Sample records for automated cell-based assay

  1. Cell based assay for hypoglycemic drugs screening

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LiZHANG; Juan-juanHU; Guan-huaDU


    OBJECTIVE: To establish a cell based assay for hypoglyc emicdrugs. METHODS: The five cell lines, BALB/c3T3, HepG2, NIH3T3, Be17402, and L929 were incubated with insulin (0-125n mol/L) for 48 h. Their sensitivities to insulin were studied by detecting glucose consumption. The dose-response and time-response relationship between the sensitive cell line (BALB/c 3T3)

  2. Cell-based Assays to Identify Inhibitors of Viral Disease (United States)

    Green, Neil; Ott, Robert D.; Isaacs, Richard J.; Fang, Hong


    Background Antagonizing the production of infectious virus inside cells requires drugs that can cross the cell membrane without harming host cells. Objective It is therefore advantageous to establish intracellular potency of anti-viral drug candidates early in the drug-discovery pipeline. Methods To this end, cell-based assays are being developed and employed in high-throughput drug screening, ranging from assays that monitor replication of intact viruses to those that monitor activity of specific viral proteins. While numerous cell-based assays have been developed and investigated, rapid counter screens are also needed to define the specific viral targets of identified inhibitors and to eliminate nonspecific screening hits. Results/Conclusions Here, we describe the types of cell-based assays being used in antiviral drug screens and evaluate the equally important counter screens that are being employed to reach the full potential of cell-based high-throughput screening. PMID:19750206

  3. Cell based assays for anti-Plasmodium activity evaluation. (United States)

    Mokgethi-Morule, Thabang; N'Da, David D


    Malaria remains one of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide. The severity of this global public health challenge is reflected by the approximately 198 million people, who were reportedly infected in 2013 and by the more than 584,000 related deaths in that same year. The rising emergence of drug resistance towards the once effective artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) has become a serious concern and warrants more robust drug development strategies, with the objective of eradicating malaria infections. The intricate biology and life cycle of Plasmodium parasites complicate the understanding of the disease in such a way that would enhance the development of more effective chemotherapies that would achieve radical clinical cure and that would prevent disease relapse. Phenotypic cell based assays have for long been a valuable approach and involve the screening and analysis of diverse compounds with regards to their activities towards whole Plasmodium parasites in vitro. To achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of malaria eradication by 2020, new generation drugs that are active against all parasite stages (erythrocytic (blood), exo-erythrocytic (liver stages and gametocytes)) are needed. Significant advances are being made in assay development to overcome some of the practical challenges of assessing drug efficacy, particularly in the liver and transmission stage Plasmodium models. This review discusses primary screening models and the fundamental progress being made in whole cell based efficacy screens of anti-malarial activity. Ongoing challenges and some opportunities for improvements in assay development that would assist in the discovery of effective, safe and affordable drugs for malaria treatments are also discussed.

  4. Development of a Drosophila cell-based error correction assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey D. Salemi


    Full Text Available Accurate transmission of the genome through cell division requires microtubules from opposing spindle poles to interact with protein super-structures called kinetochores that assemble on each sister chromatid. Most kinetochores establish erroneous attachments that are destabilized through a process called error correction. Failure to correct improper kinetochore-microtubule (kt-MT interactions before anaphase onset results in chromosomal instability (CIN, which has been implicated in tumorigenesis and tumor adaptation. Thus, it is important to characterize the molecular basis of error correction to better comprehend how CIN occurs and how it can be modulated. An error correction assay has been previously developed in cultured mammalian cells in which incorrect kt-MT attachments are created through the induction of monopolar spindle assembly via chemical inhibition of kinesin-5. Error correction is then monitored following inhibitor wash out. Implementing the error correction assay in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells would be valuable because kt-MT attachments are easily visualized and the cells are highly amenable to RNAi and high-throughput screening. However, Drosophila kinesin-5 (Klp61F is unaffected by available small molecule inhibitors. To overcome this limitation, we have rendered S2 cells susceptible to kinesin-5 inhibitors by functionally replacing Klp61F with human kinesin-5 (Eg5. Eg5 expression rescued the assembly of monopolar spindles typically caused by Klp61F depletion. Eg5-mediated bipoles collapsed into monopoles due to the activity of kinesin-14 (Ncd when treated with the kinesin-5 inhibitor S-trityl-L-cysteine (STLC. Furthermore, bipolar spindles reassembled and error correction was observed after STLC wash out. Importantly, error correction in Eg5-expressing S2 cells was dependent on the well-established error correction kinase Aurora B. This system provides a powerful new cell-based platform for studying error correction and

  5. High content cell-based assay for the inflammatory pathway (United States)

    Mukherjee, Abhishek; Song, Joon Myong


    Cellular inflammation is a non-specific immune response to tissue injury that takes place via cytokine network orchestration to maintain normal tissue homeostasis. However chronic inflammation that lasts for a longer period, plays the key role in human diseases like neurodegenerative disorders and cancer development. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the inflammatory pathways may be effective in targeting and modulating their outcome. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that effectively combines the pro-inflammatory features with the pro-apoptotic potential. Increased levels of TNF-α observed during acute and chronic inflammatory conditions are believed to induce adverse phenotypes like glucose intolerance and abnormal lipid profile. Natural products e. g., amygdalin, cinnamic acid, jasmonic acid and aspirin have proven efficacy in minimizing the TNF-α induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo. Cell lysis-free quantum dot (QDot) imaging is an emerging technique to identify the cellular mediators of a signaling cascade with a single assay in one run. In comparison to organic fluorophores, the inorganic QDots are bright, resistant to photobleaching and possess tunable optical properties that make them suitable for long term and multicolor imaging of various components in a cellular crosstalk. Hence we tested some components of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway during TNF-α induced inflammation and the effects of aspirin in HepG2 cells by QDot multicolor imaging technique. Results demonstrated that aspirin showed significant protective effects against TNF-α induced cellular inflammation. The developed cell based assay paves the platform for the analysis of cellular components in a smooth and reliable way.

  6. Development of a Drosophila cell-based error correction assay. (United States)

    Salemi, Jeffrey D; McGilvray, Philip T; Maresca, Thomas J


    Accurate transmission of the genome through cell division requires microtubules from opposing spindle poles to interact with protein super-structures called kinetochores that assemble on each sister chromatid. Most kinetochores establish erroneous attachments that are destabilized through a process called error correction. Failure to correct improper kinetochore-microtubule (kt-MT) interactions before anaphase onset results in chromosomal instability (CIN), which has been implicated in tumorigenesis and tumor adaptation. Thus, it is important to characterize the molecular basis of error correction to better comprehend how CIN occurs and how it can be modulated. An error correction assay has been previously developed in cultured mammalian cells in which incorrect kt-MT attachments are created through the induction of monopolar spindle assembly via chemical inhibition of kinesin-5. Error correction is then monitored following inhibitor wash out. Implementing the error correction assay in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells would be valuable because kt-MT attachments are easily visualized and the cells are highly amenable to RNAi and high-throughput screening. However, Drosophila kinesin-5 (Klp61F) is unaffected by available small molecule inhibitors. To overcome this limitation, we have rendered S2 cells susceptible to kinesin-5 inhibitors by functionally replacing Klp61F with human kinesin-5 (Eg5). Eg5 expression rescued the assembly of monopolar spindles typically caused by Klp61F depletion. Eg5-mediated bipoles collapsed into monopoles due, in part, to kinesin-14 (Ncd) activity when treated with the kinesin-5 inhibitor S-trityl-L-cysteine (STLC). Furthermore, bipolar spindles reassembled and error correction was observed after STLC wash out. Importantly, error correction in Eg5-expressing S2 cells was dependent on the well-established error correction kinase Aurora B. This system provides a powerful new cell-based platform for studying error correction and CIN.

  7. A Cell-Based Assay to Assess Hemichannel Function (United States)

    Krishnan, Srinivasan; Fiori, Mariana C.; Cuello, Luis G.; Altenberg, Guillermo A.


    Activation of connexin hemichannels is involved in the pathophysiology of disorders that include deafness, stroke, and cardiac infarct. This aspect makes hemichannels an attractive therapeutic target. Unfortunately, most available inhibitors are not selective or isoform specific, which hampers their translational application. The absence of a battery of useful inhibitors is due in part to the absence of simple screening assays for the discovery of hemichannel-active drugs. Here, we present an assay that we have recently developed to assess hemichannel function. The assay is based on the expression of functional human connexins in a genetically modified bacterial strain deficient in K+ uptake. These modified cells do not grow in low-K+ medium, but functional expression of connexin hemichannels allows K+ uptake and growth. This cell-growth-based assay is simple, robust, and easily scalable to high-throughput multi-well platforms.

  8. Flow-through synthesis on Teflon-patterned paper to produce peptide arrays for cell-based assays. (United States)

    Deiss, Frédérique; Matochko, Wadim L; Govindasamy, Natasha; Lin, Edith Y; Derda, Ratmir


    A simple method is described for the patterned deposition of Teflon on paper to create an integrated platform for parallel organic synthesis and cell-based assays. Solvent-repelling barriers made of Teflon-impregnated paper confine organic solvents to specific zones of the patterned array and allow for 96 parallel flow-through syntheses on paper. The confinement and flow-through mixing significantly improves the peptide yield and simplifies the automation of this synthesis. The synthesis of 100 peptides ranging from 7 to 14 amino acids in length gave over 60% purity for the majority of the peptides (>95% yield per coupling/deprotection cycle). The resulting peptide arrays were used in cell-based screening to identify 14 potent bioactive peptides that support the adhesion or proliferation of breast cancer cells in a 3D environment. In the future, this technology could be used for the screening of more complex phenotypic responses, such as cell migration or differentiation.

  9. Cell-based assays in GPCR drug discovery. (United States)

    Siehler, Sandra


    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transmit extracellular signals into the intracellular space, and play key roles in the physiological regulation of virtually every cell and tissue. Characteristic for the GPCR superfamily of cell surface receptors are their seven transmembrane-spanning alpha-helices, an extracellular N terminus and intracellular C-terminal tail. Besides transmission of extracellular signals, their activity is modulated by cellular signals in an auto- or transregulatory fashion. The molecular complexity of GPCRs and their regulated signaling networks triggered the interest in academic research groups to explore them further, and their drugability and role in pathophysiology triggers pharmaceutical research towards small molecular weight ligands and therapeutic antibodies. About 30% of marketed drugs target GPCRs, which underlines the importance of this target class. This review describes current and emerging cellular assays for the ligand discovery of GPCRs.

  10. Effects of solvents and dosing procedure on chemical toxicity in cell-based in vitro assays.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanneberger, K.; Rico Rico, A.; Kramer, N.I.; Busser, F.J.M.; Hermens, J.L.M.; Schirmer, K.


    Due to the implementation of new legislation, such as REACh, a dramatic increase of animal use for toxicity testing is expected and the search for alternatives is timely. Cell-based in vitro assays are promising alternatives. However, the behavior of chemicals in these assays is still poorly underst

  11. Conference report: the 5th cell-based assay and bioanalytical method development conference. (United States)

    Ma, Mark


    Approximately 80 participants met at the Marriot Hotel, San Francisco, CA, USA, between the 4th and 6th October 2010 to share novel techniques and discuss the emerging approaches in the evolving field of cell-based assay and bioanalytical method development. This report highlights the discussion and summary of the meeting.

  12. Human Cell Chips: Adapting DNA Microarray Spotting Technology to Cell-Based Imaging Assays


    Traver Hart; Alice Zhao; Ankit Garg; Swetha Bolusani; Marcotte, Edward M.


    Here we describe human spotted cell chips, a technology for determining cellular state across arrays of cells subjected to chemical or genetic perturbation. Cells are grown and treated under standard tissue culture conditions before being fixed and printed onto replicate glass slides, effectively decoupling the experimental conditions from the assay technique. Each slide is then probed using immunofluorescence or other optical reporter and assayed by automated microscopy. We show potential ap...

  13. Quantitative comparison between microfluidic and microtiter plate formats for cell-based assays. (United States)

    Yin, Huabing; Pattrick, Nicola; Zhang, Xunli; Klauke, Norbert; Cordingley, Hayley C; Haswell, Steven J; Cooper, Jonathan M


    In this paper, we compare a quantitative cell-based assay measuring the intracellular Ca2+ response to the agonist uridine 5'-triphosphate in Chinese hamster ovary cells, in both microfluidic and microtiter formats. The study demonstrates that, under appropriate hydrodynamic conditions, there is an excellent agreement between traditional well-plate assays and those obtained on-chip for both suspended immobilized cells and cultured adherent cells. We also demonstrate that the on-chip assay, using adherent cells, provides the possibility of faster screening protocols with the potential for resolving subcellular information about local Ca2+ flux.

  14. Processing of nanolitre liquid plugs for microfluidic cell-based assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junji Fukuda, Shintaro Takahashi, Tatsuya Osaki, Naoto Mochizuki and Hiroaki Suzuki


    Full Text Available Plugs, i.e. droplets formed in a microchannel, may revolutionize microfluidic cell-based assays. This study describes a microdevice that handles nanolitre-scale liquid plugs for the preparation of various culture setups and subsequent cellular assays. An important feature of this mode of liquid operation is that the recirculation flow generated inside the plug promotes the rapid mixing of different solutions after plugs are merged, and it keeps cell suspensions homogeneous. Thus, serial dilutions of reagents and cell suspensions with different cell densities and cell types were rapidly performed using nanolitres of solution. Cells seeded through the plug processing grew well in the microdevice, and subsequent plug processing was used to detect the glucose consumption of cells and cellular responses to anticancer agents. The plug-based microdevice may provide a useful platform for cell-based assay systems in various fields, including fundamental cell biology and drug screening applications.

