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Sample records for automated high-content screening

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. High content screening in microfluidic devices

    PubMed Central

    Cheong, Raymond; Paliwal, Saurabh; Levchenko, Andre

    2011-01-01

    Importance of the field Miniaturization is key to advancing the state-of-the-art in high content screening (HCS), in order to enable dramatic cost savings through reduced usage of expensive biochemical reagents and to enable large-scale screening on primary cells. Microfluidic technology offers the potential to enable HCS to be performed with an unprecedented degree of miniaturization. Areas covered in this review This perspective highlights a real-world example from the authors’ work of HCS assays implemented in a highly miniaturized microfluidic format. Advantages of this technology are discussed, including cost savings, high throughput screening on primary cells, improved accuracy, the ability to study complex time-varying stimuli, and ease of automation, integration, and scaling. What the reader will gain The reader will understand the capabilities of a new microfluidics-based platform for HCS, and the advantages it provides over conventional plate-based HCS. Take home message Microfluidics technology will drive significant advancements and broader usage and applicability of HCS in drug discovery. PMID:21852997

  5. 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

  6. High-Content Screening for Quantitative Cell Biology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. High content screening for non-classical peroxisome proliferators

    PubMed Central

    Sexton, Jonathan Z; He, Qingping; Forsberg, Lawrence J; Brenman, Jay E

    2010-01-01

    Peroxisomes are ubiquitous cellular organelles that perform vital functions including fatty acid beta-oxidation, plasmalogen synthesis, and detoxification of harmful oxidative species. In rodents numerous compounds that increase peroxisome biogenesis also alleviate metabolic syndrome (MetS)/type 2 diabetes (T2D) symptoms. However, compounds that increase peroxisome biogenesis in rodents largely do not increase peroxisome biogenesis in humans. We designed a novel genetically encoded high throughput screening (HTS) high content assay to identify small molecule compounds that function as peroxisome proliferators in human cells. From this assay we have confirmed that 4-phenylbutyrate (PBA), a PPAR independent peroxisome proliferator and chemical chaperone, increases peroxisome proliferation in human cells and serves as a positive control for our screen. We performed a small pilot and larger 15,000 compound production screen with an overall Z′ factor of 0.74 for 384-well plate format, providing a valuable screening tool for identifying peroxisome modulator compounds. From this screen we have identified 4 existing drugs and 10 novel compounds, some with common scaffolds 1000X more potent than PBA. It is hoped that these novel compounds may serve as scaffolds for testing for efficacy in alleviating MetS/T2D symptoms both in mouse models and ultimately human disease. PMID:21132080

  12. 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.

  13. Metadata management for high content screening in OMERO.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. High-Content Screening for Assessing Nanomaterial Toxicity.

    PubMed

    Huo, Lingling; Chen, Rui; Shi, Xiaofei; Bai, Ru; Wang, Peng; Chang, Yanzhong; Chen, Chunying

    2015-02-01

    With rapid development of novel nanomaterials (NMs), the state of the art technologies with high efficiency and high-throughput characteristics had been applied for nanosafety evaluation. High-content screening (HCS), a cell-based multi-parametric image analysis technique, was adopted in the evaluation of eight different NMs in this study. A set of different endpoints including reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, Ca2+ transient, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and cellular pH levels were checked in human bronchial epithelial (16HBE) cells after incubating with NMs for 24 hours. All NMs induced significant increase of intracellular ROS levels in 16HBE cells, although the decrease of cell viability was only found in Ag and ZnO NMs-treated cells. MMP level had a dose-response decrease in Ag, ZnO and CeO2 NMs-treated cells, while showed a significant increase in TiO2 NMs-treated cells. All tested NMs showed significant up-regulation of cellular lysosomal pH levels. However, none of NMs caused significant changes in cellular Ca2+ level at 24-hour time point. HCS allows for efficient and reliable screening of multiple responses of cells simultaneously within one screen test, which can avoid the problematic interpretation of investigations when carried on a single toxicological endpoint. Therefore, the present data provide insight and inspiration that HCS is an effective and powerful method for image-based assessments with a broad set of biological endpoints in toxicity evaluation of nanomaterials.

  17. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy as tool for high-content-screening in yeast (HCS-FCS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Christopher; Huff, Joseph; Marshall, Will; Yu, Elden Qingfeng; Unruh, Jay; Slaughter, Brian; Wiegraebe, Winfried

    2011-03-01

    To measure protein interactions, diffusion properties, and local concentrations in single cells, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) is a well-established and widely accepted method. However, measurements can take a long time and are laborious. Therefore investigations are typically limited to tens or a few hundred cells. We developed an automated system to overcome these limitations and make FCS available for High Content Screening (HCS). We acquired data in an auto-correlation screen of more than 4000 of the 6000 proteins of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, tagged with eGFP and expanded the HCS to use cross-correlation between eGFP and mCherry tagged proteins to screen for molecular interactions. We performed all high-content FCS screens (HCS-FCS) in a 96 well plate format. The system is based on an extended Carl Zeiss fluorescence correlation spectrometer ConfoCor 3 attached to a confocal microscope LSM 510. We developed image-processing software to control these hardware components. The confocal microscope obtained overview images and we developed an algorithm to search for and detect single cells. At each cell, we positioned a laser beam at a well-defined point and recorded the fluctuation signal. We used automatic scoring of the signal for quality control. All data was stored and organized in a database based on the open source Open Microscopy Environment (OME) platform. To analyze the data we used the image processing language IDL and the open source statistical software package R.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Rapid detection of neutralizing antibodies against bovine viral diarrhoea virus using quantitative high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Eschbaumer, Michael; Law, Sampson; Solis, Cristina; Chernick, Adam; van der Meer, Frank; Czub, Markus

    2014-03-01

    Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an important cause of morbidity, mortality and economic losses in cattle worldwide. Humoral immunity to BVDV plays a major role in the protection against infection and disease. In vitro serum neutralization tests can quantify humoral responses, but standard protocols are time-consuming and labour-intensive. The objective of this study was to develop a highly sensitive assay based on high-content cell-by-cell screening that is faster and less subjective than the conventional protocols. It can detect a neutralizing antibody response within the first week after infection of an animal, takes less than 24h to complete and excludes operator bias by automated data acquisition and analysis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Eric; Cantet, Franck; Bonazzi, Matteo

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. NeuriteQuant: An open source toolkit for high content screens of neuronal Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background To date, some of the most useful and physiologically relevant neuronal cell culture systems, such as high density co-cultures of astrocytes and primary hippocampal neurons, or differentiated stem cell-derived cultures, are characterized by high cell density and partially overlapping cellular structures. Efficient analytical strategies are required to enable rapid, reliable, quantitative analysis of neuronal morphology in these valuable model systems. Results Here we present the development and validation of a novel bioinformatics pipeline called NeuriteQuant. This tool enables fully automated morphological analysis of large-scale image data from neuronal cultures or brain sections that display a high degree of complexity and overlap of neuronal outgrowths. It also provides an efficient web-based tool to review and evaluate the analysis process. In addition to its built-in functionality, NeuriteQuant can be readily extended based on the rich toolset offered by ImageJ and its associated community of developers. As proof of concept we performed automated screens for modulators of neuronal development in cultures of primary neurons and neuronally differentiated P19 stem cells, which demonstrated specific dose-dependent effects on neuronal morphology. Conclusions NeuriteQuant is a freely available open-source tool for the automated analysis and effective review of large-scale high-content screens. It is especially well suited to quantify the effect of experimental manipulations on physiologically relevant neuronal cultures or brain sections that display a high degree of complexity and overlap among neurites or other cellular structures. PMID:21989414

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A pharmaceutical company user's perspective on the potential of high content screening in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Ann F; Garippa, Ralph J

    2007-01-01

    It is early to fully reflect on the state of the art in high content screening (HCS), because it is still a relatively new approach in drug discovery. Although the development of the first microscopes are a century old and the first confocal microscope is only 20 yr old, the fluorescent probes used within HCS along with the combination of robotic automation and integrated software technologies are quite new. HCS will require a few more years to fully demonstrate its potential power in drug discovery. Within the last year, however, one has seen this ever-expanding field lure participants in from all areas of science, introducing newer versions of instruments and reagents such that the combined efforts result in platforms and tools that meet many organizational goals in multiple ways. The potential of HCS today lies in its versatility. HCS can be used for primary screening, basic research, target identification, biomarkers, cytotoxicity, and helping to predict clinical outcomes. HCS is being applied to stem cells, patient cells, primary hepatocytes, and immortalized cultured cells. We have noted for individual specialized assays, there are multiple solutions just as there are for those standardized universally accepted assays. Whether we have needed to query cellular processes under live conditions or wanted to follow kinetically the course of a compound's effects on particular cellular reactions, we have been hampered by only a few limitations. This chapter offers a glimpse inside the use of HCS in our drug discovery environment.

  8. 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

  9. 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....

  10. 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...

  11. An image-based high-content screening assay for compounds targeting intracellular Leishmania donovani amastigotes in human macrophages.

    PubMed

    Siqueira-Neto, Jair L; Moon, Seunghyun; Jang, Jiyeon; 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. A cellular assay using metal-modified fluorescence lifetime analysis for high-content screening of protein internalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cade, Nic; Fruhwirth, Gilbert; Archibald, Stephen J.; Ng, Tony; Richards, David

    2010-04-01

    Current high-content screening (HCS) techniques involve the analysis of cellular assays using high-resolution imaging combined with sophisticated algorithms for automated image analysis. Commercially available platforms are invariably highly specialised and expensive. Here we present a novel assay utilising changes in fluorescence lifetime in the vicinity of a rough Au film. A mammary carcinoma cell line was created expressing EGFP in the membrane, and cells were plated onto multi-well slides covered with a 30 nm Au film. FLIM images show a large reduction in lifetime for membrane-bound GFP in close proximity to the Au surface. Addition of a suitable ligand leads to internalization of the GFP with a corresponding increase in lifetime. The degree of internalization can be very quickly and easily checked using standard lifetime analysis techniques, with no need for image analysis. We demonstrate the method by comparing the efficacies of two small molecule inhibitors interfering with the internalization process.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

  3. Development of automated imaging and analysis for zebrafish chemical screens.

    PubMed Central

    Vogt, Andreas; Codore, Hiba; Day, Billy W.; Hukriede, Neil A.; Tsang, Michael

    2010-01-01

    We demonstrate the application of image-based high-content screening (HCS) methodology to identify small molecules that can modulate the FGF/RAS/MAPK pathway in zebrafish embryos. The zebrafish embryo is an ideal system for in vivo high-content chemical screens. The 1-day old embryo is approximately 1mm in diameter and can be easily arrayed into 96-well plates, a standard format for high throughput screening. During the first day of development, embryos are transparent with most of the major organs present, thus enabling visualization of tissue formation during embryogenesis. The complete automation of zebrafish chemical screens is still a challenge, however, particularly in the development of automated image acquisition and analysis. We previously generated a transgenic reporter line that expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of FGF activity and demonstrated their utility in chemical screens 1. To establish methodology for high throughput whole organism screens, we developed a system for automated imaging and analysis of zebrafish embryos at 24-48 hours post fertilization (hpf) in 96-well plates 2. In this video we highlight the procedures for arraying transgenic embryos into multiwell plates at 24hpf and the addition of a small molecule (BCI) that hyperactivates FGF signaling 3. The plates are incubated for 6 hours followed by the addition of tricaine to anesthetize larvae prior to automated imaging on a Molecular Devices ImageXpress Ultra laser scanning confocal HCS reader. Images are processed by Definiens Developer software using a Cognition Network Technology algorithm that we developed to detect and quantify expression of GFP in the heads of transgenic embryos. In this example we highlight the ability of the algorithm to measure dose-dependent effects of BCI on GFP reporter gene expression in treated embryos. PMID:20613708

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-18

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-21

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

  15. A Novel Automated High-Content Analysis Workflow Capturing Cell Population Dynamics from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Live Imaging Data

    PubMed Central

    Kerz, Maximilian; Folarin, Amos; Meleckyte, Ruta; Watt, Fiona M.; Dobson, Richard J.; Danovi, Davide

    2016-01-01

    Most image analysis pipelines rely on multiple channels per image with subcellular reference points for cell segmentation. Single-channel phase-contrast images are often problematic, especially for cells with unfavorable morphology, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Live imaging poses a further challenge, because of the introduction of the dimension of time. Evaluations cannot be easily integrated with other biological data sets including analysis of endpoint images. Here, we present a workflow that incorporates a novel CellProfiler-based image analysis pipeline enabling segmentation of single-channel images with a robust R-based software solution to reduce the dimension of time to a single data point. These two packages combined allow robust segmentation of iPSCs solely on phase-contrast single-channel images and enable live imaging data to be easily integrated to endpoint data sets while retaining the dynamics of cellular responses. The described workflow facilitates characterization of the response of live-imaged iPSCs to external stimuli and definition of cell line–specific, phenotypic signatures. We present an efficient tool set for automated high-content analysis suitable for cells with challenging morphology. This approach has potentially widespread applications for human pluripotent stem cells and other cell types. PMID:27256155

  16. A Novel Automated High-Content Analysis Workflow Capturing Cell Population Dynamics from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Live Imaging Data.

    PubMed

    Kerz, Maximilian; Folarin, Amos; Meleckyte, Ruta; Watt, Fiona M; Dobson, Richard J; Danovi, Davide

    2016-10-01

    Most image analysis pipelines rely on multiple channels per image with subcellular reference points for cell segmentation. Single-channel phase-contrast images are often problematic, especially for cells with unfavorable morphology, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Live imaging poses a further challenge, because of the introduction of the dimension of time. Evaluations cannot be easily integrated with other biological data sets including analysis of endpoint images. Here, we present a workflow that incorporates a novel CellProfiler-based image analysis pipeline enabling segmentation of single-channel images with a robust R-based software solution to reduce the dimension of time to a single data point. These two packages combined allow robust segmentation of iPSCs solely on phase-contrast single-channel images and enable live imaging data to be easily integrated to endpoint data sets while retaining the dynamics of cellular responses. The described workflow facilitates characterization of the response of live-imaged iPSCs to external stimuli and definition of cell line-specific, phenotypic signatures. We present an efficient tool set for automated high-content analysis suitable for cells with challenging morphology. This approach has potentially widespread applications for human pluripotent stem cells and other cell types.

  17. 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...

  18. High-content screening for chemical modulators of embryonal carcinoma cell differentiation and survival.

    PubMed

    Barbaric, Ivana; Jones, Mark; Harley, David J; Gokhale, Paul J; Andrews, Peter W

    2011-07-01

    Disentangling the complex interactions that govern stem cell fate choices of self-renewal, differentiation, or death presents a formidable challenge. Image-based phenotype-driven screening meets this challenge by providing means for rapid testing of many small molecules simultaneously. Pluripotent embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells offer a convenient substitute for embryonic stem (ES) cells in such screens because they are simpler to maintain and control. The authors developed an image-based screening assay to identify compounds that affect survival or differentiation of the human EC stem cell line NTERA2 by measuring the effect on cell number and the proportion of cells expressing a pluripotency-associated marker SSEA3. A pilot screen of 80 kinase inhibitors identified several compounds that improved cell survival or induced differentiation. The survival compounds Y-27632, HA-1077, and H-8 all strongly inhibit the kinases ROCK and PRK2, highlighting the important role of these kinases in EC cell survival. Two molecules, GF109203x and rottlerin, induced EC differentiation. The effects of rottlerin were also investigated in human ES cells. Rottlerin inhibited the self-renewal ability of ES cells, caused the cell cycle arrest, and repressed the expression of pluripotency-associated genes.

  19. Automated colorimetric screen for apyrase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Windsor, J B; Thomas, C; Hurley, L; Roux, S J; Lloyd, A M

    2002-11-01

    Apyrases are enzymes that efficiently hydrolyze ATP and ADP and may operate both inside and outside the cell. Although apyrases are important to a variety of cellular mechanisms and uses in industry, there are no available apyrase-specific inhibitors. Colorimetric assays based on the Fiske-Subbarow method for measuring inorganic phosphate are able to detect the release of inorganic phosphate from ATP and other nucleotides. We found that this type of assay could be automated and used to screen for apyrase-inhibiting compounds by assaying for a reduction in released phosphate in the presence of potential inhibitors. The automation of this assay allowed for the successful screening of a commercially available compound library. Several low molecular weight compounds were identified that, when used at micromolar concentrations, effectively inhibited apyrase activity.

  20. Whole organism high content screening identifies stimulators of pancreatic beta-cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Naoki; Ninov, Nikolay; Delawary, Mina; Osman, Sahar; Roh, Alex S; Gut, Philipp; Stainier, Didier Y R

    2014-01-01

    Inducing beta-cell mass expansion in diabetic patients with the aim to restore glucose homeostasis is a promising therapeutic strategy. Although several in vitro studies have been carried out to identify modulators of beta-cell mass expansion, restoring endogenous beta-cell mass in vivo has yet to be achieved. To identify potential stimulators of beta-cell replication in vivo, we established transgenic zebrafish lines that monitor and allow the quantification of cell proliferation by using the fluorescent ubiquitylation-based cell cycle indicator (FUCCI) technology. Using these new reagents, we performed an unbiased chemical screen, and identified 20 small molecules that markedly increased beta-cell proliferation in vivo. Importantly, these structurally distinct molecules, which include clinically-approved drugs, modulate three specific signaling pathways: serotonin, retinoic acid and glucocorticoids, showing the high sensitivity and robustness of our screen. Notably, two drug classes, retinoic acid and glucocorticoids, also promoted beta-cell regeneration after beta-cell ablation. Thus, this study establishes a proof of principle for a high-throughput small molecule-screen for beta-cell proliferation in vivo, and identified compounds that stimulate beta-cell proliferation and regeneration.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. High-Content Analysis of the Golgi Complex by Correlative Screening Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Gunkel, Manuel; Erfle, Holger; Starkuviene, Vytaute

    2016-01-01

    The Golgi complex plays a central role in a number of diverse cellular processes, and numerous regulators that control these functions and/or morphology of the Golgi complex are known by now. Many of them were identified by large-scale experiments, such as RNAi-based screening. However, high-throughput experiments frequently provide only initial information that a particular protein might play a role in regulating structure and function of the Golgi complex. Multiple follow-up experiments are necessary to functionally characterize the selected hits. In order to speed up the discovery, we have established a system for correlative screening microscopy that combines rapid data collection and high-resolution imaging in one experiment. We describe here a combination of wide-field microscopy and dual-color direct stochastical optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM). We apply the technique to simultaneously capture and differentiate alterations of the cis- and trans-Golgi network when depleting several proteins in a singular and combinatorial manner. PMID:27632005

  8. High Content Screening of Diverse Compound Libraries Identifies Potent Modulators of Tubulin Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Tubulin modulating agents such as the taxanes are among the most effective antimitotic cancer drugs, although resistance and toxicity present significant problems in their clinical use. However, most tubulin modulators are derived from complex natural products, which can make modification of their structure to address these problems difficult. Here, we report the discovery of new antimitotic compounds with simple structures that can be rapidly synthesized, through the phenotypic screening of a diverse compound library for the induction of mitotic arrest. We first identified a compound, which induced mitotic arrest in human cells at submicromolar concentrations. Its simple structure enabled rapid exploration of activity, defining a biphenylacetamide moiety required for activity, A family of analogues was synthesized, yielding optimized compounds that caused mitotic arrest and cell death in the low nanomolar range, comparable to clinically used antimitotic agents. These compounds can be synthesized in 1–3 steps and good yields. We show that one such compound targets tubulin, partially inhibiting colchicine but not vinblastine binding, suggesting that it acts allosterically to the known colchicine-binding site. Thus, our results exemplify the use of phenotypic screening to identify novel antimitotic compounds from diverse chemical libraries and characterize a family of biphenylacetamides (biphenabulins) that show promise for further development. PMID:24900887

  9. 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

  10. High-content, full genome siRNA screen for regulators of oncogenic HRAS-driven macropinocytosis.

    PubMed

    Fennell, Myles; Commisso, Cosimo; Ramirez, Craig; Garippa, Ralph; Bar-Sagi, Dafna

    2015-09-01

    Uptake of nutrients, such as glucose and amino acids, is critical to support cell growth and is typically mediated by cell surface transporters. An alternative mechanism for the bulk uptake of nutrients from the extracellular space is macropinocytosis, a nonclathrin, and nonreceptor-mediated endocytic process, in which extracellular fluid is taken up into large intracellular vesicles called macropinosomes. Oncogenic transformation leads to the increased metabolic activity of tumor cells, and in the Ras-driven tumor part of this enhanced activity is the stimulation of macropinocytosis. To measure oncogene-dependent macropinocytosis, we used HeLa cells expressing oncogenic HRAS(G12D) driven from a Tet-regulated promoter. Upon oncogenic HRAS expression, the cells undergo metabolic changes that include the elevation of macropinocytosis. We detected macropinocytosis through the uptake of lysine-fixable tetramethyl rhodamine (TMR)-Dextran (70 kDa) from the cell media into nascent intracellular macropinosomes. These macropinosomes were quantified by image-based high-content analysis, with the size, intensity, and position of macropinosomes measured. Using this model system, we ran a full genome-wide siRNA screen (siGenome™; GE) to identify genes involved in controlling oncogenic HRAS-dependent macropinocytosis. Hits from the primary screen were confirmed with siRNA reagents from a different library (GE, OTP), which allowed us to mitigate potential off-target effects. Candidate genes from this screen include known regulators of macropinocytosis as well as novel targets.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. High Content Screening of a Kinase-Focused Library Reveals Compounds Broadly-Active against Dengue Viruses

    PubMed Central

    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; Nunes Duarte dos Santos, Claudia; 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. PMID:23437413

  14. 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.

  15. High-content screening of feeder-free human embryonic stem cells to identify pro-survival small molecules.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Paul D; Becroft, Melissa; Aspegren, Anders; Gilmour, Jane; James, Martyn J; McRae, Scott; Kime, Robert; Allcock, Robert W; Abraham, Achamma; Jiang, Zhong; Strehl, Raimund; Mountford, Joanne C; Milligan, Graeme; Houslay, Miles D; Adams, David R; Frearson, Julie A

    2010-11-15

    The propensity of human embryonic stem cells to die upon enzymatic disaggregation or low-density plating is an obstacle to their isolation and routine use in drug discovery and basic research. Equally, the very low rate of establishment of implanted cells hinders cell therapy. In the present study we have developed a high-content assay for human embryonic stem cell survival and used this to screen a range of libraries of 'lead-like' small molecules and known bioactives. From this we identified 18 confirmed hits with four structural classes being represented by multiple compounds: a series of 5-(acyl/alkyl-amino)indazoles, compounds with a 4-(acylamino)pyridine core, simple N⁶,N⁶-dialkyladenines and compounds with a 5-(acylamino)indolinone core. In vitro kinase profiling indicated that the ROCK (Rho-associated kinase)/PRK2 (protein kinase C-related kinase 2) protein kinases are of pivotal importance for cell survival and identified previously unreported compound classes that inhibited this important biological activity. An evaluation using an extensive panel of protein kinases showed that six of our hit compounds exhibited better selectivity for ROCK inhibition than the routinely used commercially available ROCK inhibitor Y-27632. In this screen we also identified the K(+)-ATP channel opener pinacidil and show that it probably promotes cell survival, by 'off-target' inhibition of ROCK/PRK2. We have therefore identified novel pro-survival compounds of greater specificity, equivalent potency and reduced toxicity relative to the routinely employed ROCK inhibitor Y-27632.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Identification of 12/15-lipoxygenase as a regulator of axon degeneration through high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Rudhard, York; Sengupta Ghosh, Arundhati; Lippert, Beatrix; Böcker, Alexander; Pedaran, Mehdi; Krämer, Joachim; Ngu, Hai; Foreman, Oded; Liu, Yichin; Lewcock, Joseph W

    2015-02-18

    Axon degeneration is a programed process that takes place during development, in response to neuronal injury, and as a component of neurodegenerative disease pathology, yet the molecular mechanisms that drive this process remain poorly defined. In this study, we have developed a semi-automated, 384-well format axon degeneration assay in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons using a trophic factor withdrawal paradigm. Using this setup, we have screened a library of known drugs and bioactives to identify several previously unappreciated regulators of axon degeneration, including lipoxygenases. Multiple structurally distinct lipoxygenase inhibitors as well as mouse DRG neurons lacking expression of 12/15-lipoxygenase display protection of axons in this context. Retinal ganglion cell axons from 12/15-lipoxygenase-null mice were similarly protected from degeneration following nerve crush injury. Through additional mechanistic studies, we demonstrate that lipoxygenases act cell autonomously within neurons to regulate degeneration, and are required for mitochondrial permeabilization and caspase activation in the axon. These findings suggest that these enzymes may represent an attractive target for treatment of neuropathies and provide a potential mechanism for the neuroprotection observed in various settings following lipoxygenase inhibitor treatment. PMID:25698732

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. Automated screening for biological weapons in homeland defense.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. High-content image-based screening of a signal transduction pathway inhibitor small-molecule library against highly pathogenic RNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Mudhasani, Rajini; Kota, Krishna P; Retterer, Cary; Tran, Julie P; Tritsch, Sarah R; Zamani, Rouzbeh; Whitehouse, Chris A; Bavari, Sina

    2015-01-01

    High-content image-based screening was developed as an approach to test a small-molecule library of compounds targeting signal transduction pathways for antiviral activity against multiple highly pathogenic RNA viruses. Of the 2843 compounds screened, 120 compounds exhibited ≥60% antiviral activity. Four compounds (E225-0969, E528-0039, G118-0778, and G544-0735), which were most active against Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and showed broad-spectrum antiviral activity, were selected for further evaluation for their concentration-response profile and cytotoxicity. These compounds did not show any visible cytotoxicity at the highest concentration of compound tested (200 µM). All four of these compounds were more active than ribavirin against several viruses. One compound, E225-0969, had the lowest effective concentration (EC50 = 1.9-8.92 µM) for all the viruses tested. This compound was 13- and 43-fold more inhibitory against RVFV and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), respectively, than ribavirin. The highest selectivity index (>106.2) was for E225-0969 against CHIKV. Time-of-addition assays suggested that all four lead compounds targeted early steps in the viral life cycle (entry and/or replication) but not virus egress. Overall, this work demonstrates that high-content image analysis can be used to screen chemical libraries for new antivirals against highly pathogenic viruses.

  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 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portnoy, Robert N.

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Development of a high-content screen for the identification of inhibitors directed against the early steps of the cytomegalovirus infectious cycle

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Thomas J.; Cohen, Tobias; Redmann, Veronika; Lau, Zerlina; Felsenfeld, Dan; Tortorella, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a latent and persistent virus whose proliferation increases morbidity and mortality of immune-compromised individuals. The current anti-CMV therapeutics targeting the viral DNA polymerase or the major immediate-early (MIE) gene locus are somewhat effective at limiting CMV-associated disease. However, due to low bioavailability, severe toxicity, and the development of drug resistant CMV strains following prolonged treatment, current anti-CMV therapeutics are insufficient. To help address this shortfall, we established a high-content assay to identify inhibitors targeting CMV entry and the early steps of infection. The infection of primary human fibroblasts with a variant of the CMV laboratory strain AD169 expressing a chimeric IE2-yellow fluorescence protein (YFP) (AD169IE2-YFP) provided the basis for the high-content assay. The localization of IE2-YFP to the nucleus shortly following an AD169IE2-YFP infection induced a robust fluorescent signal that was quantified using confocal microscopy. The assay was optimized to achieve outstanding assay fitness and high Z′ scores. We then screened a bioactive chemical library consisting of 2080 compounds and identified hit compounds based on the decrease of fluorescence signal from IE2-YFP nuclear expression. The hit compounds likely target various cellular processes involved in the early steps of infection including capsid transport, chromatin remodeling, and viral gene expression. Extensive secondary assays confirmed the ability of a hit compound, convallatoxin, to inhibit infection of both laboratory and clinical CMV strains and limit virus proliferation. Collectively, the data demonstrate that we have established a robust high-content screen to identify compounds that limit the early steps of the CMV life cycle, and that novel inhibitors of early infection events may serve as viable CMV therapeutics. PMID:25446405

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

    PubMed

    Martin, Julio

    2010-09-01

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

  1. γ-H2AX Kinetics as a Novel Approach to High Content Screening for Small Molecule Radiosensitizers

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Shibo; Yang, Ying; Tirtha, Das; Yen, Yun; Zhou, Bing-sen; Zhou, Ming-Ming; Ohlmeyer, Michael; Ko, Eric C.; Cagan, Ross; Rosenstein, Barry S.; Chen, Shu-hsia; Kao, Johnny

    2012-01-01

    Background Persistence of γ-H2AX after ionizing radiation (IR) or drug therapy is a robust reporter of unrepaired DNA double strand breaks in treated cells. Methods DU-145 prostate cancer cells were treated with a chemical library ±IR and assayed for persistence of γ-H2AX using an automated 96-well immunocytochemistry assay at 4 hours after treatment. Hits that resulted in persistence of γ-H2AX foci were tested for effects on cell survival. The molecular targets of hits were validated by molecular, genetic and biochemical assays and in vivo activity was tested in a validated Drosophila cancer model. Results We identified 2 compounds, MS0019266 and MS0017509, which markedly increased persistence of γ-H2AX, apoptosis and radiosensitization in DU-145 cells. Chemical evaluation demonstrated that both compounds exhibited structurally similar and biochemical assays confirmed that these compounds inhibit ribonucleotide reductase. DNA microarray analysis and immunoblotting demonstrates that MS0019266 significantly decreased polo-like kinase 1 gene and protein expression. MS0019266 demonstrated in vivo antitumor activity without significant whole organism toxicity. Conclusions MS0019266 and MS0017509 are promising compounds that may be candidates for further development as radiosensitizing compounds as inhibitors of ribonucleotide reductase. PMID:22768044

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  4. Ordering Single Cells and Single Embryos in 3D Confinement: A New Device for High Content Screening.

    PubMed

    Wollrab, Viktoria; Caballero, David; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Riveline, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Biological cells are usually observed on flat (2D) surfaces. This condition is not physiological, and phenotypes and shapes are highly variable. Screening based on cells in such environments have therefore serious limitations: cell organelles show extreme phenotypes, cell morphologies and sizes are heterogeneous and/or specific cell organelles cannot be properly visualized. In addition, cells in vivo are located in a 3D environment; in this situation, cells show different phenotypes mainly because of their interaction with the surrounding extracellular matrix of the tissue. In order to standardize and generate order of single cells in a physiologically-relevant 3D environment for cell-based assays, we report here the microfabrication and applications of a device for in vitro 3D cell culture. This device consists of a 2D array of microcavities (typically 10(5) cavities/cm(2)), each filled with single cells or embryos. Cell position, shape, polarity and internal cell organization become then normalized showing a 3D architecture. We used replica molding to pattern an array of microcavities, 'eggcups', onto a thin polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer adhered on a coverslip. Cavities were covered with fibronectin to facilitate adhesion. Cells were inserted by centrifugation. Filling percentage was optimized for each system allowing up to 80%. Cells and embryos viability was confirmed. We applied this methodology for the visualization of cellular organelles, such as nucleus and Golgi apparatus, and to study active processes, such as the closure of the cytokinetic ring during cell mitosis. This device allowed the identification of new features, such as periodic accumulations and inhomogeneities of myosin and actin during the cytokinetic ring closure and compacted phenotypes for Golgi and nucleus alignment. We characterized the method for mammalian cells, fission yeast, budding yeast, C. elegans with specific adaptation in each case. Finally, the characteristics of this

  5. High content screening biosensor assay to identify disruptors of p53-hDM2 protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Hua, Yun; Strock, Christopher J; Johnston, Paul A

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes the implementation of the p53-hDM2 protein-protein interaction (PPI) biosensor (PPIB) HCS assay to identify disruptors of p53-hDM2 PPIs. Recombinant adenovirus expression constructs were generated bearing the individual p53-GFP and hDM2-RFP PPI partners. The N-terminal p53 transactivating domain that contains the binding site for hDM2 is expressed as a GFP fusion protein that is targeted and anchored in the nucleolus of infected cells by a nuclear localization (NLS) sequence. The p53-GFP biosensor is localized to the nucleolus to enhance and facilitate the image acquisition and analysis of the PPIs. The N-terminus of hDM2 encodes the domain for binding to the transactivating domain of p53, and is expressed as a RFP fusion protein that includes both an NLS and a nuclear export sequence (NES). In U-2 OS cells co-infected with both adenovirus constructs, the binding interactions between hDM2 and p53 result in both biosensors becoming co-localized within the nucleolus. Upon disruption of the p53-hDM2 PPIs, the p53-GFP biosensor remains in the nucleolus while the shuttling hDM2-RFP biosensor redistributes into the cytoplasm. p53-hDM2 PPIs are measured by acquiring fluorescent images of cells co-infected with both adenovirus biosensors on an automated HCS imaging platform and using an image analysis algorithm to quantify the relative distribution of the hDM2-RFP shuttling component of the biosensor between the cytoplasm and nuclear regions of compound treated cells.

