Assay Systems

Based on your requirements and in close collaboration with you, we develop various types of cell-based assays. These range from classical end-point assays to kinetic readouts or high-content analyses (HCA). All assay types can be developed in high-throughput screening (HTS) quality in up to 384-well or 1,536-well microtiter plate formats.

Classical Cell-Based Assays (End-Point Readout)

Still the most popular type of cell-based assays for HTS are assays that use end-point readouts. In this category, we routinely develop:

  • reporter gene assays, including all types of luciferases, beta-lactamase, beta-galactosidase, GFP or related fluorescent proteins
  • second messenger assays (IP-1, cAMP)
  • protein degradation assays (i.e., Hi-Bit, GFP)
  • protein–protein interaction assays (i.e., NanoBRET, HTRF at tagged or untagged proteins)
  • secretion assays (i.e., cytokines)
  • biomarker assays (e.g., phospho-proteins)

All assays routinely run at a volume of 4–5 μl in the 384-well or 1,536-well plate format.

Readout Technologies

  • Time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET/HTRF)
  • Luminescence
  • Fluorescence intensity
  • Mass-spectrometry readouts (native substrates and products)

Multimode Readers

  • BMG Pherastar, Perkin Elmer Viewlux, RapiFlex MS MALDI (Bruker)

For deeper characterization of compounds at later stages of the hit-to-lead phase, we also use a wide variety of additional assays.

Kinetic Readouts

For difficult target classes, such as ion channels (e.g., potassium channels) or GPCRs, we also offer high-resolution kinetic assays. In addition, we offer analysis of calcium dynamics in iPSC-induced cardiomyocytes or neurons. Full-deck library screens (2.4 million compounds and beyond) or regular compound testing can be carried out.

We use the industry standard FLIPR® platform with one FLIPR® Tetra and one FLIPR® Penta. For high-throughput applications, we utilize 384- or 1,536 pipettor heads. Multi-addition assays can be developed according to your needs.


Dose response determination of a K+-channel activating compound

To better understand the dynamics of cell–drug response, we also offer multidimensional time-lapse imaging via high-content analysis. These assays include, among others, cell-cycle assays, autophagy assays, multi-target translocation assays, the determination of degradation kinetics, or Ca2+ flux in sub-cellular compartments.

High-Content Analysis (HCA)

HCA is an increasingly important field for the pharmaceutical industry to better understand spatial and temporal phenotypic changes in the cell. We consider HCA to be a vital part of the early drug discovery process and dedicate an entire platform to it. Here, you have access to the full potential of high-content imaging and analysis. In the past, a wide range of assays have been developed and successfully used to screen compound libraries of up to 4.5 million compounds. Read more about our HCA platform.