  15. High content screening for G protein-coupled receptors using cell-based protein translocation assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grånäs, Charlotta; Lundholt, Betina Kerstin; Heydorn, Arne


    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have been one of the most productive classes of drug targets for several decades, and new technologies for GPCR-based discovery promise to keep this field active for years to come. While molecular screens for GPCR receptor agonist- and antagonist-based drugs...... as valuable discovery tools for several years. The application of high content cell-based screening to GPCR discovery has opened up additional possibilities, such as direct tracking of GPCRs, G proteins and other signaling pathway components using intracellular translocation assays. These assays provide...... the capability to probe GPCR function at the cellular level with better resolution than has previously been possible, and offer practical strategies for more definitive selectivity evaluation and counter-screening in the early stages of drug discovery. The potential of cell-based translocation assays for GPCR...

  16. Adapting Cell-Based Assays to the High Throughput Screening Platform: Problems Encountered and Lessons Learned. (United States)

    Maddox, Clinton B; Rasmussen, Lynn; White, E Lucile


    In recent years, cell-based phenotypic assays have emerged as an effective and robust addition to the array of assay technologies available for drug discovery in the high throughput screening arena. Previously, biochemical target-based assays have been the technology of choice. With the emergence of stem cells as a basis for a new screening technology, it is important to keep in mind the lessons that have been learned from the adaptation of existing stable cell lines onto the high throughput screening drug discovery platform, with special consideration being given to assay miniaturization, liquid handling complications and instrument-introduced artifacts. We present an overview of the problems encountered with the implementation of multiple cell-based assays at the High Throughput Screening Center at Southern Research Institute as well as empirically defined effective solutions to these problems. These include examples of artifacts induced by temperature differences throughout the screening campaign, cell plating conditions including the effect of room temperature incubation on assay consistency, DMSO carry-over, and incubator induced artifacts.

  17. A simple technique for reducing edge effect in cell-based assays. (United States)

    Lundholt, Betina Kerstin; Scudder, Kurt M; Pagliaro, Len


    Several factors are known to increase the noise and variability of cell-based assays used for high-throughput screening. In particular, edge effects can result in an unacceptably high plate rejection rate in screening runs. In an effort to minimize these variations, the authors analyzed a number of factors that could contribute to edge effects in cell-based assays. They found that pre-incubation of newly seeded plates in ambient conditions (air at room temperature) resulted in even distribution of the cells in each well. In contrast, when newly seeded plates were placed directly in the CO(2) incubator, an uneven distribution of cells occurred in wells around the plate periphery, resulting in increased edge effect. Here, the authors show that the simple, inexpensive approach of incubating newly seeded plates at room temperature before placing them in a 37 degrees C CO(2) incubator yields a significant reduction in edge effect.

  18. Expanding the available assays: adapting and validating In-Cell Westerns in microfluidic devices for cell-based assays. (United States)

    Paguirigan, Amy L; Puccinelli, John P; Su, Xiaojing; Beebe, David J


    Microfluidic methods for cellular studies can significantly reduce costs due to reduced reagent and biological specimen requirements compared with many traditional culture techniques. However, current types of readouts are limited and this lack of suitable readouts for microfluidic cultures has significantly hindered the application of microfluidics for cell-based assays. The In-Cell Western (ICW) technique uses quantitative immunocytochemistry and a laser scanner to provide an in situ measure of protein quantities in cells grown in microfluidic channels of arbitrary geometries. The use of ICWs in microfluidic channels was validated by a detailed comparison with current macroscale methods and shown to have excellent correlation. Transforming growth factor-β-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of an epithelial cell line was used as an example for further validation of the technique as a readout for soluble-factor-based assays performed in high-throughput microfluidic channels. The use of passive pumping for sample delivery and laser scanning for analysis opens the door to high-throughput quantitative microfluidic cell-based assays that integrate seamlessly with existing high-throughput infrastructure.

  19. Best practice recommendations for the transfer of cell-based assays for the measurement of neutralizing anti-drug antibodies. (United States)

    Belouski, Shelley S; Born, Danika; Jacques, Susan; Harder, Brandon; Reynhardt, Kai; Kaliyaperumal, Arunan; Gupta, Shalini


    We recommend the application of a strategically designed step-wise approach to transfer cell-based assays that includes assessing analytical performance (through a fit for purpose validation and/or design of experiment robustness characterization), clinical performance (i.e., concordance) and performance or proficiency testing for long-term method monitoring. Here we focus on the application of this strategy to cell-based assays for the measurement of neutralizing anti-drug antibodies. This application is unique in that it requires a custom cell-based assay to be used over a long period of time (potentially phase 1a through the life of a marketed product) with the confidence of consistent method performance and result reporting. But, the process is adaptable to a variety of assay types and applications. We present lessons learned from two cell-based assay transfers that met relevant challenges while implementing alternative permutations of the recommended method transfer process.

  20. Implementation and Use of State-of-the-Art, Cell-Based In Vitro Assays. (United States)

    Langer, Gernot


    The impressive advances in the generation and interpretation of functional omics data have greatly contributed to a better understanding of the (patho-)physiology of many biological systems and led to a massive increase in the number of specific targets and phenotypes to investigate in both basic and applied research. The obvious complexity revealed by these studies represents a major challenge to the research community and asks for improved target characterisation strategies with the help of reliable, high-quality assays. Thus, the use of living cells has become an integral part of many research activities because the cellular context more closely represents target-specific interrelations and activity patterns. Although still predominant, the use of traditional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer cell culture models has been gradually complemented by studies based on three-dimensional (3D) spheroid (Sutherland 1988) and other 3D tissue culture systems (Santos et al. 2012; Matsusaki et al. 2014) in an attempt to employ model systems more closely representing the microenvironment of cells in the body. Hence, quite a variety of state-of-the-art cell culture models are available for the generation of novel chemical probes or the identification of starting points for drug development in translational research and pharma drug discovery. In order to cope with these information-rich formats and their increasing technical complexity, cell-based assay development has become a scientific research topic in its own right and is used to ensure the provision of significant, reliable and high-quality data outlasting any discussions related to the current "irreproducibility epidemic" (Dolgin 2014; Prinz et al. 2011; Schatz 2014). At the same time the use of cells in microplate assay formats has become state of the art and greatly facilitates rigorous cell-based assay development by providing the researcher with the opportunity to address the multitude of factors affecting the actual

  1. Time-stretch microscopy on a DVD for high-throughput imaging cell-based assay. (United States)

    Tang, Anson H L; Yeung, P; Chan, Godfrey C F; Chan, Barbara P; Wong, Kenneth K Y; Tsia, Kevin K


    Cell-based assay based on time-stretch imaging is recognized to be well-suited for high-throughput phenotypic screening. However, this ultrafast imaging technique has primarily been limited to suspension-cell assay, leaving a wide range of solid-substrate assay formats uncharted. Moreover, time-stretch imaging is generally restricted to intrinsic biophysical phenotyping, but lacks the biomolecular signatures of the cells. To address these challenges, we develop a spinning time-stretch imaging assay platform based on the functionalized digital versatile disc (DVD). We demonstrate that adherent cell culture and biochemically-specific cell-capture can now be assayed with time-stretch microscopy, thanks to the high-speed DVD spinning motion that naturally enables on-the-fly cellular imaging at an ultrafast line-scan rate of >10MHz. As scanning the whole DVD at such a high speed enables ultra-large field-of-view imaging, it could be favorable for scaling both the assay throughput and content as demanded in many applications, e.g. drug discovery, and rare cancer cell screening.

  2. Comparison of automated von Willebrand factor activity assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Timm, Annette; Hillarp, Andreas; Philips, Malou


    activity/antigen ratios in samples classified as having VWD (activity classification power might interfere with the interpretation......INTRODUCTION: Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. Measurement of von Willebrand factor (VWF) activity in plasma is often based on platelet agglutination stimulated by the ristocetin cofactor activity. Novel assays, based on latex beads with recombinant...... glycoprotein Ib instead of platelets, have recently been developed but it is unclear whether these can improve the diagnostic capability for VWD. AIM: To compare four automated VWF activity methods in a mixed population of patients referred for evaluation of bleeding tendency. METHODS: The analytical...

  3. Cell-based semiquantitative assay for sulfated glycosaminoglycans facilitating the identification of chondrogenesis. (United States)

    Yen, Ching-Yu; Wu, Yu-Wei; Hsiung, Chao-Nan; Yeh, Min-I; Lin, Yi-Ming; Lee, Sheng-Yang


    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), in particular chondroitin sulfate, are an accepted marker of chondrogenic cells. In this study, a cell-based sulfated GAG assay for identifying the chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells was developed. Based on fluorescent staining using safranin O and 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), this method was highly sensitive. The results were both qualitative and quantitative. The method is suitable for identifying the chondrogenic process and also for screening compounds. The method may be helpful for discovering novel bioactive compounds for cartilage regeneration.

  4. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A specific cell-based potency assay to replace the mouse bioassay. (United States)

    Fernández-Salas, Ester; Wang, Joanne; Molina, Yanira; Nelson, Jeremy B; Jacky, Birgitte P S; Aoki, K Roger


    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A), a potent therapeutic used to treat various disorders, inhibits vesicular neurotransmitter exocytosis by cleaving SNAP25. Development of cell-based potency assays (CBPAs) to assess the biological function of BoNT/A have been challenging because of its potency. CBPAs can evaluate the key steps of BoNT action: receptor binding, internalization-translocation, and catalytic activity; and therefore could replace the current mouse bioassay. Primary neurons possess appropriate sensitivity to develop potential replacement assays but those potency assays are difficult to perform and validate. This report describes a CBPA utilizing differentiated human neuroblastoma SiMa cells and a sandwich ELISA that measures BoNT/A-dependent intracellular increase of cleaved SNAP25. Assay sensitivity is similar to the mouse bioassay and measures neurotoxin biological activity in bulk drug substance and BOTOX® product (onabotulinumtoxinA). Validation of a version of this CBPA in a Quality Control laboratory has led to FDA, Health Canada, and European Union approval for potency testing of BOTOX®, BOTOX® Cosmetic, and Vistabel®. Moreover, we also developed and optimized a BoNT/A CBPA screening assay that can be used for the discovery of novel BoNT/A inhibitors to treat human disease.

  5. Automated assay optimization with integrated statistics and smart robotics. (United States)

    Taylor, P B; Stewart, F P; Dunnington, D J; Quinn, S T; Schulz, C K; Vaidya, K S; Kurali, E; Lane, T R; Xiong, W C; Sherrill, T P; Snider, J S; Terpstra, N D; Hertzberg, R P


    The transition from manual to robotic high throughput screening (HTS) in the last few years has made it feasible to screen hundreds of thousands of chemical entities against a biological target in less than a month. This rate of HTS has increased the visibility of bottlenecks, one of which is assay optimization. In many organizations, experimental methods are generated by therapeutic teams associated with specific targets and passed on to the HTS group. The resulting assays frequently need to be further optimized to withstand the rigors and time frames inherent in robotic handling. Issues such as protein aggregation, ligand instability, and cellular viability are common variables in the optimization process. The availability of robotics capable of performing rapid random access tasks has made it possible to design optimization experiments that would be either very difficult or impossible for a person to carry out. Our approach to reducing the assay optimization bottleneck has been to unify the highly specific fields of statistics, biochemistry, and robotics. The product of these endeavors is a process we have named automated assay optimization (AAO). This has enabled us to determine final optimized assay conditions, which are often a composite of variables that we would not have arrived at by examining each variable independently. We have applied this approach to both radioligand binding and enzymatic assays and have realized benefits in both time and performance that we would not have predicted a priori. The fully developed AAO process encompasses the ability to download information to a robot and have liquid handling methods automatically created. This evolution in smart robotics has proven to be an invaluable tool for maintaining high-quality data in the context of increasing HTS demands.

  6. Identification of compounds that modulate retinol signaling using a cell-based qHTS assay. (United States)

    Chen, Yanling; Sakamuru, Srilatha; Huang, Ruili; Reese, David H; Xia, Menghang


    In vertebrates, the retinol (vitamin A) signaling pathway (RSP) controls the biosynthesis and catabolism of all-trans retinoic acid (atRA), which regulates transcription of genes essential for embryonic development. Chemicals that interfere with the RSP to cause abnormal intracellular levels of atRA are potential developmental toxicants. To assess chemicals for the ability to interfere with retinol signaling, we have developed a cell-based RARE (Retinoic Acid Response Element) reporter gene assay to identify RSP disruptors. To validate this assay in a quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) platform, we screened the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC) in both agonist and antagonist modes. The screens detected known RSP agonists, demonstrating assay reliability, and also identified novel RSP agonists including kenpaullone, niclosamide, PD98059 and SU4312, and RSP antagonists including Bay 11-7085, LY294002, 3,4-Methylenedioxy-β-nitrostyrene, and topoisomerase inhibitors (camptothecin, topotecan, amsacrine hydrochloride, and idarubicin). When evaluated in the P19 pluripotent cell, these compounds were found to affect the expression of the Hoxa1 gene that is essential for embryo body patterning. These results show that the RARE assay is an effective qHTS approach for screening large compound libraries to identify chemicals that have the potential to adversely affect embryonic development through interference with retinol signaling.

  7. Development of a cell-based, high-throughput screening assay for ATM kinase inhibitors. (United States)

    Guo, Kexiao; Shelat, Anang A; Guy, R Kiplin; Kastan, Michael B


    The ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia, mutated) protein kinase is a major regulator of cellular responses to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), DNA lesions that can be caused by ionizing irradiation (IR), oxidative damage, or exposure to certain chemical agents. In response to DSBs, the ATM kinase is activated and subsequently phosphorylates numerous downstream substrates, including p53, Chk2, BRCA1, and KAP1, which affect processes such as cell cycle progression and DNA repair. Numerous studies have demonstrated that loss of ATM function results in enhanced sensitivity to ionizing irradiation in clinically relevant dose ranges, suggesting that ATM kinase is an attractive therapeutic target for enhancing tumor cell kill with radiotherapy. Previously identified small-molecule ATM kinase inhibitors, such as CP466722 and Ku55933, were identified using in vitro kinase assays carried out with recombinant ATM kinase isolated from mammalian cells. Since it has not been feasible to express full-length recombinant ATM in bacterial or baculovirus systems, a robust in vitro screening tool has been lacking. We have developed a cell-based assay that is robust, straightforward, and sensitive. Using this high-throughput assay, we screened more than 7000 compounds and discovered additional small molecules that inhibit the ATM kinase and further validated these hits by secondary assays.

