdalena A

    2014-04-30

    For Newborn Screening (NBS) programs all over the world whole blood dried on filter paper, also referred to as dried blood spots (DBS), has been the standard specimen for decades. In recent years DBS have attracted the attention of pharmaceutical companies, mostly due to the low volume of collected sample and simplified, therefore more cost-efficient, transportation requirements. However, the classical NBS workflow did not totally fulfil the needs of their studies, especially with respect to high-throughput unassisted sample processing for tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analysis. Automated on-line extraction systems for direct analysis have already been tested and proved to be suitable for these pharmaceutical applications. The suitability of the automated CAMAG DBS-MS 500 interface for simultaneous detection of amino acids and (acyl-)carnitines has been tested together with an Acquity TQD tandem mass spectrometer from Waters and MassChrom stable isotope labelled internal standards from Chromsystems. No chromatographic sample treatment was applied; instead, the extract was directly injected into the MS/MS instrument. The feasibility of the instrumental setting for the routine newborn screening was tested on original samples coming from previously diagnosed patients. The performance of the automated extraction technique and its application in preliminary quantitative screening for amino acids and (acyl-)carnitines for NBS showed very promising results. Several samples from patients, each diagnosed with one of four different inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), were tested and the correlation with the conventional punch-and-elute approach was very good. Although the presented method still needs further optimization, our study clearly shows the possibility to use direct on-line analysis in the NBS setting. Our report on direct on-line analysis of newborn samples is a first approach in the development of a fully automated screening method for NBS analysis. With regard

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Arnaud, Nicolas; Baldus, Christiane; Elgán, Tobias H; De Paepe, Nina; Tønnesen, Hanne; Csémy, Ladislav; Thomasius, Rainer

    2016-05-24

    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. 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. 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. 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 intervention group in both the non

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

    PubMed

    Hoh, Eunha; Lehotay, Steven J; Mastovska, Katerina; Huwe, Janice K

    2008-08-01

    An automated direct sample introduction technique coupled to comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (DSI-GC x GC/TOF-MS) was applied for the development of a relatively fast and easy analytical screening method for 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and 4 non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish oil. Comparison of instrumental performance between DSI-GC x GC/TOF-MS and the traditional gas chromatographic high resolution mass spectrometric (GC-HRMS) method showed good agreement of results for standard solutions analyzed in blind fashion. Relatively high tolerance of the DSI technique for lipids in the final extracts enabled a streamlined sample preparation procedure that only required gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and solid-phase extraction (SPE) cleanup with graphitized carbon black. The sample size for the method was 2g of cod liver oil, which achieved limits of quantitation (LOQs) of 0.019-7.8 pg/g toxic equivalent quotients for the individual PCDD/Fs. Lower detection limits can be achieved by using larger sample size and scaling up the sample preparation procedure, but this adds to the labor, time, solvent consumption, and expense of the approach. However, the streamlined method yielded 0.94 pg/g and 2.3 pg/g LOQs for 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro dibenzofuran (TCDF) and 3,3',4,4',5-pentachloro biphenyl (CB126), which were sufficiently low for regulatory monitoring of 2g samples. Therefore, instead of congener specific analysis, this streamlined analytical screening method for TCDF and CB126 has the potential to monitor fish oil contaminated with dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs at or above current food safety limits. Acceptable recoveries for nearly all analytes at three different spiking levels in fish oil samples were achieved with good repeatability.

