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Drug discovery can be approached in a variety of ways. Screening a large number of compounds using defined biochemical assays in an ultrahigh-throughput format usually is usually an early part of the experimental process. However, the effect of a drug on an organism is complex and involves interactions at multiple levels that cannot be predicted using biochemical assays. In order to understand this complexity, an increased use of cell-based screening assays as more biologically relevant surrogates to predict the response of the organism. In addition, at some point in the drug discovery process, predicting cellular toxicity is important. Eukaryotic cell culture is accepted as the model system of choice to get a first approximation of toxicity.
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Compound Libraries continue to be an important tool for many downstream assays including evaluation as potential drugs. Hundreds and thousands of compounds are typically screened for any given evaluation. Automating this setup process and even integrating it into a greater workflow is paramount to maintaining an active pipeline. An automated non-contact dispense system can quickly and easily reformat these compounds while minimizing contamination risk. Additionally, since the number of compounds evaluated is extremely high reusable tips reduce the overall cost of each assay.
Digilab Hummingbird™ is a fast, precise, non-contact dispensing system capable of transferring or reformatting samples in a high throughput environment. Non-contact dispensing minimizes the risk of contamination while the reusable tips reduce the cost of operation. This multi-functional bench top instrument can also be integrated with automated plate handling systems for seamless workflow.