  8. Comparison of cell-based and PCR-based assays as methods for measuring infectivity of Tulane virus. (United States)

    Shan, Lei; Yang, David; Wang, Dapeng; Tian, Peng


    In this study, we used Tulane virus (TV) as a surrogate for HuNoV to evaluate for correlation between two cell-based assays and three PCR-based assays. Specifically, the cell-based plaque and TCID50 assays measure for infectious virus particles, while the PCR-based RNase exposure, porcine gastric mucin in-situ-capture qRT-PCR (PGM-ISC-qRT-PCR), and antibody in-situ-capture qRT-PCR (Ab-ISC-qRT-PCR) assays measure for an amplicon within encapsidated viral genome. Ten batches of viral stocks ranging from 3.41 × 10(5) to 6.67 × 10(6) plaque forming units (PFUs) were used for side by side comparison with PFU as a reference. The results indicate that one PFU was equivalent to 6.69 ± 2.34 TCID50 units, 9.75 ± 10.87 RNase-untreated genomic copies (GCs), 2.87 ± 3.05 RNase-treated GCs, 0.07 ± 0.07 PGM-ISC-qRT-PCR GCs, and 0.52 ± 0.39 Ab-ISC-qRT-PCR GCs. We observed that while the cell-based assays were consistent with each other, the TCID50 assay was more sensitive than the plaque assay. In contrast, the PCR-based assays were not always consistent with the cell-based assays. The very high variations in GCs as measured by both ISC-RT-qPCR assays made them difficult to correlate against the relatively small variations (<20-fold) in the PFUs or TCID50 units as measured by the cell-based assays.

  9. A simple, versatile and sensitive cell-based assay for prions from various species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaira E Arellano-Anaya

    Full Text Available Detection and quantification of prion infectivity is a crucial step for various fundamental and applied aspects of prion research. Identification of cell lines highly sensitive to prion infection led to the development of cell-based titration procedures aiming at replacing animal bioassays, usually performed in mice or hamsters. However, most of these cell lines are only permissive to mouse-adapted prions strains and do not allow titration of prions from other species. In this study, we show that epithelial RK13, a cell line permissive to mouse and bank vole prion strains and to natural prion agents from sheep and cervids, enables a robust and sensitive detection of mouse and ovine-derived prions. Importantly, the cell culture work is strongly reduced as the RK13 cell assay procedure designed here does not require subcultivation of the inoculated cultures. We also show that prions effectively bind to culture plastic vessel and are quantitatively detected by the cell assay. The possibility to easily quantify a wider range of prions, including rodent experimental strains but also natural agents from sheep and cervids, should prompt the spread of cell assays for routine prion titration and lead to valuable information in fundamental and applied studies.

  10. A Caco-2 cell-based quantitative antioxidant activity assay for antioxidants. (United States)

    Wan, Hongxia; Liu, Dong; Yu, Xiangying; Sun, Haiyan; Li, Yan


    A Caco-2 cell-based antioxidant activity (CAA) assay for quantitative evaluation of antioxidants was developed by optimizing seeding density and culture time of Caco-2 cells, incubation time and concentration of fluorescent probe (2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate, DCFH-DA), incubation way and incubation time of antioxidants (pure phytochemicals) and DCFH-DA with cells, and detection time of fluorescence. Results showed that the CAA assay was of good reproducibility and could be used to evaluate the antioxidant activity of antioxidants at the following conditions: seeding density of 5 × 10(4)/well, cell culture time of 24h, co-incubation of 60 μM DCFH-DA and pure phytochemicals with Caco-2 cells for 20 min and fluorescence recorded for 90 min. Additionally, a significant correlation was observed between CAA values and rat plasma ORAC values following the intake of antioxidants for selected pure phytochemicals (R(2) = 0.815, p < 0.01), demonstrating the good biological relevance of CAA assay.

  11. Automated microfluidic screening assay platform based on DropLab. (United States)

    Du, Wen-Bin; Sun, Meng; Gu, Shu-Qing; Zhu, Ying; Fang, Qun


    This paper describes DropLab, an automated microfluidic platform for programming droplet-based reactions and screening in the nanoliter range. DropLab can meter liquids with picoliter-scale precision, mix multiple components sequentially to assemble composite droplets, and perform screening reactions and assays in linear or two-dimensional droplet array with extremely low sample and reagent consumptions. A novel droplet generation approach based on the droplet assembling strategy was developed to produce multicomponent droplets in the nanoliter to picoliter range with high controllability on the size and composition of each droplet. The DropLab system was built using a short capillary with a tapered tip, a syringe pump with picoliter precision, and an automated liquid presenting system. The tapered capillary was used for precise liquid metering and mixing, droplet assembling, and droplet array storage. Two different liquid presenting systems were developed based on the slotted-vial array design and multiwell plate design to automatically present various samples, reagents, and oil to the capillary. Using the tapered-tip capillary and the picoliter-scale precision syringe pump, the minimum unit of the droplet volume in the present system reached ~20 pL. Without the need of complex microchannel networks, various droplets with different size (20 pL-25 nL), composition, and sequence were automatically assembled, aiming to multiple screening targets by simply adjusting the types, volumes, and mixing ratios of aspirated liquids on demand. The utility of DropLab was demonstrated in enzyme inhibition assays, protein crystallization screening, and identification of trace reducible carbohydrates.

  12. Human cell chips: adapting DNA microarray spotting technology to cell-based imaging assays. (United States)

    Hart, Traver; Zhao, Alice; Garg, Ankit; Bolusani, Swetha; Marcotte, Edward M


    Here we describe human spotted cell chips, a technology for determining cellular state across arrays of cells subjected to chemical or genetic perturbation. Cells are grown and treated under standard tissue culture conditions before being fixed and printed onto replicate glass slides, effectively decoupling the experimental conditions from the assay technique. Each slide is then probed using immunofluorescence or other optical reporter and assayed by automated microscopy. We show potential applications of the cell chip by assaying HeLa and A549 samples for changes in target protein abundance (of the dsRNA-activated protein kinase PKR), subcellular localization (nuclear translocation of NFkappaB) and activation state (phosphorylation of STAT1 and of the p38 and JNK stress kinases) in response to treatment by several chemical effectors (anisomycin, TNFalpha, and interferon), and we demonstrate scalability by printing a chip with approximately 4,700 discrete samples of HeLa cells. Coupling this technology to high-throughput methods for culturing and treating cell lines could enable researchers to examine the impact of exogenous effectors on the same population of experimentally treated cells across multiple reporter targets potentially representing a variety of molecular systems, thus producing a highly multiplexed dataset with minimized experimental variance and at reduced reagent cost compared to alternative techniques. The ability to prepare and store chips also allows researchers to follow up on observations gleaned from initial screens with maximal repeatability.

  13. Human cell chips: adapting DNA microarray spotting technology to cell-based imaging assays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Traver Hart

    Full Text Available Here we describe human spotted cell chips, a technology for determining cellular state across arrays of cells subjected to chemical or genetic perturbation. Cells are grown and treated under standard tissue culture conditions before being fixed and printed onto replicate glass slides, effectively decoupling the experimental conditions from the assay technique. Each slide is then probed using immunofluorescence or other optical reporter and assayed by automated microscopy. We show potential applications of the cell chip by assaying HeLa and A549 samples for changes in target protein abundance (of the dsRNA-activated protein kinase PKR, subcellular localization (nuclear translocation of NFkappaB and activation state (phosphorylation of STAT1 and of the p38 and JNK stress kinases in response to treatment by several chemical effectors (anisomycin, TNFalpha, and interferon, and we demonstrate scalability by printing a chip with approximately 4,700 discrete samples of HeLa cells. Coupling this technology to high-throughput methods for culturing and treating cell lines could enable researchers to examine the impact of exogenous effectors on the same population of experimentally treated cells across multiple reporter targets potentially representing a variety of molecular systems, thus producing a highly multiplexed dataset with minimized experimental variance and at reduced reagent cost compared to alternative techniques. The ability to prepare and store chips also allows researchers to follow up on observations gleaned from initial screens with maximal repeatability.

  14. The regulation of circulating ghrelin - with recent updates from cell-based assays. (United States)

    Iwakura, Hiroshi; Kangawa, Kenji; Nakao, Kazuwa


    Ghrelin is a stomach-derived orexigenic hormone with a wide range of physiological functions. Elucidation of the regulation of the circulating ghrelin level would lead to a better understanding of appetite control in body energy homeostasis. Earlier studies revealed that circulating ghrelin levels are under the control of both acute and chronic energy status: at the acute scale, ghrelin levels are increased by fasting and decreased by feeding, whereas at the chronic scale, they are high in obese subjects and low in lean subjects. Subsequent studies revealed that nutrients, hormones, or neural activities can influence circulating ghrelin levels in vivo. Recently developed in vitro assay systems for ghrelin secretion can assess whether and how individual factors affect ghrelin secretion from cells. In this review, on the basis of numerous human, animal, and cell-based studies, we summarize current knowledge on the regulation of circulating ghrelin levels and enumerate the factors that influence ghrelin levels.

  15. Establishment of a cell-based assay to screen regulators for Klotho gene promoter

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-liang XU; Hong GAO; Ke-qing OU-YANG; Shao-xi CAI; Ying-he HU


    AIM: To discover compounds which can regulate Klotho promoter activity. Klotho is an aging suppressor gene. A defect in Klotho gene expression in the mouse results in the phenotype similar to human aging. Recombinant Klotho protein improves age-associated diseases in animal models. It has been proposed that up-regulation of Klotho gene expression may have anti-aging effects. METHODS: Klotho promoter was cloned into a vector containing luciferase gene, and the reporter gene vector was transfected into HEK293 cells to make a stable cell line (HEK293/KL). A model for cellular aging was established by treating HEK293/KL cells with H2O2. These cells were treated with extracts from Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs). The luciferase activity was detected to identify compounds that can regulate Klotho promoter. RESULTS:The expression of luciferase in these cells was under control of Klotho promoter and down-regulated after H2O2 treatment The down-regulation of luciferase expression was H2O2 concentration-dependent with an IC50 at approximately 0.006 %. This result demonstrated that the Klotho gene promoter was regulated by oxidative stress. Using the cell-based reporter gene assay, we screened natural product extracts for regulation of Klotho gene promoter. Several extracts were identified that could rescue the H2O2effects and up-regulated Klotho promoter activity. CONCLUSION: A cell -based assay for high-throughput drug screening was established to identify compounds that regulate Klotho promoter activity, and several hits were discovered from natural products. Further characterization of these active extracts could help to investigate Klotho function and aging mechanisms.

  16. Identification of human dopamine D1-like receptor agonist using a cell-based functional assay

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nan JIANG; Ke-qing OU-YANG; Shao-xi CAI; Ying-he HU; Zhi-liang XU


    Aim: To establish a cell-based assay to screen human dopamine D1 and D5 receptor agonists against compounds from a natural product compound library.Methods: Synthetic responsive elements 6×cAMP response elements (CRE) and a mini promoter containing a TATA box were inserted into the pGL3 basic vector to generate the reporter gene construct pCRE/TA/Luci. CHO cells were co-transfected with the reporter gene construct and human D1 or D5 receptor cDNA in mammalian expression vectors. Stable cell lines were established for agonist screening. A natural product compound library from over 300 herbs has been established. The extracts from these herbs were used for human D1 and D5 receptor agonist screenings. Results: A number of extracts were identified that activated both D1 and D5 receptors. One of the herb extracts, SBG492, demonstrated distinct pharmacological characteristics with human D1 and D5 receptors.The EC50 values of SBG492 were 342.7 μg/mL for the D1 receptor and 31.7 μg/mL for the D5 receptor. Conclusion: We have established a cell-based assay for high-throughput drug screening to identify D 1-like receptor agonists from natural products. Several extracts that can active D1-like receptors were discovered.These compounds could be useful tools for studies on the functions of these receptors in the brain and could potentially be developed into therapeutic drugs for the treatment of central nervous system diseases.

  17. A digital microfluidic method for multiplexed cell-based apoptosis assays. (United States)

    Bogojevic, Dario; Chamberlain, M Dean; Barbulovic-Nad, Irena; Wheeler, Aaron R


    Digital microfluidics (DMF), a fluid-handling technique in which picolitre-microlitre droplets are manipulated electrostatically on an array of electrodes, has recently become popular for applications in chemistry and biology. DMF devices are reconfigurable, have no moving parts, and are compatible with conventional high-throughput screening infrastructure (e.g., multiwell plate readers). For these and other reasons, digital microfluidics has been touted as being a potentially useful new tool for applications in multiplexed screening. Here, we introduce the first digital microfluidic platform used to implement parallel-scale cell-based assays. A fluorogenic apoptosis assay for caspase-3 activity was chosen as a model system because of the popularity of apoptosis as a target for anti-cancer drug discovery research. Dose-response profiles of caspase-3 activity as a function of staurosporine concentration were generated using both the digital microfluidic method and conventional techniques (i.e., pipetting, aspiration, and 96-well plates.) As expected, the digital microfluidic method had a 33-fold reduction in reagent consumption relative to the conventional technique. Although both types of methods used the same detector (a benchtop multiwell plate reader), the data generated by the digital microfluidic method had lower detection limits and greater dynamic range because apoptotic cells were much less likely to de-laminate when exposed to droplet manipulation by DMF relative to pipetting/aspiration in multiwell plates. We propose that the techniques described here represent an important milestone in the development of digital microfluidics as a useful tool for parallel cell-based screening and other applications.