  6. Screening of drugs in equine plasma using automated on-line solid-phase extraction coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kwok, W H; Leung, David K K; Leung, Gary N W; Wan, Terence S M; Wong, Colton H F; Wong, Jenny K Y

    2010-05-07

    A rapid liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) method was developed for the simultaneous screening of 19 drugs of different classes in equine plasma using automated on-line solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. Plasma samples were first protein precipitated using acetonitrile. After centrifugation, the supernatant was directly injected into the on-line SPE system and analysed by a triple quadrupole LC-MS-MS in positive electrospray ionisation (+ESI) mode with selected reaction monitoring (SRM) scan function. On-line extraction and chromatographic separation of the targeted drugs were performed using respectively a polymeric extraction column (2 cm L x 2.1mm ID, 25 microm particle size) and a reversed-phase C18 LC column (3 cm L x 2.1mm ID, 3 microm particle size) with gradient elution to provide fast analysis time. The overall instrument turnaround time was 9.5 min, inclusive of post-run and equilibration time. Plasma samples fortified with 19 targeted drugs including narcotic analgesics, local anaesthetics, antipsychotics, bronchodilators, mucolytics, corticosteroids, sedative and tranquillisers at sub-parts per billion (ppb) to low parts per trillion (ppt) levels could be consistently detected. No significant matrix interference was observed at the expected retention times of the targeted ion transitions. Over 70% of the drugs studied gave detection limits at or below 100 pg/mL, with some detection limits reaching down to 19 pg/mL. The method had been validated for extraction recovery, precision and sensitivity, and a blockage study had also been carried out. This method is used regularly in the authors' laboratory to screen for the presence of targeted drugs in pre-race plasma samples from racehorses.

  7. A Sustainable Route from Biomass Byproduct Okara to High Content Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Sheets for Efficient Sodium Ion Batteries.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tingzhou; Qian, Tao; Wang, Mengfan; Shen, Xiaowei; Xu, Na; Sun, Zhouzhou; Yan, Chenglin

    2016-01-20

    A sustainable route from the biomass byproduct okara as a natural nitrogen fertilizer to high-content N-doped carbon sheets is demonstrated. The as-prepared unique structure exhibits high specific capacity (292 mAh g(-1) ) and extremely long cycle life (exceeding 2000 cycles). A full battery is devised for the practical use of materials with a flexible/wearable LED screen. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    2013-03-01

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. A stepwise strategy employing automated screening and DryLab modeling for the development of robust methods for challenging high performance liquid chromatography separations: a case study.

    PubMed

    Jayaraman, K; Alexander, A J; Hu, Y; Tomasella, F P

    2011-06-24

    A stepwise method development strategy has been employed to develop a robust HPLC method to resolve several closely eluting structurally related impurities in an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). This strategy consisted of automated column screening, optimization of the most critical chromatographic parameters, DryLab(®) modeling, and experimental verification of optimized separation conditions. DryLab(®) was used to predict an optimized gradient profile and separation temperature and these predictions were verified experimentally. A discussion of the accuracy of these predictions is presented. The robustness of the method was verified and the ability of DryLab(®) to predict, with reasonable accuracy, the outcome of such robustness studies was also examined. Once the robustness was established by the DryLab(®) predictions the remainder of the subsequent verification by experiment becomes a simple reiterative exercise. This study also demonstrates that factors such as column chemistry and critical chromatographic parameters can have a profound and oftentimes interrelated effect on the chromatographic separation of isomers, bromo analogs and other structurally very similar impurities. Therefore, it is critical to adopt a rational strategy, as demonstrated here, to evaluate the interplay of these factors, thereby greatly enhancing method development efficiency. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Comparison of three cell fixation methods for high content analysis assays utilizing quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Williams, Y; Byrne, S; Bashir, M; Davies, A; Whelan, A; Gun'ko, Y; Kelleher, D; Volkov, Y

