The answer may be found in a microscale solution offered with a bioassay platform recently introduced by Curiox Biosystems. The DropArray System was designed to miniaturize cell-based assays in a format that is practical and easy to integrate into today’s labs.
A key benefit to miniaturizing cell-based assays is the proportional reduction in cell and reagent volumes required to complete an assay. Using standard liquid-dispensing equipment, cell sample drops containing as few as 100 cells are deposited onto DropArray microplates (Figure 1). The cell samples reside on small hydrophilic spots in 96 or 384 array patterns on the flat, hydrophobic surface of the plate. DropArray Liquid Lid, an immiscible, gas-permeable fluid is used to cover and protect samples from evaporation or loss due to repeated washing steps, yet still allows gas exchange (Figure 1).
DropArray Washing Stations automate the task of gentle washing procedures. Plates are positioned in the liquid-tight chamber of the system’s washing station, and an aqueous washing buffer is automatically applied. Minimal cell loss is achieved with the station’s gentle, low velocity shaking motion.
It is these key features that enable assays to be performed using adherent, weakly adherent, and even nonadherent cells for long-term on-plate incubations without the risk of evaporation. Consumption of cells and reagents per data point is reduced at least 3 to 10 times.