  18. Automation of plasma protein binding assay using rapid equilibrium dialysis device and Tecan workstation. (United States)

    Ye, Zhengqi; Zetterberg, Craig; Gao, Hong


    Binding of drug molecules to plasma proteins is an important parameter in assessing drug ADME properties. Plasma protein binding (PPB) assays are routinely performed during drug discovery and development. A fully automated PPB assay was developed using rapid equilibrium dialysis (RED) device and Tecan workstation coupled to an automated incubator. The PPB assay was carried out in unsealed RED plates which allowed the assay to be fully automated. The plasma pH was maintained at 7.4 during the 6-h dialysis under 2% CO2 condition. The samples were extracted with acetonitrile and analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The percent bound results of 10 commercial drugs in plasma protein binding were very similar between the automated and manual assays, and were comparable to literature values. The automated assay increases laboratory productivity and is applicable to high-throughput screening of drug protein binding in drug discovery.

  19. A Cell-based High-throughput Screening Assay for Farnesoid X Recepter Agonist

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Objective To develop a high-throughput screening assay for Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists based on mammalian one-hybrid system (a chimera receptor gene system) for the purpose of identifying new lead compounds for dyslipidaemia drug from the chemical library. Methods cDNA encoding the human FXR ligand binding domain (LBD) was amplified by RT-PCR from a human liver total mRNA and fused to the DNA binding domain (DBD) of yeast GAL4 of pBIND to construct a GAL4-FXR (LBD) chimera expression plasmid. Five copies of the GAL4 DNA binding site were synthesized and inserted into upstream of the SV40 promoter of pGL3-promoter vector to construct a reporter plasmid pG5-SV40 Luc. The assay was developed by transient co-transfection with pG5-SV40 Luc reporter plasmid and pBIND-FXR-LBD (189-472) chimera expression plasmid. Results After optimization, CDCA, a FXR natural agonist, could induce expression of the luciferase gene in a dose-dependent manner, and had a signal/noise ratio of 10 and Z'factor value of 0.65. Conclusion A stable and sensitive cell-based high-throughput screening model can be used in high-throughput screening for FXR agonists from the synthetic and natural compound library.

  20. Development of a Cell-Based Functional Assay for the Detection of Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Types A and E

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uma Basavanna


    Full Text Available The standard procedure for definitive detection of BoNT-producing Clostridia is a culture method combined with neurotoxin detection using a standard mouse bioassay (MBA. The mouse bioassay is highly sensitive and specific, but it is expensive and time-consuming, and there are ethical concerns due to use of laboratory animals. Cell-based assays provide an alternative to the MBA in screening for BoNT-producing Clostridia. Here, we describe a cell-based assay utilizing a fluorescence reporter construct expressed in a neuronal cell model to study toxin activity in situ. Our data indicates that the assay can detect as little as 100 pM BoNT/A activity within living cells, and the assay is currently being evaluated for the analysis of BoNT in food matrices. Among available in vitro assays, we believe that cell-based assays are widely applicable in high-throughput screenings and have the potential to at least reduce and refine animal assays if not replace it.

  1. A Multi-Modality CMOS Sensor Array for Cell-Based Assay and Drug Screening. (United States)

    Chi, Taiyun; Park, Jong Seok; Butts, Jessica C; Hookway, Tracy A; Su, Amy; Zhu, Chengjie; Styczynski, Mark P; McDevitt, Todd C; Wang, Hua


    In this paper, we present a fully integrated multi-modality CMOS cellular sensor array with four sensing modalities to characterize different cell physiological responses, including extracellular voltage recording, cellular impedance mapping, optical detection with shadow imaging and bioluminescence sensing, and thermal monitoring. The sensor array consists of nine parallel pixel groups and nine corresponding signal conditioning blocks. Each pixel group comprises one temperature sensor and 16 tri-modality sensor pixels, while each tri-modality sensor pixel can be independently configured for extracellular voltage recording, cellular impedance measurement (voltage excitation/current sensing), and optical detection. This sensor array supports multi-modality cellular sensing at the pixel level, which enables holistic cell characterization and joint-modality physiological monitoring on the same cellular sample with a pixel resolution of 80 μm × 100 μm. Comprehensive biological experiments with different living cell samples demonstrate the functionality and benefit of the proposed multi-modality sensing in cell-based assay and drug screening.

  2. Novel patient cell-based HTS assay for identification of small molecules for a lysosomal storage disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifeng Geng

    Full Text Available Small molecules have been identified as potential therapeutic agents for lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs, inherited metabolic disorders caused by defects in proteins that result in lysosome dysfunctional. Some small molecules function assisting the folding of mutant misfolded lysosomal enzymes that are otherwise degraded in ER-associated degradation. The ultimate result is the enhancement of the residual enzymatic activity of the deficient enzyme. Most of the high throughput screening (HTS assays developed to identify these molecules are single-target biochemical assays. Here we describe a cell-based assay using patient cell lines to identify small molecules that enhance the residual arylsulfatase A (ASA activity found in patients with metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD, a progressive neurodegenerative LSD. In order to generate sufficient cell lines for a large scale HTS, primary cultured fibroblasts from MLD patients were transformed using SV40 large T antigen. These SV40 transformed (SV40t cells showed to conserve biochemical characteristics of the primary cells. Using a specific colorimetric substrate para-nitrocatechol sulfate (pNCS, detectable ASA residual activity were observed in primary and SV40t fibroblasts from a MLD patient (ASA-I179S cultured in multi-well plates. A robust fluorescence ASA assay was developed in high-density 1,536-well plates using the traditional colorimetric pNCS substrate, whose product (pNC acts as "plate fluorescence quencher" in white solid-bottom plates. The quantitative cell-based HTS assay for ASA generated strong statistical parameters when tested against a diverse small molecule collection. This cell-based assay approach can be used for several other LSDs and genetic disorders, especially those that rely on colorimetric substrates which traditionally present low sensitivity for assay-miniaturization. In addition, the quantitative cell-based HTS assay here developed using patient cells creates an

  3. Cell-Based Screening: Cellular Assays with a Molecular Endpoint Measured by SAMDI Mass Spectrometry (Small 28/2016). (United States)

    Berns, Eric J; Cabezas, Maria D; Mrksich, Milan


    On page 3811, M. Mrksich and co-workers culture cells using self-assembled monolayers presenting cell adhesion ligands and enzyme substrates. A lysis buffer disrupts the cell membranes, releasing enzymes that modify the immobilized substrates. These modifications can be measured with SAMDI mass spectrometry, giving a high-throughput, cell-based assay.

  4. Development of an automated scoring system for plant comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertrand Pourrut


    -\tnucleus density: increase the density of nuclei is of importance to increase scoring reliability (Sharma et al., 2012. In conclusion, increasing plant nucleus extraction yield and automated scoring of nuclei do represent big challenges. However, our promising preliminary results open up the perspective of an automated high-throughput scoring of plant nuclei.

  5. Intra-laboratory validation of a human cell based in vitro angiogenesis assay for testing angiogenesis modulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jertta-Riina Sarkanen


    Full Text Available The developed standardized human cell based in vitro angiogenesis assay was intra-laboratory validated to verify that the method is reliable and relevant for routine testing of modulators of angiogenesis e.g. pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. This assay is based on the earlier published method but it was improved and shown to be more sensitive and rapid than the previous assay. The performance of the assay was assessed by using 6 reference chemicals, which are widely used pharmaceuticals that inhibit angiogenesis: acetyl salicylic acid, erlotinib, 2-methoxyestradiol, levamisole, thalidomide, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor. In the intra-laboratory validation, the sensitivity of the assay (upper and lower limits of detection and linearity of response in tubule formation, batch to batch variation in tubule formation between different Master cell bank batches, and precision as well as the reliability of the assay (reproducibility and repeatability were tested. The pre-set acceptance criteria for the intra-laboratory validation study were met. The relevance of the assay in man was investigated by comparing the effects of reference chemicals and their concentrations to the published human data. The comparison showed a good concordance, which indicates that this human cell based angiogenesis model predicts well the effects in man and has the potential to be used to supplement and/or replace of animal tests.

  6. Aquaporin-4 autoantibodies in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders: comparison between tissue-based and cell-based indirect immunofluorescence assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan Koon H


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD are severe central nervous system inflammatory demyelinating disorders (CNS IDD characterized by monophasic or relapsing, longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM and/or optic neuritis (ON. A significant proportion of NMOSD patients are seropositive for aquaporin-4 (AQP4 autoantibodies. We compared the AQP4 autoantibody detection rates of tissue-based indirect immunofluorescence assay (IIFA and cell-based IIFA. Methods Serum of Chinese CNS IDD patients were assayed for AQP4 autoantibodies by tissue-based IIFA using monkey cerebellum and cell-based IIFA using transfected HEK293 cells which express human AQP4 on their cell membranes. Results In total, 128 CNS IDD patients were studied. We found that 78% of NMO patients were seropositive for AQP4 autoantibodies by cell-based IIFA versus 61% by tissue-based IFA (p = 0.250, 75% of patients having relapsing myelitis (RM with LETM were seropositive by cell-based IIFA versus 50% by tissue-based IIFA (p = 0.250, and 33% of relapsing ON patients were seropositive by cell-based IIFA versus 22% by tissue-based IIFA (p = 1.000; however the differences were not statistically significant. All patients seropositive by tissue-based IIFA were also seropositive for AQP4 autoantibodies by cell-based IIFA. Among 29 NMOSD patients seropositive for AQP4 autoantibodies by cell-based IIFA, 20 (69% were seropositive by tissue-based IIFA. The 9 patients seropositive by cell-based IIFA while seronegative by tissue-based IIFA had NMO (3, RM with LETM (3, a single attack of LETM (1, relapsing ON (1 and a single ON attack (1. Among 23 NMO or RM patients seropositive for AQP4 autoantibodies by cell-based IIFA, comparison between those seropositive (n = 17 and seronegative (n = 6 by tissue-based IIFA revealed no differences in clinical and neuroradiological characteristics between the two groups. Conclusion Cell-based IIFA is slightly more sensitive

  7. Seropositivity rates of water channel protein 4 antibodies compared between a cell-based immunofluorescence assay and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in neuromyelitis optica patients

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaoli Wu; Zhangyuan Liao; Jing Ye; Huiqing Dong; Chaodong Wang; Piu Chan


    A total of 66 samples (from 27 cases with neuromyelitis optica, 26 cases with multiple sclerosis, and 13 cases with optic neuritis) were tested for aquaporin-4 antibody by a cell-based immunofluorescence assay and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.The sensitivities and specificities of the two assays were similar.We further analyzed an additional 68 patients and 93 healthy controls using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.A Kappa test showed good consistency between the two methods in terms of detection of anti-aquaporin-4 antibody in the sera of neuromyelitis optica patients.No significant correlations were identified with onset age or disease duration, suggesting that aquaporin-4 antibody is a good marker for neuromyelitis optica.The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay can be used for quantifying aquaporin-4 antibody concentrations and may be useful to dynamically monitor changes in the levels of aquaporin-4 antibody during disease duration.

  8. An improved sensitive assay for the detection of PSP toxins with neuroblastoma cell-based impedance biosensor. (United States)

    Zou, Ling; Wu, Chunsheng; Wang, Qin; Zhou, Jie; Su, Kaiqi; Li, Hongbo; Hu, Ning; Wang, Ping


    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins are well-known sodium channel-blocking marine toxins, which block the conduction of nerve impulses and lead to a series of neurological disorders symptoms. However, PSP toxins can inhibit the cytotoxicity effect of compounds (e.g., ouabain and veratridine). Under the treatment of ouabain and veratridine, neuroblastoma cell will swell and die gradually, since veratridine causes the persistent inflow of Na(+) and ouabain inhibits the activity of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPases. Therefore, PSP toxins with antagonism effect can raise the chance of cell survival by blocking inflow of Na(+). Based on the antagonism effect of PSP toxins, we designed an improved cell-based assay to detect PSP toxins using a neuroblastoma cell-based impedance biosensor. The results demonstrated that this biosensor showed high sensitivity and good specificity for saxitoxins detection. The detection limit of this biosensor was as low as 0.03 ng/ml, which was lower than previous reported cell-based assays and mouse bioassays. With the improvement of biosensor performance, the neuroblastoma cell-based impedance biosensor has great potential to be a universal PSP screening method.

  9. A cell-based time-resolved fluorescence assay for selection of antibody reagents for G protein-coupled receptor immunohistochemistry. (United States)

    Su, Jui-Lan; Fornwald, Jim; Rivers, Philip; Goldsworthy, Susan; Looney, Noeleen A; Hanvey, Jeff; Plumpton, Chris; Parham, Janet; Romanos, Michael; Kost, Thomas A; Kull, Frederick C


    A cell-based time-resolved fluorescence (celTRF) immunoassay is described for pre-screening antibodies to G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) peptides that predicts suitability for immunohistochemistry (IHC). Rat GPCRs were expressed in Saos-2 human osteosarcoma cells via recombinant baculoviruses designed for mammalian cell expression, i.e., the transduced cells were used as a "screening lawn". The lawn was fixed and permeabilized similarly to IHC tissue. The celTRF, a dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluorescence immunoassay (DELFIA), employed Eu-labelled goat anti-rabbit IgG. It exhibited a broad dynamic range upon which enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA)-positive affinity-purified anti-peptide antibody reagents were examined for specificity and potency. Over 150 anti-peptide reagents to 27 GPCRs were characterized. All celTRF-positive antibodies were found to be suitable for IHC, whereas ELISA alone did not predict IHC utility. Examples are illustrated with five rabbit anti-neuropeptide FF receptor 1 (NPFF1) antibodies, where a strong correlation between celTRF potency and IHC utility was observed in both applications. In contrast, two high anti-peptide ELISA titer but celTRF-negative antibodies failed to recognize the NPFF1 receptor in IHC. The celTRF assay was performed manually and in an automated fashion, in our case, using a Biomek FX station and Sami scheduling software. The celTRF is the first in vitro automated assay that offers confident pre-selection of antibodies for IHC and the versatility to accommodate the rapid screening of large numbers of GPCRs. The celTRF is readily applicable to other protein target classes.