    2008-10-01

    Semiconductor nanoparticles or quantum dots are being increasingly utilized as fluorescent probes in cell biology both in live and fixed cell assays. Quantum dots possess an immense potential for use in multiplexing assays that can be run on high content screening analysers. Depending on the nature of the biological target under investigation, experiments are frequently required on cells retaining an intact cell membrane or also on those that have been fixed and permeabilized to expose intracellular antigens. Fixation of cell lines before or after the addition of quantum dots may affect their localization, emission properties and stability. Using a high content analysis platform we perform a quantitative comparative analysis of three common fixation techniques in two different cell lines exposed to carboxylic acid stabilized CdTe quantum dots. Our study demonstrates that in prefixed and permeabilized cells, quantum dots are readily internalized regardless of cell type, and their intracellular location is primarily determined by the properties of the quantum dots themselves. However, if the fixation procedures are preformed on live cells previously incubated with quantum dots, other important factors have to be considered. The choice of the fixative significantly influences the fluorescent characteristics of the quantum dots. Fixatives, regardless of their chemical nature, negatively affected quantum dots fluorescence intensity. Comparative analysis of gluteraldehyde, methanol and paraformaldehyde demonstrated that 2% paraformaldehyde was the fixative of choice. The presence of protein in the media did not significantly alter the quantum dot fluorescence. This study indicates that multiplexing assays utilizing quantum dots, despite being a cutting edge tool for high content cell imaging, still require careful consideration of the basic steps in biological sample processing.

  13. Clinical value of fully automated p16/Ki-67 dual staining in the triage of HPV-positive women in the Norwegian Cervical Cancer Screening Program.

    PubMed

    Ovestad, Irene T; Dalen, Ingvild; Hansen, Elisabeth; Loge, Janne L D; Dybdahl, Britt Mona; Dirdal, Marius B; Moltu, Pia; Berland, Jannicke M

    2017-04-01

    More accurate biomarkers in cervical cytology screening could reduce the number of women unnecessarily referred for biopsy. This study investigated the ability of p16/Ki-67 dual staining to predict high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive women from the Norwegian Cervical Cancer Screening Program. Automated p16/Ki-67 dual staining was performed on liquid-based cytology samples from 266 women who were HPV-positive at their secondary screening. At a mean of 184 days after p16/Ki-67 staining, 201 women had a valid staining result and a conclusive follow-up diagnosis (histological diagnosis or HPV-negative diagnosis with normal cytology findings). The sensitivity and specificity for predicting the follow-up diagnosis were compared for cytology, p16/Ki-67 dual staining, and their combination. Sixty-seven percent of the study sample was p16/Ki-67-positive. The sensitivity of p16/Ki-67 staining for predicting CIN-2/3 was statistically significantly higher than the sensitivity of cytology (0.88 vs 0.79; P = .008), but this was not true for the prediction of CIN-3 (0.94 vs 0.88; P = .23). The specificity of cytology for predicting CIN-3 was significantly higher than the specificity of p16/Ki-67 staining (0.35 vs 0.28; P = .002), but this was not true for CIN-2/3 (0.35 vs 0.31; P = .063). For predicting CIN-2/3 and CIN-3, combination testing gave potentially better sensitivity (0.95 and 0.96, respectively) and better specificity (0.49 and 0.50, respectively). In a population of HPV-positive women, p16/Ki-67 dual staining was more sensitive but less specific than cytology for predicting high-grade CIN. The advantage of using both tests in different combinations is the potential for increasing the specificity or sensitivity in comparison with both methods performed individually. Cancer Cytopathol 2017;125:283-291. © 2016 American Cancer Society. © 2016 American Cancer Society.

  14. A bio-inspired approach for the design of a multifunctional robotic end-effector customized for automated maintenance of a reconfigurable vibrating screen.