  6. Automated bacteriuria screening using the Berthold LB 950 luminescence analyser.

    PubMed

    Curtis, G D; Johnston, H H; Hack, A R

    1987-06-01

    The Berthold LB950 Automatic Luminescence Analyser was used to estimate bacterial adenosine triphosphate in urine. The system provided a rapid (15 min) and fully automated screening test for bacteriuria at the 10(5) CFU/ml level. Bioluminescence results for 1040 urines were compared with viable counts using two reference culture methods and frequency distributions of bacterial counts and adenosine triphosphate levels were calculated. With a specificity of 79% the automated method showed a sensitivity of 84% using a pour plate reference count and 91% using a standard loop reference count. When contaminated urines were excluded the sensitivity improved to 98%. The automated bioluminescence test, though expensive, was shown to work well with good quality specimens.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-26

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

  9. Screening library evolution through automation of solution preparation.

    PubMed

    Schopfer, U; Höhn, F; Hueber, M; Girod, M; Engeloch, C; Popov, M; Muckenschnabel, I

    2007-08-01

    The quality of the compound library is a critical success factor in every high-throughput screening campaign. Screening solutions have to be prepared with a high level of process control to ensure the correct identity and initial concentration of each compound. However, even under optimized storage conditions, a certain level of degradation in solution cannot be avoided. Therefore, regular quality control and eventual removal of solutions from the screening deck is necessary. Because solution preparation, especially the weighing of compounds, is a tedious and often manual task, a regular resolubilization of compounds is difficult to achieve. By complete automation of the solution preparation, the authors have laid the foundation for a life cycle management of screening solutions. They demonstrate how a combination of quality and process control leads to a continuous improvement of the screening library. In presenting an automation concept, they show how a series of innovative process optimizations led to a high-performance system that achieves full industrialization of solution preparation.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  17. High-content RNAi screening identifies the Type 1 inositol triphosphate receptor as a modifier of TDP-43 localization and neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang Hwa; Zhan, Lihong; Hanson, Keith A; Tibbetts, Randal S

    2012-11-15

    Cytosolic aggregation of the nuclear RNA-binding protein (RBP) TDP-43 (43 kDa TAR DNA-binding domain protein) is a suspected direct or indirect cause of motor neuron deterioration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we implemented a high-content, genome-wide RNAi screen to identify pathways controlling TDP-43 nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. We identified ∼60 genes whose silencing increased the cytosolic localization of TDP-43, including nuclear pore complex components and regulators of G2/M cell cycle transition. In addition, we identified the type 1 inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor (ITPR1), an IP3-gated, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident Ca(2+) channel, as a strong modulator of TDP-43 nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. Knockdown or chemical inhibition of ITPR1 induced TDP-43 nuclear export in immortalized cells and primary neurons and strongly potentiated the recruitment of TDP-43 to Ubiquilin-positive autophagosomes, suggesting that diminished ITPR1 function leads to autophagosomal clearance of TDP-43. The functional significance of the TDP-43-ITPR1 genetic interaction was tested in Drosophila, where mutant alleles of ITPR1 were found to significantly extended lifespan and mobility of flies expressing TDP-43 under a motor neuron driver. These combined findings implicate IP3-gated Ca(2+) as a key regulator of TDP-43 nucleoplasmic shuttling and proteostasis and suggest pharmacologic inhibition of ITPR1 as a strategy to combat TDP-43-induced neurodegeneration in vivo.

  18. A high-content screening microscopy approach to dissect the role of Rab proteins in Golgi-to-ER retrograde trafficking.

    PubMed

    Galea, George; Bexiga, Mariana G; Panarella, Angela; O'Neill, Elaine D; Simpson, Jeremy C

    2015-07-01

    Here, we describe a high-content microscopy-based screen that allowed us to systematically assess and rank proteins involved in Golgi-to-endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retrograde transport in mammalian cells. Using a cell line stably expressing a GFP-tagged Golgi enzyme, we used brefeldin A treatment to stimulate the production of Golgi-to-ER carriers and then quantitatively analysed populations of cells for changes in this trafficking event. Systematic RNA interference (RNAi)-based depletion of 58 Rab GTPase proteins and 12 Rab accessory proteins of the PRAF, YIPF and YIF protein families revealed that nine of these were strong regulators. In addition to demonstrating roles for Rab1a, Rab1b, Rab2a, and Rab6a or Rab6a' in this transport step, we also identified Rab10 and Rab11a as playing a role and being physically present on a proportion of the Golgi-to-ER tubular intermediates. Combinatorial depletions of Rab proteins also revealed previously undescribed functional co-operation and physical co-occurrence between several Rab proteins. Our approach therefore provides a novel and robust strategy for a more complete investigation of the molecular components required to regulate Golgi-to-ER transport in mammalian cells.

  19. 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.

  20. High-content pSTAT3/1 imaging assays to screen for selective inhibitors of STAT3 pathway activation in head and neck cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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 biology

  1. High-content pSTAT3/1 imaging assays to screen for selective inhibitors of STAT3 pathway activation in head and neck cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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 biology

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Identification of OmpA, a Coxiella burnetii Protein Involved in Host Cell Invasion, by Multi-Phenotypic High-Content Screening

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Eric; Cantet, Franck; Fava, Laura; Norville, Isobel; Bonazzi, Matteo

    2014-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is the agent of the emerging zoonosis Q fever. This pathogen invades phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells and uses a Dot/Icm secretion system to co-opt the endocytic pathway for the biogenesis of an acidic parasitophorous vacuole where Coxiella replicates in large numbers. The study of the cell biology of Coxiella infections has been severely hampered by the obligate intracellular nature of this microbe, and Coxiella factors involved in host/pathogen interactions remain to date largely uncharacterized. Here we focus on the large-scale identification of Coxiella virulence determinants using transposon mutagenesis coupled to high-content multi-phenotypic screening. We have isolated over 3000 Coxiella mutants, 1082 of which have been sequenced, annotated and screened. We have identified bacterial factors that regulate key steps of Coxiella infections: 1) internalization within host cells, 2) vacuole biogenesis/intracellular replication, and 3) protection of infected cells from apoptosis. Among these, we have investigated the role of Dot/Icm core proteins, determined the role of candidate Coxiella Dot/Icm substrates previously identified in silico and identified additional factors that play a relevant role in Coxiella pathogenesis. Importantly, we have identified CBU_1260 (OmpA) as the first Coxiella invasin. Mutations in ompA strongly decreased Coxiella internalization and replication within host cells; OmpA-coated beads adhered to and were internalized by non-phagocytic cells and the ectopic expression of OmpA in E. coli triggered its internalization within cells. Importantly, Coxiella internalization was efficiently inhibited by pretreating host cells with purified OmpA or by incubating Coxiella with a specific anti-OmpA antibody prior to host cell infection, suggesting the presence of a cognate receptor at the surface of host cells. In summary, we have developed multi-phenotypic assays for the study of host/pathogen interactions. By applying our

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Automated touch screen device for recording complex rodent behaviors

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. An automated phenotype-based microscopy screen to identify pro-longevity interventions acting through mitochondria in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Maglioni, Silvia; Arsalan, Nayna; Franchi, Luigi; Hurd, Alexander; Opipari, Anthony W; Glick, Gary D; Ventura, Natascia

    2015-11-01

    Mitochondria are multifunctional organelles that play a central role in cellular homeostasis. Severe mitochondrial dysfunction leads to life-threatening diseases in humans and accelerates the aging process. Surprisingly, moderate reduction of mitochondrial function in different species has anti-aging effects. High-throughput screenings in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans lead to the identification of several pro-longevity genetic and pharmacological interventions. Large-scale screens, however, are manual, subjective, time consuming and costly. These limitations could be reduced by the identification of automatically quantifiable biomarkers of healthy aging. In this study we exploit the distinct and reproducible phenotypes described in C. elegans upon different levels of mitochondrial alteration to develop an automated high-content strategy to identify new potential pro-longevity interventions. Utilizing the microscopy platform Cellomics ArrayScan Reader, we optimize a workflow to automatically and reliably quantify the discrete phenotypic readouts associated with different degrees of silencing of mitochondrial respiratory chain regulatory proteins, and validate the approach with mitochondrial-targeting drugs known to extend lifespan in C. elegans. Finally, we report that a new mitochondrial ATPase modulator matches our screening phenotypic criteria and extends nematode's lifespan thus providing the proof of principle that our strategy could be exploited to identify novel mitochondrial-targeted drugs with pro-longevity activity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Aging.

  9. A high-content biosensor-based screen identifies cell-permeable activators and inhibitors of EGFR function: implications in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Antczak, Christophe; Mahida, Jeni P; Bhinder, Bhavneet; Calder, Paul A; Djaballah, Hakim

    2012-08-01

    Early success of kinase inhibitors has validated their use as drugs. However, discovery efforts have also suffered from high attrition rates due to lack of cellular activity. We reasoned that screening for such candidates in live cells would identify novel cell-permeable modulators for development. For this purpose, we have used our recently optimized epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) biosensor assay to screen for modulators of EGFR activity. Here, we report on its validation under high-throughput screening (HTS) conditions displaying a signal-to-noise ratio of 21 and a Z' value of 0.56-attributes of a robust cell-based assay. We performed a pilot screen against a library of 6912 compounds demonstrating good reproducibility and identifying 82 inhibitors and 66 activators with initial hit rates of 1.2% and 0.95%, respectively. Follow-up dose-response studies revealed that 12 of the 13 known EGFR inhibitors in the library were confirmed as hits. ZM-306416, a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) antagonist, was identified as a potent inhibitor of EGFR function. Flurandrenolide, beclomethasone, and ebastine were confirmed as activators of EGFR function. Taken together, our results validate this novel approach and demonstrate its utility in the discovery of novel kinase modulators with potential use in the clinic.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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. PMID:22351120

  16. High-content positional biosensor screening assay for compounds to prevent or disrupt androgen receptor and transcriptional intermediary factor 2 protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Hua, Yun; Shun, Tong Ying; Strock, Christopher J; Johnston, Paul A

    2014-09-01

    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 Compounds (LOPAC) set

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  20. Automated Electrophysiology Makes the Pace for Cardiac Ion Channel Safety Screening

    PubMed Central

    Möller, Clemens; Witchel, Harry

    2011-01-01

    The field of automated patch-clamp electrophysiology has emerged from the tension between the pharmaceutical industry’s need for high-throughput compound screening versus its need to be conservative due to regulatory requirements. On the one hand, hERG channel screening was increasingly requested for new chemical entities, as the correlation between blockade of the ion channel coded by hERG and torsades de pointes cardiac arrhythmia gained increasing attention. On the other hand, manual patch-clamping, typically quoted as the “gold-standard” for understanding ion channel function and modulation, was far too slow (and, consequently, too expensive) for keeping pace with the numbers of compounds submitted for hERG channel investigations from pharmaceutical R&D departments. In consequence it became more common for some pharmaceutical companies to outsource safety pharmacological investigations, with a focus on hERG channel interactions. This outsourcing has allowed those pharmaceutical companies to build up operational flexibility and greater independence from internal resources, and allowed them to obtain access to the latest technological developments that emerged in automated patch-clamp electrophysiology – much of which arose in specialized biotech companies. Assays for nearly all major cardiac ion channels are now available by automated patch-clamping using heterologous expression systems, and recently, automated action potential recordings from stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes have been demonstrated. Today, most of the large pharmaceutical companies have acquired automated electrophysiology robots and have established various automated cardiac ion channel safety screening assays on these, in addition to outsourcing parts of their needs for safety screening. PMID:22131974

  1. Multiple automated minibioreactor system for multifunctional screening in biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Fontova, A; Soley, A; Gálvez, J; Sarró, E; Lecina, M; Rosell, J; Riu, P; Cairó, J; Gòdia, F; Bragós, R

    2006-01-01

    The current techniques applied in biotechnology allow to obtain many types of molecules that must be tested on cell cultures (high throughput screening HTS). Although such tests are usually carried out automatically on mini or microwell plates, the procedures in the preindustrial stage are performed almost manually on higher volume recipients known as bioreactors. The growth conditions in both stages are completely different. The screening system presented in this work is based on the multiwell test plates philosophy, a disposable multiple minibioreactor that allows reproduction of industrial bioreactor culture conditions: aeration, stirring, temperature, O2, pH and visible range optical absorbance measurements. It is possible to reproduce the growth conditions for both suspended and adherent animal cell types using 1 to 10 ml vol. bioreactors. In the case of bacteria or yeast, it is not possible to achieve a high biomass concentration, due to the reduced head volume air supply.

  2. 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. PMID:19705854

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. An overview of automated systems relevant in pharmaceutical salt screening.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Lokesh; Amin, Aeshna; Bansal, Arvind K

    2007-12-01

    Modern drug discovery and development tools have evolved persistently to meet the demands of the highly competitive environment of the pharmaceutical industry. This has introduced high-throughput methodologies in various stages of drug development. Salt screening is an integral part of the preformulation stage of drug development and is increasingly being adapted to 'high-throughput experimentation' (HTE), to shortlist the potential salt(s) for a comprehensive biopharmaceutical characterization at the scale-up stage. The selected salt form may then be forwarded to the next stage of drug development. This review provides an overview of 'high-throughput experimentation' methodology for selection of an optimal drug salt candidate.

  5. 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.

  6. Automated protein-DNA interaction screening of Drosophila regulatory elements.

    PubMed

    Hens, Korneel; Feuz, Jean-Daniel; Isakova, Alina; Iagovitina, Antonina; Massouras, Andreas; Bryois, Julien; Callaerts, Patrick; Celniker, Susan E; Deplancke, Bart

    2011-12-01

    Drosophila melanogaster has one of the best characterized metazoan genomes in terms of functionally annotated regulatory elements. To explore how these elements contribute to gene regulation, we need convenient tools to identify the proteins that bind to them. Here we describe the development and validation of a high-throughput yeast one-hybrid platform, which enables screening of DNA elements versus an array of full-length, sequence-verified clones containing over 85% of predicted Drosophila transcription factors. Using six well-characterized regulatory elements, we identified 33 transcription factor-DNA interactions of which 27 were previously unidentified. To simultaneously validate these interactions and locate the binding sites of involved transcription factors, we implemented a powerful microfluidics-based approach that enabled us to retrieve DNA-occupancy data for each transcription factor throughout the respective target DNA elements. Finally, we biologically validated several interactions and identified two new regulators of sine oculis gene expression and hence eye development.

  7. 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%. PMID:7090333

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. A High Content Assay to Assess Cellular Fitness

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Automated screening for mutants affecting dopaminergic-neuron specification in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Doitsidou, Maria; Flames, Nuria; Lee, Albert C; Boyanov, Alexander; Hobert, Oliver

    2008-10-01

    We describe an automated method to isolate mutant Caenorhabditis elegans that do not appropriately execute cellular differentiation programs. We used a fluorescence-activated sorting mechanism implemented in the COPAS Biosort machine to isolate mutants with subtle alterations in the cellular specificity of GFP expression. This methodology is considerably more efficient than comparable manual screens and enabled us to isolate mutants in which dopamine neurons do not differentiate appropriately. PMID:18758453

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bleckmann, Maren; Schmelz, Stefan; Schinkowski, Christian; Scrima, Andrea

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-05-26

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

  18. 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. PMID:23190736

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. New Paradigm for Macromolecular Crystallography Experiments at SSRL: Automated Crystal Screening And Remote Data Collection

    SciTech Connect

    Soltis, S.M.; Cohen, A.E.; Deacon, A.; Eriksson, T.; Gonzalez, A.; McPhillips, S.; Chui, H.; Dunten, P.; Hollenbeck, M.; Mathews, I.; Miller, M.; Moorhead, P.; Phizackerley, R.P.; Smith, C.; Song, J.; Bedem, H.van dem; Ellis, P.; Kuhn, P.; McPhillips, T.; Sauter, N.; Sharp, K.

    2009-05-26

    Complete automation of the macromolecular crystallography experiment has been achieved at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mouton, Andre; Breckon, Toby P

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rühmann, Broder; Schmid, Jochen; Sieber, Volker

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rajput, Manoj Kumar

    2016-02-01

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

  16. 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

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

    2010-08-01

    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, their

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Automated expression and solubility screening of His-tagged proteins in 96-well format.

    PubMed

    Vincentelli, Renaud; Canaan, Stéphane; Offant, Julien; Cambillau, Christian; Bignon, Christophe

    2005-11-01

    A growing need for sensitive and high-throughput methods for screening the expression and solubility of recombinant proteins exists in structural genomics. Originally, the emergency solution was to use immediately available techniques such as manual lysis of expression cells followed by analysis of protein expression by gel electrophoresis. However, these handmade methods quickly proved to be unfit for the high-throughput demand of postgenomics, and it is now generally accepted that the long-term solution to this problem will be based on automation, on industrial standard-formatted experiments, and on downsizing samples and consumables. In agreement with this consensus, we have set up a fully automated method based on a dot-blot technology and using 96-well format consumables for assessing by immunodetection the amount of total and soluble recombinant histidine (His)-tagged proteins expressed in Escherichia coli. The method starts with the harvest of expression cells and ends with the display of solubility/expression results in milligrams of recombinant protein per liter of culture using a three-color code to assist analysis. The program autonomously processes 160 independent cultures at a time.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. High throughput automated colorimetric method for the screening of l-lactic acid producing microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Liaud, Nadège; Navarro, David; Vidal, Nicolas; Sigoillot, Jean-Claude; Raouche, Sana

    2014-01-01

    Lactic acid is a valuable and fully degradable organic acid with promising applications in poly-lactic acid production (Taskila S and Ojamo, 2013 [1]). Despite their efficiency, the cost of the current lactic acid bio-processes is still an obstacle to this application (Miller et al., 2011 [2]). To ameliorate lactic acid producing strains, researchers are using mutations and metabolic engineering techniques, as well as medium optimization. All these studies necessitate a good and high throughput screening method. Currently, researchers mostly use HPLC methods which often necessitate sample preparation, are not stereospecific and do not allow high throughput. To help optimizing l-lactic acid production, we developed a high throughput colorimetric method inspired by the blood l-lactic acid detection method used for diagnosis (Lin et al., 1999 [3]).•Two sequential enzymatic reactions using l-lactate oxidase, peroxidase and ABTS (2,2'-azino-di-[3-ethylbenzthiazoine-sulfonate]), a chromogenic peroxidase substrate, are used to quantify l-lactate between 13.8 and 90 mg/l.•The accuracy of the method was ascertained before automation.•The method was successfully applied for the direct determination of l-lactate content in fungal culture supernatants.

  10. Development of a partially automated solubility screening (PASS) assay for early drug development.

    PubMed

    Alsenz, Jochem; Meister, Eva; Haenel, Elisabeth

    2007-07-01

    A medium-throughput, compound-saving, thermodynamic solubility assay for early drug development was developed. Solid compound suspended in heptane was used for simple, time-saving, and flexible compound distribution into 96-well plates, with minor risk to generate new physical forms during dispensing. Low volume, well-stirred incubation vessels were generated by using a combination of V-shaped wells, well caps, and vertically inserted stir bars. This allowed solubility determination up to 100 mg/mL in 40-80 microL volumes in aqueous and nonaqueous, low- and high-viscosity solvents. After removal of residual solid through syringe filters mounted on microtiter plates, the filtrate was quantified by ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) using a 1.2 min gradient. Combined with a robotic liquid handling system, throughput was 45 samples per hour and >600 solubility measurements per week. Results from the partially automated solubility screening (PASS) assay correlated well with reported solubility values (r2 = 0.882). The PASS assay is useful for compound-saving, thermodynamic solubility measurement at the discovery-development interface where maximal solubility in many commonly used solvents needs to be determined. PASS results provide a basis for the identification of formulation strategies, the selection of appropriate excipients, and for the prediction of the potential in vivo behavior of compounds.

  11. A whole genome RNAi screen of Drosophila S2 cell spreading performed using automated computational image analysis.

    PubMed

    D'Ambrosio, Michael V; Vale, Ronald D

    2010-11-01

    Recent technological advances in microscopy have enabled cell-based whole genome screens, but the analysis of the vast amount of image data generated by such screens usually proves to be rate limiting. In this study, we performed a whole genome RNA interference (RNAi) screen to uncover genes that affect spreading of Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells using several computational methods for analyzing the image data in an automated manner. Expected genes in the Scar-Arp2/3 actin nucleation pathway were identified as well as casein kinase I, which had a similar morphological RNAi signature. A distinct nonspreading morphological phenotype was identified for genes involved in membrane secretion or synthesis. In this group, we identified a new secretory peptide and investigated the functions of two poorly characterized endoplasmic reticulum proteins that have roles in secretion. Thus, this genome-wide screen succeeded in identifying known and unexpected proteins that are important for cell spreading, and the computational tools developed in this study should prove useful for other types of automated whole genome screens.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Automated higher-throughput compound screening on ion channel targets based on the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system.

    PubMed

    Pehl, Ulrich; Leisgen, Christine; Gampe, Kristine; Guenther, Elke

    2004-10-01

    As numerous diseases have been shown to be related to dysfunction of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors and to affect regulatory pathways, ion channels have attracted increasing attention as a target class for drug discovery. The concomitant demand of the pharmaceutical industry for adequate electrophysiological methods to investigate drug effects on specific ion channels in secondary and safety screening has resulted in the development of electrophysiological instrumentation that allows automated monitoring of ion channel function with a higher throughput. Here we tested a fully automated screening system based on the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. We addressed the questions of data quality and reproducibility obtained by automated oocyte injection and two-electrode voltage-clamp (TEVC) recording using the Roboocyte (Multi Channel Systems GmbH, Reutlingen, Germany) technology compared to conventional oocyte recording. A gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A-receptor subtype (alpha(1)beta(2)) was chosen as an example for a ligand-gated ion channel, and the slowly activating potassium current I(Ks) as a voltage-activated ion channel. Oocytes were injected with cDNA or cRNA via the Roboocyte injection stage. Ion channel currents were successfully recorded after 2-7 days in about 40% of the oocytes injected with GABA(A) receptor cDNA, and after 2-4 days in about 60% of the oocytes injected with KCNE1 cRNA. EC(50) values for the GABA(A) receptor and IC(50) values for blockers of I(Ks) were comparable to values obtained with conventional TEVC recording techniques. In conclusion, our results show that the Roboocyte is a valuable automated tool for oocyte injection and TEVC recording that can be used in drug screening and target validation to enhance the number of compounds and oocytes tested per day.

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

    PubMed

    Dalecki, Alex G; Wolschendorf, Frank

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Performance characteristics of two automated solid-phase red cell adherence systems for pretransfusion antibody screening: a cautionary tale.

    PubMed

    Quillen, K; Caron, J; Murphy, K

    2012-01-01

    Out institution has implemented two instruments, the Galileo and the Echo, that use different solid-phase red cell adherence assays for antibody screening in pretransfusion compatibility testing.During the initial implementation of these two instruments, we noticed very different problems: falsely positive results on the Galileo, and falsely negative results and lack of reproducibility on the Echo. Comparison of falsely positive antibody screen results from approximately equivalent numbers of samples run on the Galileo and samples tested by standard manual tube technique using low-ionic-strength saline enhancement showed a false-positive rate of 1.4 percent on the Galileo (defined as a positive screen with a negative panel). Testing using the Echo identified four cases of falsely negative antibody screens, (defined as a negative screen on a patient sample subsequently shown to be positive by the same method). In addition, we note a lack of reproducibility on the Echo, which emphasizes the importance of replicate testing during validation of automated antibody screening platforms.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Dalecki, Alex G; Wolschendorf, Frank

    2016-07-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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/.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-15

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

  6. 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.

  7. Establishment of Control Parameters for in Situ, Automated Screening of Sustained Hydrogen Photoproduction by Individual Algal Colonies 1

    PubMed Central

    Graves, D. A.; Reeves, M. E.; Greenbaum, E.

    1988-01-01

    An apparatus was constructed which allowed automated screening of individual microalgal colonies for sustained ability to photoevolve H2 during anaerobic photosynthesis. The main components of this apparatus were a microcomputer, a He-Ne laser mounted on a computer-controlled X-Y translation stage, a flow-through chamber which contained an agar plate of colonies, and a H2 detector which interfaced with the microcomputer for data collection. The system was capable of detecting a minimum production rate of 1 nanomole of H2 per hour per colony and provided an efficient means of screening relatively large numbers of algal colonies. Examination of the effect of the spacing of colonies on the agar plate, light intensity, stability of colonies within a screening period, colony age, chlorophyll content, and colony size on H2 yield indicated that, under optimum conditions, yields from genetically uniform colonies varied by no more than a factor of 2 in their H2-producing ability. Therefore, colonies of algae whose H2 yields lie outside this intrinsic twofold variability can be identified and selected as natural variants or mutants. A description of the construction and of the apparatus is presented, and the experimental results used to establish the control parameters for Chlamydomonas reinhardtii colonies are discussed. Images Fig. 1 PMID:16666193

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Information management for high content live cell imaging

    PubMed Central

    Jameson, Daniel; Turner, David A; Ankers, John; Kennedy, Stephnie; Ryan, Sheila; Swainston, Neil; Griffiths, Tony; Spiller, David G; Oliver, Stephen G; White, Michael RH; Kell, Douglas B; Paton, Norman W

    2009-01-01

    Background High content live cell imaging experiments are able to track the cellular localisation of labelled proteins in multiple live cells over a time course. Experiments using high content live cell imaging will generate multiple large datasets that are often stored in an ad-hoc manner. This hinders identification of previously gathered data that may be relevant to current analyses. Whilst solutions exist for managing image data, they are primarily concerned with storage and retrieval of the images themselves and not the data derived from the images. There is therefore a requirement for an information management solution that facilitates the indexing of experimental metadata and results of high content live cell imaging experiments. Results We have designed and implemented a data model and information management solution for the data gathered through high content live cell imaging experiments. Many of the experiments to be stored measure the translocation of fluorescently labelled proteins from cytoplasm to nucleus in individual cells. The functionality of this database has been enhanced by the addition of an algorithm that automatically annotates results of these experiments with the timings of translocations and periods of any oscillatory translocations as they are uploaded to the repository. Testing has shown the algorithm to perform well with a variety of previously unseen data. Conclusion Our repository is a fully functional example of how high throughput imaging data may be effectively indexed and managed to address the requirements of end users. By implementing the automated analysis of experimental results, we have provided a clear impetus for individuals to ensure that their data forms part of that which is stored in the repository. Although focused on imaging, the solution provided is sufficiently generic to be applied to other functional proteomics and genomics experiments. The software is available from: PMID:19622144

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Integration of a rapid automated solubility classification into early validation of hits obtained by high throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Fligge, Thilo A; Schuler, Andrea

    2006-10-11

    Besides the structural verification of hits generated by high throughput screening also the determination of physicochemical properties is essential for an efficient lead identification. Especially solubility is fundamental for the correct planning and interpretation of experiments. We describe the set up of a fast automated solubility test within our existing workflow for hit validation to assure compound identity and purity. 384-Well plates with hit validation compound solution are used for analysis employing liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC/MS). The remaining compound solution was used for a fast automated solubility classification employing a nephelometer integrated into a Tecan robotic workstation. Thereby 9000 compounds were classified as poorly- and well-soluble. This rapid and simple test does not require any additional amount of sample or sample processing than before but provides additional information on the hits at an early stage of lead identification. Validated by a more detailed nephelometric analysis for 500 out of the 9000 compounds in different buffer systems this simple test has shown to produce relevant data.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. State-of-the-art automated patch clamp: heat activation, action potentials, and high throughput in ion channel screening.

    PubMed

    Stoelzle-Feix, Sonja

    2014-01-01

    A successful robotic approach of the patch clamp technique is based on planar patch clamp chips where a glass pipette, as used in conventional patch clamping, is replaced by a thin planar glass sheet with a small hole in the middle. Automated patch clamp (APC) systems utilizing this chip design offer higher throughput capabilities and ease of use and thus have become common in basic research, drug development, and safety screening. Further development of existing devices and introduction of new systems widen the range of possible experiments and increase throughput. Here, two features with different areas of applications that meet the needs of drug discovery researchers and basic researchers alike are described. The utilized system is a medium throughput APC device capable of recording up to eight cells simultaneously. The temperature control capability and the possibility to perform recordings not only in the voltage clamp but also in the current clamp mode are described in detail. Since eight recordings can be generated in parallel without compromising data quality, reliable and cost-effective and time-effective screening of compounds against ion channels using voltage clamp and current clamp electrophysiology can be performed. PMID:25023302

  16. 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.

  17. Automated frequency domain analysis of oxygen saturation as a screening tool for SAHS.

    PubMed

    Morillo, Daniel Sánchez; Gross, Nicole; León, Antonio; Crespo, Luis F

    2012-09-01

    Sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (SAHS) is significantly underdiagnosed and new screening systems are needed. The analysis of oxygen desaturation has been proposed as a screening method. However, when oxygen saturation (SpO(2)) is used as a standalone single channel device, algorithms working in time domain achieve either a high sensitivity or a high specificity, but not usually both. This limitation arises from the dependence of time-domain analysis on absolute SpO(2) values and the lack of standardized thresholds defined as pathological. The aim of this study is to assess the degree of concordance between SAHS screening using offline frequency domain processing of SpO(2) signals and the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), and the diagnostic performance of such a new method. SpO(2) signals from 115 subjects were analyzed. Data were divided in a training data set (37) and a test set (78). Power spectral density was calculated and related to the desaturation index scored by physicians. A frequency desaturation index (FDI) was then estimated and its accuracy compared to the classical desaturation index and to the apnea-hypopnea index. The findings point to a high diagnostic agreement: the best sensitivity and specificity values obtained were 83.33% and 80.44%, respectively. Moreover, the proposed method does not rely on absolute SpO(2) values and is highly robust to artifacts.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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%.

  2. 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. PMID:25561453

  3. Quick screening of priority β-agonists in urine using automated TurboFlow™-LC/Exactive mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Bernsmann, T; Fürst, P; Godula, M

    2011-10-01

    This paper describes a method for the determination of priority β-agonists in urine based on a fully automated sample preparation procedure using an online TurboFlow™ chromatography clean-up step and determination with Orbitrap™ mass analyser technology. The principle of the method was the enrichment of the β-agonists after enzymatic hydrolysis overnight on a small column packed with a special stationary phase (TurboFlow™) while flushing away sample matrix and interfering compounds. Thereafter, the analytes were transferred onto an analytical column and detected by liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry in full-scan mode at a resolution of R = 50,000 FWHM (full width at half maximum) and in higher energy collisional dissociation (HCD) scan mode at a resolving power of 10,000 FWHM. The optimisation of each step of the method, such as selection of the TurboFlow™ and analytical column as well as sample loading and elution parameters were performed using a standard solution containing salbutamol, clenbuterol and mabuterol at a concentration of 100 µg l(-1). The developed automated sample preparation significantly improved the throughput and efficiency of the previously used screening method and it resulted in a considerable reduction in analysis time. Validation experiments including 24 β-agonists in urine gave decision limits (CCα) between 0.05 and 0.35 µg l(-1). The repeatability of analyses for urine samples spiked at 0.5 µg l(-1) was within the range of 5-26% and recoveries for all compounds were within 89-107%.

  4. A novel 3D high-content assay identifies compounds that prevent fibroblast invasion into tissue surrogates.

    PubMed

    Wenzel, Carsten; Otto, Saskia; Prechtl, Stefan; Parczyk, Karsten; Steigemann, Patrick

    2015-11-15

    Invasion processes underlie or accompany several pathological processes but only a limited number of high-throughput capable phenotypic models exist to test anti-invasive compounds in vitro. We here evaluated 3D co-cultures as a high-content phenotypic screening system for fibrotic invasive processes. 3D multicellular spheroids were used as living tissue surrogates in co-culture with fluorescently labeled lung fibroblasts to monitor invasion processes by automated microscopy. This setup was used to screen a compound library containing 480 known bioactive substances. Identified hits prevented fibroblast invasion and could be subdivided into two hit classes. First, Prostaglandins were shown to prevent fibroblast invasion, most likely mediated by the prostaglandin EP2 receptor and generation of cAMP. Additionally, Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitors prevented fibroblast invasion, possibly by inactivation of myosin II. Importantly, both Prostaglandins and ROCK inhibitors are potential treatment options shown to be effective in in vitro and in vivo models of fibrotic diseases. This validates the presented novel phenotypic screening approach for the evaluation of potential inhibitors and the identification of novel compounds with activity in diseases that are associated with fibroblast invasion.

