Novel Automated Stem Cell High Content Screening Platform

A new technical poster, available from Agilent Automation Solutions, describes how researchers at I-STEM (Evry, France) have used a BioCel 1800 platform to automate high content screening of small molecules for muscular dystrophy therapeutic research.

The described research shows the utility of the BioCel platform in performing automated screens on cell lines derived from human embryonic stem cells.

The most common adult neuromuscular disease, the Type 1 Muscular dystrophy (DM1), is an autosomal monogenic disease characterised by the aggregation of mutated mRNA in structures called foci within cells’ nuclei.

The poster describes how researchers screened the Prestwick library of FDA approved compounds in a cell based assay using an Agilent Automation Solutions BioCel 1800, looking for molecules targeting foci structure using a High Content Screening (HCS) strategy. Mesenchymal Stem cells derived from the Vub03 mutated human embryonic stem cell line were selected as a model for this research as they display foci when labelled by Fluorescent in situ Hybridisation (FISH) in 96-well plates. The BioCel platform is shown to allow researchers to handle cell lines with confidence and precision and is now considered a critical part of I-STEM’s stem cell screening strategy.

To avoid any risk of contamination to the cell suspensions the BioCel 1800 Platform was configured with ULPA filtered environmental venting and temperature control. The reported results demonstrate how the Biocel 1800 deliver a high level of liquid handling reproducibility. In addition, the poster describes how the researchers developed methodology for screening compounds using cell-based assays and two Agilent Vertical Pipetting Stations for both cell culture management and compound library management.

The Institute for Stem cell Therapy and Exploration of Monogenic diseases (I-STEM) is a centre for research and development, dedicated to the development of treatments based on the potential offered by Stem cells and applicable to rare diseases of genetic origin. The activity of I-STEM extends from basic biological research and pathological mechanisms up to the transfer of new therapies to clinical research.

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