  10. EL4 cell-based colorimetric toxin neutralization activity assays for determination of neutralizing anti-ricin antibodies. (United States)

    Lindsey, Changhong Y; Brown, J Edward; Torabazar, Nahid R; Smith, Leonard A


    A recombinant ricin toxin A-chain 1-33/44-198 vaccine (RVEc), developed at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases as a vaccine candidate, is under investigation in a phase 1 clinical study. To effectively evaluate the immunogenicity of this ricin vaccine and to eliminate the use of radioactive material, an EL4 cell-based colorimetric toxin neutralization activity (TNA) assay using a CellTiter 96 AQueous One Solution Cell Proliferation Assay Reagent has been developed, optimized, and applied in the vaccine efficacy studies. The TNA assay measures the protective neutralizing anti-ricin antibodies in animal sera by determining the cell viability after ricin exposure in the assay system and comparing it to a purified mouse polyclonal antiricin IgG standard curve. The standard curve of the anti-ricin TNA assay closely fits a four-parameter logistic regression model. The unknown test sample concentration was expressed as microg/mL, but not the 50% effective concentration (EC50), which was determined by most TNA assays. The neutralizing endpoint titers, not the 50% effective dilution (ED50), of human specimens were measured with the TNA assay in support of the clinical study of the RVEc vaccine. The optimal amount of ricin toxin, EL4 cells, and concentration of standards used in the assay system was established to minimize false-negative and false-positive results of serum specimens from the nonclinical and clinical studies of RVEc. The testing conditions were adjusted to optimize assay performance. The colorimetric TNA assay replaced a radioactive TNA assay previously used in the ricin vaccine studies.

  11. Development and validation of a simple cell-based fluorescence assay for dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1) activity. (United States)

    Thong, Bob; Pilling, James; Ainscow, Edward; Beri, Raj; Unitt, John


    Dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1) (EC; also known as cathepsin C, cathepsin J, dipeptidyl aminopeptidase, and dipeptidyl aminotransferase) is a lysosomal cysteinyl protease of the papain family involved in the intracellular degradation of proteins. Isolated enzyme assays for DPP1 activity using a variety of synthetic substrates such as dipeptide or peptide linked to amino-methyl-coumarin (AMC) or other fluorophores are well established. There is, however, no report of a simple whole-cell-based assay for measuring lysosomal DPP1 activity other than the use of flow cytometry (fluorescence-activated cell sorting) or the use of invasive activity-based probes or the production of physiological products such as neutrophil elastase. The authors investigated a number of DPP1 fluorogenic substrates that have the potential to access the lysosome and enable the measurement of DPP1 enzyme activity in situ. They describe the development and evaluation of a simple noninvasive fluorescence assay for measuring DPP1 activity in fresh or cryopreserved human THP-1 cells using the substrate H-Gly-Phe-AFC (amino-fluoro-coumarin). This cell-based fluorescence assay can be performed in a 96-well plate format and is ideally suited for determining the cell potency of potential DPP1 enzyme inhibitors.

  12. Demonstration of a visual cell-based assay for screening glucose transporter 4 translocation modulators in real time

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Maleppillil Vavachan Vijayakumar; Amrendra Kumar Ajay; Manoj Kumar Bhat


    Insulin-stimulated translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) to cell membrane leading to glucose uptake is the rate-limiting step in diabetes. It is also a defined target of antidiabetic drug research. Existing GLUT4 translocation assays are based on time-consuming immunoassays and are hampered by assay variability and low sensitivity. We describe a real-time, visual, cell-based qualitative GLUT4 translocation assay using CHO-HIRc-myc-GLUT4eGFP cells that stably express myc- and eGFP-tagged GLUT4 in addition to human insulin receptor (HIRc). GLUT4 translocation is visualized by live cell imaging based on GFP fluorescence by employing a cooled charge-coupled device camera attached to a fluorescent microscope. This video imaging method and further quantitative analysis of GLUT4 on the cell membrane provide rapid and foolproof visual evidence that this method is suitable for screening GLUT4 translocation modulators.

  13. A Cell-Based Pharmacokinetics Assay for Evaluating Tubulin-Binding Drugs (United States)

    Wang, Yuwei; Liu, Jihua; Zhang, Jun; Wang, Liping; Chan, Jonathon; Wang, Hai; Jin, Yi; Yu, Lei; Grainger, David W.; Ying, Wenbin


    Increasing evidence reveals that traditional pharmacokinetics parameters based on plasma drug concentrations are insufficient to reliably demonstrate accurate pharmacological effects of drugs in target organs or cells in vivo. This underscores the increasing need to improve the types and qualities of cellular pharmacokinetic information for drug preclinical screening and clinical efficacy assessments. Here we report a whole cell-based method to assess drugs that disturb microtubule dynamics to better understand different formulation-mediated intracellular drug release profiles. As proof of concept for this approach, we compared the well-known taxane class of anti-microtubule drugs based on paclitaxel (PTX), including clinically familiar albumin nanoparticle-based Abraxane™, and a polymer nanoparticle-based degradable paclitaxel carrier, poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate (PGA-PTX, also known as CT-2103) versus control PTX. This in vitro cell-based evaluation of PTX efficacy includes determining the cellular kinetics of tubulin polymerization, relative populations of cells under G2 mitotic arrest, cell proliferation and total cell viability. For these taxane tubulin-binding compounds, the kinetics of cell microtubule stabilization directly correlate with G2 arrest and cell proliferation, reflecting the kinetics and amounts of intracellular PTX release. Each individual cell-based dose-response experiment correlates with published, key therapeutic parameters and taken together, provide a comprehensive understanding of drug intracellular pharmacokinetics at both cellular and molecular levels. This whole cell-based evaluating method is convenient, quantitative and cost-effective for evaluating new formulations designed to optimize cellular pharmacokinetics for drugs perturbing tubulin polymerization as well as assisting in explaining drug mechanisms of action at cellular levels. PMID:24688312

  14. A cell-based pharmacokinetics assay for evaluating tubulin-binding drugs. (United States)

    Wang, Yuwei; Liu, Jihua; Zhang, Jun; Wang, Liping; Chan, Jonathon; Wang, Hai; Jin, Yi; Yu, Lei; Grainger, David W; Ying, Wenbin


    Increasing evidence reveals that traditional pharmacokinetics parameters based on plasma drug concentrations are insufficient to reliably demonstrate accurate pharmacological effects of drugs in target organs or cells in vivo. This underscores the increasing need to improve the types and qualities of cellular pharmacokinetic information for drug preclinical screening and clinical efficacy assessments. Here we report a whole cell-based method to assess drugs that disturb microtubule dynamics to better understand different formulation-mediated intracellular drug release profiles. As proof of concept for this approach, we compared the well-known taxane class of anti-microtubule drugs based on paclitaxel (PTX), including clinically familiar albumin nanoparticle-based Abraxane™, and a polymer nanoparticle-based degradable paclitaxel carrier, poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel conjugate (PGA-PTX, also known as CT-2103) versus control PTX. This in vitro cell-based evaluation of PTX efficacy includes determining the cellular kinetics of tubulin polymerization, relative populations of cells under G2 mitotic arrest, cell proliferation and total cell viability. For these taxane tubulin-binding compounds, the kinetics of cell microtubule stabilization directly correlate with G2 arrest and cell proliferation, reflecting the kinetics and amounts of intracellular PTX release. Each individual cell-based dose-response experiment correlates with published, key therapeutic parameters and taken together, provide a comprehensive understanding of drug intracellular pharmacokinetics at both cellular and molecular levels. This whole cell-based evaluating method is convenient, quantitative and cost-effective for evaluating new formulations designed to optimize cellular pharmacokinetics for drugs perturbing tubulin polymerization as well as assisting in explaining drug mechanisms of action at cellular levels.

  15. Application of a cell-based protease assay for testing inhibitors of picornavirus 3C proteases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Linden, Lonneke; Ulferts, Rachel; Nabuurs, Sander B; Kusov, Yuri; Liu, Hong; George, Shyla; Lacroix, Céline; Goris, Nesya; Lefebvre, David; Lanke, Kjerstin H W; De Clercq, Kris; Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Neyts, Johan; van Kuppeveld, Frank J M


    Proteolytical cleavage of the picornaviral polyprotein is essential for viral replication. Therefore, viral proteases are attractive targets for anti-viral therapy. Most assays available for testing proteolytical activity of proteases are performed in vitro, using heterologously expressed proteases

  16. Determination of Interference During In Vitro Pyrogen Detection: Development and Characterization of a Cell-Based Assay. (United States)

    Palma, Linda; Rossetti, Francesca; Dominici, Sabrina; Buondelmonte, Costantina; Rocchi, Marco B L; Rizzardi, Gian P; Vallanti, Giuliana; Magnani, Mauro


    Contamination of pharmaceutical products and medical devices with pyrogens such as endotoxins is the most common cause of systemic inflammation and, in worst cases, of septic shock. Thus, quantification of pyrogens is crucial. The limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL)-based assays are the reference tests for in vitro endotoxin detection, in association with the in vivo rabbit pyrogen test (RPT), according to European Pharmacopoeia (EP 2.6.14), and U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP ). However, several substances interfere with LAL assay, while RPT is not accurate, not quantitative, and raises ethical limits. Biological assays, as monocyte activation tests, have been developed and included in European Pharmacopoeia (EP 7.0; 04/2010:20630) guidelines as an alternative to RPT and proved relevant to the febrile reaction in vivo. Because this reaction is carried out by endogenous mediators under the transcriptional control of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), we sought to determine whether a NF-kappaB reporter-gene assay, based on MonoMac-6 (MM6) cells, could reconcile the basic mechanism of innate immune response with the relevance of monocytoid cell lines to the organism reaction to endotoxins. This article describes both optimization and characterization of the reporter cells-based assay, which overall proved the linearity, accuracy, and precision of the test, and demonstrated the sensitivity of the assay to 0.24 EU/mL endotoxin, close to the pyrogenic threshold in humans. Moreover, the assay was experimentally compared to the LAL test in the evaluation of selected interfering samples. The good performance of the MM6 reporter test demonstrates the suitability of this assay to evaluate interfering or false-positive samples.

  17. A cell-based high-throughput screening assay for radiation susceptibility using automated cell counting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hodzic, J.; Dingjan, I.; Maas, M.J.M.; Meulen-Muileman, I.H. van der; Menezes, R.X. de; Heukelom, S.; Verheij, M.; Gerritsen, W.R.; Geldof, A.A.; Triest, B. van; Beusechem, V.W. van


    BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy is one of the mainstays in the treatment for cancer, but its success can be limited due to inherent or acquired resistance. Mechanisms underlying radioresistance in various cancers are poorly understood and available radiosensitizers have shown only modest clinical benefit.

  18. Bioreactor process monitoring using an automated microfluidic platform for cell-based assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodrigues de Sousa Nunes, Pedro André; Kjaerulff, S.; Dufva, Martin


    We report on a novel microfluidic system designed to monitor in real-time the concentration of live and dead cells in industrial cell production. Custom-made stepper motor actuated peristaltic pumps and valves, fluidic interconnections, sample-to-waste liquid management and image cytometry...

  19. A dendritic cell-based assay for measuring memory T cells specific to dengue envelope proteins in human peripheral blood. (United States)

    Sun, Peifang; Beckett, Charmagne; Danko, Janine; Burgess, Timothy; Liang, Zhaodong; Kochel, Tadeusz; Porter, Kevin


    Dengue envelope (E) protein is a dominant immune inducer and E protein-based vaccines elicited partial to complete protection in non-human primates. To study the immunogenicity of these vaccines in humans, an enzyme linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay for measuring interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production was developed. Cells from two subject groups, based on dengue-exposure, were selected for assay development. The unique feature of the IFN-γ ELISPOT assay is the utilization of dendritic cells pulsed with E proteins as antigen presenting cells. IFN-γ production, ranging from 53-513 spot forming units per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), was observed in dengue-exposed subjects as compared to 0-45 IFN-γ spot forming units in dengue-unexposed subjects. Further, both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, and cells bearing CD45RO memory marker, were the major sources of IFN-γ production. The assay allowed quantification of E-specific IFN-γ-secreting memory T cells in subjects 9 years after exposure to a live-attenuated virus vaccine and live-virus challenge. Results suggested that the dendritic cell-based IFN-γ assay is a useful tool for assessing immunological memory for clinical research.

  20. Automated 5 ' nuclease PCR assay for identification of Salmonella enterica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoorfar, Jeffrey; Ahrens, Peter; Rådström, P.


    A simple and ready-to-go test based on a 5' nuclease (TaqMan) PCR technique was developed for identification of presumptive Salmonella enterica isolates. The results were compared with those of conventional methods. The TaqMan assay was evaluated for its ability to accurately detect 210 S. enterica...... isolates, including 100 problematic "rough" isolates. An internal positive control was designed to use the same Salmonella primers for amplification of a spiked nonrelevant template (116 bp) in the sample tube. The PCR test correctly identified all the Salmonella strains by resulting in positive end...... Salmonella strains tested resulted in positive FAM and TET signals. In addition, it was found that the complete PCR mixture, predispensed in microwell plates, could be stored for up to 3 months at -20 degrees C, Thus, the diagnostic TaqMan assay developed can be a useful and simple alternative method...