  5. State-of-the-Art Automated Patch Clamp Devices: Heat Activation, Action Potentials, and High Throughput in Ion Channel Screening

    PubMed Central

    Stoelzle, Sonja; Obergrussberger, Alison; Brüggemann, Andrea; Haarmann, Claudia; George, Michael; Kettenhofen, Ralf; Fertig, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Ion channels are essential in a wide range of cellular functions and their malfunction underlies many disease states making them important targets in drug discovery. The availability of standardized cell lines expressing ion channels of interest lead to the development of diverse automated patch clamp (APC) systems with high-throughput capabilities. These systems are now available for drug screening, but there are limitations in the application range. However, further development of existing devices and introduction of new systems widen the range of possible experiments and increase throughput. The addition of well controlled and fast solution exchange, temperature control and the availability of the current clamp mode are required to analyze standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in a more physiologically relevant environment. Here we describe two systems with different areas of applications that meet the needs of drug discovery researchers and basic researchers alike. The here utilized medium throughput APC device is a planar patch clamp system capable of recording up to eight cells simultaneously. Features such as temperature control and recordings in the current clamp mode are described here. Standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have been used in the voltage clamp and current clamp modes with the view to finding new drug candidates and safety testing methods in a more physiologically relevant environment. The high-throughput system used here is a planar patch clamp screening platform capable of recording from 96 cells in parallel and offers a throughput of 5000 data points per day. Full dose response curves can be acquired from individual cells reducing the cost per data point. The data provided reveals the suitability and relevance of both APC platforms for drug discovery, ion channel research, and safety testing. PMID:22131976

  6. State-of-the-Art Automated Patch Clamp Devices: Heat Activation, Action Potentials, and High Throughput in Ion Channel Screening.

    PubMed

    Stoelzle, Sonja; Obergrussberger, Alison; Brüggemann, Andrea; Haarmann, Claudia; George, Michael; Kettenhofen, Ralf; Fertig, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Ion channels are essential in a wide range of cellular functions and their malfunction underlies many disease states making them important targets in drug discovery. The availability of standardized cell lines expressing ion channels of interest lead to the development of diverse automated patch clamp (APC) systems with high-throughput capabilities. These systems are now available for drug screening, but there are limitations in the application range. However, further development of existing devices and introduction of new systems widen the range of possible experiments and increase throughput. The addition of well controlled and fast solution exchange, temperature control and the availability of the current clamp mode are required to analyze standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in a more physiologically relevant environment. Here we describe two systems with different areas of applications that meet the needs of drug discovery researchers and basic researchers alike. The here utilized medium throughput APC device is a planar patch clamp system capable of recording up to eight cells simultaneously. Features such as temperature control and recordings in the current clamp mode are described here. Standard cell lines and excitable cells such as stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have been used in the voltage clamp and current clamp modes with the view to finding new drug candidates and safety testing methods in a more physiologically relevant environment. The high-throughput system used here is a planar patch clamp screening platform capable of recording from 96 cells in parallel and offers a throughput of 5000 data points per day. Full dose response curves can be acquired from individual cells reducing the cost per data point. The data provided reveals the suitability and relevance of both APC platforms for drug discovery, ion channel research, and safety testing. PMID:22131976

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. An automated mass spectrometry-based screening method for analysis of sulfated glycosaminoglycans.

    PubMed

    Kiselova, Nadezda; Dierker, Tabea; Spillmann, Dorothe; Ramström, Margareta

    2014-07-18

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are linear polysaccharides, consisting of repeated disaccharide units, attached to core proteins in all multicellular organisms. Chondroitin sulfate (CS) and dermatan sulfate (DS) constitute a subgroup of sulfated GAGs for which the degree of sulfation varies between species and tissues. One major goal in GAG characterization is to correlate structure to function. A common approach is to exhaustively degrade the GAG chains and thereafter determine the amount of component disaccharide units. In large-scale studies, there is a need for high-throughput screening methods since existing methods are either very time- or samples consuming. Here, we present a new strategy applying MALDI-TOF MS in positive ion mode for semi-qualitative and quantitative analysis of CS/DS derived disaccharide units. Only a few picomoles of sample are required per analysis and 10 samples can be analyzed in 25 min, which makes this approach an attractive alternative to many established assay methods. The total CS/DS concentration in 19 samples derived from Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian tissues and cells was determined. The obtained results were well in accordance with concentrations determined by a standard liquid chromatography-based method, demonstrating the applicability of the method for samples from various biological matrices containing CS/DS of different sulfation degrees.

  11. Novel heparan sulfate assay by using automated high-throughput mass spectrometry: Application to monitoring and screening for mucopolysaccharidoses.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Tsutomu; Kelly, Joan; LaMarr, William A; van Vlies, Naomi; Yasuda, Eriko; Mason, Robert W; Mackenzie, William; Kubaski, Francyne; Giugliani, Roberto; Chinen, Yasutsugu; Yamaguchi, Seiji; Suzuki, Yasuyuki; Orii, Kenji E; Fukao, Toshiyuki; Orii, Tadao; Tomatsu, Shunji

    2014-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are caused by deficiency of one of a group of specific lysosomal enzymes, resulting in excessive accumulation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). We previously developed GAG assay methods using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS); however, it takes 4-5 min per sample for analysis. For the large numbers of samples in a screening program, a more rapid process is desirable. The automated high-throughput mass spectrometry (HT-MS/MS) system (RapidFire) integrates a solid phase extraction robot to concentrate and desalt samples prior to direction into the MS/MS without chromatographic separation; thereby allowing each sample to be processed within 10s (enabling screening of more than one million samples per year). The aim of this study was to develop a higher throughput system to assay heparan sulfate (HS) using HT-MS/MS, and to compare its reproducibility, sensitivity and specificity with conventional LC-MS/MS. HS levels were measured in the blood (plasma and serum) from control subjects and patients with MPS II, III, or IV and in dried blood spots (DBS) from newborn controls and patients with MPS I, II, or III. Results obtained from HT-MS/MS showed 1) that there was a strong correlation of levels of disaccharides derived from HS in the blood, between those calculated using conventional LC-MS/MS and HT-MS/MS, 2) that levels of HS in the blood were significantly elevated in patients with MPS II and III, but not in MPS IVA, 3) that the level of HS in patients with a severe form of MPS II was higher than that in an attenuated form, 4) that reduction of blood HS level was observed in MPS II patients treated with enzyme replacement therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and 5) that levels of HS in newborn DBS were elevated in patients with MPS I, II or III, compared to those of control newborns. In conclusion, HT-MS/MS provides much higher throughput than LC-MS/MS-based methods with similar sensitivity and specificity

  12. 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

  13. High-content classification of nucleocytoplasmic import or export inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Yong-Jun; Genovesio, Auguste; Youl Kim, Nam; Hi Chul Kim; Jung, Sungyong; David-Watine, Brigitte; Nehrbass, Ulf; Emans, Neil

    2007-08-01

    Transcription factors of the nuclear factor kappa B family are the paradigm for signaling dependent nuclear translocation and are ideally suited to analysis through image-based chemical genetic screening. The authors describe combining high-content image analysis with a compound screen to identify compounds affecting either nuclear import or export. Validation in silico and in vitro determined an EC(50) for the nuclear export blocker leptomycin B of 2.4 ng/mL (4.4 nM). The method demonstrated high selectivity (Z' >0.95), speed, and robustness in a screen of a compound collection. It identified the IkappaB protein kinase inhibitor BAY 11 7082 as an import inhibitor, the p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase inhibitor PD98509 as an import enhancer, and phorbol ester as an export inhibitor. The results establish a robust method for identifying compounds regulating nucleocytoplasmic import or export and also implicate MAP kinases in nuclear import of nuclear factor kappa B.

  14. 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...

  15. 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. PMID:24444127

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mainali, Dipak; Seelenbinder, John

    2016-05-01

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

  1. Screening of plant and fungal metabolites in wheat, maize and animal feed using automated on-line clean-up coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Ates, Ebru; Godula, Michal; Stroka, Joerg; Senyuva, Hamide

    2014-01-01

    A wide range of plant and fungal metabolites can occur in cereals and feed but only a limited number of target compounds are sought. This screening method is using a database of over 600 metabolites to establish contamination profiles in food and feed. Extracts were injected directly into an automated turbulent flow sample clean-up system, coupled to a liquid-chromatography-high-resolution-mass-spectrometer (Orbitrap). Compound identification criteria for database searching were defined and the approach was validated by spiking plant and fungal metabolites into cereals and feed. A small survey of market samples (15) and quality control materials (9) of maize, wheat and feed was conducted using this method. Besides regulated and known secondary metabolites, fumiquinazoline F, fusarochromanone and dihydrofusarubin were identified for the first time in samples of maize and oats. This method enables clean-up of crude extracts within 18min and screening and confirmation of a wide range of different compound classes.

  2. An automated multistep high-throughput screening assay for the identification of lead inhibitors of the inducible enzyme mPGES-1.

    PubMed

    Massé, Frédéric; Guiral, Sébastien; Fortin, Louis-Jacques; Cauchon, Elizabeth; Ethier, Diane; Guay, Jocelyne; Brideau, Christine

    2005-09-01

    Prostaglandin E2 synthase (mPGES-1), the enzyme which catalyzes the synthesis of PGE2, is induced during the inflammatory response. For this reason, mPGES-1 could be a potential therapeutic target. A high-throughput screening assay was developed to identify potential inhibitors of mPGES-1. The assay consisted of a 30-s mPGES-1 enzymatic reaction followed by the detection of PGE2 by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). The enzymatic reaction was performed in a batch mode because the instability of the substrate (10 min) limited the number of plates assayed within a working day. The detection of the product by EIA was performed on 3 instruments requiring 14 different steps for complete automation. The authors describe here the optimization and implementation of a 2-part assay on a Thermo CRS robotic system. More than 315,000 compounds were tested, and a hit rate of 0.84% was obtained for this assay. Although the entire assay required multiple steps, the assay was successfully miniaturized and automated for a high-throughput screening campaign.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. ImagePlane: An Automated Image Analysis Pipeline for High-Throughput Screens Using the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Flygare, Steven; Campbell, Michael; Ross, Robert Mars; Moore, Barry

    2013-01-01

    Abstract ImagePlane is a modular pipeline for automated, high-throughput image analysis and information extraction. Designed to support planarian research, ImagePlane offers a self-parameterizing adaptive thresholding algorithm; an algorithm that can automatically segment animals into anterior–posterior/left–right quadrants for automated identification of region-specific differences in gene and protein expression; and a novel algorithm for quantification of morphology of animals, independent of their orientations and sizes. ImagePlane also provides methods for automatic report generation, and its outputs can be easily imported into third-party tools such as R and Excel. Here we demonstrate the pipeline's utility for identification of genes involved in stem cell proliferation in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Although designed to support planarian studies, ImagePlane will prove useful for cell-based studies as well. PMID:23822514

  8. 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. PMID:24358939

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:22713755

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Automated quantitative dose-response modeling and point of departure determination for large toxicogenomic and high-throughput screening data sets.

    PubMed

    Burgoon, Lyle D; Zacharewski, Timothy R

    2008-08-01

    Regulatory and homeland security agencies undertake safety and risk assessments to assess the potential hazards of radiation, chemical, biological, and pharmaceutical agents. By law, these assessments must be science-based to ensure public safety and environmental quality. These agencies use dose-response modeling and benchmark dose methods to identify points of departure across single end points elicited by the agent. Regulatory agencies have also begun to examine toxicogenomic data to identify novel biomarkers of exposure and assess potential toxicity. The ToxResponse Modeler streamlines analyses and point of departure (POD) calculations across hundreds of responses (e.g., differential gene expression, changes in metabolite levels) through an automated process capable of large-scale modeling and model selection. The application identifies the best-fit dose-response model utilizing particle swarm optimization and calculates the probabilistic POD. The application analyzed a publicly available 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin dose-response data set of hepatic gene expression data in C57BL/6 mice to identify putative biomarkers. The Gene Ontology mapped these responses to specific functions to differentiate adaptive effects from toxic responses. In principle, safety and risk assessors could use the automated ToxResponse Modeler to analyze any large dose-response data set including outputs from high-throughput screening assays to assist with the ranking and prioritization of compounds that warrant further investigation or development.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Complexity in Redesigning Depression Care: Comparing Intention Versus Implementation of an Automated Depression Screening and Monitoring Program.

    PubMed

    Di Capua, Paul; Wu, Brian; Sednew, Renee; Ryan, Gery; Wu, Shinyi

    2016-10-01

    Health care technology promises to improve quality and decrease costs while improving the patient experience. A recent trial tested a novel health technology that sought to reduce barriers to guideline-recommended depression care by coupling automated telephonic patient assessment with provider notification and decision support. This study compares the intended effects and the end users' experience with using this technology. Responses to semi-structured interviews with the leadership and design team (the intention group) were compared with responses from health professionals in clinics using the technology (the implementation group). Qualitative methods were applied to compare perspectives on the role of technology in care delivery and on the technology's impact on barriers to providing guideline-recommended care. Four members of the intention group and 17 members of the implementation group were interviewed. The 2 groups had similar notions of technology's role in care delivery. The technology increased provider awareness, empowered midlevel providers, and facilitated collaboration among care team members. However, the implementation group identified gaps in care processes and in the informatics system that the technology did not address, and for which providers remained responsible. The 2 groups had comparable perspectives on the value and limits of technology in improving adherence to guideline-recommended care. However, the intention group did not discuss many of the shortcomings identified by the implementation group. Also, the interviews suggest that although some barriers persisted and a few new ones arose, the technology succeeded in reducing barriers to guideline-recommended care.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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,...

  3. 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.

  4. Relevance Rank Platform (RRP) for Functional Filtering of High Content Protein-Protein Interaction Data.

    PubMed

    Pokharel, Yuba Raj; Saarela, Jani; Szwajda, Agnieszka; Rupp, Christian; Rokka, Anne; Lal Kumar Karna, Shibendra; Teittinen, Kaisa; Corthals, Garry; Kallioniemi, Olli; Wennerberg, Krister; Aittokallio, Tero; Westermarck, Jukka

    2015-12-01

    High content protein interaction screens have revolutionized our understanding of protein complex assembly. However, one of the major challenges in translation of high content protein interaction data is identification of those interactions that are functionally relevant for a particular biological question. To address this challenge, we developed a relevance ranking platform (RRP), which consist of modular functional and bioinformatic filters to provide relevance rank among the interactome proteins. We demonstrate the versatility of RRP to enable a systematic prioritization of the most relevant interaction partners from high content data, highlighted by the analysis of cancer relevant protein interactions for oncoproteins Pin1 and PME-1. We validated the importance of selected interactions by demonstration of PTOV1 and CSKN2B as novel regulators of Pin1 target c-Jun phosphorylation and reveal previously unknown interacting proteins that may mediate PME-1 effects via PP2A-inhibition. The RRP framework is modular and can be modified to answer versatile research problems depending on the nature of the biological question under study. Based on comparison of RRP to other existing filtering tools, the presented data indicate that RRP offers added value especially for the analysis of interacting proteins for which there is no sufficient prior knowledge available. Finally, we encourage the use of RRP in combination with either SAINT or CRAPome computational tools for selecting the candidate interactors that fulfill the both important requirements, functional relevance, and high confidence interaction detection.

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

    PubMed

    Yajuan, Xiao; Xin, Liang; Zhiyuan, Li

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-12

    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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Automated Processing of Zebrafish Imaging Data: A Survey

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 1Click1View: Interactive Visualization Methodology for RNAi Cell-Based Microscopic Screening

    PubMed Central

    Zwolinski, Lukasz; Kozak, Marta; Kozak, Karol

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 1Click1View: interactive visualization methodology for RNAi cell-based microscopic screening.

    PubMed

    Zwolinski, Lukasz; Kozak, Marta; Kozak, Karol

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans semi-automated liquid screen reveals a specialized role for the chemotaxis gene cheB2 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence.

    PubMed

    Garvis, Steven; Munder, Antje; Ball, Geneviève; de Bentzmann, Sophie; Wiehlmann, Lutz; Ewbank, Jonathan J; Tümmler, Burkhard; Filloux, Alain

    2009-08-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen that causes infections in a variety of animal and plant hosts. Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple model with which one can identify bacterial virulence genes. Previous studies with C. elegans have shown that depending on the growth medium, P. aeruginosa provokes different pathologies: slow or fast killing, lethal paralysis and red death. In this study, we developed a high-throughput semi-automated liquid-based assay such that an entire genome can readily be scanned for virulence genes in a short time period. We screened a 2,200-member STM mutant library generated in a cystic fibrosis airway P. aeruginosa isolate, TBCF10839. Twelve mutants were isolated each showing at least 70% attenuation in C. elegans killing. The selected mutants had insertions in regulatory genes, such as a histidine kinase sensor of two-component systems and a member of the AraC family, or in genes involved in adherence or chemotaxis. One mutant had an insertion in a cheB gene homologue, encoding a methylesterase involved in chemotaxis (CheB2). The cheB2 mutant was tested in a murine lung infection model and found to have a highly attenuated virulence. The cheB2 gene is part of the chemotactic gene cluster II, which was shown to be required for an optimal mobility in vitro. In P. aeruginosa, the main player in chemotaxis and mobility is the chemotactic gene cluster I, including cheB1. We show that, in contrast to the cheB2 mutant, a cheB1 mutant is not attenuated for virulence in C. elegans whereas in vitro motility and chemotaxis are severely impaired. We conclude that the virulence defect of the cheB2 mutant is not linked with a global motility defect but that instead the cheB2 gene is involved in a specific chemotactic response, which takes place during infection and is required for P. aeruginosa pathogenicity.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGorty, Ryan; Huang, Bo

    2016-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. In Vivo High-Content Evaluation of Three-Dimensional Scaffolds Biocompatibility

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  3. Automating Small Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swan, James

    1996-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khatau, Shyam

    2013-03-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Optical properties of silicon with a high content of boron

    SciTech Connect

    Khirunenko, L. I. Pomozov, Yu. V.; Sosnin, M. G.

    2013-02-15

    After exposure of silicon with a high content of boron and oxygen to light with the spectrum close to that of solar radiation and with the intensity 70-80 mW cm{sup -2}, a new defect corresponding to the absorption band observed at liquid-helium temperature at the frequency 1026.7 cm{sup -1} is detected in the material. It is shown that the components of the defect are boron and oxygen atoms. The defect is formed at a considerable concentration of free charge carriers induced by exposure of the sample to light or by heat treatments at a low current flow through the sample. It is thought that the defect can be formed due to the direct interaction between the components as well as via the precursors of the stable form of the defect. It is shown that doping of silicon with germanium reduces the efficiency of the formation of the defect corresponding to the detected absorption band.

  10. High content of biogenic amines in Pecorino cheeses.

    PubMed

    Schirone, Maria; Tofalo, Rosanna; Fasoli, Giuseppe; Perpetuini, Giorgia; Corsetti, Aldo; Manetta, Anna Chiara; Ciarrocchi, Aurora; Suzzi, Giovanna

    2013-05-01

    Pecorino refers to Italian cheeses made exclusively from raw or pasteurized ewes' milk, characterized by a high content of fat matter and it is mainly produced in the Middle and South of Italy by traditional procedures. The autochthonous microbiota plays an important role in the organoleptic traits of Pecorino cheese and it can influence biogenic amines (BA) content. The aim of this study was to characterize from microbiological and chemical point of view 12 randomly purchased commercial cheeses produced in Abruzzo region. Moreover, the BA content and the bacteria showing a decarboxylating activity were detected. For this purpose, a real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) was applied to evaluate histamine and tyramine-producers. The samples were well differentiated for microbial groups composition, such as aerobic mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, coagulase-negative staphylococci, yeasts, enterococci, mesophilic and thermophilic lactobacilli. Pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 were absent in all samples. In most samples the content of BA resulted to be high, with prevalence of histamine and tyramine. In particular, total BA content reached 5861 mg/kg in Pecorino di Fossa cheese. The qPCR method resulted to be very useful to understand the role of autochthonous Pecorino cheese microbiota on BA accumulation in many different products. In fact, since the ability of microorganisms to decarboxylate aminoacids is highly variable being in most cases strain-specific, the detection of bacteria possessing this activity is important to estimate the risk of BA cheese content.

  11. High content evaluation of shear dependent platelet function in a microfluidic flow assay.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Ryan R; Wufsus, Adam R; Barton, Steven T; Onasoga, Abimbola A; Johnson-Paben, Rebecca M; Neeves, Keith B

    2013-02-01

    The high blood volume requirements and low throughput of conventional flow assays for measuring platelet function are unsuitable for drug screening and clinical applications. In this study, we describe a microfluidic flow assay that uses 50 μL of whole blood to measure platelet function on ~300 micropatterned spots of collagen over a range of physiologic shear rates (50-920 s(-1)). Patterning of collagen thin films (CTF) was achieved using a novel hydrated microcontact stamping method. CTF spots of 20, 50, and 100 μm were defined on glass substrates and consisted of a dense mat of nanoscale collagen fibers (3.74 ± 0.75 nm). We found that a spot size of greater than 20 μm was necessary to support platelet adhesion under flow, suggesting a threshold injury size is necessary for stable platelet adhesion. Integrating 50 μm CTF microspots into a multishear microfluidic device yielded a high content assay from which we extracted platelet accumulation metrics (lag time, growth rate, total accumulation) on the spots using Hoffman modulation contrast microscopy. This method has potential broad application in identifying platelet function defects and screening, monitoring, and dosing antiplatelet agents. PMID:23001359

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

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Pranav; Lee, Moo-Yeal

    2015-01-01

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

  13. High content evaluation of shear dependent platelet function in a microfluidic flow assay.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Ryan R; Wufsus, Adam R; Barton, Steven T; Onasoga, Abimbola A; Johnson-Paben, Rebecca M; Neeves, Keith B

    2013-02-01

    The high blood volume requirements and low throughput of conventional flow assays for measuring platelet function are unsuitable for drug screening and clinical applications. In this study, we describe a microfluidic flow assay that uses 50 μL of whole blood to measure platelet function on ~300 micropatterned spots of collagen over a range of physiologic shear rates (50-920 s(-1)). Patterning of collagen thin films (CTF) was achieved using a novel hydrated microcontact stamping method. CTF spots of 20, 50, and 100 μm were defined on glass substrates and consisted of a dense mat of nanoscale collagen fibers (3.74 ± 0.75 nm). We found that a spot size of greater than 20 μm was necessary to support platelet adhesion under flow, suggesting a threshold injury size is necessary for stable platelet adhesion. Integrating 50 μm CTF microspots into a multishear microfluidic device yielded a high content assay from which we extracted platelet accumulation metrics (lag time, growth rate, total accumulation) on the spots using Hoffman modulation contrast microscopy. This method has potential broad application in identifying platelet function defects and screening, monitoring, and dosing antiplatelet agents.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  16. High-content analysis in preclinical drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Denner, Philip; Schmalowsky, Janine; Prechtl, Stefan

    2008-03-01

    High-Content Analysis (HCA) has developed into an established tool and is used in a wide range of academic laboratories and pharmaceutical research groups. HCA is now routinely proving to be effective in providing functionally relevant results. It is essential to select the appropriate HCA application with regard to the targeted compound's cellular function. The cellular impact and compound specificity as revealed by HCA analysis facilitates reaching definitive conclusions at an early stage in the drug discovery process. This technology therefore has the potential to substantially improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical research. Recent advances in fluorescent probes have significantly boosted the success of HCA. Auto-fluorescent proteins which minimally hinder the functioning of the living cell have been playing a decisive role in cell biology research. For companies the severely restricted license conditions regarding auto-fluorescent proteins hamper their general use in pharmaceutical research. This has opened the field for other solutions such as self-labeling protein technology, which could potentially replace the well established methods that utilize auto-fluorescent proteins. In addition, direct labeling techniques have improved considerably and may supersede many of the approaches based on fusion proteins. Following sample preparation, treated cells are imaged and the resulting multiple fluorescent signals are subjected to contextual and statistical analysis. The extraordinary advantage of HCA is that it enables the large-scale and simultaneous quantification and correlation of multiple phenotypic responses and physiological reactions using sophisticated software solutions that permit assay-specific image analysis. Hence, HCA once more has demonstrated its outstanding potential to significantly support establishing effective pharmaceutical research processes in order to both advance research projects and cut costs.

  17. Cockpit automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiener, Earl L.

    1988-01-01

    The aims and methods of aircraft cockpit automation are reviewed from a human-factors perspective. Consideration is given to the mixed pilot reception of increased automation, government concern with the safety and reliability of highly automated aircraft, the formal definition of automation, and the ground-proximity warning system and accidents involving controlled flight into terrain. The factors motivating automation include technology availability; safety; economy, reliability, and maintenance; workload reduction and two-pilot certification; more accurate maneuvering and navigation; display flexibility; economy of cockpit space; and military requirements.

  18. Automated Hazard Analysis

    2003-06-26

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

  19. Ion channel drug discovery and research: the automated Nano-Patch-Clamp technology.

    PubMed

    Brueggemann, A; George, M; Klau, M; Beckler, M; Steindl, J; Behrends, J C; Fertig, N

    2004-01-01

    Unlike the genomics revolution, which was largely enabled by a single technological advance (high throughput sequencing), rapid advancement in proteomics will require a broader effort to increase the throughput of a number of key tools for functional analysis of different types of proteins. In the case of ion channels -a class of (membrane) proteins of great physiological importance and potential as drug targets- the lack of adequate assay technologies is felt particularly strongly. The available, indirect, high throughput screening methods for ion channels clearly generate insufficient information. The best technology to study ion channel function and screen for compound interaction is the patch clamp technique, but patch clamping suffers from low throughput, which is not acceptable for drug screening. A first step towards a solution is presented here. The nano patch clamp technology, which is based on a planar, microstructured glass chip, enables automatic whole cell patch clamp measurements. The Port-a-Patch is an automated electrophysiology workstation, which uses planar patch clamp chips. This approach enables high quality and high content ion channel and compound evaluation on a one-cell-at-a-time basis. The presented automation of the patch process and its scalability to an array format are the prerequisites for any higher throughput electrophysiology instruments. PMID:16472222

  20. Ion channel drug discovery and research: the automated Nano-Patch-Clamp technology.

    PubMed

    Brueggemann, A; George, M; Klau, M; Beckler, M; Steindl, J; Behrends, J C; Fertig, N

    2004-01-01

    Unlike the genomics revolution, which was largely enabled by a single technological advance (high throughput sequencing), rapid advancement in proteomics will require a broader effort to increase the throughput of a number of key tools for functional analysis of different types of proteins. In the case of ion channels -a class of (membrane) proteins of great physiological importance and potential as drug targets- the lack of adequate assay technologies is felt particularly strongly. The available, indirect, high throughput screening methods for ion channels clearly generate insufficient information. The best technology to study ion channel function and screen for compound interaction is the patch clamp technique, but patch clamping suffers from low throughput, which is not acceptable for drug screening. A first step towards a solution is presented here. The nano patch clamp technology, which is based on a planar, microstructured glass chip, enables automatic whole cell patch clamp measurements. The Port-a-Patch is an automated electrophysiology workstation, which uses planar patch clamp chips. This approach enables high quality and high content ion channel and compound evaluation on a one-cell-at-a-time basis. The presented automation of the patch process and its scalability to an array format are the prerequisites for any higher throughput electrophysiology instruments.

  1. Development of an automated imaging pipeline for the analysis of the zebrafish larval kidney.

    PubMed

    Westhoff, Jens H; Giselbrecht, Stefan; Schmidts, Miriam; Schindler, Sebastian; Beales, Philip L; Tönshoff, Burkhard; Liebel, Urban; Gehrig, Jochen

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of kidney malformation caused by environmental influences during nephrogenesis or by hereditary nephropathies requires animal models allowing the in vivo observation of developmental processes. The zebrafish has emerged as a useful model system for the analysis of vertebrate organ development and function, and it is suitable for the identification of organotoxic or disease-modulating compounds on a larger scale. However, to fully exploit its potential in high content screening applications, dedicated protocols are required allowing the consistent visualization of inner organs such as the embryonic kidney. To this end, we developed a high content screening compatible pipeline for the automated imaging of standardized views of the developing pronephros in zebrafish larvae. Using a custom designed tool, cavities were generated in agarose coated microtiter plates allowing for accurate positioning and orientation of zebrafish larvae. This enabled the subsequent automated acquisition of stable and consistent dorsal views of pronephric kidneys. The established pipeline was applied in a pilot screen for the analysis of the impact of potentially nephrotoxic drugs on zebrafish pronephros development in the Tg(wt1b:EGFP) transgenic line in which the developing pronephros is highlighted by GFP expression. The consistent image data that was acquired allowed for quantification of gross morphological pronephric phenotypes, revealing concentration dependent effects of several compounds on nephrogenesis. In addition, applicability of the imaging pipeline was further confirmed in a morpholino based model for cilia-associated human genetic disorders associated with different intraflagellar transport genes. The developed tools and pipeline can be used to study various aspects in zebrafish kidney research, and can be readily adapted for the analysis of other organ systems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. A High-Content Larval Zebrafish Brain Imaging Method for Small Molecule Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Harrison; Chen, Steven; Huang, Kevin; Kim, Jeffrey; Mo, Han; Iovine, Raffael; Gendre, Julie; Pascal, Pauline; Li, Qiang; Sun, Yaping; Dong, Zhiqiang; Arkin, Michelle; Guo, Su

    2016-01-01

    Drug discovery in whole-organisms such as zebrafish is a promising approach for identifying biologically-relevant lead compounds. However, high content imaging of zebrafish at cellular resolution is challenging due to the difficulty in orienting larvae en masse such that the cell type of interest is in clear view. We report the development of the multi-pose imaging method, which uses 96-well round bottom plates combined with a standard liquid handler to repose the larvae within each well multiple times, such that an image in a specific orientation can be acquired. We have validated this method in a chemo-genetic zebrafish model of dopaminergic neuron degeneration. For this purpose, we have developed an analysis pipeline that identifies the larval brain in each image and then quantifies neuronal health in CellProfiler. Our method achieves a SSMD* score of 6.96 (robust Z’-factor of 0.56) and is suitable for screening libraries up to 105 compounds in size. PMID:27732643

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Utilization of an automated pipetting system in the cell line-based screening of the activity of a DNA-damaging anti-tumour drug.

    PubMed

    Suchánková, T; Ovesná, P; Samadder, P; Souček, K

    2014-01-01

    The principles of large screening strategies, which are developed by industrial companies, have been recently adopted by researchers in the fields of molecular biology and oncology as invaluable tools for translational medicine. The declining costs of laboratory robotic machines have allowed high-throughput screening to become more available to academic centres with limited resources. Here, we describe how a robotic conventional liquid handling system could be used on a daily basis in laboratories to obtain consistent and reproducible results. Our approach allowed us to quickly screen a panel of more than 20 tumorigenic and non-tumorigenic cell lines for their responses to hydroxyurea, which is a DNA-damaging anticancer therapeutic drug. The format of 384-well microplates was used for manual cell seeding, and the effect of hydroxyurea was screened at multiple concentrations. The fluorescence-based CyQuant assay was employed as the readout method to analyse the cellular DNA content. The effectiveness of our approach was demonstrated in the experimental results.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dwyer, Daniel J.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

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

  10. Automation of an interferon-γ release assay and comparison to the tuberculin skin test for screening basic military trainees for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Donald J; Mazurek, Gerald H; Campbell, Brandon H; Bohanon, Jamaria; West, Kevin B; Bell, James J; Powell, Richard; Toney, Sean; Morris, John A; Yamane, Grover K; Sjoberg, Paul A

    2014-03-01

    We automated portions of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) and assessed its quality when performed concurrently with the tuberculin skin test (TST) among U.S. Air Force basic military trainees (BMTs). The volume of blood collected for QFT-GIT was monitored. At least one of the three tubes required for QFT-GIT had blood volume outside the recommended 0.8- to 1.2-mL range for 688 (29.0%) of 2,373 subjects who had their blood collected. Of the 2,124 subjects who had TST and QFT-GIT completed, TST was positive for 0.6%; QFT-GIT was positive for 0.3% and indeterminate for 2.0%. Among 2,081 subjects with completed TST and determinate QFT-GIT results, overall agreement was 99.5% but positive agreement was 5.6%. Specificity among the 1,546 low-risk BMTs was identical (99.7%). Indeterminate QFT-GIT results were 2.7 times more likely when mitogen tubes contained >1.2 mL blood than when containing 0.8- to 1.2-mL blood. Automation can facilitate QFT-GIT completion, especially if the recommended volume of blood is collected. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection prevalence among BMTs based on TST and QFT-GIT is similar and low. Selectively testing those with significant risk may be more appropriate than universal testing of all recruits.

