Animal-free GrowDex® hydrogels are a proven solution for high throughput (HTS) and high content screening (HCS) in 3D cell culture assays
Key benefits of GrowDex® for HTS/HCS assays:
- More morphologically and functionally relevant cell models with 3D assays
- Automated dispensing without temperature control
- No autofluorescent signals in the matrix
- No ECM protein matrix interference
- One-step enzymatic cell recovery
- Scale your assays up with confidence; proven repeatability up-to 1536 well-format
Download guide: 5 Ways to improve your cell assays
Learn more about the 5 ways to improve your cell assays:
- Empower your cell-based research with 3D cell culture
- Create human-like 3D cell models with scaffold-based matrices
- Go animal-free
- Automate your liquid handling for unparalleled reproducibility
- Scale-up with confidence
Solve the common issues faced with animal derived materials in HTS
When trying to scale up animal derived matrix based -assays in HTS, extensive temperature control is required in automation, including cooling down of instruments and reagents, to prevent the gel polymerization during dispensing. During molecule screening, unexpected polymerization can clog pipette tips, cause variation in dispensing amount and lead to higher consumption of reagents. This increases the total cost of the assay. All added variation can also cause misleading biological responses and failure in target identification. With GrowDex hydrogels you can do automated dispensing accurately and fast in room temperature.
The detection of fluorescence signals, for cell viability and proliferation is of key for fluorescence-based HTS assays. Animal derived matrices often interfere with fluorescence measurement caused by autofluorescence coming from the animal proteins. GrowDex does not interfere with the readout as GrowDex hydrogels are not auto-fluorescent and contain only ultrapure water and nanocellulose.
In order to screen large compound libraries quickly and efficiently, large and small molecules are required to diffuse through cell culture matrix. As the animal-based materials contain ECM proteins and other biological components, these matrices can interfere with the diffusion of molecules, such as antibodies and molecules binding to ECM, causing challenges to study the drug compound effect. In GrowDex hydrogels, small and large molecules are able to diffuse through the material, as it mainly contains water and only a small amount of nanocellulose fibers.
Typically RNA and DNA are collected from living cells for downstream gene or protein expression studies. The animal-based hydrogels may interfere with purification and readouts as they contain animal DNA and RNA. Using our GrowDase cellulase, you can recover cells from GrowDex hydrogels, for downstream processes, such as flow cytometry. GrowDase cellulase enzyme degrades only cellulose fibers and it does not affect the cell surface proteins, structure or cell viability.
High throughput screening and high content screening in drug discovery
In drug development, HTS and HCS enable hit-to-lead identification and setting up dose-response curves, by utilizing automation robotics, image-based data analysis and liquid handling devices that together help quickly to screen large chemical compound libraries. These tests are typically conducted on 96-, 384- or 1536-well microplates.
HTS/HCS assays generate large data sets that help to identify the right compounds to modulate a particular biomolecular pathway. High-quality data sets provide the starting point for the target identification in the drug discovery process. That is why, it is important to choose the right high-quality cell-based assays for further assay development and biochemical compound testing.
GrowDex hydrogels' natural and animal-free features as well as the quality control manufacturing process supports reproducible assays without lot-to-lot variability. These make GrowDex hydrogels especially fitting for large-scale high throughput and high content screening assays in microtiter plates.
High Throughput Instruments
Are you already working with a high throughput instrument or already know what instrument you are going to be using? Check out these instrument specific practical protocols to get you started with your assay.
High throughput and high content screening applications
Co-Culturing of Primary Hepatocytes and Kupffer Cells in GrowDex and DAPI/Phalloidin Staining of the Cell Spheroids
With over 150 different assay protocols available GrowDex is our original hydrogel. Highly biocompatible GrowDex has been used widely for the culture of primary cells through to iPS and ES cells.
GrowDex-T brings superior imaging quality for phase contrast and brightfield imaging. This hydrogel is completely transparent making imaging and automated analysis easy.
What is high throughput screening?
High Throughput Screening (HTS) is a cell culture automation method used to rapidly analyze thousands of samples. High throughput screening focuses on generating quantitative data as results. Transitioning from manual work to automated high throughput assays helps expedite the analysis of cell culture assays. When preparing assays for HTS, researchers can work more precisely with smaller volumes and use different well plate sizes, including 96-well, 384-well, and even 1536-well plates.
What is high content screening?
High Content Screening (HCS) is a cell culture automation method used for acquiring high-resolution microscopy images of cells, spheroids, or organoids. It aids in the identification of various compounds, such as small molecules, within analyzed samples. In High Content Screening assays, samples are dyed with, for example fluorescent dyes, to support the identification of different compounds. High Content Screening assays result in high-resolution images of the analyzed cells, spheroids, or organoids. High content imaging (HCI) and high content analysis (HCA) are synonymous terms for High Content Screening.
What's the difference between high throughput screening and high content screening?
While HTS and HCS may sound similar and both are cell culture automation methods, they have distinct roles in the automation process. High throughput screening (HTS) is primarily focused on analyzing numerous individual samples to generate a large amount of quantitative data, whereas high content screening (HCS) is geared towards acquiring high-resolution images for in-depth analysis of individual samples.
High Throughput Screening and High Content Screening in Drug Discovery
Both high throughput screening and high content screening can be utilized in the drug discovery process. High throughput screening is commonly used in drug discovery for viability and toxicity assays, facilitating the rapid identification of lead compounds. On the other hand, High Content Screening in drug discovery can be employed, for instance, to analyze potential drug side-effects and provide a more precise analysis of the effects of a selected lead compound.