  1. Rapid on-chip apoptosis assay on human carcinoma cells based on annexin-V/quantum dot probes. (United States)

    Montón, Helena; Medina-Sánchez, Mariana; Soler, Joan Antoni; Chałupniak, Andrzej; Nogués, Carme; Merkoçi, Arben


    Despite all the efforts made over years to study the cancer expression and the metastasis event, there is not a clear understanding of its origins and effective treatment. Therefore, more specialized and rapid techniques are required for studying cell behaviour under different drug-based treatments. Here we present a quantum dot signalling-based cell assay carried out in a segmental microfluidic device that allows studying the effect of anti-cancer drugs in cultured cell lines by monitoring phosphatidylserine translocation that occurs in early apoptosis. The developed platform combines the automatic generation of a drug gradient concentration, allowing exposure of cancer cells to different doses, and the immunolabeling of the apoptotic cells using quantum dot reporters. Thereby a complete cell-based assay for efficient drug screening is performed showing a clear correlation between drug dose and amount of cells undergoing apoptosis.

  2. Molecular design, synthesis and cell based HCV replicon assay of novel benzoxazole derivatives. (United States)

    Ismail, M A H; Adel, M; Ismail, N S M; Abouzid, K A M


    Hepatitis C virus inhibitors based on benzoxazole scaffold were designed based on molecular modeling simulation study including docking into the NS5B polymerase active site. Several compounds showed significant high simulation docking scores relative to the assigned benzimidazole lead compound. The designed compounds were synthesized, structurally elucidated and their antiviral activity was evaluated through cell-based replicon in cultured Huh 5-2 cells. A number of the synthesized compounds showed significant inhibitory activity ranging from (52.2% inhibition up to 98% at<50 µg/mL). N-Benzyl-2-phenylbenzo[1,3]oxazole-5-carboxamide (8b) and N-Phenethyl-2-phenylbenzo[1,3] oxazole-5-carboxamide (8c) demonstrated genuine HCV inhibitory activity with EC50 values of 41.6 and 24.5 µg/mL respectively.

  3. Dose estimation using dicentric chromosome assay and cytokinesis block micronucleus assay: comparison between manual and automated scoring in triage mode. (United States)

    De Amicis, Andrea; De Sanctis, Stefania; Di Cristofaro, Sara; Franchini, Valeria; Regalbuto, Elisa; Mammana, Giacomo; Lista, Florigio


    In cases of an accidental overexposure to ionizing radiation, it is essential to estimate the individual absorbed dose of a potentially radiation-exposed person. For this purpose, biological dosimetry can be performed to confirm, complement or even replace physical dosimetry when this proves to be unavailable. The most validated biodosimetry techniques for dose estimation are the dicentric chromosome assay, the "gold standard" for individual dose assessment, and cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. However, both assays are time consuming and require skilled scorers. In case of large-scale accidents, different strategies have been developed to increase the throughput of cytogenetic service laboratories. These are the decrease of cell numbers to be scored for triage dosimetry; the automation of procedures including the scoring of, for example, aberrant chromosomes and micronuclei; and the establishment of laboratory networks in order to enable mutual assistance if necessary. In this study, the authors compared the accuracy of triage mode biodosimetry by dicentric chromosome analysis and the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay performing both the manual and the automated scoring mode. For dose estimation using dicentric chromosome assay of 10 blind samples irradiated up to 6.4 Gy of x-rays, a number of metaphase spreads were analyzed ranging from 20 up to 50 cells for the manual and from 20 up to 500 cells for the automatic scoring mode. For dose estimation based on the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay, the micronucleus frequency in both 100 and 200 binucleated cells was determined by manual and automatic scoring. The results of both assays and scoring modes were compared and analyzed considering the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of dose estimation with regard to the discrimination power of clinically relevant binary categories of exposure doses.

  4. Evaluation of robot automated chromogenic substrate LAL endotoxin assay method for pharmaceutical products testing. (United States)

    Tsuji, K; Martin, P A


    The robot automated chromogenic substrate LAL assay method was evaluated for endotoxin testing using three lots each of 12 pharmaceutical products. As many as 216 assays, including automated standard curve construction and sample preparation, can be performed in a single day of unattended operation. The method is linear (r greater than .99) in the range of 0 to 0.2 EU/ml. The precision of the method determined by assaying a lot of calcium gluconate for four days was 6%, 10%, and 10% for within an assay block, between assay blocks, and between assay days, respectively. Recovery of endotoxin when spiked into products ranged from 81% to 110% and was within the statistical variation (2 sigma limit) of the method. The endotoxin levels detected in a biological raw material by the chromogenic substrate assay method correlated well with that of the gel-clot LAL assay method. The endotoxin content of the majority of the pharmaceutical products tested was well below the sensitivity of both the chromogenic substrate and the gel clot LAL assay methods.

  5. Automated conductimetric assay of human serum cholinesterase activity. (United States)

    Duffy, P; Wallach, J M


    Serum cholinesterase activity was determined by conductimetry using samples in the microliter range. Butyrylcholine iodide was demonstrated to be a convenient substrate for the conductimetric assay. Validation of the microassay was made by using either purified enzyme or control serum. In the range of 0-60 U/l, a linear relationship was demonstrated. Correlation with a reference spectrophotometric method was obtained with a slope of 1.18. An explanation of this value is proposed, as different hydrolysis rates were obtained with human sera, depending on the substrate used (butyrylthio- or butyryl-choline ester).

  6. Universal electronics for miniature and automated chemical assays. (United States)

    Urban, Pawel L


    This minireview discusses universal electronic modules (generic programmable units) and their use by analytical chemists to construct inexpensive, miniature or automated devices. Recently, open-source platforms have gained considerable popularity among tech-savvy chemists because their implementation often does not require expert knowledge and investment of funds. Thus, chemistry students and researchers can easily start implementing them after a few hours of reading tutorials and trial-and-error. Single-board microcontrollers and micro-computers such as Arduino, Teensy, Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone enable collecting experimental data with high precision as well as efficient control of electric potentials and actuation of mechanical systems. They are readily programmed using high-level languages, such as C, C++, JavaScript or Python. They can also be coupled with mobile consumer electronics, including smartphones as well as teleinformatic networks. More demanding analytical tasks require fast signal processing. Field-programmable gate arrays enable efficient and inexpensive prototyping of high-performance analytical platforms, thus becoming increasingly popular among analytical chemists. This minireview discusses the advantages and drawbacks of universal electronic modules, considering their application in prototyping and manufacture of intelligent analytical instrumentation.

  7. Nanoparticle-based assays in automated flow systems: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Passos, Marieta L.C. [LAQV, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Ciências Químicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, n° 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Pinto, Paula C.A.G., E-mail: [LAQV, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Ciências Químicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, n° 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Santos, João L.M., E-mail: [LAQV, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Ciências Químicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, n° 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Saraiva, M. Lúcia M.F.S., E-mail: [LAQV, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Ciências Químicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, n° 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Araujo, André R.T.S. [LAQV, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Ciências Químicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, n° 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Unidade de Investigação para o Desenvolvimento do Interior, Instituto Politécnico da Guarda, Av. Dr. Francisco de Sá Carneiro, n° 50, 6300-559 Guarda (Portugal)


    Nanoparticles (NPs) exhibit a number of distinctive and entrancing properties that explain their ever increasing application in analytical chemistry, mainly as chemosensors, signaling tags, catalysts, analytical signal enhancers, reactive species generators, analyte recognition and scavenging/separation entities. The prospect of associating NPs with automated flow-based analytical is undoubtedly a challenging perspective as it would permit confined, cost-effective and reliable analysis, within a shorter timeframe, while exploiting the features of NPs. This article aims at examining state-of-the-art on continuous flow analysis and microfluidic approaches involving NPs such as noble metals (gold and silver), magnetic materials, carbon, silica or quantum dots. Emphasis is devoted to NP format, main practical achievements and fields of application. In this context, the functionalization of NPs with distinct chemical species and ligands is debated in what concerns the motivations and strengths of developed approaches. The utilization of NPs to improve detector's performance in electrochemical application is out of the scope of this review. The works discussed in this review were published in the period of time comprised between the years 2000 and 2013. - Highlights: • The state of the art of flowing stream systems comprising NPs was reviewed. • The use of different types of nanoparticles in each flow technique is discussed. • The most expressive and profitable applications are summarized. • The main conclusions and future perspectives were compiled in the final section.

  8. Development of a Highly Sensitive Cell-Based Assay for Detecting Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A through Neural Culture Media Optimization. (United States)

    Hong, Won S; Pezzi, Hannah M; Schuster, Andrea R; Berry, Scott M; Sung, Kyung E; Beebe, David J


    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most lethal naturally produced neurotoxin. Due to the extreme toxicity, BoNTs are implicated in bioterrorism, while the specific mechanism of action and long-lasting effect was found to be medically applicable in treating various neurological disorders. Therefore, for both public and patient safety, a highly sensitive, physiologic, and specific assay is needed. In this paper, we show a method for achieving a highly sensitive cell-based assay for BoNT/A detection using the motor neuron-like continuous cell line NG108-15. To achieve high sensitivity, we performed a media optimization study evaluating three commercially available neural supplements in combination with retinoic acid, purmorphamine, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1), and ganglioside GT1b. We found nonlinear combinatorial effects on BoNT/A detection sensitivity, achieving an EC50 of 7.4 U ± 1.5 SD (or ~7.9 pM). The achieved detection sensitivity is comparable to that of assays that used primary and stem cell-derived neurons as well as the mouse lethality assay.

  9. Cell-based galactosemia diagnosis system based on a galactose assay using a bioluminescent Escherichia coli array. (United States)

    Woo, Min-Ah; Kim, Moon Il; Cho, Daeyeon; Park, Hyun Gyu


    A new cell-based galactose assay system, which is comprised of two bioluminescent Escherichia coli strains immobilized within an agarose gel arrayed on a well plate, has been developed. For this purpose, a galT knockout strain [galT(-) cell] of E. coli was genetically constructed so that cell growth is not promoted by galactose but rather by glucose present in a sample. Another E. coli W strain (normal cell), which grows normally in the presence of either glucose or galactose, was employed. A luminescent reporter gene, which produces luminescence as cells grow, was inserted into both of the E. coli strains, so that cell growth could be monitored in a facile manner. The two strains were separately grown for 4 h on gel arrays to which test samples were individually supplied. The relative luminescence unit (RLU) values caused by cell growth were determined for each array, one of which is resulted by glucose only and the other of which is resulted by both glucose and galactose present in the sample. By employing this protocol, galactose concentrations present in the test sample are reflected in the differences between the RLU values for each array. The practical utility of the new assay system was demonstrated by its use in determining galactose levels in clinical blood spot specimens coming from newborn babies. Because it can be employed to diagnosis of galactosemia in newborn babies in a more rapid, convenient, and cost-effective manner, this cell-based solid-phase galactose assay system should become a powerful alternative to conventional methods, which require labor-intensive and time-consuming procedures and/or complicated and expensive equipment.

  10. White blood cell-based detection of asymptomatic scrapie infection by ex vivo assays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Halliez

    Full Text Available Prion transmission can occur by blood transfusion in human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and in experimental animal models, including sheep. Screening of blood and its derivatives for the presence of prions became therefore a major public health issue. As infectious titer in blood is reportedly low, highly sensitive and robust methods are required to detect prions in blood and blood derived products. The objectives of this study were to compare different methods--in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo assays--to detect prion infectivity in cells prepared from blood samples obtained from scrapie infected sheep at different time points of the disease. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA and bioassays in transgenic mice expressing the ovine prion protein were the most efficient methods to identify infected animals at any time of the disease (asymptomatic to terminally-ill stages. However scrapie cell and cerebellar organotypic slice culture assays designed to replicate ovine prions in culture also allowed detection of prion infectivity in blood cells from asymptomatic sheep. These findings confirm that white blood cells are appropriate targets for preclinical detection and introduce ex vivo tools to detect blood infectivity during the asymptomatic stage of the disease.

  11. Performance of an automated multiplex immunofluorescence assay for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis immunoglobulin G. (United States)

    Baud, David; Zufferey, Jade; Hohlfeld, Patrick; Greub, Gilbert


    Chlamydia serology is indicated to investigate etiology of miscarriage, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and ectopic pregnancy. Here, we assessed the reliability of a new automated-multiplex immunofluorescence assay (InoDiag test) to detect specific anti-C. trachomatis immunoglobulin G. Considering immunofluorescence assay (IF) as gold standard, InoDiag tests exhibited similar sensitivities (65.5%) but better specificities (95.1%-98%) than enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). InoDiag tests demonstrated similar or lower cross-reactivity rates when compared to ELISA or IF.

  12. A simple cell-based assay reveals that diverse neuropsychiatric risk genes converge on primary cilia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Marley

    Full Text Available Human genetic studies are beginning to identify a large number of genes linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. It is increasingly evident that different genes contribute to risk for similar syndromes and, conversely, the same genes or even the same alleles cross over traditional diagnostic categories. A current challenge is to understand the cellular biology of identified risk genes. However, most genes associated with complex neuropsychiatric phenotypes are not related through a known biochemical pathway, and many have an entirely unknown cellular function. One possibility is that diverse disease-linked genes converge at a higher-level cellular structure. The synapse is already known to be one such convergence, and emerging evidence suggests the primary cilium as another. Because many genes associated with neuropsychiatric illness are expressed also outside the nervous system, as are cilia, we tested the hypothesis that such genes affect conserved features of the primary cilium. Using RNA interference to test 41 broadly expressed candidate genes associated with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, we found 20 candidates that reduce ciliation in NIH3T3 cells when knocked down, and three whose manipulation increases cilia length. Three of the candidate genes were previously implicated in cilia formation and, altogether, approximately half of the candidates tested produced a ciliary phenotype. Our results support the hypothesis that primary cilia indeed represent a conserved cellular structure at which the effects of diverse neuropsychiatric risk genes converge. More broadly, they suggest a relatively simple cell-based approach that may be useful for exploring the complex biological underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disease.