  11. Automation or De-automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorlach, Igor; Wessel, Oliver

    2008-09-01

    In the global automotive industry, for decades, vehicle manufacturers have continually increased the level of automation of production systems in order to be competitive. However, there is a new trend to decrease the level of automation, especially in final car assembly, for reasons of economy and flexibility. In this research, the final car assembly lines at three production sites of Volkswagen are analysed in order to determine the best level of automation for each, in terms of manufacturing costs, productivity, quality and flexibility. The case study is based on the methodology proposed by the Fraunhofer Institute. The results of the analysis indicate that fully automated assembly systems are not necessarily the best option in terms of cost, productivity and quality combined, which is attributed to high complexity of final car assembly systems; some de-automation is therefore recommended. On the other hand, the analysis shows that low automation can result in poor product quality due to reasons related to plant location, such as inadequate workers' skills, motivation, etc. Hence, the automation strategy should be formulated on the basis of analysis of all relevant aspects of the manufacturing process, such as costs, quality, productivity and flexibility in relation to the local context. A more balanced combination of automated and manual assembly operations provides better utilisation of equipment, reduces production costs and improves throughput.

  12. Process automation

    SciTech Connect

    Moser, D.R.

    1986-01-01

    Process automation technology has been pursued in the chemical processing industries and to a very limited extent in nuclear fuel reprocessing. Its effective use has been restricted in the past by the lack of diverse and reliable process instrumentation and the unavailability of sophisticated software designed for process control. The Integrated Equipment Test (IET) facility was developed by the Consolidated Fuel Reprocessing Program (CFRP) in part to demonstrate new concepts for control of advanced nuclear fuel reprocessing plants. A demonstration of fuel reprocessing equipment automation using advanced instrumentation and a modern, microprocessor-based control system is nearing completion in the facility. This facility provides for the synergistic testing of all chemical process features of a prototypical fuel reprocessing plant that can be attained with unirradiated uranium-bearing feed materials. The unique equipment and mission of the IET facility make it an ideal test bed for automation studies. This effort will provide for the demonstration of the plant automation concept and for the development of techniques for similar applications in a full-scale plant. A set of preliminary recommendations for implementing process automation has been compiled. Some of these concepts are not generally recognized or accepted. The automation work now under way in the IET facility should be useful to others in helping avoid costly mistakes because of the underutilization or misapplication of process automation. 6 figs.

  13. Screening method to identify preclinical liquid and semi-solid formulations for low solubility compounds: miniaturization and automation of solvent casting and dissolution testing.

    PubMed

    Mansky, Paul; Dai, Wei-Guo; Li, Shu; Pollock-Dove, Crystal; Daehne, Klaus; Dong, Liang; Eichenbaum, Gary

    2007-06-01

    We have developed an efficient screening method to identify liquid and semisolid formulations for low-solubility compounds. The method is most suitable for identifying dosing vehicles for compounds in lead optimization, where compound supply is limited and long-term stability is not a requirement. Dilute compound and excipient stock solutions are prepared in organic solvent and then dispensed and mixed in 96-well plates. The solvent is removed in a vacuum centrifuge evaporator, leaving neat formulation (e.g., 10-40 microg compound, 0.4 mg excipient) at the bottom of each well. After an aging step, an aqueous dilution medium is added and the plates are incubated (agitation by orbital shaking). The diluted formulations are then filtered and analyzed by ultraviolet (UV) absorbance or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). To illustrate the method, two compounds (aqueous solubility screening compound/surfactant/oil formulations is also presented.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-18

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

  15. Sputum screening for lung cancer in radon exposed uranium miners: a comparison of semi-automated sputum cytometry and conventional cytology.

    PubMed

    Marek, W; Richartz, G; Philippou, S; Marek, L; Kotschy-Lang, N

    2007-11-01

    Preparing for a prospective study on early lung cancer, correlation between semi-automated sputum cytometry (ASC) and conventional cytology (CY) was examined in 1517 former uranium miners with posterior-anterior and lateral chest roentgenograms. A hundred and twenty sputum specimens were classified as suspicious (grade II) and another 18 as highly suspicious (grade III) by ASC. Within grade III group, 9 samples were classified by CY as tumor cell positive, 7 severe, and 1 mild and 1 moderate dysplasias. In the group of grade II ASC, 7 were tumor cell positive, 27 classified as severe dysplasia or CIS, 20 as moderate and 19 as mild dysplasia. Twenty seven contained metaplasias and 18 were normal or inflammatory. Of the 1358 samples classified as benign (grade I) by ASC, only 5 samples were classified by CY as severe dysplasia, 6 as moderate and 34 as mild dysplasia, 173 as metaplasia, the others were normal or inflammatory. Twenty one samples were judged as inadequate for ASC and CY. At present, 23 tumors were found in final diagnosis. Sensitivity of ASC was 87% at a specificity of 92%, while CY, at high grade alterations as a threshold, had a sensitivity of 83% at 97% specificity. We conclude that, along with modern radiological procedures and molecular biological markers, ASC and CY should be included in a controlled prospective randomized study on early lung cancer.

  16. Simultaneous screening of targeted and non-targeted contaminants using an LC-QTOF-MS system and automated MS/MS library searching.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Lopez, S; Hernando, M D; García-Calvo, E; Fernández-Alba, A R; Ulaszewska, M M

    2014-09-01

    Simultaneous high-resolution full-scan and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis using time of flight mass spectrometry brings an answer for increasing demand of retrospective and non-targeted data analysis. Such analysis combined with spectral library searching is a promising tool for targeted and untargeted screening of small molecules. Despite considerable extension of the panel of compounds of tandem mass spectral libraries, the heterogeneity of spectral data poses a major challenge against the effective usage of spectral libraries. Performance evaluation of available LC-MS/MS libraries will significantly increase credibility in the search results. The present work was aimed to evaluate fluctuation of MS/MS pattern, in the peak intensities distribution together with mass accuracy measurements, and in consequence, performance compliant with ion ratio and mass error criteria as principles in identification processes for targeted and untargeted contaminants at trace levels. Matrix effect and ultra-trace levels of concentration (from 50 ng l(-1) to 1000 ng l(-1) were evaluated as potential source of inaccuracy in the performance of spectral matching. Matrix-matched samples and real samples were screened for proof of applicability. By manual review of data and application of ion ratio and ppm error criteria, false negatives were obtained; this number diminished when in-house library was used, while with on-line MS/MS databases 100% of positive samples were found. In our experience, intensity of peaks across spectra was highly correlated to the concentration effect and matrix complexity. In turn, analysis of spectra acquired at trace concentrations and in different matrices results in better performance in providing correct and reliable identification.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Quantitative assessment of neurite outgrowth in human embryonic stem-cell derived neurons using automated high-content image analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    During development neurons undergo a number of morphological changes including neurite outgrowth from the cell body. Exposure to neurotoxicants that interfere with this process may cause in permanent deficits in nervous system function. While many studies have used rodent primary...

  20. A simple and predictive phenotypic High Content Imaging assay for Plasmodium falciparum mature gametocytes to identify malaria transmission blocking compounds

    PubMed Central

    Lucantoni, Leonardo; Silvestrini, Francesco; Signore, Michele; Siciliano, Giulia; Eldering, Maarten; Dechering, Koen J.; Avery, Vicky M.; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes, specifically the mature stages, are the only malaria parasite stage in humans transmissible to the mosquito vector. Anti-malarial drugs capable of killing these forms are considered essential for the eradication of malaria and tools allowing the screening of large compound libraries with high predictive power are needed to identify new candidates. As gametocytes are not a replicative stage it is difficult to apply the same drug screening methods used for asexual stages. Here we propose an assay, based on high content imaging, combining “classic” gametocyte viability readout based on gametocyte counts with a functional viability readout, based on gametocyte activation and the discrimination of the typical gamete spherical morphology. This simple and rapid assay has been miniaturized to a 384-well format using acridine orange staining of wild type P. falciparum 3D7A sexual forms, and was validated by screening reference antimalarial drugs and the MMV Malaria Box. The assay demonstrated excellent robustness and ability to identify quality hits with high likelihood of confirmation of transmission reducing activity in subsequent mosquito membrane feeding assays. PMID:26553647

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Rapid screening of mycotoxins in liquid milk and milk powder by automated size-exclusion SPE-UPLC-MS/MS and quantification of matrix effects over the whole chromatographic run.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiupin; Li, Peiwu

    2015-04-15

    An automated, size-exclusion solid phase extraction (SPE)-UPLC-MS/MS protocol without pre-treatment of samples was developed to screen for four mycotoxins (OTA, ZEN, AFB1, and AFM1) in liquid milk and milk powder. Firstly, a mixed macropore-silica gel cartridge was established as a size-exclusion SPE column. The proposed methodology could be a candidate in green analytical chemistry because it saves on manpower and organic solvent. Permanent post-column infusion of mycotoxin standards was used to quantify matrix effects throughout the chromatographic run. Matrix-matched calibration could effectively compensate for matrix effects, which may be caused by liquid milk or milk powder matrix. Recovery of the four mycotoxins in fortified liquid milk was in the range 89-120% and RSD 2-9%. The LOD for the four mycotoxins in liquid milk and milk powder were 0.05-2 ng L(-1) and 0.25-10 ng kg(-1), respectively. The LOQ for the four mycotoxins in liquid milk and milk powder were 0.1-5 ng L(-1) and 0.5-25 ng kg(-1), respectively.

  3. Automated High Throughput Drug Target Crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Rupp, B

    2005-02-18

    The molecular structures of drug target proteins and receptors form the basis for 'rational' or structure guided drug design. The majority of target structures are experimentally determined by protein X-ray crystallography, which as evolved into a highly automated, high throughput drug discovery and screening tool. Process automation has accelerated tasks from parallel protein expression, fully automated crystallization, and rapid data collection to highly efficient structure determination methods. A thoroughly designed automation technology platform supported by a powerful informatics infrastructure forms the basis for optimal workflow implementation and the data mining and analysis tools to generate new leads from experimental protein drug target structures.

  4. Habitat automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swab, Rodney E.

    1992-01-01

    A habitat, on either the surface of the Moon or Mars, will be designed and built with the proven technologies of that day. These technologies will be mature and readily available to the habitat designer. We believe an acceleration of the normal pace of automation would allow a habitat to be safer and more easily maintained than would be the case otherwise. This document examines the operation of a habitat and describes elements of that operation which may benefit from an increased use of automation. Research topics within the automation realm are then defined and discussed with respect to the role they can have in the design of the habitat. Problems associated with the integration of advanced technologies into real-world projects at NASA are also addressed.

  5. High-content affinity-based proteomics: unlocking protein biomarker discovery.

    PubMed

    Brody, Edward N; Gold, Larry; Lawn, Richard M; Walker, Jeffrey J; Zichi, Dom

    2010-11-01

    Single protein biomarkers measured with antibody-based affinity assays are the basis of molecular diagnostics in clinical practice today. There is great hope in discovering new protein biomarkers and combinations of protein biomarkers for advancing medicine through monitoring health, diagnosing disease, guiding treatment, and developing new therapeutics. The goal of high-content proteomics is to unlock protein biomarker discovery by measuring many (thousands) or all (∼23,000) proteins in the human proteome in an unbiased, data-driven approach. High-content proteomics has proven technically difficult due to the diversity of proteins, the complexity of relevant biological samples, such as blood and tissue, and large concentration ranges (in the order of 10(12) in blood). Mass spectrometry and affinity methods based on antibodies have dominated approaches to high-content proteomics. For technical reasons, neither has achieved adequate simultaneous performance and high-content. Here we review antibody-based protein measurement, multiplexed antibody-based protein measurement, and limitations of antibodies for high-content proteomics due to their inherent cross-reactivity. Finally, we review a new affinity-based proteomic technology developed from the ground up to solve the problem of high content with high sensitivity and specificity. Based on a new generation of slow off-rate modified aptamers (SOMAmers), this technology is unlocking biomarker discovery.

  6. Automated measurement of cell motility and proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Bahnson, Alfred; Athanassiou, Charalambos; Koebler, Douglas; Qian, Lei; Shun, Tongying; Shields, Donna; Yu, Hui; Wang, Hong; Goff, Julie; Cheng, Tao; Houck, Raymond; Cowsert, Lex

    2005-01-01

    Background Time-lapse microscopic imaging provides a powerful approach for following changes in cell phenotype over time. Visible responses of whole cells can yield insight into functional changes that underlie physiological processes in health and disease. For example, features of cell motility accompany molecular changes that are central to the immune response, to carcinogenesis and metastasis, to wound healing and tissue regeneration, and to the myriad developmental processes that generate an organism. Previously reported image processing methods for motility analysis required custom viewing devices and manual interactions that may introduce bias, that slow throughput, and that constrain the scope of experiments in terms of the number of treatment variables, time period of observation, replication and statistical options. Here we describe a fully automated system in which images are acquired 24/7 from 384 well plates and are automatically processed to yield high-content motility and morphological data. Results We have applied this technology to study the effects of different extracellular matrix compounds on human osteoblast-like cell lines to explore functional changes that may underlie processes involved in bone formation and maintenance. We show dose-response and kinetic data for induction of increased motility by laminin and collagen type I without significant effects on growth rate. Differential motility response was evident within 4 hours of plating cells; long-term responses differed depending upon cell type and surface coating. Average velocities were increased approximately 0.1 um/min by ten-fold increases in laminin coating concentration in some cases. Comparison with manual tracking demonstrated the accuracy of the automated method and highlighted the comparative imprecision of human tracking for analysis of cell motility data. Quality statistics are reported that associate with stage noise, interference by non-cell objects, and uncertainty in the

  7. Automated dispenser

    SciTech Connect

    Hollen, R.M.; Stalnaker, N.D.

    1989-04-06

    An automated dispenser having a conventional pipette attached to an actuating cylinder through a flexible cable for delivering precise quantities of a liquid through commands from remotely located computer software. The travel of the flexible cable is controlled by adjustable stops and a locking shaft. The pipette can be positioned manually or by the hands of a robot. 1 fig.

  8. Automating Finance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, John

    2007-01-01

    In past years, higher education's financial management side has been riddled with manual processes and aging mainframe applications. This article discusses schools which had taken advantage of an array of technologies that automate billing, payment processing, and refund processing in the case of overpayment. The investments are well worth it:…

  9. A High-content Imaging Workflow to Study Grb2 Signaling Complexes by Expression Cloning

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Jamie; Kriston-Vizi, Janos; Seed, Brian; Ketteler, Robin

    2012-01-01

    Signal transduction by growth factor receptors is essential for cells to maintain proliferation and differentiation and requires tight control. Signal transduction is initiated by binding of an external ligand to a transmembrane receptor and activation of downstream signaling cascades. A key regulator of mitogenic signaling is Grb2, a modular protein composed of an internal SH2 (Src Homology 2) domain flanked by two SH3 domains that lacks enzymatic activity. Grb2 is constitutively associated with the GTPase Son-Of-Sevenless (SOS) via its N-terminal SH3 domain. The SH2 domain of Grb2 binds to growth factor receptors at phosphorylated tyrosine residues thus coupling receptor activation to the SOS-Ras-MAP kinase signaling cascade. In addition, other roles for Grb2 as a positive or negative regulator of signaling and receptor endocytosis have been described. The modular composition of Grb2 suggests that it can dock to a variety of receptors and transduce signals along a multitude of different pathways1-3. Described here is a simple microscopy assay that monitors recruitment of Grb2 to the plasma membrane. It is adapted from an assay that measures changes in sub-cellular localization of green-fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Grb2 in response to a stimulus4-6. Plasma membrane receptors that bind Grb2 such as activated Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) recruit GFP-Grb2 to the plasma membrane upon cDNA expression and subsequently relocate to endosomal compartments in the cell. In order to identify in vivo protein complexes of Grb2, this technique can be used to perform a genome-wide high-content screen based on changes in Grb2 sub-cellular localization. The preparation of cDNA expression clones, transfection and image acquisition are described in detail below. Compared to other genomic methods used to identify protein interaction partners, such as yeast-two-hybrid, this technique allows the visualization of protein complexes in mammalian cells at the sub

  10. Automation in biological crystallization.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Patrick Shaw; Mueller-Dieckmann, Jochen

    2014-06-01

    Crystallization remains the bottleneck in the crystallographic process leading from a gene to a three-dimensional model of the encoded protein or RNA. Automation of the individual steps of a crystallization experiment, from the preparation of crystallization cocktails for initial or optimization screens to the imaging of the experiments, has been the response to address this issue. Today, large high-throughput crystallization facilities, many of them open to the general user community, are capable of setting up thousands of crystallization trials per day. It is thus possible to test multiple constructs of each target for their ability to form crystals on a production-line basis. This has improved success rates and made crystallization much more convenient. High-throughput crystallization, however, cannot relieve users of the task of producing samples of high quality. Moreover, the time gained from eliminating manual preparations must now be invested in the careful evaluation of the increased number of experiments. The latter requires a sophisticated data and laboratory information-management system. A review of the current state of automation at the individual steps of crystallization with specific attention to the automation of optimization is given.

  11. Automation in biological crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Shaw Stewart, Patrick; Mueller-Dieckmann, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    Crystallization remains the bottleneck in the crystallographic process leading from a gene to a three-dimensional model of the encoded protein or RNA. Automation of the individual steps of a crystallization experiment, from the preparation of crystallization cocktails for initial or optimization screens to the imaging of the experiments, has been the response to address this issue. Today, large high-throughput crystallization facilities, many of them open to the general user community, are capable of setting up thousands of crystallization trials per day. It is thus possible to test multiple constructs of each target for their ability to form crystals on a production-line basis. This has improved success rates and made crystallization much more convenient. High-throughput crystallization, however, cannot relieve users of the task of producing samples of high quality. Moreover, the time gained from eliminating manual preparations must now be invested in the careful evaluation of the increased number of experiments. The latter requires a sophisticated data and laboratory information-management system. A review of the current state of automation at the individual steps of crystallization with specific attention to the automation of optimization is given. PMID:24915074

  12. High Content Analysis Provides Mechanistic Insights on the Pathways of Toxicity Induced by Amine-Modified Polystyrene Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Anguissola, Sergio; Garry, David; Salvati, Anna; O'Brien, Peter J.; Dawson, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    The fast-paced development of nanotechnology needs the support of effective safety testing. We have developed a screening platform measuring simultaneously several cellular parameters for exposure to various concentrations of nanoparticles (NPs). Cell lines representative of different organ cell types, including lung, endothelium, liver, kidney, macrophages, glia, and neuronal cells were exposed to 50 nm amine-modified polystyrene (PS-NH2) NPs previously reported to induce apoptosis and to 50 nm sulphonated and carboxyl-modified polystyrene NPs that were reported to be silent. All cell lines apart from Raw 264.7 executed apoptosis in response to PS-NH2 NPs, showing specific sequences of EC50 thresholds; lysosomal acidification was the most sensitive parameter. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and plasma membrane integrity measured by High Content Analysis resulted comparably sensitive to the equivalent OECD-recommended assays, allowing increased output. Analysis of the acidic compartments revealed good cerrelation between size/fluorescence intensity and dose of PS-NH2 NPs applied; moreover steatosis and phospholipidosis were observed, consistent with the lysosomal alterations revealed by Lysotracker green; similar responses were observed when comparing astrocytoma cells with primary astrocytes. We have established a platform providing mechanistic insights on the response to exposure to nanoparticles. Such platform holds great potential for in vitro screening of nanomaterials in highthroughput format. PMID:25238162

  13. Automated lithocell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Englisch, Andreas; Deuter, Armin

    1990-06-01

    Integration and automation have gained more and more ground in modern IC-manufacturing. It is difficult to make a direct calculation of the profit these investments yield. On the other hand, the demands to man, machine and technology have increased enormously of late; it is not difficult to see that only by means of integration and automation can these demands be coped with. Here are some salient points: U the complexity and costs incurred by the equipment and processes have got significantly higher . owing to the reduction of all dimensions, the tolerances within which the various process steps have to be carried out have got smaller and smaller and the adherence to these tolerances more and more difficult U the cycle time has become more and more important both for the development and control of new processes and, to a great extent, for a rapid and reliable supply to the customer. In order that the products be competitive under these conditions, all sort of costs have to be reduced and the yield has to be maximized. Therefore, the computer-aided control of the equipment and the process combined with an automatic data collection and a real-time SPC (statistical process control) has become absolutely necessary for successful IC-manufacturing. Human errors must be eliminated from the execution of the various process steps by automation. The work time set free in this way makes it possible for the human creativity to be employed on a larger scale in stabilizing the processes. Besides, a computer-aided equipment control can ensure the optimal utilization of the equipment round the clock.

  14. PROLIFERATION AS A KEY EVENT IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: "CHEMICAL SCREENING IN HUMAN NEURAL STEM CELLS USING HIGH CONTENT IMAGING

    EPA Science Inventory

    New toxicity testing approaches will rely on in vitro assays to assess chemical effects at the cellular and molecular level. Cell proliferation is imperative to normal development, and chemical disruption of this process can be detrimental to the organism. As part of an effort to...

  15. CONCENTRATION-RESPONSE ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL EFFECTS ON SYNAPTOGENESIS USING A HIGH CONTENT IMAGE ANALYSIS-BASED SCREENING ASSAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Functional connectivity of the nervous system is dependent upon the development of synapses: i.e. specialized cell-cell contacts which facilitate the unidirectional flow of fast neurotransmission. Prenatal and/or early postnatal exposure to chemicals which disrupt synaptogenesis ...

  16. Extended Field Laser Confocal Microscopy (EFLCM): Combining automated Gigapixel image capture with in silico virtual microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Flaberg, Emilie; Sabelström, Per; Strandh, Christer; Szekely, Laszlo

    2008-01-01

    Background Confocal laser scanning microscopy has revolutionized cell biology. However, the technique has major limitations in speed and sensitivity due to the fact that a single laser beam scans the sample, allowing only a few microseconds signal collection for each pixel. This limitation has been overcome by the introduction of parallel beam illumination techniques in combination with cold CCD camera based image capture. Methods Using the combination of microlens enhanced Nipkow spinning disc confocal illumination together with fully automated image capture and large scale in silico image processing we have developed a system allowing the acquisition, presentation and analysis of maximum resolution confocal panorama images of several Gigapixel size. We call the method Extended Field Laser Confocal Microscopy (EFLCM). Results We show using the EFLCM technique that it is possible to create a continuous confocal multi-colour mosaic from thousands of individually captured images. EFLCM can digitize and analyze histological slides, sections of entire rodent organ and full size embryos. It can also record hundreds of thousands cultured cells at multiple wavelength in single event or time-lapse fashion on fixed slides, in live cell imaging chambers or microtiter plates. Conclusion The observer independent image capture of EFLCM allows quantitative measurements of fluorescence intensities and morphological parameters on a large number of cells. EFLCM therefore bridges the gap between the mainly illustrative fluorescence microscopy and purely quantitative flow cytometry. EFLCM can also be used as high content analysis (HCA) instrument for automated screening processes. PMID:18627634

  17. A High-Throughput Automated Microfluidic Platform for Calcium Imaging of Taste Sensing.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Yi-Hsing; Hsu, Chia-Hsien; Chen, Chihchen

    2016-01-01

    The human enteroendocrine L cell line NCI-H716, expressing taste receptors and taste signaling elements, constitutes a unique model for the studies of cellular responses to glucose, appetite regulation, gastrointestinal motility, and insulin secretion. Targeting these gut taste receptors may provide novel treatments for diabetes and obesity. However, NCI-H716 cells are cultured in suspension and tend to form multicellular aggregates, preventing high-throughput calcium imaging due to interferences caused by laborious immobilization and stimulus delivery procedures. Here, we have developed an automated microfluidic platform that is capable of trapping more than 500 single cells into microwells with a loading efficiency of 77% within two minutes, delivering multiple chemical stimuli and performing calcium imaging with enhanced spatial and temporal resolutions when compared to bath perfusion systems. Results revealed the presence of heterogeneity in cellular responses to the type, concentration, and order of applied sweet and bitter stimuli. Sucralose and denatonium benzoate elicited robust increases in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. However, glucose evoked a rapid elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) followed by reduced responses to subsequent glucose stimulation. Using Gymnema sylvestre as a blocking agent for the sweet taste receptor confirmed that different taste receptors were utilized for sweet and bitter tastes. This automated microfluidic platform is cost-effective, easy to fabricate and operate, and may be generally applicable for high-throughput and high-content single-cell analysis and drug screening. PMID:27399663

  18. High-throughput screening with HyperCyt flow cytometry to detect small molecule formylpeptide receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Young, Susan M; Bologa, Cristian; Prossnitz, Eric R; Oprea, Tudor I; Sklar, Larry A; Edwards, Bruce S

    2005-06-01

    High-throughput flow cytometry (HTFC), enabled by faster automated sample processing, represents a promising high- content approach for compound library screening. HyperCyt is a recently developed automated HTFC analysis system by which cell samples are rapidly aspirated from microplate wells and delivered to the flow cytometer. The formylpeptide receptor (FPR) family of G protein-coupled receptors contributes to the localization and activation of tissue-damaging leukocytes at sites of chronic inflammation. Here, the authors describe development and application of an HTFC screening approach to detect potential anti-inflammatory compounds that block ligand binding to FPR. Using a homogeneous no-wash assay, samples were routinely processed at 1.5 s/well (approximately 2500 cells analyzed/sample), allowing a 96-well plate to be processed in less than 2.5 min. Assay sensitivity and accuracy were validated by detection of a previously documented active compound with relatively low FPR affinity (sulfinpyrazone, inhibition constant [K(i)]=14 microM) from among a collection of 880 compounds in the Prestwick Chemical Library. The HyperCyt system was therefore demonstrated to be a robust, sensitive, and highly quantitative method with which to screen lead compound libraries in a 96-well format. PMID:15964939

  19. Automated maintenance of embryonic stem cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Terstegge, Stefanie; Laufenberg, Iris; Pochert, Jörg; Schenk, Sabine; Itskovitz-Eldor, Joseph; Endl, Elmar; Brüstle, Oliver

    2007-01-01

    Embryonic stem cell (ESC) technology provides attractive perspectives for generating unlimited numbers of somatic cells for disease modeling and compound screening. A key prerequisite for these industrial applications are standardized and automated systems suitable for stem cell processing. Here we demonstrate that mouse and human ESC propagated by automated culture maintain their mean specific growth rates, their capacity for multi-germlayer differentiation, and the expression of the pluripotency-associated markers SSEA-1/Oct-4 and Tra-1-60/Tra-1-81/Oct-4, respectively. The feasibility of ESC culture automation may greatly facilitate the use of this versatile cell source for a variety of biomedical applications.

  20. [From automation to robotics].

    PubMed

    1985-01-01

    The introduction of automation into the laboratory of biology seems to be unavoidable. But at which cost, if it is necessary to purchase a new machine for every new application? Fortunately the same image processing techniques, belonging to a theoretic framework called Mathematical Morphology, may be used in visual inspection tasks, both in car industry and in the biology lab. Since the market for industrial robotics applications is much higher than the market of biomedical applications, the price of image processing devices drops, and becomes sometimes less than the price of a complete microscope equipment. The power of the image processing methods of Mathematical Morphology will be illustrated by various examples, as automatic silver grain counting in autoradiography, determination of HLA genotype, electrophoretic gels analysis, automatic screening of cervical smears... Thus several heterogeneous applications may share the same image processing device, provided there is a separate and devoted work station for each of them.

  1. Workflow for high-content, individual cell quantification of fluorescent markers from universal microscope data, supported by open source software.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, Simon R; Mittnacht, Sibylle

    2014-01-01

    Advances in understanding the control mechanisms governing the behavior of cells in adherent mammalian tissue culture models are becoming increasingly dependent on modes of single-cell analysis. Methods which deliver composite data reflecting the mean values of biomarkers from cell populations risk losing subpopulation dynamics that reflect the heterogeneity of the studied biological system. In keeping with this, traditional approaches are being replaced by, or supported with, more sophisticated forms of cellular assay developed to allow assessment by high-content microscopy. These assays potentially generate large numbers of images of fluorescent biomarkers, which enabled by accompanying proprietary software packages, allows for multi-parametric measurements per cell. However, the relatively high capital costs and overspecialization of many of these devices have prevented their accessibility to many investigators. Described here is a universally applicable workflow for the quantification of multiple fluorescent marker intensities from specific subcellular regions of individual cells suitable for use with images from most fluorescent microscopes. Key to this workflow is the implementation of the freely available Cell Profiler software(1) to distinguish individual cells in these images, segment them into defined subcellular regions and deliver fluorescence marker intensity values specific to these regions. The extraction of individual cell intensity values from image data is the central purpose of this workflow and will be illustrated with the analysis of control data from a siRNA screen for G1 checkpoint regulators in adherent human cells. However, the workflow presented here can be applied to analysis of data from other means of cell perturbation (e.g., compound screens) and other forms of fluorescence based cellular markers and thus should be useful for a wide range of laboratories.

  2. High-content imaging characterization of cell cycle therapeutics through in vitro and in vivo subpopulation analysis.

    PubMed

    Low, Jonathan; Huang, Shuguang; Blosser, Wayne; Dowless, Michele; Burch, John; Neubauer, Blake; Stancato, Louis

    2008-08-01

    Although the cycling of eukaryotic cells has long been a primary focus for cancer therapeutics, recent advances in imaging and data analysis allow even further definition of cellular events as they occur in individual cells and cellular subpopulations in response to treatment. High-content imaging (HCI) has been an effective tool to elucidate cellular responses to a variety of agents; however, these data were most frequently observed as averages of the entire captured population, unnecessarily decreasing the resolution of each assay. Here, we dissect the eukaryotic cell cycle into individual cellular subpopulations using HCI in conjunction with unsupervised K-means clustering. We generate distinct phenotypic fingerprints for each major cell cycle and mitotic compartment and use those fingerprints to screen a library of 310 commercially available chemotherapeutic agents. We determine that the cell cycle arrest phenotypes caused by these agents are similar to, although distinct from, those found in untreated cells and that these distinctions frequently suggest the mechanism of action. We then show via subpopulation analysis that these arrest phenotypes are similar in both mouse models and in culture. HCI analysis of cell cycle using data obtained from individual cells under a broad range of research conditions and grouped into cellular subpopulations represents a powerful method to discern both cellular events and treatment effects. In particular, this technique allows for a more accurate means of assessing compound selectivity and leads to more meaningful comparisons between so-called targeted therapeutics.

  3. ESCAPE: database for integrating high-content published data collected from human and mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huilei; Baroukh, Caroline; Dannenfelser, Ruth; Chen, Edward Y; Tan, Christopher M; Kou, Yan; Kim, Yujin E; Lemischka, Ihor R; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2013-01-01

    High content studies that profile mouse and human embryonic stem cells (m/hESCs) using various genome-wide technologies such as transcriptomics and proteomics are constantly being published. However, efforts to integrate such data to obtain a global view of the molecular circuitry in m/hESCs are lagging behind. Here, we present an m/hESC-centered database called Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence integrating data from many recent diverse high-throughput studies including chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing, genome-wide inhibitory RNA screens, gene expression microarrays or RNA-seq after knockdown (KD) or overexpression of critical factors, immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry proteomics and phosphoproteomics. The database provides web-based interactive search and visualization tools that can be used to build subnetworks and to identify known and novel regulatory interactions across various regulatory layers. The web-interface also includes tools to predict the effects of combinatorial KDs by additive effects controlled by sliders, or through simulation software implemented in MATLAB. Overall, the Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence database is a comprehensive resource for the stem cell systems biology community. Database URL: http://www.maayanlab.net/ESCAPE

  4. ESCAPE: database for integrating high-content published data collected from human and mouse embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Huilei; Baroukh, Caroline; Dannenfelser, Ruth; Chen, Edward Y.; Tan, Christopher M.; Kou, Yan; Kim, Yujin E.; Lemischka, Ihor R.; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2013-01-01

    High content studies that profile mouse and human embryonic stem cells (m/hESCs) using various genome-wide technologies such as transcriptomics and proteomics are constantly being published. However, efforts to integrate such data to obtain a global view of the molecular circuitry in m/hESCs are lagging behind. Here, we present an m/hESC-centered database called Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence integrating data from many recent diverse high-throughput studies including chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing, genome-wide inhibitory RNA screens, gene expression microarrays or RNA-seq after knockdown (KD) or overexpression of critical factors, immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry proteomics and phosphoproteomics. The database provides web-based interactive search and visualization tools that can be used to build subnetworks and to identify known and novel regulatory interactions across various regulatory layers. The web-interface also includes tools to predict the effects of combinatorial KDs by additive effects controlled by sliders, or through simulation software implemented in MATLAB. Overall, the Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence database is a comprehensive resource for the stem cell systems biology community. Database URL: http://www.maayanlab.net/ESCAPE PMID:23794736

  5. Assessing cellular toxicities in fibroblasts upon exposure to lipid-based nanoparticles: a high content analysis approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solmesky, Leonardo J.; Shuman, Michal; Goldsmith, Meir; Weil, Miguel; Peer, Dan

    2011-12-01

    Lipid-based nanoparticles (LNPs) are widely used for the delivery of drugs and nucleic acids. Although most of them are considered safe, there is confusing evidence in the literature regarding their potential cellular toxicities. Moreover, little is known about the recovery process cells undergo after a cytotoxic insult. We have previously studied the systemic effects of common LNPs with different surface charge (cationic, anionic, neutral) and revealed that positively charged LNPs ((+)LNPs) activate pro-inflammatory cytokines and induce interferon response by acting as an agonist of Toll-like receptor 4 on immune cells. In this study, we focused on the response of human fibroblasts exposed to LNPs and their cellular recovery process. To this end, we used image-based high content analysis (HCA). Using this strategy, we were able to show simultaneously, in several intracellular parameters, that fibroblasts can recover from the cytotoxic effects of (+)LNPs. The use of HCA opens new avenues in understanding cellular response and nanotoxicity and may become a valuable tool for screening safe materials for drug delivery and tissue engineering.

