TTP Labtech, Phenotypic Screening - 18

PHENOTYPIC SCREENING an e-Book Series The Renaissance of Phenotypic Research

High-content screening was initially developed in the late 1990s for screening
those targets that were difficult to come by with more traditional detection
methods. Alexander Raths/Fotolia

18 | GENengnews.com

targeted research toward new drugs. However, the promise of biochemical
pharmaceutical sciences has not been completely fulfilled. And, the current
trend toward phenotypic screening is a return in some ways to past concepts
of serendipitous pharmaceutical discovery.
From a pure chemical mechanics perspective, molecular biology explores
how proteins interact with each other and how chemical compounds affect their
function by inhibition or stimulation. Together with the genomic sciences, molecular
biology enables the modification and production of proteins at high amounts.
These two key technologies allowed scientists to screen more chemical substances
at a much higher throughput compared to the animal-based studies conducted
predominantly in the 1960s and 1970s: In vitro tests to find compounds inhibiting
an enzymatic target became an affordable methodology and laid the foundation
for high-throughput screening.
Three important elements were required to realize the value of high
throughput screening: (1) the microtiter plate in SBS standard format allowed
integration, automation, and parallelization in the screening process with
compatibility of pipetting devices, plate-handling robots, and detection
instruments; (2) improvements in mechanics and electronics allowing more
compact and elaborate devices; and (3) the provision and maintenance of large,
ever-increasing compound libraries and the associated storage infrastructure
brought about the elaborate logistics required in the process.
The improvements in cell biology allowed the preparation of cell cultures
with defined properties, supplementing enzymatic assays with cell-based assays


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TTP Labtech, Phenotypic Screening

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TTP Labtech, Phenotypic Screening

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