  13. A robotics-based automated assay for inorganic and organic phosphates. (United States)

    Cogan, E B; Birrell, G B; Griffith, O H


    Phosphate analyses are fundamental to a broad range of biochemical applications involving inorganic phosphate and organic phosphoesters such as phospholipids, phosphorylated proteins, and nucleic acids. A practical automated method utilizing robotics is described in this report. Five colorimetric methods of phosphate analyses based on formation of a phosphomolybdate complex and compatible with the automated assay were tested, and the fundamental chemistry is discussed. The relative sensitivities are malachite green > crystal violet > quinaldine red > ascorbate reduction > antimony-modified ascorbate reduction, although only a fourfold improvement was observed in going from the modified ascorbate procedure to malachite green. Malachite green was selected to optimize the assay because this dye provided the highest sensitivity. However, where color stability and low blanks are more important than sensitivity, the ascorbate reduction and quinaldine red methods were found to be better choices than malachite green. Automation using a robotic liquid-handling system substantially reduces the labor required to process large arrays of samples. The result is a sensitive, nonradioactive assay of inorganic phosphate with high throughput. A digestion step in an acid-resistant 96-well plate was developed to extend the assay to phosphate esters. The robotic-based assay was demonstrated with inorganic phosphate and a common phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine.

  14. Fluorescence assay for glycan expression on living cancer cells based on competitive strategy coupled with dual-functionalized nanobiocomposites. (United States)

    Fu, Ying; Lu, Danqin; Lin, Bin; Sun, Qianqian; Liu, Kai; Xu, Lili; Zhang, Shengping; Hu, Chen; Wang, Chuangui; Xu, Zhiai; Zhang, Wen


    Cell surface glycans are a class of sophisticated biomolecules related to cancer development and progression, and their analysis is of great significance for early cancer diagnosis and treatment. In this paper, we proposed a fluorescence assay to evaluate glycan expression on living cancer cells based on a competitive strategy coupled with dual-functionalized nanobiocomposites. The competitive assay was conducted between living cancer cells and thiomannosyl derivatives using concanavalin A (Con A)-modified electrode as the interaction platform. To impart fluorescence signaling ability to competitive derivatives, quantum dots (QDs) were anchored on BSA-protected Au nanoparticles, and thiomannosyl derivatives were further immobilized on the nanoparticle surface through Au-S binding. Due to the spacing between QDs and Au nanoparticles by BSA, the {QDs-Au-BSA-mannose} nanobiocomposites maintained the fluorescence of QDs and showed binding ability with the Con A-modified electrode. Au nanorods (AuNRs)-modified electrode was used as an effective substrate to immobilize Con A. This assay was successfully applied to the analysis of two cancer cells lines (A549 and QGY-7701). The method is simple and shows promise for the study of glycan expression on living cancer cells.

  15. Estimating the wound healing ability of bioactive milk proteins using an optimized cell based assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyegaard, Steffen; Andreasen, Trine; Rasmussen, Jan Trige

    Milk contains many different proteins of which the larger constituents like the caseins and major whey constituents are well characterized. We have for some time been studying the structure and function of proteins associated with the milk fat globule membrane like lactadherin, MUC1/15, xanthine...... oxidoreductase along with minor whey constituents like osteopontin, EPV20 etc. The enterocyte migration rate is a key parameter in maintaining intestinal homeostasis and intestinal repair when recovering from infection or intestinal diseases like Crohns and ulcerative colitis. We developed a novel in vitro wound...... healing assay to determine the bioactive effects of various milk proteins using human small intestine cells grown on extracellular matrix. Silicone inserts are placed in a 96-well plate and enterocytes seeded around it, creating a monolayer with a cell free area. In current ongoing experiments, various...

  16. Immune cell-based screening assay for response to anticancer agents: applications in pharmacogenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frick A


    were generated using GraphPad Prism 6. Results: Phenotypes were quantified using flow cytometry, yielding interstrain variation for measured endpoints in different immune cells. The flow cytometry assays produced over 16,000 data points that were used to generate dose-response curves. The more targeted agents, BEZ-235 and selumetinib, were less toxic to immune cells than the anthracycline agents. The calculated heritability for the viability of immune cells was higher with anthracyclines than the novel agents, making them better suited for downstream genetic analysis. Conclusion: Using this approach, we identify cell lines of variable sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents and aim to identify robust, replicable endpoints of cellular response to drugs that provide the starting point for identifying candidate genes and cellular toxicity pathways for future validation in human studies. Keywords: immunomodulation, cytotoxicity, chemotherapy, precision medicine

  17. Evaluation of the automated ADVIA centaur® XP syphilis assay for serological testing. (United States)

    Saw, Sharon; Zhao, Huiqin; Tan, Phyllis; Saw, Betty; Sethi, Sunil


    We evaluated the performance of the ADVIA Centaur XP Syphilis assay (Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Tarrytown, NY, USA) using samples previously tested on the ARCHITECT i4000SR system (Abbott Diagnostics, Lake Forest, IL, USA) and confirmed by the Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA) (SERODIA-TPPA, Fujirebio Diagnostics Inc., Malvern, PA, USA). Clinical patient information was included to aid resolution of discordant samples where available. Precision, interference, and cross-reactivity were also assessed. Relative to patient clinical status, the sensitivity of both the ADVIA Centaur XP and the ARCHITECT assays was 100% (95% CI, 93.9-100), and the specificity of the ADVIA Centaur XP assay was 95.5% (95% CI, 90.4-98.3), which was slightly higher than that of the ARCHITECT assay at 93.9% (95% CI, 88.4-97.3). Overall agreement relative to patient clinical status was 96.9% (95% CI, 93.3-98.8) for the ADVIA Centaur XP assay and 95.8% (95% CI, 91.9-98.2) for the ARCHITECT assay. Overall agreement between the two automated assays was 96.9% (95% CI, 93.3-98.8). ADVIA Centaur XP assay precision was <5% at all index values tested. No significant interference was observed for lipemia or hemolysis; a small effect was seen with some samples for bilirubin. The assay exhibited no significant cross-reactivity with a number of potential interfering factors. The ADVIA Centaur XP Syphilis assay can be considered a sensitive and accurate assay for identification of treponemal antibodies in screening populations as well as patients presenting with suspicion of syphilitic infection.

  18. Establishment of a cell-based assay system for hepatitis C virus serine protease and its primary applications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hong-Xia Mao; Shui-Yun Lan; Yun-Wen Hu; Li Xiang; Zheng-Hong Yuan


    AIM: To establish an efficient, sensitive, cell-based assay system for NS3 serine protease in an effort to study further the property of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and develop new antiviral agents.METHOOS: We constructed pCI-neo-NS3/4A-SEAP chimeric plasmid, in which the secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) was fused in-frame to the downstream of NS4A/4B cleavage site. The protease activity of NS3 was reflected by the activity of SEAP in the culture media of transient or stable expression cells. Stably expressing cell lines were obtained by G418 selection. Pefabloc SC, a potent irreversible serine protease inhibitor, was used to treat the stably expressing cell lines to assess the system for screening NS3 inhibitors. To compare the activity of serine proteases from 1b and 1a, two chimeric clones were constructed and introduced into both transient and stable expression systems.RESULTS: The SEAP activity in the culture media could be detected in both transient and stable expression systems,and was apparently decreased after Pefabloc SC treatment.In both transient and stable systems, NS3/4A-SEAP chimeric gene from HCV genotype 1b produced higher SEAP activity in the culture media than that from 1a.CONCLUSION: The cell-based system is efficient and sensitive enough for detection and comparison of NS3 protease activity, and screening of anti-NS3 inhibitors. The functional difference between NS3/4A from 1a and 1b subtypes revealed by this system provides a clue for further investigations.

  19. OpenComet: An automated tool for comet assay image analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin M. Gyori


    Full Text Available Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires laborious manual tagging of cells. This paper presents OpenComet, an open-source software tool providing automated analysis of comet assay images. It uses a novel and robust method for finding comets based on geometric shape attributes and segmenting the comet heads through image intensity profile analysis. Due to automation, OpenComet is more accurate, less prone to human bias, and faster than manual analysis. A live analysis functionality also allows users to analyze images captured directly from a microscope. We have validated OpenComet on both alkaline and neutral comet assay images as well as sample images from existing software packages. Our results show that OpenComet achieves high accuracy with significantly reduced analysis time.

  20. OpenComet: an automated tool for comet assay image analysis. (United States)

    Gyori, Benjamin M; Venkatachalam, Gireedhar; Thiagarajan, P S; Hsu, David; Clement, Marie-Veronique


    Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires laborious manual tagging of cells. This paper presents OpenComet, an open-source software tool providing automated analysis of comet assay images. It uses a novel and robust method for finding comets based on geometric shape attributes and segmenting the comet heads through image intensity profile analysis. Due to automation, OpenComet is more accurate, less prone to human bias, and faster than manual analysis. A live analysis functionality also allows users to analyze images captured directly from a microscope. We have validated OpenComet on both alkaline and neutral comet assay images as well as sample images from existing software packages. Our results show that OpenComet achieves high accuracy with significantly reduced analysis time.

  1. Urolithins, intestinal microbial metabolites of Pomegranate ellagitannins, exhibit potent antioxidant activity in a cell-based assay. (United States)

    Bialonska, Dobroslawa; Kasimsetty, Sashi G; Khan, Shabana I; Ferreira, Daneel


    Many health benefits of pomegranate products have been attributed to the potent antioxidant action of their tannin components, mainly punicalagins and ellagic acid. While moving through the intestines, ellagitannins are metabolized by gut bacteria into urolithins that readily enter systemic circulation. In this study, the antioxidant properties of seven urolithin derivatives were evaluated in a cell-based assay. This method is biologically more relevant because it reflects bioavailability of the test compound to the cells, and the antioxidant action is determined in the cellular environment. Our results showed that the antioxidant activity of urolithins was correlated with the number of hydroxy groups as well as the lipophilicity of the molecule. The most potent antioxidants are urolithins C and D with IC(50) values of 0.16 and 0.33 microM, respectively, when compared to IC(50) values of 1.1 and 1.4 microM of the parent ellagic acid and punicalagins, respectively. The dihydroxylated urolithin A showed weaker antioxidant activity, with an IC(50) value 13.6 microM, however, the potency was within the range of urolithin A plasma concentrations. Therefore, products of the intestinal microbial transformation of pomegranate ellagitannins may account for systemic antioxidant effects.

  2. Validation of a quantitative flow cytometer assay for monitoring HER-2/neu expression level in cell-based cancer immunotherapy products. (United States)

    Randlev, Britta; Huang, Li-chun; Watatsu, Mitsuko; Marcus, Matthew; Lin, Andy; Shih, Shian-Jiun


    GVAX immunotherapy for prostate cancer is comprised of two genetically modified prostate cancer cell lines, CG1940 and CG8711, engineered to secrete granulocyte macrophage-colony-stimulating factor. As part of the matrix of potency assays, CG1940 and CG8711 are tested for the expression level of cell surface HER-2/neu using a quantitative flow cytometer assay. This assay reports the antibody binding capacity value of the cells as a measure of HER-2/neu expression using cells immediately after thawing from cryogenic storage. With optimized cell handling and staining procedure and appropriate system suitability controls, the assay was validated as a quantitative assay. The validation results showed that assay accuracy, specificity, precision, linearity, and range were suitable for the intended use of ensuring lot-to-lot consistency of HER-2/neu expression. Assay robustness was demonstrated using design of experiments that evaluated critical assay parameters. Finally, the assay was successfully transferred to a current good manufacturing practice Quality Control laboratory in a separate facility. Since the overall precision of this assay is better than that of ELISA methods and it can be performed with ease and high throughput, quantitative flow cytometer-based assays may be an appropriate immunological assay platform for Quality Control laboratories for characterization and release of cell-based therapies.

  3. TScratch: a novel and simple software tool for automated analysis of monolayer wound healing assays. (United States)

    Gebäck, Tobias; Schulz, Martin Michael Peter; Koumoutsakos, Petros; Detmar, Michael


    Cell migration plays a major role in development, physiology, and disease, and is frequently evaluated in vitro by the monolayer wound healing assay. The assay analysis, however, is a time-consuming task that is often performed manually. In order to accelerate this analysis, we have developed TScratch, a new, freely available image analysis technique and associated software tool that uses the fast discrete curvelet transform to automate the measurement of the area occupied by cells in the images. This tool helps to significantly reduce the time needed for analysis and enables objective and reproducible quantification of assays. The software also offers a graphical user interface which allows easy inspection of analysis results and, if desired, manual modification of analysis parameters. The automated analysis was validated by comparing its results with manual-analysis results for a range of different cell lines. The comparisons demonstrate a close agreement for the vast majority of images that were examined and indicate that the present computational tool can reproduce statistically significant results in experiments with well-known cell migration inhibitors and enhancers.

  4. Development and validation of cell-based luciferase reporter gene assays for measuring neutralizing anti-drug antibodies against interferon beta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hermanrud, Christina; Ryner, Malin; Luft, Thomas


    Neutralizing anti-drug antibodies (NAbs) against therapeutic interferon beta (IFNβ) in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are measured with cell-based bioassays. The aim of this study was to redevelop and validate two luciferase reporter-gene bioassays, LUC and iLite, using a cut-point approach...... was validated at Innsbruck Medical University (LUCIMU) and at Rigshospitalet (LUCRH) Copenhagen, and the iLite assay at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. For both assays, the optimal serum sample concentration in relation to sensitivity and recovery was 2.5% (v/v) in assay media. A Shapiro-Wilk test indicated...