  6. High-efficient and high-content cytotoxic recording via dynamic and continuous cell-based impedance biosensor technology.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ning; Fang, Jiaru; Zou, Ling; Wan, Hao; Pan, Yuxiang; Su, Kaiqi; Zhang, Xi; Wang, Ping

    2016-10-01

    Cell-based bioassays were effective method to assess the compound toxicity by cell viability, and the traditional label-based methods missed much information of cell growth due to endpoint detection, while the higher throughputs were demanded to obtain dynamic information. Cell-based biosensor methods can dynamically and continuously monitor with cell viability, however, the dynamic information was often ignored or seldom utilized in the toxin and drug assessment. Here, we reported a high-efficient and high-content cytotoxic recording method via dynamic and continuous cell-based impedance biosensor technology. The dynamic cell viability, inhibition ratio and growth rate were derived from the dynamic response curves from the cell-based impedance biosensor. The results showed that the biosensors has the dose-dependent manners to diarrhetic shellfish toxin, okadiac acid based on the analysis of the dynamic cell viability and cell growth status. Moreover, the throughputs of dynamic cytotoxicity were compared between cell-based biosensor methods and label-based endpoint methods. This cell-based impedance biosensor can provide a flexible, cost and label-efficient platform of cell viability assessment in the shellfish toxin screening fields. PMID:27647147

  7. ESCAPE: database for integrating high-content published data collected from human and mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huilei; Baroukh, Caroline; Dannenfelser, Ruth; Chen, Edward Y; Tan, Christopher M; Kou, Yan; Kim, Yujin E; Lemischka, Ihor R; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2013-01-01

    High content studies that profile mouse and human embryonic stem cells (m/hESCs) using various genome-wide technologies such as transcriptomics and proteomics are constantly being published. However, efforts to integrate such data to obtain a global view of the molecular circuitry in m/hESCs are lagging behind. Here, we present an m/hESC-centered database called Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence integrating data from many recent diverse high-throughput studies including chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing, genome-wide inhibitory RNA screens, gene expression microarrays or RNA-seq after knockdown (KD) or overexpression of critical factors, immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry proteomics and phosphoproteomics. The database provides web-based interactive search and visualization tools that can be used to build subnetworks and to identify known and novel regulatory interactions across various regulatory layers. The web-interface also includes tools to predict the effects of combinatorial KDs by additive effects controlled by sliders, or through simulation software implemented in MATLAB. Overall, the Embryonic Stem Cell Atlas from Pluripotency Evidence database is a comprehensive resource for the stem cell systems biology community. Database URL: http://www.maayanlab.net/ESCAPE PMID:23794736

  8. High-efficient and high-content cytotoxic recording via dynamic and continuous cell-based impedance biosensor technology.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ning; Fang, Jiaru; Zou, Ling; Wan, Hao; Pan, Yuxiang; Su, Kaiqi; Zhang, Xi; Wang, Ping

    2016-10-01

    Cell-based bioassays were effective method to assess the compound toxicity by cell viability, and the traditional label-based methods missed much information of cell growth due to endpoint detection, while the higher throughputs were demanded to obtain dynamic information. Cell-based biosensor methods can dynamically and continuously monitor with cell viability, however, the dynamic information was often ignored or seldom utilized in the toxin and drug assessment. Here, we reported a high-efficient and high-content cytotoxic recording method via dynamic and continuous cell-based impedance biosensor technology. The dynamic cell viability, inhibition ratio and growth rate were derived from the dynamic response curves from the cell-based impedance biosensor. The results showed that the biosensors has the dose-dependent manners to diarrhetic shellfish toxin, okadiac acid based on the analysis of the dynamic cell viability and cell growth status. Moreover, the throughputs of dynamic cytotoxicity were compared between cell-based biosensor methods and label-based endpoint methods. This cell-based impedance biosensor can provide a flexible, cost and label-efficient platform of cell viability assessment in the shellfish toxin screening fields.

  9. Quantification of Dynamic Morphological Drug Responses in 3D Organotypic Cell Cultures by Automated Image Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Härmä, Ville; Schukov, Hannu-Pekka; Happonen, Antti; Ahonen, Ilmari; Virtanen, Johannes; Siitari, Harri; Åkerfelt, Malin; Lötjönen, Jyrki; Nees, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Glandular epithelial cells differentiate into complex multicellular or acinar structures, when embedded in three-dimensional (3D) extracellular matrix. The spectrum of different multicellular morphologies formed in 3D is a sensitive indicator for the differentiation potential of normal, non-transformed cells compared to different stages of malignant progression. In addition, single cells or cell aggregates may actively invade the matrix, utilizing epithelial, mesenchymal or mixed modes of motility. Dynamic phenotypic changes involved in 3D tumor cell invasion are sensitive to specific small-molecule inhibitors that target the actin cytoskeleton. We have used a panel of inhibitors to demonstrate the power of automated image analysis as a phenotypic or morphometric readout in cell-based assays. We introduce a streamlined stand-alone software solution that supports large-scale high-content screens, based on complex and organotypic cultures. AMIDA (Automated Morphometric Image Data Analysis) allows quantitative measurements of large numbers of images and structures, with a multitude of different spheroid shapes, sizes, and textures. AMIDA supports an automated workflow, and can be combined with quality control and statistical tools for data interpretation and visualization. We have used a representative panel of 12 prostate and breast cancer lines that display a broad spectrum of different spheroid morphologies and modes of invasion, challenged by a library of 19 direct or indirect modulators of the actin cytoskeleton which induce systematic changes in spheroid morphology and differentiation versus invasion. These results were independently validated by 2D proliferation, apoptosis and cell motility assays. We identified three drugs that primarily attenuated the invasion and formation of invasive processes in 3D, without affecting proliferation or apoptosis. Two of these compounds block Rac signalling, one affects cellular cAMP/cGMP accumulation. Our approach supports

  10. OptoDyCE: Automated system for high-throughput all-optical dynamic cardiac electrophysiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimas, Aleksandra; Yu, Jinzhu; Ambrosi, Christina M.; Williams, John C.; Bien, Harold; Entcheva, Emilia

    2016-02-01

    In the last two decades, <30% of drugs withdrawals from the market were due to cardiac toxicity, where unintended interactions with ion channels disrupt the heart's normal electrical function. Consequently, all new drugs must undergo preclinical testing for cardiac liability, adding to an already expensive and lengthy process. Recognition that proarrhythmic effects often result from drug action on multiple ion channels demonstrates a need for integrative and comprehensive measurements. Additionally, patient-specific therapies relying on emerging technologies employing stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes (e.g. induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes, iPSC-CMs) require better screening methods to become practical. However, a high-throughput, cost-effective approach for cellular cardiac electrophysiology has not been feasible. Optical techniques for manipulation and recording provide a contactless means of dynamic, high-throughput testing of cells and tissues. Here, we consider the requirements for all-optical electrophysiology for drug testing, and we implement and validate OptoDyCE, a fully automated system for all-optical cardiac electrophysiology. We demonstrate the high-throughput capabilities using multicellular samples in 96-well format by combining optogenetic actuation with simultaneous fast high-resolution optical sensing of voltage or intracellular calcium. The system can also be implemented using iPSC-CMs and other cell-types by delivery of optogenetic drivers, or through the modular use of dedicated light-sensitive somatic cells in conjunction with non-modified cells. OptoDyCE provides a truly modular and dynamic screening system, capable of fully-automated acquisition of high-content information integral for improved discovery and development of new drugs and biologics, as well as providing a means of better understanding of electrical disturbances in the heart.

  11. Detection and Quantification of Intracellular Signaling Using FRET-Based Biosensors and High Content Imaging.

    PubMed

    Halls, Michelle L; Poole, Daniel P; Ellisdon, Andrew M; Nowell, Cameron J; Canals, Meritxell

    2015-01-01

    Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors represent invaluable tools to detect the spatiotemporal context of second messenger production and intracellular signaling that cannot be attained using traditional methods. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for the use of high content imaging in combination with FRET biosensors to assess second messenger production and intracellular signaling in a time-effective manner. We use four different FRET biosensors to measure cAMP levels, kinase (ERK and PKC), and GTPase activity. Importantly, we provide the protocols to express and measure these sensors in a variety of model cell lines and primary dorsal root ganglia neurons.

  12. Detection and Quantification of Intracellular Signaling Using FRET-Based Biosensors and High Content Imaging.

    PubMed

    Halls, Michelle L; Poole, Daniel P; Ellisdon, Andrew M; Nowell, Cameron J; Canals, Meritxell

    2015-01-01

    Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors represent invaluable tools to detect the spatiotemporal context of second messenger production and intracellular signaling that cannot be attained using traditional methods. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for the use of high content imaging in combination with FRET biosensors to assess second messenger production and intracellular signaling in a time-effective manner. We use four different FRET biosensors to measure cAMP levels, kinase (ERK and PKC), and GTPase activity. Importantly, we provide the protocols to express and measure these sensors in a variety of model cell lines and primary dorsal root ganglia neurons. PMID:26260599

  13. Nanomaterial Toxicity Screening in Developing Zebrafish Embryos

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess nanomaterial vertebrate toxicity, a high-content screening assay was created using developing zebrafish, Danio rerio. This included a diverse group of nanomaterials (n=42 total) ranging from metallic (Ag, Au) and metal oxide (CeO2, CuO, TiO2, ZnO) nanoparticles, to non...

  14. A Liposomal Formulation Able to Incorporate a High Content of Paclitaxel and Exert Promising Anticancer Effect

    PubMed Central

    Kan, Pei; Tsao, Chih-Wan; Wang, Ae-June; Su, Wu-Chou; Liang, Hsiang-Fa

    2011-01-01

    A liposome formulation for paclitaxel was developed in this study. The liposomes, composed of naturally unsaturated and hydrogenated phosphatidylcholines, with significant phase transition temperature difference, were prepared and characterized. The liposomes exhibited a high content of paclitaxel, which was incorporated within the segregated microdomains coexisting on phospholipid bilayer of liposomes. As much as 15% paclitaxel to phospholipid molar ratio were attained without precipitates observed during preparation. In addition, the liposomes remained stable in liquid form at 4°C for at least 6 months. The special composition of liposomal membrane which could reduce paclitaxel aggregation could account for such a capacity and stability. The cytotoxicity of prepared paclitaxel liposomes on the colon cancer C-26 cell culture was comparable to Taxol. Acute toxicity test revealed that LD50 for intravenous bolus injection in mice exceeded by 40 mg/kg. In antitumor efficacy study, the prepared liposomal paclitaxel demonstrated the increase in the efficacy against human cancer in animal model. Taken together, the novel formulated liposomes can incorporate high content of paclitaxel, remaining stable for long-term storage. These animal data also demonstrate that the liposomal paclitaxel is promising for further clinical use. PMID:21490755

  15. Human pluripotent stem cells on artificial microenvironments: a high content perspective

    PubMed Central

    Viswanathan, Priyalakshmi; Gaskell, Terri; Moens, Nathalie; Culley, Oliver J.; Hansen, Darrick; Gervasio, Mia K. R.; Yeap, Yee J.; Danovi, Davide

    2014-01-01

    Self-renewing stem cell populations are increasingly considered as resources for cell therapy and tools for drug discovery. Human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells in particular offer a virtually unlimited reservoir of homogeneous cells and can be differentiated toward diverse lineages. Many diseases show impairment in self-renewal or differentiation, abnormal lineage choice or other aberrant cell behavior in response to chemical or physical cues. To investigate these responses, there is a growing interest in the development of specific assays using hPS cells, artificial microenvironments and high content analysis. Several hurdles need to be overcome that can be grouped into three areas: (i) availability of robust, homogeneous, and consistent cell populations as a starting point; (ii) appropriate understanding and use of chemical and physical microenvironments; (iii) development of assays that dissect the complexity of cell populations in tissues while mirroring specific aspects of their behavior. Here we review recent progress in the culture of hPS cells and we detail the importance of the environment surrounding the cells with a focus on synthetic material and suitable high content analysis approaches. The technologies described, if properly combined, have the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way diseases are modeled and drug discovery is performed. PMID:25071572

  16. [Neonatal hearing screening].

    PubMed

    Oudesluys-Murphy, A M; van Straaten, H L; Ens-Dokkum, M H; Kauffman-de Boer, M A

    2000-03-25

    Approximately 1 to 2 per thousand live-born infants suffer from a serious perceptive hearing loss. Normal hearing from birth is essential for optimal human development (language and speech, social and emotional development, communicative skills and learning). The earlier the hearing loss is diagnosed the better the prognosis for the infant with a hearing impairment. Suitable methods are now available for neonatal hearing screening: automated measurement of auditory brain stem response and measurement of oto-acoustic emissions. Screening must be viewed as only the first step in a program of diagnosis, treatment and habilitation of these children. The ultimate goal of the implementation of neonatal hearing screening is: identification of bilateral hearing losses before the age of 3 months and start of therapy and counselling before the age of 6 months.

  17. Automated External Defibrillator

    MedlinePlus

    ... from the NHLBI on Twitter. What Is an Automated External Defibrillator? An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that ... Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services USA.gov

  18. A multi-channel high time resolution detector for high content imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapington, J. S.; Fraser, G. W.; Miller, G. M.; Ashton, T. J. R.; Jarron, P.; Despeisse, M.; Powolny, F.; Howorth, J.; Milnes, J.

    2009-10-01

    Medical imaging has long benefited from advances in photon counting detectors arising from space and particle physics. We describe a microchannel plate-based detector system for high content (multi-parametric) analysis, specifically designed to provide a step change in performance and throughput for measurements in imaged live cells and tissue for the 'omics'. The detector system integrates multi-channel, high time resolution, photon counting capability into a single miniaturized detector with integrated ASIC electronics, comprising a fast, low power amplifier discriminator and TDC for every channel of the discrete pixel electronic readout, and achieving a pixel density improvement of order two magnitudes compared with current comparable devices. The device combines high performance, easy reconfigurability, and economy within a compact footprint. We present simulations and preliminary measurements in the context of our ultimate goals of 20 ps time resolution with multi-channel parallel analysis (1024 channels).

  19. tranSMART: An Open Source Knowledge Management and High Content Data Analytics Platform

    PubMed Central

    Scheufele, Elisabeth; Aronzon, Dina; Coopersmith, Robert; McDuffie, Michael T.; Kapoor, Manish; Uhrich, Christopher A.; Avitabile, Jean E.; Liu, Jinlei; Housman, Dan; Palchuk, Matvey B.

    2014-01-01

    The tranSMART knowledge management and high-content analysis platform is a flexible software framework featuring novel research capabilities. It enables analysis of integrated data for the purposes of hypothesis generation, hypothesis validation, and cohort discovery in translational research. tranSMART bridges the prolific world of basic science and clinical practice data at the point of care by merging multiple types of data from disparate sources into a common environment. The application supports data harmonization and integration with analytical pipelines. The application code was released into the open source community in January 2012, with 32 instances in operation. tranSMART’s extensible data model and corresponding data integration processes, rapid data analysis features, and open source nature make it an indispensable tool in translational or clinical research. PMID:25717408

  20. tranSMART: An Open Source Knowledge Management and High Content Data Analytics Platform.

    PubMed

    Scheufele, Elisabeth; Aronzon, Dina; Coopersmith, Robert; McDuffie, Michael T; Kapoor, Manish; Uhrich, Christopher A; Avitabile, Jean E; Liu, Jinlei; Housman, Dan; Palchuk, Matvey B

    2014-01-01

    The tranSMART knowledge management and high-content analysis platform is a flexible software framework featuring novel research capabilities. It enables analysis of integrated data for the purposes of hypothesis generation, hypothesis validation, and cohort discovery in translational research. tranSMART bridges the prolific world of basic science and clinical practice data at the point of care by merging multiple types of data from disparate sources into a common environment. The application supports data harmonization and integration with analytical pipelines. The application code was released into the open source community in January 2012, with 32 instances in operation. tranSMART's extensible data model and corresponding data integration processes, rapid data analysis features, and open source nature make it an indispensable tool in translational or clinical research. PMID:25717408

  1. tranSMART: An Open Source Knowledge Management and High Content Data Analytics Platform.

    PubMed

    Scheufele, Elisabeth; Aronzon, Dina; Coopersmith, Robert; McDuffie, Michael T; Kapoor, Manish; Uhrich, Christopher A; Avitabile, Jean E; Liu, Jinlei; Housman, Dan; Palchuk, Matvey B

    2014-01-01

    The tranSMART knowledge management and high-content analysis platform is a flexible software framework featuring novel research capabilities. It enables analysis of integrated data for the purposes of hypothesis generation, hypothesis validation, and cohort discovery in translational research. tranSMART bridges the prolific world of basic science and clinical practice data at the point of care by merging multiple types of data from disparate sources into a common environment. The application supports data harmonization and integration with analytical pipelines. The application code was released into the open source community in January 2012, with 32 instances in operation. tranSMART's extensible data model and corresponding data integration processes, rapid data analysis features, and open source nature make it an indispensable tool in translational or clinical research.

  2. Northern and Southern Permafrost Regions on Mars with High Content of Water Ice: Similarities and Differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Kozyrev, A. S.; Sanin, A. B.; Tretyakov, V. I.; Kuzmin, R. O.; Boynton, W. V.; Hamara, D. K.; Shinohara, C.; Saunders, R. S.

    2004-01-01

    The measurements by neutron detectors on Odyssey have revealed two large poleward regions with large depression of flux of epithermal and high energy neutrons [1-3]. The flux of neutrons from Mars is known to be produced by the bombardment of the surface layer by galactic cosmic rays. The leakage flux of epithermal and fast neutrons has regional variation by a factor of 10 over the surface of Mars (e.g. see [3- 5]). These variations are mainly produced by variations of hydrogen content in the shallow subsurface. On Mars hydrogen is associated with water. Therefore, the Northern and Southern depressions of neutron emission could be identified as permafrost regions with very high content of water ice [1-5]. These regions are much larger than the residual polar caps, and could contain the major fraction of subsurface water ice. Here we present the results of HEND neutron data deconvolution for these regions and describe the similarities and differences between them.

  3. Northern and Southern Permafrost Regions on Mars with High Content of Water Ice: Similarities and Differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Kozyrev, A. S.; Sanin, A. B.; Tretyakov, V. I.; Kuzmin, R. O.; Boynton, W. V.; Hamara, D. K.; Shinohara, C.; Saunders, R. S.

    2004-01-01

    The measurements by neutron detectors on Odyssey have revealed two large poleward regions with large depression of flux of epithermal and high energy neutrons. The flux of neutrons from Mars is known to be produced by the bombardment of the surface layer by galactic cosmic rays. The leakage flux of epithermal and fast neutrons has regional variation by a factor of 10 over the surface of Mars. These variations are mainly produced by variations of hydrogen content in the shallow subsurface. On Mars hydrogen is associated with water. Therefore, the Northern and Southern depressions of neutron emission could be identified as permafrost regions with very high content of water ice. These regions are much larger than the residual polar caps, and could contain the major fraction of subsurface water ice. Here we present the results of HEND neutron data deconvolution for these regions and describe the similarities and differences between them.

  4. Depth-resolved incoherent and coherent wide-field high-content imaging (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    So, Peter T.

    2016-03-01

    Recent advances in depth-resolved wide-field imaging technique has enabled many high throughput applications in biology and medicine. Depth resolved imaging of incoherent signals can be readily accomplished with structured light illumination or nonlinear temporal focusing. The integration of these high throughput systems with novel spectroscopic resolving elements further enable high-content information extraction. We will introduce a novel near common-path interferometer and demonstrate its uses in toxicology and cancer biology applications. The extension of incoherent depth-resolved wide-field imaging to coherent modality is non-trivial. Here, we will cover recent advances in wide-field 3D resolved mapping of refractive index, absorbance, and vibronic components in biological specimens.

  5. Multiparametric High Content Analysis for assessment of neurotoxicity in differentiated neuronal cell lines and human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Melinda S; Graham, James R; Ball, Andrew J

    2014-05-01

    The potential for adverse neurotoxic reactions in response to therapeutics and environmental hazards continues to prompt development of novel cell-based assays to determine neurotoxic risk. A challenge remains to characterize and understand differences between assays and between neuronal cellular models in their responses to neurotoxicants if scientists are to determine the optimal model, or combination of models, for neurotoxicity screening. Most studies to date have focused on developmental neurotoxicity applications. This study reports the development of a robust multiparameter High Content Analysis (HCA) assay for neurotoxicity screening in three differentiated neuronal cell models - SH-SY5Y, PC12 and human embryonic stem cell-derived hN2™ cells. Using a multiplexed detection reagent panel (Hoechst nuclear stain; antibodies against βIII-Tubulin and phosphorylated neurofilament subunit H, and Mitotracker(®) Red CMXRos), a multiparametric HCA assay was developed and used to characterize a test set of 36 chemicals. HCA data generated were compared to data generated using MTT and LDH assays under the same assay conditions. Data showed that multiparametric High Content Analysis of differentiated neuronal cells is feasible, and represents a highly effective method for obtaining large quantities of robust data on the neurotoxic effects of compounds compared with cytotoxicity assays like MTT and LDH. Significant differences were observed between the responses to compounds across the three cellular models tested, illustrating the heterogeneity in responses to neurotoxicants across different cell types. This study provides data strongly supporting the use of cellular imaging as a tool for neurotoxicity assessment in differentiated neuronal cells, and provides novel insights into the neurotoxic effects of a test set of compounds upon differentiated neuronal cell lines and human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons.

  6. Automation: triumph or trap?

    PubMed

    Smythe, M H

    1997-01-01

    Automation, a hot topic in the laboratory world today, can be a very expensive option. Those who are considering implementing automation can save time and money by examining the issues from the standpoint of an industrial/manufacturing engineer. The engineer not only asks what problems will be solved by automation, but what problems will be created. This article discusses questions that must be asked and answered to ensure that automation efforts will yield real and substantial payoffs.

  7. Workflow automation architecture standard

    SciTech Connect

    Moshofsky, R.P.; Rohen, W.T.

    1994-11-14

    This document presents an architectural standard for application of workflow automation technology. The standard includes a functional architecture, process for developing an automated workflow system for a work group, functional and collateral specifications for workflow automation, and results of a proof of concept prototype.

  8. ToxCast Workflow: High-throughput screening assay data processing, analysis and management (SOT)

    EPA Science Inventory

    US EPA’s ToxCast program is generating data in high-throughput screening (HTS) and high-content screening (HCS) assays for thousands of environmental chemicals, for use in developing predictive toxicity models. Currently the ToxCast screening program includes over 1800 unique c...

  9. Shoe-String Automation

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, M.L.

    2001-07-30

    Faced with a downsizing organization, serious budget reductions and retirement of key metrology personnel, maintaining capabilities to provide necessary services to our customers was becoming increasingly difficult. It appeared that the only solution was to automate some of our more personnel-intensive processes; however, it was crucial that the most personnel-intensive candidate process be automated, at the lowest price possible and with the lowest risk of failure. This discussion relates factors in the selection of the Standard Leak Calibration System for automation, the methods of automation used to provide the lowest-cost solution and the benefits realized as a result of the automation.

  10. Automation of industrial bioprocesses.

    PubMed

    Beyeler, W; DaPra, E; Schneider, K

    2000-01-01

    The dramatic development of new electronic devices within the last 25 years has had a substantial influence on the control and automation of industrial bioprocesses. Within this short period of time the method of controlling industrial bioprocesses has changed completely. In this paper, the authors will use a practical approach focusing on the industrial applications of automation systems. From the early attempts to use computers for the automation of biotechnological processes up to the modern process automation systems some milestones are highlighted. Special attention is given to the influence of Standards and Guidelines on the development of automation systems.

  11. Automation in Clinical Microbiology

    PubMed Central

    Ledeboer, Nathan A.

    2013-01-01

    Historically, the trend toward automation in clinical pathology laboratories has largely bypassed the clinical microbiology laboratory. In this article, we review the historical impediments to automation in the microbiology laboratory and offer insight into the reasons why we believe that we are on the cusp of a dramatic change that will sweep a wave of automation into clinical microbiology laboratories. We review the currently available specimen-processing instruments as well as the total laboratory automation solutions. Lastly, we outline the types of studies that will need to be performed to fully assess the benefits of automation in microbiology laboratories. PMID:23515547

  12. Integrated High-Content Quantification of Intracellular ROS Levels and Mitochondrial Morphofunction.

    PubMed

    Sieprath, Tom; Corne, Tobias D J; Willems, Peter H G M; Koopman, Werner J H; De Vos, Winnok H

    2016-01-01

    Oxidative stress arises from an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their removal by cellular antioxidant systems. Especially under pathological conditions, mitochondria constitute a relevant source of cellular ROS. These organelles harbor the electron transport chain, bringing electrons in close vicinity to molecular oxygen. Although a full understanding is still lacking, intracellular ROS generation and mitochondrial function are also linked to changes in mitochondrial morphology. To study the intricate relationships between the different factors that govern cellular redox balance in living cells, we have developed a high-content microscopy-based strategy for simultaneous quantification of intracellular ROS levels and mitochondrial morphofunction. Here, we summarize the principles of intracellular ROS generation and removal, and we explain the major considerations for performing quantitative microscopy analyses of ROS and mitochondrial morphofunction in living cells. Next, we describe our workflow, and finally, we illustrate that a multiparametric readout enables the unambiguous classification of chemically perturbed cells as well as laminopathy patient cells. PMID:27207366

  13. High content analysis at single cell level identifies different cellular responses dependent on nanomaterial concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manshian, Bella B.; Munck, Sebastian; Agostinis, Patrizia; Himmelreich, Uwe; Soenen, Stefaan J.

    2015-09-01

    A mechanistic understanding of nanomaterial (NM) interaction with biological environments is pivotal for the safe transition from basic science to applied nanomedicine. NM exposure results in varying levels of internalized NM in different neighboring cells, due to variances in cell size, cell cycle phase and NM agglomeration. Using high-content analysis, we investigated the cytotoxic effects of fluorescent quantum dots on cultured cells, where all effects were correlated with the concentration of NMs at the single cell level. Upon binning the single cell data into different categories related to NM concentration, this study demonstrates, for the first time, that quantum dots activate both cytoprotective and cytotoxic mechanisms, resulting in a zero net result on the overall cell population, yet with significant effects in cells with higher cellular NM levels. Our results suggest that future NM cytotoxicity studies should correlate NM toxicity with cellular NM numbers on the single cell level, as conflicting mechanisms in particular cell subpopulations are commonly overlooked using classical toxicological methods.

  14. A high-content platform to characterise human induced pluripotent stem cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Leha, Andreas; Moens, Nathalie; Meleckyte, Ruta; Culley, Oliver J.; Gervasio, Mia K.; Kerz, Maximilian; Reimer, Andreas; Cain, Stuart A.; Streeter, Ian; Folarin, Amos; Stegle, Oliver; Kielty, Cay M.; Durbin, Richard; Watt, Fiona M.; Danovi, Davide

    2016-01-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide invaluable opportunities for future cell therapies as well as for studying human development, modelling diseases and discovering therapeutics. In order to realise the potential of iPSCs, it is crucial to comprehensively characterise cells generated from large cohorts of healthy and diseased individuals. The human iPSC initiative (HipSci) is assessing a large panel of cell lines to define cell phenotypes, dissect inter- and intra-line and donor variability and identify its key determinant components. Here we report the establishment of a high-content platform for phenotypic analysis of human iPSC lines. In the described assay, cells are dissociated and seeded as single cells onto 96-well plates coated with fibronectin at three different concentrations. This method allows assessment of cell number, proliferation, morphology and intercellular adhesion. Altogether, our strategy delivers robust quantification of phenotypic diversity within complex cell populations facilitating future identification of the genetic, biological and technical determinants of variance. Approaches such as the one described can be used to benchmark iPSCs from multiple donors and create novel platforms that can readily be tailored for disease modelling and drug discovery. PMID:26608109

  15. High-Content Analysis of Breast Cancer Using Single-Cell Deep Transfer Learning.

    PubMed

    Kandaswamy, Chetak; Silva, Luís M; Alexandre, Luís A; Santos, Jorge M

    2016-03-01

    High-content analysis has revolutionized cancer drug discovery by identifying substances that alter the phenotype of a cell, which prevents tumor growth and metastasis. The high-resolution biofluorescence images from assays allow precise quantitative measures enabling the distinction of small molecules of a host cell from a tumor. In this work, we are particularly interested in the application of deep neural networks (DNNs), a cutting-edge machine learning method, to the classification of compounds in chemical mechanisms of action (MOAs). Compound classification has been performed using image-based profiling methods sometimes combined with feature reduction methods such as principal component analysis or factor analysis. In this article, we map the input features of each cell to a particular MOA class without using any treatment-level profiles or feature reduction methods. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first application of DNN in this domain, leveraging single-cell information. Furthermore, we use deep transfer learning (DTL) to alleviate the intensive and computational demanding effort of searching the huge parameter's space of a DNN. Results show that using this approach, we obtain a 30% speedup and a 2% accuracy improvement. PMID:26746583

  16. High-Content Analysis of Breast Cancer Using Single-Cell Deep Transfer Learning.

    PubMed

    Kandaswamy, Chetak; Silva, Luís M; Alexandre, Luís A; Santos, Jorge M

    2016-03-01

    High-content analysis has revolutionized cancer drug discovery by identifying substances that alter the phenotype of a cell, which prevents tumor growth and metastasis. The high-resolution biofluorescence images from assays allow precise quantitative measures enabling the distinction of small molecules of a host cell from a tumor. In this work, we are particularly interested in the application of deep neural networks (DNNs), a cutting-edge machine learning method, to the classification of compounds in chemical mechanisms of action (MOAs). Compound classification has been performed using image-based profiling methods sometimes combined with feature reduction methods such as principal component analysis or factor analysis. In this article, we map the input features of each cell to a particular MOA class without using any treatment-level profiles or feature reduction methods. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first application of DNN in this domain, leveraging single-cell information. Furthermore, we use deep transfer learning (DTL) to alleviate the intensive and computational demanding effort of searching the huge parameter's space of a DNN. Results show that using this approach, we obtain a 30% speedup and a 2% accuracy improvement.

  17. Automated Detection of Soma Location and Morphology in Neuronal Network Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Ozcan, Burcin; Negi, Pooran; Laezza, Fernanda; Papadakis, Manos; Labate, Demetrio

    2015-01-01

    Automated identification of the primary components of a neuron and extraction of its sub-cellular features are essential steps in many quantitative studies of neuronal networks. The focus of this paper is the development of an algorithm for the automated detection of the location and morphology of somas in confocal images of neuronal network cultures. This problem is motivated by applications in high-content screenings (HCS), where the extraction of multiple morphological features of neurons on large data sets is required. Existing algorithms are not very efficient when applied to the analysis of confocal image stacks of neuronal cultures. In addition to the usual difficulties associated with the processing of fluorescent images, these types of stacks contain a small number of images so that only a small number of pixels are available along the z-direction and it is challenging to apply conventional 3D filters. The algorithm we present in this paper applies a number of innovative ideas from the theory of directional multiscale representations and involves the following steps: (i) image segmentation based on support vector machines with specially designed multiscale filters; (ii) soma extraction and separation of contiguous somas, using a combination of level set method and directional multiscale filters. We also present an approach to extract the soma’s surface morphology using the 3D shearlet transform. Extensive numerical experiments show that our algorithms are computationally efficient and highly accurate in segmenting the somas and separating contiguous ones. The algorithms presented in this paper will facilitate the development of a high-throughput quantitative platform for the study of neuronal networks for HCS applications. PMID:25853656

  18. Automated DNA Sequencing System

    SciTech Connect

    Armstrong, G.A.; Ekkebus, C.P.; Hauser, L.J.; Kress, R.L.; Mural, R.J.

