Quantitative automated microscopy for high-throughput screening

High-throughput (HTS) research is based on the rapid examination of a large number of samples, or recording for temporal changes in multiple samples and at multiple time points. Such studies can be biochemical in nature, or can be based on advanced imaging approaches whereby high-quality images are collected at a high rate, and analyzed quantitatively. The challenge of HTS microscopy lies in the collection of large data sets (images) at high speed, yet extract precise and detailed information (e.g. multiple component mapping, different magnifications, quantitative data) from each image site. HTS microscopy, which is also designed to provide such detailed information about the tested sample (usually referred to as “high content”) is highly demanding. Based on HTS technologies developed in close collaboration with Prof. Zvi Kam, automated microscopes (the WiScan series (Figure 1)) were developed by an Israeli company, IDEA Bio-Medical Ltd.

Figure 1

Quantitative Automated Microscopy for High-throughput Screening. The WiScan high-Definition, automated cell-imaging system was developed by IDEA Bio-Medical Ltd. based on high-throughput screening technologies developed by Prof. Benjamin Geiger in close collaboration with Prof. Zvi Kam.

Screens based on automated microscopy using this technology include search for cytoskeleton disrupting compounds, different migratory screens, search for proteasome inhibitors and discovery of genes involved in the regulation of integrin adhesions.

WIS-PhagoTracker is a software application for quantitative analysis of high throughput cell migration assay. It was developed by Ofra Golani, Meirav Galun and Suha Naffar Abu-Amara in the laboratories of Prof. Benny Geiger and Prof. Ronen Basri at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. It is available for download (for academic research only).

Further Reading 
Winograd-Katz, SE; Itzkovitz, S; Kam, Z; Geiger, B (2009). Multiparametric analysis of focal adhesion formation by RNAi-mediated gene knockdown.  Journal of Cell Biology. 186 (3):423-436.
Naffar-Abu-Amara, S; Shay, T; Galun, M; Cohen, N; Isakoff, SJ; Kam, Z; Geiger, B (2008). Identification of novel pro-migratory, cancer-associated genes using quantitative, microscopy-based screening.  PLoS ONE. 3 (1).
Paran, Y; Ilan, M; Kashman, Y; Goldstein, S; Liron, Y; Geiger, B; Kam, Z (2007). High-throughput screening of cellular features using high-resolution light-microscopy; Application for profiling drug effects on cell adhesion.  Journal of Structural Biology. 158 (2):233-243.