    PubMed

    Makinde, O A; Mpofu, K; Vrabic, R; Ramatsetse, B I

    2017-01-01

    The development of a robotic-driven maintenance solution capable of automatically maintaining reconfigurable vibrating screen (RVS) machine when utilized in dangerous and hazardous underground mining environment has called for the design of a multifunctional robotic end-effector capable of carrying out all the maintenance tasks on the RVS machine. In view of this, the paper presents a bio-inspired approach which unfolds the design of a novel multifunctional robotic end-effector embedded with mechanical and control mechanisms capable of automatically maintaining the RVS machine. To achieve this, therblig and morphological methodologies (which classifies the motions as well as the actions required by the robotic end-effector in carrying out RVS machine maintenance tasks), obtained from a detailed analogy of how human being (i.e. a machine maintenance manager) will carry out different maintenance tasks on the RVS machine, were used to obtain the maintenance objective functions or goals of the multifunctional robotic end-effector as well as the maintenance activity constraints of the RVS machine that must be adhered to by the multifunctional robotic end-effector during the machine maintenance. The results of the therblig and morphological analyses of five (5) different maintenance tasks capture and classify one hundred and thirty-four (134) repetitive motions and fifty-four (54) functions required in automating the maintenance tasks of the RVS machine. Based on these findings, a worm-gear mechanism embedded with fingers extruded with a hexagonal shaped heads capable of carrying out the "gripping and ungrasping" and "loosening and bolting" functions of the robotic end-effector and an electric cylinder actuator module capable of carrying out "unpinning and hammering" functions of the robotic end-effector were integrated together to produce the customized multifunctional robotic end-effector capable of automatically maintaining the RVS machine. The axial forces ([Formula

  15. Label-Free Cytotoxicity Screening Assay by Digital Holographic Microscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Abstract 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

  16. 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.

  17. Multicenter evaluation of a fully automated third-generation anti-HCV antibody screening test with excellent sensitivity and specificity.

    PubMed

    Alborino, F; Burighel, A; Tiller, F-W; van Helden, J; Gabriel, C; Raineri, A; Catapano, R; Stekel, H

    2011-05-01

    Early detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important step in preventing progression to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Serologic assays for anti-hepatitis C (anti-HCV) antibody are valuable first-line tests in the screening and diagnosis of HCV infection. The aim of this multicenter study was to compare the Elecsys(®) Anti-HCV assay with alternative CE-marked Anti-HCV antibody assays against a range of samples that included 1,138 blood donors, 3,553 unselected routine daily specimens, and 46 pre-selected seroconversion panels. Specificity of the Elecsys Anti-HCV assay was 99.5% with blood donor samples and 99.4% with routine clinical specimens. These were similar to those obtained with the Prism(®) Anti-HCV, Architect(®) Anti-HCV assay, ADVIA(®) Centaur Anti-HCV assay and Vitros(®) Eci aHCV assays. Seroconversion sensitivity for the Elecsys Anti-HCV assay was similar to that of the Architect Anti-HCV, AxSYM HCV version 3.0, ADVIA Centaur Anti-HCV, and Vitros Eci aHCV assays. In fact, seroconversion testing on 46 commercially available panels showed that the difference in first detecting a positive blood sample was less than one day between assays (not statistically significant). The Elecsys Anti-HCV assay as well as the Architect, Prism, and Vitros Anti-HCV immunoassays revealed a seroconversion sensitivity of 100%, whereas the ADVIA Centaur HCV immunoassay showed a sensitivity of only 97.5% (39/40). Overall, the performance of the Elecsys Anti-HCV assay was similar to the performances of the comparator CE-marked Anti-HCV antibody assays.

  18. High-content analysis for drug delivery and nanoparticle applications.

    PubMed

    Brayden, David J; Cryan, Sally-Ann; Dawson, Kenneth A; O'Brien, Peter J; Simpson, Jeremy C

    2015-08-01

    High-content analysis (HCA) provides quantitative multiparametric cellular fluorescence data. From its origins in discovery toxicology, it is now addressing fundamental questions in drug delivery. Nanoparticles (NPs), polymers, and intestinal permeation enhancers are being harnessed in drug delivery systems to modulate plasma membrane properties and the intracellular environment. Identifying comparative mechanistic cytotoxicity on sublethal events is crucial to expedite the development of such systems. NP uptake and intracellular routing pathways are also being dissected using chemical and genetic perturbations, with the potential to assess the intracellular fate of targeted and untargeted particles in vitro. As we discuss here, HCA is set to make a major impact in preclinical delivery research by elucidating the intracellular pathways of NPs and the in vitro mechanistic-based toxicology of formulation constituents.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.