    1999-04-25

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a core DNA sequencing facility to support biological research endeavors at ORNL and to conduct basic sequencing automation research. This facility is novel because its development is based on existing standard biology laboratory equipment; thus, the development process is of interest to the many small laboratories trying to use automation to control costs and increase throughput. Before automation, biology Laboratory personnel purified DNA, completed cycle sequencing, and prepared 96-well sample plates with commercially available hardware designed specifically for each step in the process. Following purification and thermal cycling, an automated sequencing machine was used for the sequencing. A technician handled all movement of the 96-well sample plates between machines. To automate the process, ORNL is adding a CRS Robotics A- 465 arm, ABI 377 sequencing machine, automated centrifuge, automated refrigerator, and possibly an automated SpeedVac. The entire system will be integrated with one central controller that will direct each machine and the robot. The goal of this system is to completely automate the sequencing procedure from bacterial cell samples through ready-to-be-sequenced DNA and ultimately to completed sequence. The system will be flexible and will accommodate different chemistries than existing automated sequencing lines. The system will be expanded in the future to include colony picking and/or actual sequencing. This discrete event, DNA sequencing system will demonstrate that smaller sequencing labs can achieve cost-effective the laboratory grow.

  19. An integrated one-step system to extract, analyze and annotate all relevant information from image-based cell screening of chemical libraries.

    PubMed

    Rabal, Obdulia; Link, Wolfgang; Serelde, Beatriz G; Bischoff, James R; Oyarzabal, Julen

    2010-04-01

    Here we report the development and validation of a complete solution to manage and analyze the data produced by image-based phenotypic screening campaigns of small-molecule libraries. In one step initial crude images are analyzed for multiple cytological features, statistical analysis is performed and molecules that produce the desired phenotypic profile are identified. A naïve Bayes classifier, integrating chemical and phenotypic spaces, is built and utilized during the process to assess those images initially classified as "fuzzy"-an automated iterative feedback tuning. Simultaneously, all this information is directly annotated in a relational database containing the chemical data. This novel fully automated method was validated by conducting a re-analysis of results from a high-content screening campaign involving 33 992 molecules used to identify inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Ninety-two percent of confirmed hits identified by the conventional multistep analysis method were identified using this integrated one-step system as well as 40 new hits, 14.9% of the total, originally false negatives. Ninety-six percent of true negatives were properly recognized too. A web-based access to the database, with customizable data retrieval and visualization tools, facilitates the posterior analysis of annotated cytological features which allows identification of additional phenotypic profiles; thus, further analysis of original crude images is not required.

  20. Airport Screening

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2011 Photo courtesy of Dan Paluska/Flickr Denver Airport Security Screening Introduction With air travel regaining popularity and increased secu- rity measures, airport security screening has become an area of interest for ...

  1. Health Screening

    MedlinePlus

    Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they're easier ... Overweight and obesity Prostate cancer in men Which tests you need depends on your age, your sex, ...

  2. MRSA Screening

    MedlinePlus

    ... be limited. Home Visit Global Sites Search Help? MRSA Screening Share this page: Was this page helpful? Formal name: Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus Screening Related tests: Wound Culture At a Glance ...

  3. [Automation of immunohematologic testing activities at French blood transfusion centers].

    PubMed

    Muller, A; Girard, M

    1983-11-01

    In May 1982, a questionnaire was sent to all of the 170 French Blood Transfusion Services (BTS), on behalf of the French Society of Blood Transfusion. The purpose was to determine the types of automated equipment used for immunohematological controls, the way in which they are used and the result of automation and computerization in daily laboratory operations. We received 135 replies (80%). A generalized conclusion can be drawn from the collected information. 50% of the respondents are neither automated nor computerized. 30% are both automated and computerized. 10% are automated but not computerized and 8% are not automated but are computerized. In the field of automated serology there is an increased tendency to complete the ABO/Rh testing by Cc D Ee and Kell phenotyping. The use of computers allows the current test determination to be compared with previous donation data. However, no fully automated equipment, which can conduct antibody screening, exists, cost effectively, in small or average BTS. In France, there has been a significant increase in automation between 1970 and 1980 but only the most important BTS have carried out automation at the same time as computerization. The smaller BTS have usually become automated without becoming computerized. In 1978, Codabar was first used. This has been one of the principal advances of the last 10 years, allowing all the users of automation to start moving towards complete computerization. This advance was assisted by the use of prepackaged software. This questionnaire also determined that the current emphasis is now to computerize administrative and management activities before laboratory activities. This survey has been conducted during a turning point of the automation of French BTS. It shows that they are, on the whole, satisfied with their automation. As far as the safety and the efficiency of the service are concerned, it is only fair to consider that the main purposes of the automation have been achieved. But

  4. Discovering Molecules That Regulate Efferocytosis Using Primary Human Macrophages and High Content Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Santulli-Marotto, Sandra; Gervais, Alexis; Fisher, Jamie; Strake, Brandy; Ogden, Carol Anne; Riveley, Chelsea; Giles-Komar, Jill

    2015-01-01

    Defective clearance of apoptotic cells can result in sustained inflammation and subsequent autoimmunity. Macrophages, the “professional phagocyte” of the body, are responsible for efficient, non-phlogistic, apoptotic cell clearance. Controlling phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages is an attractive therapeutic opportunity to ameliorate inflammation. Using high content imaging, we have developed a system for evaluating the effects of antibody treatment on apoptotic cell uptake in primary human macrophages by comparing the Phagocytic Index (PI) for each antibody. Herein we demonstrate the feasibility of evaluating a panel of antibodies of unknown specificities obtained by immunization of mice with primary human macrophages and show that they can be distinguished based on individual PI measurements. In this study ~50% of antibodies obtained enhance phagocytosis of apoptotic cells while approximately 5% of the antibodies in the panel exhibit some inhibition. Though the specificities of the majority of antibodies are unknown, two of the antibodies that improved apoptotic cell uptake recognize recombinant MerTK; a receptor known to function in this capacity in vivo. The agonistic impact of these antibodies on efferocytosis could be demonstrated without addition of either of the MerTK ligands, Gas6 or ProS. These results validate applying the mechanism of this fundamental biological process as a means for identification of modulators that could potentially serve as therapeutics. This strategy for interrogating macrophages to discover molecules regulating apoptotic cell uptake is not limited by access to purified protein thereby increasing the possibility of finding novel apoptotic cell uptake pathways. PMID:26674639

  5. Laboratory Automation and Middleware.

    PubMed

    Riben, Michael

    2015-06-01

    The practice of surgical pathology is under constant pressure to deliver the highest quality of service, reduce errors, increase throughput, and decrease turnaround time while at the same time dealing with an aging workforce, increasing financial constraints, and economic uncertainty. Although not able to implement total laboratory automation, great progress continues to be made in workstation automation in all areas of the pathology laboratory. This report highlights the benefits and challenges of pathology automation, reviews middleware and its use to facilitate automation, and reviews the progress so far in the anatomic pathology laboratory.

  6. Pediatric Eye Screening Instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ying-Ling; Lewis, J. W. L.

    2001-11-01

    Computational evaluations are presented for binocular eye screening using the off-axis digital retinascope. The retinascope, such as the iScreen digital screening system, has been employed to perform pediatric binocular screening using a flash lamp and single-shot camera recording. The digital images are transferred electronically to a reading center for analysis. The method has been shown to detect refractive error, amblyopia, anisocoria, and ptosis. This computational work improves the performance of the system and forms the basis for automated data analysis. For this purpose, variouis published eye models are evaluated with simulated retinascope images. Two to ten million rays are traced in each image calculation. The poster will present the simulation results for a range of eye conditions of refractive error of -20 to +20 diopters with 0.5- to-1 diopter resolution, pupil size of 3 to 8 mm diameter (1-mm increment), and staring angle of 2 to 12 degree (2-degree increment). The variation of the results with the system conditions such as the off-axis distance of light source and the shutter size of camera are also evaluated. The quantitative analysis for each eye’s and system’s condition is then performed to obtain parameters for automatic reading. The summary of the system performance is given and performance-enhancement design modifications are presented.

  7. Colon cancer screening

    MedlinePlus

    Screening for colon cancer; Colonoscopy - screening; Sigmoidoscopy - screening; Virtual colonoscopy - screening; Fecal immunochemical test; Stool DNA test; sDNA test; Colorectal cancer - screening; Rectal ...

  8. Recent trends in laboratory automation in the pharmaceutical industry.

    PubMed

    Rutherford, M L; Stinger, T

    2001-05-01

    The impact of robotics and automation on the pharmaceutical industry over the last two decades has been significant. In the last ten years, the emphasis of laboratory automation has shifted from the support of manufactured products and quality control of laboratory applications, to research and development. This shift has been the direct result of an increased emphasis on the identification, development and eventual marketing of innovative new products. In this article, we will briefly identify and discuss some of the current trends in laboratory automation in the pharmaceutical industry as they apply to research and development, including screening, sample management, combinatorial chemistry, ADME/Tox and pharmacokinetics.

  9. Automated System for Early Breast Cancer Detection in Mammograms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bankman, Isaac N.; Kim, Dong W.; Christens-Barry, William A.; Weinberg, Irving N.; Gatewood, Olga B.; Brody, William R.

    1993-01-01

    The increasing demand on mammographic screening for early breast cancer detection, and the subtlety of early breast cancer signs on mammograms, suggest an automated image processing system that can serve as a diagnostic aid in radiology clinics. We present a fully automated algorithm for detecting clusters of microcalcifications that are the most common signs of early, potentially curable breast cancer. By using the contour map of the mammogram, the algorithm circumvents some of the difficulties encountered with standard image processing methods. The clinical implementation of an automated instrument based on this algorithm is also discussed.

  10. Quantitative assessment of neurite outgrowth in human embryonic stem cell derived hN2 cells using automated high-content image analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Throughout development neurons undergo a number of morphological changes including neurite outgrowth from the cell body. Exposure to neurotoxic chemicals that interfere with this process may result in permanent deficits in nervous system function. Traditionally, rodent primary ne...

  11. Synthesis and high content cell-based profiling of simplified analogues of the microtubule stabilizer (+)-discodermolide.

    PubMed

    Minguez, Jose M; Giuliano, Kenneth A; Balachandran, Raghavan; Madiraju, Charitha; Curran, Dennis P; Day, Billy W

    2002-12-01

    (+)-Discodermolide, a C24:4, trihydroxylated, octamethyl, carbamate-bearing fatty acid lactone originally isolated from a Caribbean sponge, has proven to be the most potent of the microtubule-stabilizing agents. Recent studies suggest that it or its analogues may have advantages over other classes of microtubule-stabilizing agents. (+)-Discodermolide's complex molecular architecture has made structure-activity relationship analysis in this class of compounds a formidable task. The goal of this study was to prepare simplified analogues of (+)-discodermolide and to analyze their biological activities to expand structure-activity relationships. A small library of analogues was prepared wherein the (+)-discodermolide methyl groups at C-14 and C-16 and the C-7 hydroxyl were removed, and the lactone was replaced by simple esters. The library components were analyzed for microtubule-stabilizing actions in vitro, antiproliferative activity against a small panel of human carcinoma cells, and cell signaling, microtubule architecture and mitotic spindle alterations by a multiparameter fluorescence cell-based screening technique. The results show that even drastic structural simplification can lead to analogues with actions related to microtubule targeting and signal transduction, but that these subtle effects were illuminated only through the high information content cell-based screen.

  12. The high content of natural suppressor serine tRNA in dystrophic mouse muscle.

    PubMed Central

    Hitaka, T; Mizutani, T; Watanabe, K; Totsuka, T

    1990-01-01

    In order to gain an insight into the pathogenesis of mouse muscular dystrophy, we investigated the natural suppressor serine tRNA. The natural suppressor seryl-tRNA was distinguished from the other seryl-tRNAs on the basis of its specific property of being converted into phosphoseryl-tRNA by a tRNA kinase. On a wet-weight basis, the content of total tRNA in dystrophic muscles was 47% of that in normal muscles. Although the serine-accepting activities of tRNA were similar in muscles of 3-month-old dystrophic and normal mice, the ratio of [32P]phosphoseryl-tRNA (suppressor tRNA) to the total serine tRNA was significantly enhanced in dystrophic muscles compared with that in normal muscles. This high content of suppressor tRNA in dystrophic muscles was further confirmed by dot-blot hybridization experiments with the DNA probes CGTAGTCGGCAGGAT and CGCCCGAAAGGTGGAA for major tRNA(IGASer) and suppressor tRNA respectively. At the early postnatal age of 3 weeks, when only a week had elapsed since the first manifestation of the dystrophic symptom (hindleg dragging), the ratio of suppressor tRNA to major tRNAs in dystrophic hindleg muscles was abnormally increased. Thereafter it decreased with age in normal mice but remained almost unchanged in dystrophic mice. Consequently, at 3 months old, it was 1.7 times higher in dystrophic than in normal mice. The suppressor tRNA is now accepted to play a role in the synthesis of glutathione peroxidase. The present study showed that the content of this enzyme was abnormally elevated in dystrophic mice. Previously we had demonstrated that the docosahexaenoic (C22:6) acid content in phospholipids was decreased, possibly resulting from the enhanced oxidative milieu caused by the dystrophic condition. Thus far, the findings suggest that an increase in the contents of suppressor tRNA and glutathione peroxidase in dystrophic muscle may have been secondarily induced by such a highly oxidative state in the dystrophic condition. However, it is

  13. A High-Content Assay for Biosensor Validation and for Examining Stimuli that Affect Biosensor Activity.

    PubMed

    Slattery, Scott D; Hahn, Klaus M

    2014-12-01

    Biosensors are valuable tools used to monitor many different protein behaviors in vivo. Demand for new biosensors is high, but their development and characterization can be difficult. During biosensor design, it is necessary to evaluate the effects of different biosensor structures on specificity, brightness, and fluorescence responses. By co-expressing the biosensor with upstream proteins that either stimulate or inhibit the activity reported by the biosensor, one can determine the difference between the biosensor's maximally activated and inactivated state, and examine response to specific proteins. We describe here a method for biosensor validation in a 96-well plate format using an automated microscope. This protocol produces dose-response curves, enables efficient examination of many parameters, and unlike cell suspension assays, allows visual inspection (e.g., for cell health and biosensor or regulator localization). Optimization of single-chain and dual-chain Rho GTPase biosensors is addressed, but the assay is applicable to any biosensor that can be expressed or otherwise loaded in adherent cells. The assay can also be used for purposes other than biosensor validation, using a well-characterized biosensor as a readout for effects of upstream molecules.

  14. A solid phase antibody screen.

    PubMed

    Plapp, F V; Sinor, L T; Rachel, J M; Beck, M L; Coenen, W M; Bayer, W L

    1984-12-01

    An automated solid phase antibody screen (SPAS) in microplates has been developed. Red blood cell (RBC) adherence was used as the end point instead of agglutination. Consequently, positive and negative reactions were readily distinguished by a microplate spectrophotometer. The SPAS performed as well as conventional antiglobulin methods for detecting IgG antibodies in donor sera and had increased sensitivity as determined by serial dilutions of antibodies.

  15. Automating checks of plan check automation.

    PubMed

    Halabi, Tarek; Lu, Hsiao-Ming

    2014-07-08

    While a few physicists have designed new plan check automation solutions for their clinics, fewer, if any, managed to adapt existing solutions. As complex and varied as the systems they check, these programs must gain the full confidence of those who would run them on countless patient plans. The present automation effort, planCheck, therefore focuses on versatility and ease of implementation and verification. To demonstrate this, we apply planCheck to proton gantry, stereotactic proton gantry, stereotactic proton fixed beam (STAR), and IMRT treatments.

  16. Characterization of Endogenous Sodium Channels in the ND7-23 Neuroblastoma Cell Line: Implications for Use as a Heterologous Ion Channel Expression System Suitable for Automated Patch Clamp Screening

    PubMed Central

    Zidar, Nace; Kikelj, Danijel; Kirby, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The rodent neuroblastoma cell line, ND7-23, is used to express voltage-dependent sodium (Nav) and other neuronal ion channels resistant to heterologous expression in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) or human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells. Their advantage is that they provide endogenous factors and signaling pathways to promote ion channel peptide folding, expression, and function at the cell surface and are also amenable to automated patch clamping. However, ND7-23 cells exhibit endogenous tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive Nav currents, and molecular profiling has revealed the presence of Nav1.2, Nav1.3, Nav1.6, and Nav1.7 transcripts, but no study has determined which subtypes contribute to functional channels at the cell surface. We profiled the repertoire of functional Nav channels endogenously expressed in ND7-23 cells using the QPatch automated patch clamp platform and selective toxins and small molecules. The potency and subtype selectivity of the ligands (Icagen compound 68 from patent US-20060025415-A1-20060202, 4,9 anhydro TTX, and Protoxin-II) were established in human Nav1.3, Nav1.6, and Nav1.7 channel cell lines before application of selective concentrations to ND7-23 cells. Our data confirm previous studies that >97% of macroscopic Nav current in ND7-23 cells is carried by TTX-sensitive channels (300 nM TTX) and that Nav1.7 is the predominant channel contributing to this response (65% of peak inward current), followed by Nav1.6 (∼20%) and negligible Nav1.3 currents (∼2%). In addition, our data are the first to assess the Nav1.6 potency (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 33 nM) and selectivity (50-fold over Nav1.7) of 4,9 anhydro TTX in human Nav channels expressed in mammalian cells, confirming previous studies of rodent Nav channels expressed in oocytes and HEK cells. PMID:26991361

  17. Work and Programmable Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeVore, Paul W.

    A new industrial era based on electronics and the microprocessor has arrived, an era that is being called intelligent automation. Intelligent automation, in the form of robots, replaces workers, and the new products, using microelectronic devices, require significantly less labor to produce than the goods they replace. The microprocessor thus…

  18. Automation and Cataloging.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furuta, Kenneth; And Others

    1990-01-01

    These three articles address issues in library cataloging that are affected by automation: (1) the impact of automation and bibliographic utilities on professional catalogers; (2) the effect of the LASS microcomputer software on the cost of authority work in cataloging at the University of Arizona; and (3) online subject heading and classification…

  19. Library Automation Style Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaylord Bros., Liverpool, NY.

    This library automation style guide lists specific terms and names often used in the library automation industry. The terms and/or acronyms are listed alphabetically and each is followed by a brief definition. The guide refers to the "Chicago Manual of Style" for general rules, and a notes section is included for the convenience of individual…

  20. More Benefits of Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getz, Malcolm

    1988-01-01

    Describes a study that measured the benefits of an automated catalog and automated circulation system from the library user's point of view in terms of the value of time saved. Topics discussed include patterns of use, access time, availability of information, search behaviors, and the effectiveness of the measures used. (seven references)…

  1. Educating Archivists for Automation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Lisa B.

    1988-01-01

    Archivists indicate they want to learn more about automation in archives, the MARC AMC (Archival and Manuscripts Control) format, and emerging computer technologies; they look for educational opportunities through professional associations, publications, and college coursework; future archival automation education needs include standards, shared…

  2. Automation and robotics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montemerlo, Melvin

    1988-01-01

    The Autonomous Systems focus on the automation of control systems for the Space Station and mission operations. Telerobotics focuses on automation for in-space servicing, assembly, and repair. The Autonomous Systems and Telerobotics each have a planned sequence of integrated demonstrations showing the evolutionary advance of the state-of-the-art. Progress is briefly described for each area of concern.

  3. Automated design of flexible linkers.

    PubMed

    Manion, Charles; Arlitt, Ryan; Campbell, Matthew I; Tumer, Irem; Stone, Rob; Greaney, P Alex

    2016-03-14

    This paper presents a method for the systematic and automated design of flexible organic linkers for construction of metal organic-frameworks (MOFs) in which flexibility, compliance, or other mechanically exotic properties originate at the linker level rather than from the framework kinematics. Our method couples a graph grammar method for systematically generating linker like molecules with molecular dynamics modeling of linkers' mechanical response. Using this approach we have generated a candidate pool of >59,000 hypothetical linkers. We screen linker candidates according to their mechanical behaviors under large deformation, and extract fragments common to the most performant candidate materials. To demonstrate the general approach to MOF design we apply our system to designing linkers for pressure switching MOFs-MOFs that undergo reversible structural collapse after a stress threshold is exceeded. PMID:26687337

  4. Advances in inspection automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Walter H.; Mair, H. Douglas; Jansen, Dion; Lombardi, Luciano

    2013-01-01

    This new session at QNDE reflects the growing interest in inspection automation. Our paper describes a newly developed platform that makes the complex NDE automation possible without the need for software programmers. Inspection tasks that are tedious, error-prone or impossible for humans to perform can now be automated using a form of drag and drop visual scripting. Our work attempts to rectify the problem that NDE is not keeping pace with the rest of factory automation. Outside of NDE, robots routinely and autonomously machine parts, assemble components, weld structures and report progress to corporate databases. By contrast, components arriving in the NDT department typically require manual part handling, calibrations and analysis. The automation examples in this paper cover the development of robotic thickness gauging and the use of adaptive contour following on the NRU reactor inspection at Chalk River.

  5. Automation in Immunohematology

    PubMed Central

    Bajpai, Meenu; Kaur, Ravneet; Gupta, Ekta

    2012-01-01

    There have been rapid technological advances in blood banking in South Asian region over the past decade with an increasing emphasis on quality and safety of blood products. The conventional test tube technique has given way to newer techniques such as column agglutination technique, solid phase red cell adherence assay, and erythrocyte-magnetized technique. These new technologies are adaptable to automation and major manufacturers in this field have come up with semi and fully automated equipments for immunohematology tests in the blood bank. Automation improves the objectivity and reproducibility of tests. It reduces human errors in patient identification and transcription errors. Documentation and traceability of tests, reagents and processes and archiving of results is another major advantage of automation. Shifting from manual methods to automation is a major undertaking for any transfusion service to provide quality patient care with lesser turnaround time for their ever increasing workload. This article discusses the various issues involved in the process. PMID:22988378

  6. Automation in immunohematology.

    PubMed

    Bajpai, Meenu; Kaur, Ravneet; Gupta, Ekta

    2012-07-01

    There have been rapid technological advances in blood banking in South Asian region over the past decade with an increasing emphasis on quality and safety of blood products. The conventional test tube technique has given way to newer techniques such as column agglutination technique, solid phase red cell adherence assay, and erythrocyte-magnetized technique. These new technologies are adaptable to automation and major manufacturers in this field have come up with semi and fully automated equipments for immunohematology tests in the blood bank. Automation improves the objectivity and reproducibility of tests. It reduces human errors in patient identification and transcription errors. Documentation and traceability of tests, reagents and processes and archiving of results is another major advantage of automation. Shifting from manual methods to automation is a major undertaking for any transfusion service to provide quality patient care with lesser turnaround time for their ever increasing workload. This article discusses the various issues involved in the process. PMID:22988378

  7. Automation in immunohematology.

    PubMed

    Bajpai, Meenu; Kaur, Ravneet; Gupta, Ekta

    2012-07-01

    There have been rapid technological advances in blood banking in South Asian region over the past decade with an increasing emphasis on quality and safety of blood products. The conventional test tube technique has given way to newer techniques such as column agglutination technique, solid phase red cell adherence assay, and erythrocyte-magnetized technique. These new technologies are adaptable to automation and major manufacturers in this field have come up with semi and fully automated equipments for immunohematology tests in the blood bank. Automation improves the objectivity and reproducibility of tests. It reduces human errors in patient identification and transcription errors. Documentation and traceability of tests, reagents and processes and archiving of results is another major advantage of automation. Shifting from manual methods to automation is a major undertaking for any transfusion service to provide quality patient care with lesser turnaround time for their ever increasing workload. This article discusses the various issues involved in the process.

  8. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry combined with automated MetaboLynx analysis approach to screen the bioactive components and their metabolites in Wen-Xin-Formula.

    PubMed

    Cao, Hongxin; Zhang, Aihua; Zhang, Fang-mei; Wang, Qin-qin; Zhang, He; Song, Yan-hua; Zhou, Ying; Sun, Hui; Yan, Guang-li; Han, Ying; Wang, Xijun

    2014-12-01

    Wen-Xin-Formula (WXF), a famous traditional prescription, has been widely used to treat myocardial ischemia syndrome for thousands of years. However, the constituents absorbed into blood after oral administration of WXF remain unknown. Here, an integrative ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization/quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS) combined with the MetaboLynx approach was established to investigate the absorbed constituents in rats after oral administration of WXF. A hyphenated electrospray ionization and quadrupole-time-of-flight analyzer was used for the determination of accurate mass of the molecule and fragment ions. With this rapid and automated analysis method, a total of 32 peaks were tentatively characterized in vivo based on MS and MS/MS data and comparison with available databasess, 26 of which were parent components and six metabolites. These components mainly were ginsenosides, paeoniflorin, galloyl glucose, berberis alkaloids, phenolic, phenolic glycosides and unsaturated fatty acids, glucuronide products of original berberis alkaloids. The present study demonstrates that integrative UPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS technique and MetaboLynx data processing method were successfully applied for the rapid discovery of potentially bioactive components and metabolites from WXF, and proved that the established method could help to explore the effective substances for further research into WXF.

  9. Robotic liquid handling and automation in epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Gaisford, Wendy

    2012-10-01

    Automated liquid-handling robots and high-throughput screening (HTS) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the screening of large compound libraries, small molecules for activity against disease-relevant target pathways, or proteins. HTS robots capable of low-volume dispensing reduce assay setup times and provide highly accurate and reproducible dispensing, minimizing variation between sample replicates and eliminating the potential for manual error. Low-volume automated nanoliter dispensers ensure accuracy of pipetting within volume ranges that are difficult to achieve manually. In addition, they have the ability to potentially expand the range of screening conditions from often limited amounts of valuable sample, as well as reduce the usage of expensive reagents. The ability to accurately dispense lower volumes provides the potential to achieve a greater amount of information than could be otherwise achieved using manual dispensing technology. With the emergence of the field of epigenetics, an increasing number of drug discovery companies are beginning to screen compound libraries against a range of epigenetic targets. This review discusses the potential for the use of low-volume liquid handling robots, for molecular biological applications such as quantitative PCR and epigenetics. PMID:22933618

  10. Robotic liquid handling and automation in epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Gaisford, Wendy

    2012-10-01

    Automated liquid-handling robots and high-throughput screening (HTS) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the screening of large compound libraries, small molecules for activity against disease-relevant target pathways, or proteins. HTS robots capable of low-volume dispensing reduce assay setup times and provide highly accurate and reproducible dispensing, minimizing variation between sample replicates and eliminating the potential for manual error. Low-volume automated nanoliter dispensers ensure accuracy of pipetting within volume ranges that are difficult to achieve manually. In addition, they have the ability to potentially expand the range of screening conditions from often limited amounts of valuable sample, as well as reduce the usage of expensive reagents. The ability to accurately dispense lower volumes provides the potential to achieve a greater amount of information than could be otherwise achieved using manual dispensing technology. With the emergence of the field of epigenetics, an increasing number of drug discovery companies are beginning to screen compound libraries against a range of epigenetic targets. This review discusses the potential for the use of low-volume liquid handling robots, for molecular biological applications such as quantitative PCR and epigenetics.

  11. COMPARISON OF NEUROSCREEN-1 AND CEREBELLAR GRANULE CELL CULTURES FOR EVALUATING NEURITE OUTGROWTH USING THE ARRAYSCAN HIGH CONTENT ANALYSIS SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    A major challenge facing the Environmental Protection Agency is the development of high-throughput screening assays amendable to resource-efficient developmental neurotoxicity for chemical screening and toxicity prioritization. One approach uses in vitro, cell-based assays which...

  12. Potential value of automated daily screening of cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator diagnostics for prediction of major cardiovascular events: results from Home-CARE (Home Monitoring in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy) study

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Stefan; Wende, Christian Michael; Nägele, Herbert; Katz, Amos; Bauer, Wolfgang Rudolf; Barr, Craig Scott; Malinowski, Klaus; Schwacke, Harald; Leyva, Francisco; Proff, Jochen; Berdyshev, Sergey; Paul, Vincent

    2011-01-01

    Aim To investigate whether diagnostic data from implanted cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) retrieved automatically at 24 h intervals via a Home Monitoring function can enable dynamic prediction of cardiovascular hospitalization and death. Methods and results Three hundred and seventy-seven heart failure patients received CRT-Ds with Home Monitoring option. Data on all deaths and hospitalizations due to cardiovascular reasons and Home Monitoring data were collected prospectively during 1-year follow-up to develop a predictive algorithm with a predefined specificity of 99.5%. Seven parameters were included in the algorithm: mean heart rate over 24 h, heart rate at rest, patient activity, frequency of ventricular extrasystoles, atrial–atrial intervals (heart rate variability), right ventricular pacing impedance, and painless shock impedance. The algorithm was developed using a 25-day monitoring window ending 3 days before hospitalization or death. While the retrospective sensitivities of the individual parameters ranged from 23.6 to 50.0%, the combination of all parameters was 65.4% sensitive in detecting cardiovascular hospitalizations and deaths with 99.5% specificity (corresponding to 1.83 false-positive detections per patient-year of follow-up). The estimated relative risk of an event was 7.15-fold higher after a positive predictor finding than after a negative predictor finding. Conclusion We developed an automated algorithm for dynamic prediction of cardiovascular events in patients treated with CRT-D devices capable of daily transmission of their diagnostic data via Home Monitoring. This tool may increase patients’ quality of life and reduce morbidity, mortality, and health economic burden, it now warrants prospective studies. ClinicalTrials.gov  NCT00376116. PMID:21852311

  13. Systematic review automation technologies.

    PubMed

    Tsafnat, Guy; Glasziou, Paul; Choong, Miew Keen; Dunn, Adam; Galgani, Filippo; Coiera, Enrico

    2014-07-09

    Systematic reviews, a cornerstone of evidence-based medicine, are not produced quickly enough to support clinical practice. The cost of production, availability of the requisite expertise and timeliness are often quoted as major contributors for the delay. This detailed survey of the state of the art of information systems designed to support or automate individual tasks in the systematic review, and in particular systematic reviews of randomized controlled clinical trials, reveals trends that see the convergence of several parallel research projects.We surveyed literature describing informatics systems that support or automate the processes of systematic review or each of the tasks of the systematic review. Several projects focus on automating, simplifying and/or streamlining specific tasks of the systematic review. Some tasks are already fully automated while others are still largely manual. In this review, we describe each task and the effect that its automation would have on the entire systematic review process, summarize the existing information system support for each task, and highlight where further research is needed for realizing automation for the task. Integration of the systems that automate systematic review tasks may lead to a revised systematic review workflow. We envisage the optimized workflow will lead to system in which each systematic review is described as a computer program that automatically retrieves relevant trials, appraises them, extracts and synthesizes data, evaluates the risk of bias, performs meta-analysis calculations, and produces a report in real time.

  14. Systematic review automation technologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Systematic reviews, a cornerstone of evidence-based medicine, are not produced quickly enough to support clinical practice. The cost of production, availability of the requisite expertise and timeliness are often quoted as major contributors for the delay. This detailed survey of the state of the art of information systems designed to support or automate individual tasks in the systematic review, and in particular systematic reviews of randomized controlled clinical trials, reveals trends that see the convergence of several parallel research projects. We surveyed literature describing informatics systems that support or automate the processes of systematic review or each of the tasks of the systematic review. Several projects focus on automating, simplifying and/or streamlining specific tasks of the systematic review. Some tasks are already fully automated while others are still largely manual. In this review, we describe each task and the effect that its automation would have on the entire systematic review process, summarize the existing information system support for each task, and highlight where further research is needed for realizing automation for the task. Integration of the systems that automate systematic review tasks may lead to a revised systematic review workflow. We envisage the optimized workflow will lead to system in which each systematic review is described as a computer program that automatically retrieves relevant trials, appraises them, extracts and synthesizes data, evaluates the risk of bias, performs meta-analysis calculations, and produces a report in real time. PMID:25005128

  15. Biomek Cell Workstation: A Variable System for Automated Cell Cultivation.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, R; Severitt, J C; Roddelkopf, T; Junginger, S; Thurow, K

    2016-06-01

    Automated cell cultivation is an important tool for simplifying routine laboratory work. Automated methods are independent of skill levels and daily constitution of laboratory staff in combination with a constant quality and performance of the methods. The Biomek Cell Workstation was configured as a flexible and compatible system. The modified Biomek Cell Workstation enables the cultivation of adherent and suspension cells. Until now, no commercially available systems enabled the automated handling of both types of cells in one system. In particular, the automated cultivation of suspension cells in this form has not been published. The cell counts and viabilities were nonsignificantly decreased for cells cultivated in AutoFlasks in automated handling. The proliferation of manual and automated bioscreening by the WST-1 assay showed a nonsignificant lower proliferation of automatically disseminated cells associated with a mostly lower standard error. The disseminated suspension cell lines showed different pronounced proliferations in descending order, starting with Jurkat cells followed by SEM, Molt4, and RS4 cells having the lowest proliferation. In this respect, we successfully disseminated and screened suspension cells in an automated way. The automated cultivation and dissemination of a variety of suspension cells can replace the manual method.

