The demand for understanding cells on a microscopic level continues to fuel development for new imaging platforms and analysis software. This is being further buoyed by high-content and high-throughput protocols. Optical imaging is an emerging field that holds promise to help make drug discovery and development faster and more efficient.
Speakers at the Informa Global Imaging Summit, which will be held in December in Cologne, Germany, will illustrate how technologies in this field are rapidly evolving and making their way into the clinic to assess disease progression and monitor drug efficacy.
For example, scientists from PerkinElmer plan to address some of the major challenges of high-content screening (HCS) for cellular imaging with new image analysis software and platforms.
“Two of the biggest bottlenecks include setting up the high-content screening assays and then dealing with vast amounts of data,” explains Gabriele Gradl, Ph.D., global product leader, high content screening at PE Cellular Technology Germany. In addition, as HCS becomes more accepted, researchers are pushing the boundaries of its possibilities.
“People are trying to use their instruments to their fullest potential. So, the ability to do data analysis in two and three dimensions along with high-content screening, is something that has driven us to set up a cellular imaging business,” states Paul Orange, Ph.D., strategic development leader, cellular imaging and analysis at Improvision.
Opera™ is a confocal microplate imaging reader that provides automated simultaneous high-speed and high-resolution screening. Assay applications include: whole cell fluorescence, cell signaling, gene expression, membrane receptor, translocation, and morphology. The accompanying image analysis software, Acapella™, provides high-speed, two-dimensional, and high-content image analysis.
“This software enables you to look at different aspects of data in different ways,” says Dr. Orange. It comes with a set of ready-made application solutions or “scripts,” and is also flexible for new algorithm development via an open architecture.