  16. Large-scale microfluidics providing high-resolution and high-throughput screening of Caenorhabditis elegans poly-glutamine aggregation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mondal, Sudip; Hegarty, Evan; Martin, Chris; Gökçe, Sertan Kutal; Ghorashian, Navid; Ben-Yakar, Adela

    2016-10-01

    Next generation drug screening could benefit greatly from in vivo studies, using small animal models such as Caenorhabditis elegans for hit identification and lead optimization. Current in vivo assays can operate either at low throughput with high resolution or with low resolution at high throughput. To enable both high-throughput and high-resolution imaging of C. elegans, we developed an automated microfluidic platform. This platform can image 15 z-stacks of ~4,000 C. elegans from 96 different populations using a large-scale chip with a micron resolution in 16 min. Using this platform, we screened ~100,000 animals of the poly-glutamine aggregation model on 25 chips. We tested the efficacy of ~1,000 FDA-approved drugs in improving the aggregation phenotype of the model and identified four confirmed hits. This robust platform now enables high-content screening of various C. elegans disease models at the speed and cost of in vitro cell-based assays.

  17. Large-scale microfluidics providing high-resolution and high-throughput screening of Caenorhabditis elegans poly-glutamine aggregation model

    PubMed Central

    Mondal, Sudip; Hegarty, Evan; Martin, Chris; Gökçe, Sertan Kutal; Ghorashian, Navid; Ben-Yakar, Adela

    2016-01-01

    Next generation drug screening could benefit greatly from in vivo studies, using small animal models such as Caenorhabditis elegans for hit identification and lead optimization. Current in vivo assays can operate either at low throughput with high resolution or with low resolution at high throughput. To enable both high-throughput and high-resolution imaging of C. elegans, we developed an automated microfluidic platform. This platform can image 15 z-stacks of ∼4,000 C. elegans from 96 different populations using a large-scale chip with a micron resolution in 16 min. Using this platform, we screened ∼100,000 animals of the poly-glutamine aggregation model on 25 chips. We tested the efficacy of ∼1,000 FDA-approved drugs in improving the aggregation phenotype of the model and identified four confirmed hits. This robust platform now enables high-content screening of various C. elegans disease models at the speed and cost of in vitro cell-based assays. PMID:27725672

  18. Automation synthesis modules review.

    PubMed

    Boschi, S; Lodi, F; Malizia, C; Cicoria, G; Marengo, M

    2013-06-01

    The introduction of (68)Ga labelled tracers has changed the diagnostic approach to neuroendocrine tumours and the availability of a reliable, long-lived (68)Ge/(68)Ga generator has been at the bases of the development of (68)Ga radiopharmacy. The huge increase in clinical demand, the impact of regulatory issues and a careful radioprotection of the operators have boosted for extensive automation of the production process. The development of automated systems for (68)Ga radiochemistry, different engineering and software strategies and post-processing of the eluate were discussed along with impact of automation with regulations.

  19. High-Content Movement Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool in C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Peter; Lancichinetti, Andrea; Krevitt, Leah; Amaral, Luis; Morimoto, Rick

    2013-03-01

    Many neurodegenerative diseases manifest themselves through a loss of motor control and give us information about the underlying disease. This loss of coordination is observed in humans and in the model organisms used to study neurodegeneration. In Caenorhabditis elegans, there is an extensive genetic library of strains that lack functional neuronal signaling pathways and expressing proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. While most of these strains have decrease motility or cause paralysis, relatively few have been screened to look for more subtle changes in motor control such as stiffness, twitching, or other changes in behavior. we use high-resolution position and posture data to automatically analyze the movement of worms from different genetic backgrounds and characterize 14 movement characteristics. By creating a quantitative mapping between the movement characterization and an online database of gene annotation, gene expression, and anatomy, we aim to predict a likely set of cellular and molecular disruptions. This work provides a proof of concept for the use of detailed movement analysis to uncover novel disruptions in certain motor control processes. Knowledge of the molecular origin of these disruptions provided by our understanding of C. elegans genetics and physiology could lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disease.

  20. Use of HCA in Subproteome-immunization and Screening of Hybridoma Supernatants to Define Distinct Antibody Binding Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Szafran, Adam T.; Mancini, Maureen G.; Nickerson, Jeffrey A.; Edwards, Dean P.; Mancini, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the properties and functions of complex biological systems depends upon knowing the proteins present and the interactions between them. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have given us greater insights into the participating proteomes, however, monoclonal antibodies remain key to understanding the structures, functions, locations and macromolecular interactions of the involved proteins. The traditional single immunogen method to produce monoclonal antibodies using hybridoma technology are time, resource and cost intensive, limiting the number of reagents that are available. Using a high content analysis screening approach, we have developed a method in which a complex mixture of proteins (e.g., subproteome) is used to generate a panel of monoclonal antibodies specific to a subproteome located in a defined subcellular compartment such as the nucleus. The immunofluorescent images in the primary hybridoma screen are analyzed using an automated processing approach and classified using a recursive partitioning forest classification model derived from images obtained from the Human Protein Atlas. Using an ammonium sulfate purified nuclear matrix fraction as an example of reverse proteomics, we identified 866 hybridoma supernatants with a positive immunofluorescent signal. Of those, 402 produced a nuclear signal from which patterns similar to known nuclear matrix associated proteins were identified. Detailed here is our method, the analysis techniques, and a discussion of the application to further in vivo antibody production. PMID:26521976

  1. Simultaneous multi-parametric analysis of Leishmania and of its hosting mammal cells: A high content imaging-based method enabling sound drug discovery process.

    PubMed

    Forestier, Claire-Lise; Späth, Gerald Frank; Prina, Eric; Dasari, Sreekanth

    2015-11-01

    Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease for which only limited therapeutic options are available. The disease is ranked among the six most important tropical infectious diseases and represents the second-largest parasitic killer in the world. The development of new therapies has been hampered by the lack of technologies and methodologies that can be integrated into the complex physiological environment of a cell or organism and adapted to suitable in vitro and in vivo Leishmania models. Recent advances in microscopy imaging offer the possibility to assess the efficacy of potential drug candidates against Leishmania within host cells. This technology allows the simultaneous visualization of relevant phenotypes in parasite and host cells and the quantification of a variety of cellular events. In this review, we present the powerful cellular imaging methodologies that have been developed for drug screening in a biologically relevant context, addressing both high-content and high-throughput needs. Furthermore, we discuss the potential of intra-vital microscopy imaging in the context of the anti-leishmanial drug discovery process.

  2. Rapid Assessment and Visualization of Normality in High-Content and Other Cell-Level Data and Its Impact on the Interpretation of Experimental Results.

    PubMed

    Haney, Steven A

    2014-06-01

    When investigators monitor effects on a population of cells following a perturbation, these events rarely occur in a classical normal (or Gaussian) distribution. A normal distribution is, however, explicitly assumed for events within a single well, in which mean values per well are used as an assay metric and, in general, measures of assay robustness, such as the Z' score and the V factor. Such analysis is not possible for many technologies; however, high-content screening (HCS) measures events of individual cells, which are averaged over the well. These individual cell-level measurements may be analyzed separately. This study quantifies the extent of nonnormality in experimental samples and their effects on determining the EC50 of a test compound and the assay robustness statistics. The results, based on five sets of publicly available data, indicate that the Z' or V-factor score can be improved by as much as 0.44 more than standard calculations, and the EC50 of a dose-response curve can be lowered by as much as fivefold when nonparametric methods are used, but not all data sets show a significant improvement. The effect on analysis depends in part on whether the greatest shift from normality occurs in the upper or lower range of the dose-response curve. PMID:24652972

  3. Automated Lattice Perturbation Theory

    SciTech Connect

    Monahan, Christopher

    2014-11-01

    I review recent developments in automated lattice perturbation theory. Starting with an overview of lattice perturbation theory, I focus on the three automation packages currently "on the market": HiPPy/HPsrc, Pastor and PhySyCAl. I highlight some recent applications of these methods, particularly in B physics. In the final section I briefly discuss the related, but distinct, approach of numerical stochastic perturbation theory.

  4. Automated Pilot Advisory System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parks, J. L., Jr.; Haidt, J. G.

    1981-01-01

    An Automated Pilot Advisory System (APAS) was developed and operationally tested to demonstrate the concept that low cost automated systems can provide air traffic and aviation weather advisory information at high density uncontrolled airports. The system was designed to enhance the see and be seen rule of flight, and pilots who used the system preferred it over the self announcement system presently used at uncontrolled airports.

  5. Automated Status Notification System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    NASA Lewis Research Center's Automated Status Notification System (ASNS) was born out of need. To prevent "hacker attacks," Lewis' telephone system needed to monitor communications activities 24 hr a day, 7 days a week. With decreasing staff resources, this continuous monitoring had to be automated. By utilizing existing communications hardware, a UNIX workstation, and NAWK (a pattern scanning and processing language), we implemented a continuous monitoring system.

  6. Automated drawing system of quantum energy levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stampoultzis, M.; Sinatkas, J.; Tsakstara, V.; Kosmas, T. S.

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of this work is to derive an automated system that provides advantageous drawings of energy spectra for quantum systems (nuclei, atoms, molecules, etc.) required in various physical sciences. The automation involves the development of appropriate computational code and graphical imaging system based on raw data insertion, theoretical calculations and experimental or bibliographic data insertion. The system determines the appropriate scale to depict graphically with the best possible way in the available space. The presently developed code operates locally and the results are displayed on the screen and can be exported to a PostScript file. We note its main features to arrange and visualize in the available space the energy levels with their identity, taking care the existence in the final diagram the least auxiliary deviations. Future improvements can be the use of Java and the availability on the Internet. The work involves the automated plotting of energy levels in molecules, atoms, nuclei and other types of quantized energy spectra. The automation involves the development of an appropriate computational code and graphical imaging system.

  7. A one-step bioprocess for production of high-content fructo-oligosaccharides from inulin by yeast.

    PubMed

    Wang, Da; Li, Fu-Li; Wang, Shi-An

    2016-10-20

    Commercial fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are predominantly produced from sucrose by transfructosylation process that presents a maximum theoretical yield below 0.60gFOSgSucrose(-1). To obtain high-content FOS, costly purification is generally employed. Additionally, high-content FOS can be produced from inulin by using endo-inulinases. However, commercial endo-inulinases have not been extensively used in scale-up production of FOS. In the present study, a one-step bioprocess that integrated endo-inulinase production, FOS fermentation, and non-FOS sugars removal into one reactor was proposed to produce high-content FOS from inulin. The bioprocess was implemented by a recombinant yeast strain JZHΔS-TSC, in which a heterologous endo-inulinase gene was expressed and the inherent invertase gene SUC2 was disrupted. FOS fermentation at 40°C from 200g/L chicory inulin presented the maximun titer, yield, and productivity of 180.2±0.8g/L, 0.9gFOSgInulin(-1), and 7.51±0.03g/L/h, respectively. This study demonstrated that the one-step bioprocess was simple and highly efficient. PMID:27474673

  8. A one-step bioprocess for production of high-content fructo-oligosaccharides from inulin by yeast.

    PubMed

    Wang, Da; Li, Fu-Li; Wang, Shi-An

    2016-10-20

    Commercial fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are predominantly produced from sucrose by transfructosylation process that presents a maximum theoretical yield below 0.60gFOSgSucrose(-1). To obtain high-content FOS, costly purification is generally employed. Additionally, high-content FOS can be produced from inulin by using endo-inulinases. However, commercial endo-inulinases have not been extensively used in scale-up production of FOS. In the present study, a one-step bioprocess that integrated endo-inulinase production, FOS fermentation, and non-FOS sugars removal into one reactor was proposed to produce high-content FOS from inulin. The bioprocess was implemented by a recombinant yeast strain JZHΔS-TSC, in which a heterologous endo-inulinase gene was expressed and the inherent invertase gene SUC2 was disrupted. FOS fermentation at 40°C from 200g/L chicory inulin presented the maximun titer, yield, and productivity of 180.2±0.8g/L, 0.9gFOSgInulin(-1), and 7.51±0.03g/L/h, respectively. This study demonstrated that the one-step bioprocess was simple and highly efficient.

  9. Automated imagery orthorectification pilot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slonecker, E. Terrence; Johnson, Brad; McMahon, Joe

    2009-10-01

    Automated orthorectification of raw image products is now possible based on the comprehensive metadata collected by Global Positioning Systems and Inertial Measurement Unit technology aboard aircraft and satellite digital imaging systems, and based on emerging pattern-matching and automated image-to-image and control point selection capabilities in many advanced image processing systems. Automated orthorectification of standard aerial photography is also possible if a camera calibration report and sufficient metadata is available. Orthorectification of historical imagery, for which only limited metadata was available, was also attempted and found to require some user input, creating a semi-automated process that still has significant potential to reduce processing time and expense for the conversion of archival historical imagery into geospatially enabled, digital formats, facilitating preservation and utilization of a vast archive of historical imagery. Over 90 percent of the frames of historical aerial photos used in this experiment were successfully orthorectified to the accuracy of the USGS 100K base map series utilized for the geospatial reference of the archive. The accuracy standard for the 100K series maps is approximately 167 feet (51 meters). The main problems associated with orthorectification failure were cloud cover, shadow and historical landscape change which confused automated image-to-image matching processes. Further research is recommended to optimize automated orthorectification methods and enable broad operational use, especially as related to historical imagery archives.

  10. Automated Parallel Recordings of Topologically Identified Single Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Ryuji; Tsuji, Yutaro; Sato, Koji; Osaki, Toshihisa; Kamiya, Koki; Hirano, Minako; Ide, Toru; Miki, Norihisa; Takeuchi, Shoji

    2013-01-01

    Although ion channels are attractive targets for drug discovery, the systematic screening of ion channel-targeted drugs remains challenging. To facilitate automated single ion-channel recordings for the analysis of drug interactions with the intra- and extracellular domain, we have developed a parallel recording methodology using artificial cell membranes. The use of stable lipid bilayer formation in droplet chamber arrays facilitated automated, parallel, single-channel recording from reconstituted native and mutated ion channels. Using this system, several types of ion channels, including mutated forms, were characterised by determining the protein orientation. In addition, we provide evidence that both intra- and extracellular amyloid-beta fragments directly inhibit the channel open probability of the hBK channel. This automated methodology provides a high-throughput drug screening system for the targeting of ion channels and a data-intensive analysis technique for studying ion channel gating mechanisms. PMID:23771282

  11. Streptococcal screen

    MedlinePlus

    A negative strep screen most often means group A streptococcus is not present. It is unlikely that you have strep throat. If your provider still thinks that you may have strep throat, a throat culture will be done.

  12. Hypertension screening

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foulke, J. M.

    1975-01-01

    An attempt was made to measure the response to an announcement of hypertension screening at the Goddard Space Center, to compare the results to those of previous statistics. Education and patient awareness of the problem were stressed.

  13. Developmental Screening

    MedlinePlus

    Learn More about Your Child’s Development: Developmental Monitoring and Screening Taking a first step, waving “bye-bye,” and pointing to something interesting are all developmental milestones, ...

  14. TORCH screen

    MedlinePlus

    ... in a newborn. TORCH stands for toxoplasmosis , rubella , cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HIV, but it can also ... to screen infants for infections such as toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, syphilis and others. These infections may ...

  15. Get Screened

    MedlinePlus

    ... Get Ready 3 of 4 sections Take Action: Cost and Insurance What about cost? Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screening tests at no cost to you. Most insurance plans, including Medicaid and ...

  16. Newborn Screening

    MedlinePlus

    ... Pulse Oximetry Screening for CCHDs Sickle Cell Disease Laboratory SCID Quality Assurance Training and Resources For Lab Professionals Data and Reports Laboratory Reports National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) Resources ...

  17. Automated DNA electrophoresis, hybridization and detection

    SciTech Connect

    Zapolski, E.J.; Gersten, D.M.; Golab, T.J.; Ledley, R.S.

    1986-05-01

    A fully automated, computer controlled system for nucleic acid hybridization analysis has been devised and constructed. In practice, DNA is digested with restriction endonuclease enzyme(s) and loaded into the system by pipette; /sup 32/P-labelled nucleic acid probe(s) is loaded into the nine hybridization chambers. Instructions for all the steps in the automated process are specified by answering questions that appear on the computer screen at the start of the experiment. Subsequent steps are performed automatically. The system performs horizontal electrophoresis in agarose gel, fixed the fragments to a solid phase matrix, denatures, neutralizes, prehybridizes, hybridizes, washes, dries and detects the radioactivity according to the specifications given by the operator. The results, printed out at the end, give the positions on the matrix to which radioactivity remains hybridized following stringent washing.

  18. Laboratory diagnosis of syphilis with automated immunoassays.

    PubMed

    Marangoni, Antonella; Moroni, Alessandra; Accardo, Silvia; Cevenini, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The serological detection of specific antibodies to Treponema pallidum is of particular importance in the diagnosis of syphilis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate diagnostic performances of automated immunoassays in comparison with T. pallidum hemagglutination test (TPHA) and Western Blot (WB). The retrospective study was performed with different panels of sera: 244 clinical and serological characterized syphilitic sera and 203 potentially interfering samples. All the sera were tested by Enzygnost Syphilis, ARCHITECT Syphilis TP, TPHA, and homemade WB. The diagnostic performances of the two assays were very similar: both Enzygnost Syphilis and ARCHITECT Syphilis TP performed with a sensitivity of 99.2%, whereas the specificity was 98.5 and 98.4%, respectively. Considering the suitability for automation, both immunoassays may represent a good choice as a screening test. However, the use of a confirmatory test, such as TPHA or WB, remains a must in order to avoid false-positive results.

  19. Automated diagnostic kiosk for diagnosing diseases

    DOEpatents

    Regan, John Frederick; Birch, James Michael

    2014-02-11

    An automated and autonomous diagnostic apparatus that is capable of dispensing collection vials and collections kits to users interesting in collecting a biological sample and submitting their collected sample contained within a collection vial into the apparatus for automated diagnostic services. The user communicates with the apparatus through a touch-screen monitor. A user is able to enter personnel information into the apparatus including medical history, insurance information, co-payment, and answer a series of questions regarding their illness, which is used to determine the assay most likely to yield a positive result. Remotely-located physicians can communicate with users of the apparatus using video tele-medicine and request specific assays to be performed. The apparatus archives submitted samples for additional testing. Users may receive their assay results electronically. Users may allow the uploading of their diagnoses into a central databank for disease surveillance purposes.

  20. Automated microscopy system for peripheral blood cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boev, Sergei F.; Sazonov, Vladimir V.; Kozinets, Gennady I.; Pogorelov, Valery M.; Gusev, Alexander A.; Korobova, Farida V.; Vinogradov, Alexander G.; Verdenskaya, Natalya V.; Ivanova, Irina A.

    2000-11-01

    The report describes the instrument ASPBS (Automated Screening of Peripheral Blood Cells) designed for an automated analysis of dry blood smears. The instrument is based on computer microscopy and uses dry blood smears prepared according to the standard Romanovskii-Giemza procedure. In comparison with the well-known flow cytometry systems, our instrument provides more detailed information and offers an opporunity of visualizing final results. The basic performances of the instrument are given. Software of this instrument is based on digital image processing and image recognition procedures. It is pointed out that the instrument can be used as a fairly universal tool in scientific research, public demonstrations, in medical treatment, and in medical education. The principle used as the basis of the instrument appeared adequate for creating an instrument version serviceable even during space flights where standard manual procedures and flow cytometry systems fail. The benefit of the use of the instrument in clinical laboratories is described.

  1. Automated Telephone Calls Improved Completion of Fecal Occult Blood Testing

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Although colorectal cancer (CRC) prognosis is improved by early diagnosis, screening rates remain low. OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of an automated telephone intervention on completion of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT). RESEARCH DESIGN Subjects In this randomized controlled trial conducted at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, a not-for-profit health maintenance organization, 5,905 eligible patients aged 51–80, at average risk for CRC and due for CRC screening, were randomly assigned to an automated telephone intervention (n=2,943) or usual care (UC; n=2,962). The intervention group received up to 3 one-minute automated telephone calls that provided a description and health benefits of FOBT. During the call, patients could request that an FOBT kit be mailed to their home. Those who requested but did not return the cards received an automated reminder call. Measures Cox proportional hazard method was used to determine the independent effect of automated telephone calls on completion of an FOBT, after adjusting for age, gender, and prior CRC screening. RESULTS By 6 months post call initiation, 22.5% in the intervention and 16.0% in UC had completed an FOBT. Those in the intervention group were significantly more likely to complete an FOBT (HR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.10–1.56) compared to UC. Older patients (aged 71–80 vs. aged 51–60) were also more likely to complete FOBT (HR = 1.48, 95% CI=1.07–2.04). CONCLUSIONS Automated telephone calls increased completion of FOBT. Further research is needed to evaluate automated telephone interventions among diverse populations and in other clinical settings. PMID:20508529

  2. Dynamic heterogeneity of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in embryonic stem cell populations captured by single-cell 3D high-content analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Tajbakhsh, Jian; Stefanovski, Darko; Tang, George; Wawrowsky, Kolja; Liu, Naiyou; Fair, Jeffrey H.

    2015-03-15

    Cell-surface markers and transcription factors are being used in the assessment of stem cell fate and therapeutic safety, but display significant variability in stem cell cultures. We assessed nuclear patterns of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC, associated with pluripotency), a second important epigenetic mark, and its combination with 5-methylcytosine (5mC, associated with differentiation), also in comparison to more established markers of pluripotency (Oct-4) and endodermal differentiation (FoxA2, Sox17) in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) over a 10-day differentiation course in vitro: by means of confocal and super-resolution imaging together with 3D high-content analysis, an essential tool in single-cell screening. In summary: 1) We did not measure any significant correlation of putative markers with global 5mC or 5hmC. 2) While average Oct-4 levels stagnated on a cell-population base (0.015 lnIU/day), Sox17 and FoxA2 increased 22-fold and 3-fold faster, respectively (Sox17: 0.343 lnIU/day; FoxA2: 0.046 lnIU/day). In comparison, global DNA methylation levels increased 4-fold faster (0.068 lnIU/day), and global hydroxymethylation declined at 0.046 lnIU/day, both with a better explanation of the temporal profile. 3) This progression was concomitant with the occurrence of distinct nuclear codistribution patterns that represented a heterogeneous spectrum of states in differentiation; converging to three major coexisting 5mC/5hmC phenotypes by day 10: 5hmC{sup +}/5mC{sup −}, 5hmC{sup +}/5mC{sup +}, and 5hmC{sup −}/5mC{sup +} cells. 4) Using optical nanoscopy we could delineate the respective topologies of 5mC/5hmC colocalization in subregions of nuclear DNA: in the majority of 5hmC{sup +}/5mC{sup +} cells 5hmC and 5mC predominantly occupied mutually exclusive territories resembling euchromatic and heterochromatic regions, respectively. Simultaneously, in a smaller subset of cells we observed a tighter colocalization of the two cytosine variants, presumably

  3. Automated macromolecular crystal detection system and method

    DOEpatents

    Christian, Allen T.; Segelke, Brent; Rupp, Bernard; Toppani, Dominique

    2007-06-05

    An automated macromolecular method and system for detecting crystals in two-dimensional images, such as light microscopy images obtained from an array of crystallization screens. Edges are detected from the images by identifying local maxima of a phase congruency-based function associated with each image. The detected edges are segmented into discrete line segments, which are subsequently geometrically evaluated with respect to each other to identify any crystal-like qualities such as, for example, parallel lines, facing each other, similarity in length, and relative proximity. And from the evaluation a determination is made as to whether crystals are present in each image.

  4. Automated telescope scheduling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, Mark D.

    1988-01-01

    With the ever increasing level of automation of astronomical telescopes the benefits and feasibility of automated planning and scheduling are becoming more apparent. Improved efficiency and increased overall telescope utilization are the most obvious goals. Automated scheduling at some level has been done for several satellite observatories, but the requirements on these systems were much less stringent than on modern ground or satellite observatories. The scheduling problem is particularly acute for Hubble Space Telescope: virtually all observations must be planned in excruciating detail weeks to months in advance. Space Telescope Science Institute has recently made significant progress on the scheduling problem by exploiting state-of-the-art artificial intelligence software technology. What is especially interesting is that this effort has already yielded software that is well suited to scheduling groundbased telescopes, including the problem of optimizing the coordinated scheduling of more than one telescope.

  5. Materials Testing and Automation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, Wayne D.; Zweigoron, Ronald B.

    1980-07-01

    The advent of automation in materials testing has been in large part responsible for recent radical changes in the materials testing field: Tests virtually impossible to perform without a computer have become more straightforward to conduct. In addition, standardized tests may be performed with enhanced efficiency and repeatability. A typical automated system is described in terms of its primary subsystems — an analog station, a digital computer, and a processor interface. The processor interface links the analog functions with the digital computer; it includes data acquisition, command function generation, and test control functions. Features of automated testing are described with emphasis on calculated variable control, control of a variable that is computed by the processor and cannot be read directly from a transducer. Three calculated variable tests are described: a yield surface probe test, a thermomechanical fatigue test, and a constant-stress-intensity range crack-growth test. Future developments are discussed.

  6. Automated Factor Slice Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Tibbits, Matthew M.; Groendyke, Chris; Haran, Murali; Liechty, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms offer a very general approach for sampling from arbitrary distributions. However, designing and tuning MCMC algorithms for each new distribution, can be challenging and time consuming. It is particularly difficult to create an efficient sampler when there is strong dependence among the variables in a multivariate distribution. We describe a two-pronged approach for constructing efficient, automated MCMC algorithms: (1) we propose the “factor slice sampler”, a generalization of the univariate slice sampler where we treat the selection of a coordinate basis (factors) as an additional tuning parameter, and (2) we develop an approach for automatically selecting tuning parameters in order to construct an efficient factor slice sampler. In addition to automating the factor slice sampler, our tuning approach also applies to the standard univariate slice samplers. We demonstrate the efficiency and general applicability of our automated MCMC algorithm with a number of illustrative examples. PMID:24955002

  7. Automation in medicinal chemistry.

    PubMed

    Reader, John C

    2004-01-01

    The implementation of appropriate automation can make a significant improvement in productivity at each stage of the drug discovery process, if it is incorporated into an efficient overall process. Automated chemistry has evolved rapidly from the 'combinatorial' techniques implemented in many industrial laboratories in the early 1990's which focused primarily on the hit discovery phase, and were highly dependent on solid-phase techniques and instrumentation derived from peptide synthesis. Automated tools and strategies have been developed which can impact the hit discovery, hit expansion and lead optimization phases, not only in synthesis, but also in reaction optimization, work-up, and purification of compounds. This article discusses the implementation of some of these techniques, based especially on experiences at Millennium Pharmaceuticals Research and Development Ltd.

  8. Automated Camera Calibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Siqi; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg

    2006-01-01

    Automated Camera Calibration (ACAL) is a computer program that automates the generation of calibration data for camera models used in machine vision systems. Machine vision camera models describe the mapping between points in three-dimensional (3D) space in front of the camera and the corresponding points in two-dimensional (2D) space in the camera s image. Calibrating a camera model requires a set of calibration data containing known 3D-to-2D point correspondences for the given camera system. Generating calibration data typically involves taking images of a calibration target where the 3D locations of the target s fiducial marks are known, and then measuring the 2D locations of the fiducial marks in the images. ACAL automates the analysis of calibration target images and greatly speeds the overall calibration process.

  9. Power subsystem automation study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, M. S.; Moser, R. L.; Veatch, M.

    1983-01-01

    Generic power-system elements and their potential faults are identified. Automation functions and their resulting benefits are defined and automation functions between power subsystem, central spacecraft computer, and ground flight-support personnel are partitioned. All automation activities were categorized as data handling, monitoring, routine control, fault handling, planning and operations, or anomaly handling. Incorporation of all these classes of tasks, except for anomaly handling, in power subsystem hardware and software was concluded to be mandatory to meet the design and operational requirements of the space station. The key drivers are long mission lifetime, modular growth, high-performance flexibility, a need to accommodate different electrical user-load equipment, onorbit assembly/maintenance/servicing, and potentially large number of power subsystem components. A significant effort in algorithm development and validation is essential in meeting the 1987 technology readiness date for the space station.

  10. A somaclonal variant of rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.) with moderately high content of isomenthone in its essential oil.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Swaroop S; Ravindra, Nagawara S; Srinivas, Kalavagunta V N S; Kulkarni, Raghavendra N

    2012-09-01

    Rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.), which is highly valued for its essential oil, is exclusively propagated vegetatively. Hence no genetic improvement work is possible through conventional breeding. Somaclonal variation was generated with and without in vitro mutagenesis using N-nitroso-N-methyl urea (NMU) in an Indian cultivar 'Bourbon', and a clone 'Narmada'. A somaclonal variant (N75) with a moderately high content of isomenthone in its essential oil was isolated from somaclones generated after treatment of internodal explants of clone, 'Narmada' with 0.25 mM NMU for 1 h. The contents of isomenthone in its essential oil were 26% and 35%, respectively, in SC2/VM2 and SC3/VM3 generations (second and third vegetative generations, respectively, after in vitro mutagen treatment) as compared with 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively, in the parental clone, 'Narmada'. The contents of alcohols and their esters (linalool, citronellol, geraniol, citronellyl formate and geranyl formate) in the essential oil of N75 in SC2/VM2 and SC3/VM3 generations were 49% and 35%, respectively, as compared with 69% and 63%, respectively, in the parental clone, 'Narmada'. This is the first report on a chemovariant of rose-scented geranium with a moderately high content of isomenthone. All earlier reported isomenthone-rich variants of rose-scented geranium had quite high contents of isomenthone (64-71%) in their essential oils. The probable modes of origin of this somaclonal variant, its parental clone 'Narmada' (with very low content of isomenthone) and four earlier reported isomenthone-rich variants of Indian cultivars of geranium are discussed.

  11. Multiplexed quantitative high content screening reveals that cigarette smoke condensate induces changes in cell structure and function through alterations in cell signaling pathways in human bronchial cells.

    PubMed

    Carter, Charleata A; Hamm, Jonathan T

    2009-07-10

    Human bronchial cells are one of the first cell types exposed to environmental toxins. Toxins often activate nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and protein kinase C (PKC). We evaluated the hypothesis that cigarette smoke condensate (CSC), the particulate fraction of cigarette smoke, activates PKC-alpha and NF-kappaB, and concomitantly disrupts the F-actin cytoskeleton, induces apoptosis and alters cell function in BEAS-2B human bronchial epithelial cells. Compared to controls, exposure of BEAS-2B cells to doses of 30mug/ml CSC significantly activated PKC-alpha, while CSC doses above 20mug/ml CSC significantly activated NF-kappaB. As NF-kappaB was activated, cell number decreased. CSC treatment of BEAS-2B cells induced a decrease in cell size and an increase in cell surface extensions including filopodia and lamellipodia. CSC treatment of BEAS-2B cells induced F-actin rearrangement such that stress fibers were no longer prominent at the cell periphery and throughout the cells, but relocalized to perinuclear regions. Concurrently, CSC induced an increase in the focal adhesion protein vinculin at the cell periphery. CSC doses above 30mug/ml induced a significant increase in apoptosis in BEAS-2B cells evidenced by an increase in activated caspase 3, an increase in mitochondrial mass and a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential. As caspase 3 increased, cell number decreased. CSC doses above 30mug/ml also induced significant concurrent changes in cell function including decreased cell spreading and motility. CSC initiates a signaling cascade in human bronchial epithelial cells involving PKC-alpha, NF-kappaB and caspase 3, and consequently decreases cell spreading and motility. These CSC-induced alterations in cell structure likely prevent cells from performing their normal function thereby contributing to smoke-induced diseases.

  12. Automated fiber pigtailing technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strand, O. T.; Lowry, M. E.; Lu, S. Y.; Nelson, D. C.; Nikkel, D. J.; Pocha, M. D.; Young, K. D.

    1994-02-01

    The high cost of optoelectronic (OE) devices is due mainly to the labor-intensive packaging process. Manually pigtailing such devices as single-mode laser diodes and modulators is very time consuming with poor quality control. The Photonics Program and the Engineering Research Division at LLNL are addressing several issues associated with automatically packaging OE devices. A furry automated system must include high-precision fiber alignment, fiber attachment techniques, in-situ quality control, and parts handling and feeding. This paper will present on-going work at LLNL in the areas of automated fiber alignment and fiber attachment. For the fiber alignment, we are building an automated fiber pigtailing machine (AFPM) which combines computer vision and object recognition algorithms with active feedback to perform sub-micron alignments of single-mode fibers to modulators and laser diodes. We expect to perform sub-micron alignments in less than five minutes with this technology. For fiber attachment, we are building various geometries of silicon microbenches which include on-board heaters to solder metal-coated fibers and other components in place; these designs are completely compatible with an automated process of OE packaging. We have manually attached a laser diode, a thermistor, and a thermo-electric heater to one of our microbenches in less than 15 minutes using the on-board heaters for solder reflow; an automated process could perform this same exercise in only a few minutes. Automated packaging techniques such as these will help lower the costs of OE devices.

  13. Automated gas chromatography

    DOEpatents

    Mowry, Curtis D.; Blair, Dianna S.; Rodacy, Philip J.; Reber, Stephen D.

    1999-01-01

    An apparatus and process for the continuous, near real-time monitoring of low-level concentrations of organic compounds in a liquid, and, more particularly, a water stream. A small liquid volume of flow from a liquid process stream containing organic compounds is diverted by an automated process to a heated vaporization capillary where the liquid volume is vaporized to a gas that flows to an automated gas chromatograph separation column to chromatographically separate the organic compounds. Organic compounds are detected and the information transmitted to a control system for use in process control. Concentrations of organic compounds less than one part per million are detected in less than one minute.

  14. Ground based automated telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Colgate, S.A.; Thompson, W.

    1980-01-01

    Recommendation that a ground-based automated telescope of the 2-meter class be built for remote multiuser use as a natural facility. Experience dictates that a primary consideration is a time shared multitasking operating system with virtual memory overlayed with a real time priority interrupt. The primary user facility is a remote terminal networked to the single computer. Many users must have simultaneous time shared access to the computer for program development. The telescope should be rapid slewing, and hence a light weight construction. Automation allows for the closed loop pointing error correction independent of extreme accuracy of the mount.

  15. Automated software development workstation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Engineering software development was automated using an expert system (rule-based) approach. The use of this technology offers benefits not available from current software development and maintenance methodologies. A workstation was built with a library or program data base with methods for browsing the designs stored; a system for graphical specification of designs including a capability for hierarchical refinement and definition in a graphical design system; and an automated code generation capability in FORTRAN. The workstation was then used in a demonstration with examples from an attitude control subsystem design for the space station. Documentation and recommendations are presented.

  16. Automating the CMS DAQ

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, G.; et al.

    2014-01-01

    We present the automation mechanisms that have been added to the Data Acquisition and Run Control systems of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment during Run 1 of the LHC, ranging from the automation of routine tasks to automatic error recovery and context-sensitive guidance to the operator. These mechanisms helped CMS to maintain a data taking efficiency above 90% and to even improve it to 95% towards the end of Run 1, despite an increase in the occurrence of single-event upsets in sub-detector electronics at high LHC luminosity.

  17. Automated knowledge generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myler, Harley R.; Gonzalez, Avelino J.

    1988-01-01

    The general objectives of the NASA/UCF Automated Knowledge Generation Project were the development of an intelligent software system that could access CAD design data bases, interpret them, and generate a diagnostic knowledge base in the form of a system model. The initial area of concentration is in the diagnosis of the process control system using the Knowledge-based Autonomous Test Engineer (KATE) diagnostic system. A secondary objective was the study of general problems of automated knowledge generation. A prototype was developed, based on object-oriented language (Flavors).

  18. Automation of analytical isotachophoresis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thormann, Wolfgang

    1985-01-01

    The basic features of automation of analytical isotachophoresis (ITP) are reviewed. Experimental setups consisting of narrow bore tubes which are self-stabilized against thermal convection are considered. Sample detection in free solution is discussed, listing the detector systems presently used or expected to be of potential use in the near future. The combination of a universal detector measuring the evolution of ITP zone structures with detector systems specific to desired components is proposed as a concept of an automated chemical analyzer based on ITP. Possible miniaturization of such an instrument by means of microlithographic techniques is discussed.

  19. Chemical Genetic Screening in the Zebrafish Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, Charles K.; White, Richard M.; Zon, Leonard

    2010-01-01

    Chemical genetic screening can be described as a discovery approach in which chemicals are assayed for their effects on a defined biological system. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a well-characterized and genetically tractable vertebrate model organism that produces large numbers of rapidly developing embryos that develop externally. These characteristics allow for flexible, rapid, and scalable chemical screen design using the zebrafish. We describe a protocol for screening compounds from a chemical library for effects on early zebrafish development using an automated in situ based read-out. Because screens are performed in the context of a complete, developing organism, this approach allows for a more comprehensive analysis of the range of a chemical’s effects than that provided by, for example, a cell culture-based or in vitro biochemical assay. Using a twenty-four hour chemical treatment, one can complete a round of screening in six days. PMID:19745824

  20. Current status of automated breast ultrasonography

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Hee Jung; Kim, Hak Hee; Cha, Joo Hee

    2015-01-01

    Breast ultrasonography (US) is currently considered the first-line examination in the detection Epub ahead of print and characterization of breast lesions. However, conventional handheld US (HHUS) has several limitations such as operator dependence and the requirement of a considerable amount of radiologist time for whole-breast US. Automated breast US (ABUS), recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for screening purposes, has several advantages over HHUS, such as higher reproducibility, less operator dependence, and less required physician time for image acquisition. In addition, ABUS provides both a coronal view and a relatively large field of view. Recent studies have reported that ABUS is promising in US screening for women with dense breasts and can potentially replace handheld second-look US in a preoperative setting. PMID:25971900

  1. Current status of automated breast ultrasonography.

    PubMed

    Shin, Hee Jung; Kim, Hak Hee; Cha, Joo Hee

    2015-07-01

    Breast ultrasonography (US) is currently considered the first-line examination in the detection and characterization of breast lesions. However, conventional handheld US (HHUS) has several limitations such as operator dependence and the requirement of a considerable amount of radiologist time for whole-breast US. Automated breast US (ABUS), recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for screening purposes, has several advantages over HHUS, such as higher reproducibility, less operator dependence, and less required physician time for image acquisition. In addition, ABUS provides both a coronal view and a relatively large field of view. Recent studies have reported that ABUS is promising in US screening for women with dense breasts and can potentially replace handheld second-look US in a preoperative setting.

  2. Screening for cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, A.B.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains three sections: Fundamentals of Screening, Screening Tests, and Screening for Specific Cancer Sites. Each section consists of several chapters. Some of the chapter titles are: Principles of Screening and of the Evaluation of Screening Programs; Economic Aspects of Screening; Cervical Cytology; Screening Tests for Bladder Cancer; Fecal Occult Blood Testing; Screening for Cancer of the Cervix; Screening for Gastric Cancer; and Screening for Oral Cancer.

  3. Human Factors In Aircraft Automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billings, Charles

    1995-01-01

    Report presents survey of state of art in human factors in automation of aircraft operation. Presents examination of aircraft automation and effects on flight crews in relation to human error and aircraft accidents.

  4. High-Content Imaging Assays for Identifying Compounds that Generate Superoxide and Impair Mitochondrial Membrane Potential in Adherent Eukaryotic Cells.

    PubMed

    Billis, Puja; Will, Yvonne; Nadanaciva, Sashi

    2014-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are constantly produced in cells as a result of aerobic metabolism. When there is an excessive production of ROS and the cell's antioxidant defenses are overwhelmed, oxidative stress occurs. The superoxide anion is a type of ROS that is produced primarily in mitochondria but is also generated in other regions of the cell including peroxisomes, endoplasmic reticulum, plasma membrane, and cytosol. Here, a high-content imaging assay using the dye dihydroethidium is described for identifying compounds that generate superoxide in eukaryotic cells. A high-content imaging assay using the fluorescent dye tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester is also described to identify compounds that impair mitochondrial membrane potential in eukaryotic cells. The purpose of performing both assays is to identify compounds that (1) generate superoxide at lower concentrations than they impair mitochondrial membrane potential, (2) impair mitochondrial membrane potential at lower concentrations than they generate superoxide, (3) generate superoxide and impair mitochondrial function at similar concentrations, and (4) do not generate superoxide or impair mitochondrial membrane potential during the duration of the assays.

  5. Benzyl butyl phthalate promotes adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes: A High Content Cellomics and metabolomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Yin, Lei; Yu, Kevin Shengyang; Lu, Kun; Yu, Xiaozhong

    2016-04-01

    Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) has been known to induce developmental and reproductive toxicity. However, its association with dysregulation of adipogenesis has been poorly investigated. The present study aimed to examine the effect of BBP on the adipogenesis, and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms using the 3T3-L1 cells. The capacity of BBP to promote adipogenesis was evaluated by multiple staining approaches combined with a High Content Cellomics analysis. The dynamic changes of adipogenic regulatory genes and proteins were examined, and the metabolite profile was identified using GC/MC based metabolomic analysis. The High Content analysis showed BBP in contrast with Bisphenol A (BPA), a known environmental obesogen, increased lipid droplet accumulation in a similar dose-dependent manner. However, the size of the lipid droplets in BBP-treated cells was significantly larger than those in cells treated with BPA. BBP significantly induced mRNA expression of transcriptional factors C/EBPα and PPARγ, their downstream genes, and numerous adipogenic proteins in a dose and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, GC/MC metabolomic analysis revealed that BBP exposure perturbed the metabolic profiles that are associated with glyceroneogenesis and fatty acid synthesis. Altogether, our current study clearly demonstrates that BBP promoted the differentiation of 3T3-L1 through the activation of the adipogenic pathway and metabolic disturbance. PMID:26820058

  6. Hearing Screening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson-Curiskis, Nanette

    2012-01-01

    Hearing levels are threatened by modern life--headsets for music, rock concerts, traffic noises, etc. It is crucial we know our hearing levels so that we can draw attention to potential problems. This exercise requires that students receive a hearing screening for their benefit as well as for making the connection of hearing to listening.

  7. Automated Student Model Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koedinger, Kenneth R.; McLaughlin, Elizabeth A.; Stamper, John C.

    2012-01-01

    Student modeling plays a critical role in developing and improving instruction and instructional technologies. We present a technique for automated improvement of student models that leverages the DataShop repository, crowd sourcing, and a version of the Learning Factors Analysis algorithm. We demonstrate this method on eleven educational…

  8. Library Automation: An Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saffady, William

    1989-01-01

    Surveys the current state of computer applications in six areas of library work: circulation control; descriptive cataloging; catalog maintenance and production; reference services; acquisitions; and serials control. Motives for automation are discussed, and examples of representative vendors, products, and services are given. (15 references) (LRW)

  9. Automation in haemostasis.

    PubMed

    Huber, A R; Méndez, A; Brunner-Agten, S

    2013-01-01

    Automatia, an ancient Greece goddess of luck who makes things happen by themselves and on her own will without human engagement, is present in our daily life in the medical laboratory. Automation has been introduced and perfected by clinical chemistry and since then expanded into other fields such as haematology, immunology, molecular biology and also coagulation testing. The initial small and relatively simple standalone instruments have been replaced by more complex systems that allow for multitasking. Integration of automated coagulation testing into total laboratory automation has become possible in the most recent years. Automation has many strengths and opportunities if weaknesses and threats are respected. On the positive side, standardization, reduction of errors, reduction of cost and increase of throughput are clearly beneficial. Dependence on manufacturers, high initiation cost and somewhat expensive maintenance are less favourable factors. The modern lab and especially the todays lab technicians and academic personnel in the laboratory do not add value for the doctor and his patients by spending lots of time behind the machines. In the future the lab needs to contribute at the bedside suggesting laboratory testing and providing support and interpretation of the obtained results. The human factor will continue to play an important role in testing in haemostasis yet under different circumstances.

  10. Building Automation Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honeywell, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

    A number of different automation systems for use in monitoring and controlling building equipment are described in this brochure. The system functions include--(1) collection of information, (2) processing and display of data at a central panel, and (3) taking corrective action by sounding alarms, making adjustments, or automatically starting and…

  11. Automated CCTV Tester

    2000-09-13

    The purpose of an automated CCTV tester is to automatically and continuously monitor multiple perimeter security cameras for changes in a camera's measured resolution and alignment (camera looking at the proper area). It shall track and record the image quality and position of each camera and produce an alarm when a camera is out of specification.

  12. Blastocyst microinjection automation.

    PubMed

    Mattos, Leonardo S; Grant, Edward; Thresher, Randy; Kluckman, Kimberly

    2009-09-01

    Blastocyst microinjections are routinely involved in the process of creating genetically modified mice for biomedical research, but their efficiency is highly dependent on the skills of the operators. As a consequence, much time and resources are required for training microinjection personnel. This situation has been aggravated by the rapid growth of genetic research, which has increased the demand for mutant animals. Therefore, increased productivity and efficiency in this area are highly desired. Here, we pursue these goals through the automation of a previously developed teleoperated blastocyst microinjection system. This included the design of a new system setup to facilitate automation, the definition of rules for automatic microinjections, the implementation of video processing algorithms to extract feedback information from microscope images, and the creation of control algorithms for process automation. Experimentation conducted with this new system and operator assistance during the cells delivery phase demonstrated a 75% microinjection success rate. In addition, implantation of the successfully injected blastocysts resulted in a 53% birth rate and a 20% yield of chimeras. These results proved that the developed system was capable of automatic blastocyst penetration and retraction, demonstrating the success of major steps toward full process automation.

  13. Library Automation in Australia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blank, Karen L.

    1984-01-01

    Discussion of Australia's move toward library automation highlights development of a national bibliographic network, local and regional cooperation, integrated library systems, telecommunications, and online systems, as well as microcomputer usage, ergonomics, copyright issues, and national information policy. Information technology plans of the…

  14. Automated Management Of Documents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boy, Guy

    1995-01-01

    Report presents main technical issues involved in computer-integrated documentation. Problems associated with automation of management and maintenance of documents analyzed from perspectives of artificial intelligence and human factors. Technologies that may prove useful in computer-integrated documentation reviewed: these include conventional approaches to indexing and retrieval of information, use of hypertext, and knowledge-based artificial-intelligence systems.

  15. Mining Your Automated System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larsen, Patricia M., Ed.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Four articles address issues of collecting, compiling, reporting, and interpreting statistics generated by automated library systems for administrative decision making. Topics include using a management information system to forecast growth and assess areas for downsizing; statistics for collection development and analysis; and online system…

  16. Automated conflict resolution issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wike, Jeffrey S.

    1991-01-01

    A discussion is presented of how conflicts for Space Network resources should be resolved in the ATDRSS era. The following topics are presented: a description of how resource conflicts are currently resolved; a description of issues associated with automated conflict resolution; present conflict resolution strategies; and topics for further discussion.

  17. Automating Food Service.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kavulla, Timothy A.

    1986-01-01

    The Wichita, Kansas, Public Schools' Food Service Department Project Reduction in Paperwork (RIP) is designed to automate certain paperwork functions, thus reducing cost and flow of paper. This article addresses how RIP manages free/reduced meal applications and meets the objectives of reducing paper and increasing accuracy, timeliness, and…

  18. Automated Estimating System (AES)

    SciTech Connect

    Holder, D.A.

    1989-09-01

    This document describes Version 3.1 of the Automated Estimating System, a personal computer-based software package designed to aid in the creation, updating, and reporting of project cost estimates for the Estimating and Scheduling Department of the Martin Marietta Energy Systems Engineering Division. Version 3.1 of the Automated Estimating System is capable of running in a multiuser environment across a token ring network. The token ring network makes possible services and applications that will more fully integrate all aspects of information processing, provides a central area for large data bases to reside, and allows access to the data base by multiple users. Version 3.1 of the Automated Estimating System also has been enhanced to include an Assembly pricing data base that may be used to retrieve cost data into an estimate. A WBS Title File program has also been included in Version 3.1. The WBS Title File program allows for the creation of a WBS title file that has been integrated with the Automated Estimating System to provide WBS titles in update mode and in reports. This provides for consistency in WBS titles and provides the capability to display WBS titles on reports generated at a higher WBS level.

  19. Automated Administrative Data Bases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marrie, M. D.; Jarrett, J. R.; Reising, S. A.; Hodge, J. E.

    1984-01-01

    Improved productivity and more effective response to information requirements for internal management, NASA Centers, and Headquarters resulted from using automated techniques. Modules developed to provide information on manpower, RTOPS, full time equivalency, and physical space reduced duplication, increased communication, and saved time. There is potential for greater savings by sharing and integrating with those who have the same requirements.

  20. CLAN Automation Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nevada State Library and Archives, Carson City.

    The Central Libraries Automated Network (CLAN) of Nevada is a cooperative system which shares circulation, cataloging, and acquisitions systems and numerous online databases. Its mission is to provide public access to information and efficient library administration through shared computer systems, databases, and telecommunications. This document…

  1. Automated EEG acquisition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, J. D., Jr.; Hillman, C. E., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Automated self-contained portable device can be used by technicians with minimal training. Data acquired from patient at remote site are transmitted to centralized interpretation center using conventional telephone equipment. There, diagnostic information is analyzed, and results are relayed back to remote site.

  2. Automated Essay Scoring

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dikli, Semire

    2006-01-01

    The impacts of computers on writing have been widely studied for three decades. Even basic computers functions, i.e. word processing, have been of great assistance to writers in modifying their essays. The research on Automated Essay Scoring (AES) has revealed that computers have the capacity to function as a more effective cognitive tool (Attali,…

  3. Functional informatics: convergence and integration of automation and bioinformatics.

    PubMed

    Ilyin, Sergey E; Bernal, Alejandro; Horowitz, Daniel; Derian, Claudia K; Xin, Hong

    2004-09-01

    The biopharmaceutical industry is currently being presented with opportunities to improve research and business efficiency via automation and the integration of various systems. In the examples discussed, industrial high-throughput screening systems are integrated with functional tools and bioinformatics to facilitate target and biomarker identification and validation. These integrative functional approaches generate value-added opportunities by leveraging available automation and information technologies into new applications that are broadly applicable to different types of projects, and by improving the overall research and development and business efficiency via the integration of various systems.

  4. ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL EFFECTS ON NEURITE OUTGROWTH, NEURONAL POLARIZATION AND SYNAPTOGENESIS IN RAT CORTICAL NEURONS USING HIGH CONTENT IMAGE ANALYSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a need for efficient, cost-effective methods for screening and prioritization of potential developmental neurotoxicants. One approach uses in vitro cell culture models that can recapitulate the critical processes of nervous system development. In vitro, primary cultures ...

  5. Automated Data Processing (ADP) research and development

    SciTech Connect

    Dowla, F.U.; Kohlhepp, V.N.; Leach, R.R. Jr.

    1995-07-01

    Monitoring a comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT) will require screening tens of thousands of seismic events each year. Reliable automated data analysis will be essential in keeping up with the continuous stream of events that a global monitoring network will detect. We are developing automated event location and identification algorithms by looking at the gaps and weaknesses in conventional ADP systems and by taking advantage of modem computational paradigms. Our research focus is on three areas: developing robust algorithms for signal feature extraction, integrating the analysis of critical measurements, and exploiting joint estimation techniques such as using data from acoustic, hydroacoustic, and seismic sensors. We identify several important problems for research and development; e.g., event location with approximate velocity models and event identification in the presence of outliers. We are employing both linear and nonlinear methods and advanced signal transform techniques to solve these event monitoring problems. Our goal is to increase event-interpretation throughput by employing the power and efficiency of modem computational techniques, and to improve the reliability of automated analysis by reducing the rates of false alarms and missed detections.

  6. The ToxCast Pathway Database for Identifying Toxicity Signatures and Potential Modes of Action from Chemical Screening Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its ToxCast program, is developing predictive toxicity approaches that will use in vitro high-throughput screening (HTS), high-content screening (HCS) and toxicogenomic data to predict in vivo toxicity phenotypes. There are ...

  7. Automated linking of suspicious findings between automated 3D breast ultrasound volumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gubern-Mérida, Albert; Tan, Tao; van Zelst, Jan; Mann, Ritse M.; Karssemeijer, Nico

    2016-03-01

    Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) is a 3D imaging technique which is rapidly emerging as a safe and relatively inexpensive modality for screening of women with dense breasts. However, reading ABUS examinations is very time consuming task since radiologists need to manually identify suspicious findings in all the different ABUS volumes available for each patient. Image analysis techniques to automatically link findings across volumes are required to speed up clinical workflow and make ABUS screening more efficient. In this study, we propose an automated system to, given the location in the ABUS volume being inspected (source), find the corresponding location in a target volume. The target volume can be a different view of the same study or the same view from a prior examination. The algorithm was evaluated using 118 linkages between suspicious abnormalities annotated in a dataset of ABUS images of 27 patients participating in a high risk screening program. The distance between the predicted location and the center of the annotated lesion in the target volume was computed for evaluation. The mean ± stdev and median distance error achieved by the presented algorithm for linkages between volumes of the same study was 7.75±6.71 mm and 5.16 mm, respectively. The performance was 9.54±7.87 and 8.00 mm (mean ± stdev and median) for linkages between volumes from current and prior examinations. The proposed approach has the potential to minimize user interaction for finding correspondences among ABUS volumes.

  8. Vision Screening

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    The Visi Screen OSS-C, marketed by Vision Research Corporation, incorporates image processing technology originally developed by Marshall Space Flight Center. Its advantage in eye screening is speed. Because it requires no response from a subject, it can be used to detect eye problems in very young children. An electronic flash from a 35 millimeter camera sends light into a child's eyes, which is reflected back to the camera lens. The photorefractor then analyzes the retinal reflexes generated and produces an image of the child's eyes, which enables a trained observer to identify any defects. The device is used by pediatricians, day care centers and civic organizations that concentrate on children with special needs.

  9. [Development of a high content protein beverage from Chilean mesquite, lupine and quinoa for the diet of pre-schoolers].

    PubMed

    Cerezal Mezquita, P; Acosta Barrientos, E; Rojas Valdivia, G; Romero Palacios, N; Arcos Zavala, R

    2012-01-01

    This research was aimed at developing a high content protein beverage from the mixture of liquid extracts of a pseudocereal, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd) and two legumes: mesquite (Prosopis chilensis (Mol.) Stunz) and lupine (Lupinus albus L.), native from the Andean highlands of the Chilean northern macro-zone, flavored with raspberry pulp, to help in the feeding of children between 2 and 5 years of lower socioeconomic status with nutritional deficiencies. The formulation was defined by linear programming, its composition was determined by proximate analysis and physical, microbiological and sensory acceptance tests were performed. After 90 days of storage time, the beverage got a protein content of 1.36%, being tryptophan the limiting amino acid; for its part, the chromaticity coordinates of CIEL*a*b* color space showed no statistical significant differences (p < 0.05) maintaining the "dark pink" tonality, the viscosity and the sensory evaluation were acceptable for drinking.

  10. Development of a beetroot-based nutritional gel containing high content of bioaccessible dietary nitrate and antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Morgado, Marina; de Oliveira, Gustavo Vieira; Vasconcellos, Julia; Monteiro, Maria Lucia; Conte-Junior, Carlos; Pierucci, Anna Paola Trindade Rocha; Alvares, Thiago Silveira

    2016-01-01

    Beetroot, a food rich in nitrate and antioxidants has gained attention because of its potential effect on improving cardiovascular health and exercise performance. This work had the purpose of developing a beetroot-based nutritional gel (BG) and estimating the in vitro bioaccessibility of the nitrate, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total phenolic (TP) and potassium content, as compared to beetroot juice (BJ). Nitrate was assessed by a high-performance liquid chromatography system, TAC was assessed using the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay and TP was measured using the Folin-Ciocalteu method before and after an in vitro digestion. Significantly higher values of nitrate, TEAC, TP and potassium before and after digestion were observed in BG as compared to BJ. The results suggest a new nutritional strategy to give high contents of bioaccessible nutrients (nitrate, antioxidants and potassium) that are potentially relevant to improve cardiovascular health and exercise performance. PMID:26887255

  11. RNAi Screening: New Approaches, Understandings and Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Mohr, Stephanie E.; Perrimon, Norbert

    2011-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) leads to sequence-specific knockdown of gene function. The approach can be used in large-scale screens to interrogate function in various model organisms and an increasing number of other species. Genome-scale RNAi screens are routinely performed in cultured or primary cells or in vivo in organisms such as C. elegans. High-throughput RNAi screening is benefitting from the development of sophisticated new instrumentation and software tools for collecting and analyzing data, including high-content image data. The results of large-scale RNAi screens have already proved useful, leading to new understandings of gene function relevant to topics such as infection, cancer, obesity and aging. Nevertheless, important caveats apply and should be taken into consideration when developing or interpreting RNAi screens. Some level of false discovery is inherent to high-throughput approaches and specific to RNAi screens, false discovery due to off-target effects (OTEs) of RNAi reagents remains a problem. The need to improve our ability to use RNAi to elucidate gene function at large scale and in additional systems continues to be addressed through improved RNAi library design, development of innovative computational and analysis tools and other approaches. PMID:21953743

  12. Abnormally High Content of Free Glucosamine Residues Identified in a Preparation of Commercially Available Porcine Intestinal Heparan Sulfate

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Heparan sulfate (HS) polysaccharides are ubiquitous in animal tissues as components of proteoglycans, and they participate in many important biological processes. HS carbohydrate chains are complex and can contain rare structural components such as N-unsubstituted glucosamine (GlcN). Commercially available HS preparations have been invaluable in many types of research activities. In the course of preparing microarrays to include probes derived from HS oligosaccharides, we found an unusually high content of GlcN residue in a recently purchased batch of porcine intestinal mucosal HS. Composition and sequence analysis by mass spectrometry of the oligosaccharides obtained after heparin lyase III digestion of the polysaccharide indicated two and three GlcN in the tetrasaccharide and hexasaccharide fractions, respectively. 1H NMR of the intact polysaccharide showed that this unusual batch differed strikingly from other HS preparations obtained from bovine kidney and porcine intestine. The very high content of GlcN (30%) and low content of GlcNAc (4.2%) determined by disaccharide composition analysis indicated that N-deacetylation and/or N-desulfation may have taken place. HS is widely used by the scientific community to investigate HS structures and activities. Great care has to be taken in drawing conclusions from investigations of structural features of HS and specificities of HS interaction with proteins when commercial HS is used without further analysis. Pending the availability of a validated commercial HS reference preparation, our data may be useful to members of the scientific community who have used the present preparation in their studies. PMID:27295282

  13. Nitrogen-doped carbon and high-content alumina containing bi-active cobalt oxides for efficient storage of lithium.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bibo; Zhang, Shilin; Yao, Feng; Huo, Ruijie; Zhang, Fazhi; Xu, Sailong

    2016-01-15

    Low-content ultrathin coating of non-active alumina (Al2O3) has been extensively utilized as one of the most effective strategies to improve electrochemical performances of electrodes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), however, typically by employing expensive atomic layer deposition equipment. We herein demonstrate a simple preparation of high-content and well-dispersed Al2O3 (24.33wt.%)-containing multi-component composite (CoO/Co3O4/N-C/Al2O3) by calcination of melamine/CoAl-layered double hydroxide (CoAl-LDH) mixture. The resulting composite bundles the advantages expected to improve electrochemical performances: (i) bi-active CoO/Co3O4, (ii) highly conductive N-doped carbon, and (iii) N-doped carbon and high-content non-active Al2O3 as buffering reagents, as well as (iv) good distribution of bi- and non-active components resulted from the lattice orientation and confinement effect of the LDH layers. Electrochemical evaluation shows that the composite electrode delivers a highly enhanced reversible capacity of 1078mAhg(-1) after 50cycles at 100mAg(-1), compared with the bi-active CoO/Co3O4 mixtures with and without non-active Al2O3. Transmission electron microscopy/scanning electron microscopy observations and electrochemical impedance spectra experimentally provide the information on the good distributions of multiple components and the improved conductivity underlying the enhancements, respectively. Our LDH precursor-based preparation route may be extended to design and prepare various multi-component transition metal oxides for efficient lithium storage.

  14. Automated gas chromatography

    DOEpatents

    Mowry, C.D.; Blair, D.S.; Rodacy, P.J.; Reber, S.D.

    1999-07-13

    An apparatus and process for the continuous, near real-time monitoring of low-level concentrations of organic compounds in a liquid, and, more particularly, a water stream. A small liquid volume of flow from a liquid process stream containing organic compounds is diverted by an automated process to a heated vaporization capillary where the liquid volume is vaporized to a gas that flows to an automated gas chromatograph separation column to chromatographically separate the organic compounds. Organic compounds are detected and the information transmitted to a control system for use in process control. Concentrations of organic compounds less than one part per million are detected in less than one minute. 7 figs.

  15. Automated theorem proving.

    PubMed

    Plaisted, David A

    2014-03-01

    Automated theorem proving is the use of computers to prove or disprove mathematical or logical statements. Such statements can express properties of hardware or software systems, or facts about the world that are relevant for applications such as natural language processing and planning. A brief introduction to propositional and first-order logic is given, along with some of the main methods of automated theorem proving in these logics. These methods of theorem proving include resolution, Davis and Putnam-style approaches, and others. Methods for handling the equality axioms are also presented. Methods of theorem proving in propositional logic are presented first, and then methods for first-order logic. WIREs Cogn Sci 2014, 5:115-128. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1269 CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors has declared no conflicts of interest for this article. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26304304

  16. Automated breeder fuel fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Goldmann, L.H.; Frederickson, J.R.

    1983-09-01

    The objective of the Secure Automated Fabrication (SAF) Project is to develop remotely operated equipment for the processing and manufacturing of breeder reactor fuel pins. The SAF line will be installed in the Fuels and Materials Examination Facility (FMEF). The FMEF is presently under construction at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford site near Richland, Washington, and is operated by the Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC). The fabrication and support systems of the SAF line are designed for computer-controlled operation from a centralized control room. Remote and automated fuel fabriction operations will result in: reduced radiation exposure to workers; enhanced safeguards; improved product quality; near real-time accountability, and increased productivity. The present schedule calls for installation of SAF line equipment in the FMEF beginning in 1984, with qualifying runs starting in 1986 and production commencing in 1987. 5 figures.

  17. The automation of science.

    PubMed

    King, Ross D; Rowland, Jem; Oliver, Stephen G; Young, Michael; Aubrey, Wayne; Byrne, Emma; Liakata, Maria; Markham, Magdalena; Pir, Pinar; Soldatova, Larisa N; Sparkes, Andrew; Whelan, Kenneth E; Clare, Amanda

    2009-04-01

    The basis of science is the hypothetico-deductive method and the recording of experiments in sufficient detail to enable reproducibility. We report the development of Robot Scientist "Adam," which advances the automation of both. Adam has autonomously generated functional genomics hypotheses about the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and experimentally tested these hypotheses by using laboratory automation. We have confirmed Adam's conclusions through manual experiments. To describe Adam's research, we have developed an ontology and logical language. The resulting formalization involves over 10,000 different research units in a nested treelike structure, 10 levels deep, that relates the 6.6 million biomass measurements to their logical description. This formalization describes how a machine contributed to scientific knowledge. PMID:19342587

  18. Compact reactor design automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nassersharif, Bahram; Gaeta, Michael J.

    1991-01-01

    A conceptual compact reactor design automation experiment was performed using the real-time expert system G2. The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the utility of an expert system in design; in particular, reactor design. The experiment consisted of the automation and integration of two design phases: reactor neutronic design and fuel pin design. The utility of this approach is shown using simple examples of formulating rules to ensure design parameter consistency between the two design phases. The ability of G2 to communicate with external programs even across networks provides the system with the capability of supplementing the knowledge processing features with conventional canned programs with possible applications for realistic iterative design tools.

  19. Automated campaign system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vondran, Gary; Chao, Hui; Lin, Xiaofan; Beyer, Dirk; Joshi, Parag; Atkins, Brian; Obrador, Pere

    2006-02-01

    To run a targeted campaign involves coordination and management across numerous organizations and complex process flows. Everything from market analytics on customer databases, acquiring content and images, composing the materials, meeting the sponsoring enterprise brand standards, driving through production and fulfillment, and evaluating results; all processes are currently performed by experienced highly trained staff. Presented is a developed solution that not only brings together technologies that automate each process, but also automates the entire flow so that a novice user could easily run a successful campaign from their desktop. This paper presents the technologies, structure, and process flows used to bring this system together. Highlighted will be how the complexity of running a targeted campaign is hidden from the user through technologies, all while providing the benefits of a professionally managed campaign.

  20. Automated assembly in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srivastava, Sandanand; Dwivedi, Suren N.; Soon, Toh Teck; Bandi, Reddy; Banerjee, Soumen; Hughes, Cecilia

    1989-01-01

    The installation of robots and their use of assembly in space will create an exciting and promising future for the U.S. Space Program. The concept of assembly in space is very complicated and error prone and it is not possible unless the various parts and modules are suitably designed for automation. Certain guidelines are developed for part designing and for an easy precision assembly. Major design problems associated with automated assembly are considered and solutions to resolve these problems are evaluated in the guidelines format. Methods for gripping and methods for part feeding are developed with regard to the absence of gravity in space. The guidelines for part orientation, adjustments, compliances and various assembly construction are discussed. Design modifications of various fasteners and fastening methods are also investigated.