  5. Evaluation of seafood toxicity in the Australes archipelago (French Polynesia) using the neuroblastoma cell-based assay. (United States)

    Pawlowiez, Ralph; Darius, Hélène Taiana; Cruchet, Philippe; Rossi, Fanny; Caillaud, Amandine; Laurent, Dominique; Chinain, Mireille


    Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP), a disease caused by consuming fish that have accumulated ciguatoxins (CTXs) in their tissue, is regarded as the most prevalent form of intoxication in French Polynesia. Recently, the Australes, one of the least affected archipelago until the early 1980s, has shown a dramatic increase in its incidence rates in 2009 with unusual CFP cases. In the present work, potential health hazards associated with the proliferation of various marine phytoplankton species and the consumption of fish and marine invertebrates highly popular among local population were assessed in three Australes islands: Raivavae, Rurutu and Rapa. Extracts from the marine dinoflagellates Gambierdiscus, Ostreospis and mat-forming cyanobacteria as well as fish, giant clams and sea urchin samples were examined for the presence of CTXs and palytoxin (PLTX) by using the neuroblastoma cell-based assay (CBA-N2a). Cytotoxic responses observed with both standards (Pacific CTX-3C and PLTX) and targeted marine products indicate that CBA-N2a is a robust screening tool, with high sensitivity and good repeatability and reproducibility. In Rurutu and Raivavae islands, our main findings concern the presence of CTX-like compounds in giant clams and sea urchins, suggesting a second bio-accumulation route for CFP toxins in the ciguatera food chain. In Rapa, the potential CFP risk from Gambierdiscus bloom and fish was confirmed for the first time, with levels of CTXs found above the consumer advisory level of 0.01 ng Pacific CTX-1B g(-1) of flesh in three fish samples. However, despite the presence of trace level of PLTX in Ostreopsis natural assemblages of Rapa, no sign of PLTX accumulation is yet observed in tested fish samples. Because this multi-toxinic context is likely to emerge in most French Polynesian islands, CBA-N2a shows great potential for future applications in the algal- and toxin-based field monitoring programmes currently on hand locally.

  6. New and cost effective cell-based assay for Dialyzed Leukocyte Extract (DLE)-induced Jurkat cells proliferation under azathioprine treatment. (United States)

    Cardoso, F M; Tomkova, M; Petrovajova, D; Bubanova, M; Ragac, O; Hornakova, T


    The human Dialyzed Leukocyte Extract (DLE) is a heterogeneous mix of oligopeptides of assays exist: E-rosette test, induction of delayed type hypersensitivity in mice, leukocyte migration and IFN-γ secretion. The animal-origin materials and in vivo assays convey a considerable logistic, ethic and economic burden, meanwhile the available in vitro assays have been reported with limited reproducibility and sometimes contradictory results. Here we are reporting a new DLE biological activity cell-based assay. The A20 and Jurkat cell lines were treated with (+Aza) or without (-Aza) azathioprine, DLE (+DLE) or both (+Aza/+DLE). After 72h, the cell proliferation was analyzed by the MTT or BrdU incorporation assays. In +Aza/+DLE treated cells, we observed a significant higher proliferation, when compared with +Aza/-DLE. In the absence of Aza, cells did not present any proliferation difference between -DLE or +DLE treatments. Both assays, MTT and BrdU showed similar results, being the MTT test more cost effective and we select it for validation as DLE biological assay using Jurkat cells only. We tested three different lyophilized DLE batches and we found consistent results with acceptable assay reproducibility and linearity. The DLE capacity for rescuing Jurkat cell proliferation during +Aza treatment was consistent using different liquid and lyophilized DLE batches, presenting also consistent chromatographic profiles. Finally, DLE treatment in Jurkat cells did not result into significant IL-2 of IFN-γ secretion, and known lymphocyte proliferative drugs failed to rescue Jurkat cells viability in presence of +Aza, as +DLE treatment did in our MTT assay. In conclusion, our new cell-based MTT assay has excellent DLE biological activity consistency, robustness and is cost effective, presenting important advantages over previous DLE activity in vitro and in vivo assays.

  7. Fast detection of Noroviruses using a real-time PCR assay and automated sample preparation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmid Michael


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Noroviruses (NoV have become one of the most commonly reported causative agents of large outbreaks of non-bacterial acute gastroenteritis worldwide as well as sporadic gastroenteritis in the community. Currently, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR assays have been implemented in NoV diagnosis, but improvements that simplify and standardize sample preparation, amplification, and detection will be further needed. The combination of automated sample preparation and real-time PCR offers such refinements. Methods We have designed a new real-time RT-PCR assay on the LightCycler (LC with SYBR Green detection and melting curve analysis (Tm to detect NoV RNA in patient stool samples. The performance of the real-time PCR assay was compared with that obtained in parallel with a commercially available enzyme immunoassay (ELISA for antigen detection by testing a panel of 52 stool samples. Additionally, in a collaborative study with the Baden-Wuerttemberg State Health office, Stuttgart (Germany the real-time PCR results were blindly assessed using a previously well-established nested PCR (nPCR as the reference method, since PCR-based techniques are now considered as the "gold standard" for NoV detection in stool specimens. Results Analysis of 52 clinical stool samples by real-time PCR yielded results that were consistent with reference nPCR results, while marked differences between the two PCR-based methods and antigen ELISA were observed. Our results indicate that PCR-based procedures are more sensitive and specific than antigen ELISA for detecting NoV in stool specimens. Conclusions The combination of automated sample preparation and real-time PCR provided reliable diagnostic results in less time than conventional RT-PCR assays. These benefits make it a valuable tool for routine laboratory practice especially in terms of rapid and appropriate outbreak-control measures in health-care facilities and other settings.

  8. Automated assay for screening the enzymatic release of reducing sugars from micronized biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asther Marcel


    Full Text Available Abstract Background To reduce the production cost of bioethanol obtained from fermentation of the sugars provided by degradation of lignocellulosic biomass (i.e., second generation bioethanol, it is necessary to screen for new enzymes endowed with more efficient biomass degrading properties. This demands the set-up of high-throughput screening methods. Several methods have been devised all using microplates in the industrial SBS format. Although this size reduction and standardization has greatly improved the screening process, the published methods comprise one or more manual steps that seriously decrease throughput. Therefore, we worked to devise a screening method devoid of any manual steps. Results We describe a fully automated assay for measuring the amount of reducing sugars released by biomass-degrading enzymes from wheat-straw and spruce. The method comprises two independent and automated steps. The first step is the making of "substrate plates". It consists of filling 96-well microplates with slurry suspensions of micronized substrate which are then stored frozen until use. The second step is an enzymatic activity assay. After thawing, the substrate plates are supplemented by the robot with cell-wall degrading enzymes where necessary, and the whole process from addition of enzymes to quantification of released sugars is autonomously performed by the robot. We describe how critical parameters (amount of substrate, amount of enzyme, incubation duration and temperature were selected to fit with our specific use. The ability of this automated small-scale assay to discriminate among different enzymatic activities was validated using a set of commercial enzymes. Conclusions Using an automatic microplate sealer solved three main problems generally encountered during the set-up of methods for measuring the sugar-releasing activity of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes: throughput, automation, and evaporation losses. In its present set-up, the

  9. Cell Image Velocimetry (CIV): boosting the automated quantification of cell migration in wound healing assays. (United States)

    Milde, Florian; Franco, Davide; Ferrari, Aldo; Kurtcuoglu, Vartan; Poulikakos, Dimos; Koumoutsakos, Petros


    Cell migration is commonly quantified by tracking the speed of the cell layer interface in wound healing assays. This quantification is often hampered by low signal to noise ratio, in particular when complex substrates are employed to emulate in vivo cell migration in geometrically complex environments. Moreover, information about the cell motion, readily available inside the migrating cell layers, is not usually harvested. We introduce Cell Image Velocimetry (CIV), a combination of cell layer segmentation and image velocimetry algorithms, to drastically enhance the quantification of cell migration by wound healing assays. The resulting software analyses the speed of the interface as well as the detailed velocity field inside the cell layers in an automated fashion. CIV is shown to be highly robust for images with low signal to noise ratio, low contrast and frame shifting and it is portable across various experimental settings. The modular design and parametrization of CIV is not restricted to wound healing assays and allows for the exploration and quantification of flow phenomena in any optical microscopy dataset. Here, we demonstrate the capabilities of CIV in wound healing assays over topographically engineered surfaces and quantify the relative merits of differently aligned gratings on cell migration.

  10. Matrix effects on a cell-based assay used for the detection of paralytic shellfish toxins in bivalve shellfish samples. (United States)

    Aballay-Gonzalez, Ambbar; Ulloa, Viviana; Rivera, Alejandra; Hernández, Víctor; Silva, Macarena; Caprile, Teresa; Delgado-Rivera, Lorena; Astuya, Allisson


    Detecting marine biotoxins such as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) is essential to ensuring the safety of seafood. The mouse bioassay is the internationally accepted method for monitoring PSTs, but technical and ethical issues have led to a search for new detection methods. The mouse neuroblastoma cell-based assay (Neuro-2a CBA) using ouabain and veratridine (O/V) has proven useful for the detection of PSTs. However, CBAs are sensitive to shellfish-associated matrix interferences. As the extraction method highly influences matrix interferences, this study compared three extraction protocols: Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) 2005.06, AOAC 2011.02 and an alternative liquid-liquid method. These methods were used to assess the matrix effect of extracts from four commercially important bivalve species (Chilean mussel, Magellan mussel, clam and Pacific oyster) in Neuro-2a CBA. Extracts from all three protocols caused a toxic effect in Neuro-2a cells (without O/V) when tested at a concentration of 25 mg of tissue-equivalent (TE) ml(-1). The greatest toxicity was obtained through the AOAC 2011.02 protocol, especially for the Chilean mussel and Pacific oyster extracts. Similar toxicity levels (less than 15%) were observed in all extracts at 3.1 mg TE ml(-1). When assessed in Neuro-2a CBA, AOAC 2005.06 extracts presented the lowest matrix interferences, while the highest interferences were observed for AOAC 2011.02 in Magellan mussel and clam extracts. Finally, the AOAC 2005.06 and alternative protocols were compared using Chilean mussel samples fortified with 40 and 80 µg STX per 100 g meat. The AOAC 2005.06 method demonstrated better results. In conclusion, the AOAC 2005.06 extracts exhibited the fewest interferences in the Neuro-2a CBA. Therefore, this extraction method should be considered for the implementation of Neuro-2a CBA as a high-throughput screening methodology for PST detection.

  11. Assessment of a five-color flow cytometric assay for verifying automated white blood cell differentials

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Chun-mei; YU Lian-hui; PU Cheng-wei; WANG Xin; WANG Geng; SHEN Li-song; WANG Jian-zhong


    Background White blood cell (WBC) counts and differentials performed using an automated cell counter typically require manual microscopic review.However,this last step is time consuming and requires experienced personnel.We evaluated the clinical efficiency of using flow cytometry (FCM) employing a six-antibody/five-color reagent for verifying automated WBC differentials.Methods A total of 56 apparently healthy samples were assessed using a five-color flow cytometer to verify the normal reference ranges of WBC differentials.WBC differentials of 622 samples were also determined using both a cell counter and FCM.These results were then confirmed using manual microscopic methods.Results The probabilities for all of the parameters of WBC differentials exceeded the corresponding normal reference ranges by no more than 7.5%.The resulting WBC differentials were well correlated between FCM and the cell counter (r >0.88,P <0.001),except in the case of basophils.Neutrophils,lymphocytes,and eosinophils were well correlated between FCM and standard microscopic cytology assessment (r >0.80,P <0.001).The sensitivities of FCM for identification of immature granulocytes and blast cells (72.03% and 22.22%,respectively) were higher than those of the cell counter method (44.92% and 11.11%,respectively).The specificities of FCM were all above 85%,substantially better than those of the cell counter method.Conclusion These five-color FCM assays could be applied to accurately verify abnormal results of automated assessment of WBC differentials.

  12. Generation of orientation tools for automated zebrafish screening assays using desktop 3D printing (United States)


    Background The zebrafish has been established as the main vertebrate model system for whole organism screening applications. However, the lack of consistent positioning of zebrafish embryos within wells of microtiter plates remains an obstacle for the comparative analysis of images acquired in automated screening assays. While technical solutions to the orientation problem exist, dissemination is often hindered by the lack of simple and inexpensive ways of distributing and duplicating tools. Results Here, we provide a cost effective method for the production of 96-well plate compatible zebrafish orientation tools using a desktop 3D printer. The printed tools enable the positioning and orientation of zebrafish embryos within cavities formed in agarose. Their applicability is demonstrated by acquiring lateral and dorsal views of zebrafish embryos arrayed within microtiter plates using an automated screening microscope. This enables the consistent visualization of morphological phenotypes and reporter gene expression patterns. Conclusions The designs are refined versions of previously demonstrated devices with added functionality and strongly reduced production costs. All corresponding 3D models are freely available and digital design can be easily shared electronically. In combination with the increasingly widespread usage of 3D printers, this provides access to the developed tools to a wide range of zebrafish users. Finally, the design files can serve as templates for other additive and subtractive fabrication methods. PMID:24886511

  13. Scaling and automation of a high-throughput single-cell-derived tumor sphere assay chip. (United States)

    Cheng, Yu-Heng; Chen, Yu-Chih; Brien, Riley; Yoon, Euisik


    Recent research suggests that cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) are the key subpopulation for tumor relapse and metastasis. Due to cancer plasticity in surface antigen and enzymatic activity markers, functional tumorsphere assays are promising alternatives for CSC identification. To reliably quantify rare CSCs (1-5%), thousands of single-cell suspension cultures are required. While microfluidics is a powerful tool in handling single cells, previous works provide limited throughput and lack automatic data analysis capability required for high-throughput studies. In this study, we present the scaling and automation of high-throughput single-cell-derived tumor sphere assay chips, facilitating the tracking of up to ∼10 000 cells on a chip with ∼76.5% capture rate. The presented cell capture scheme guarantees sampling a representative population from the bulk cells. To analyze thousands of single-cells with a variety of fluorescent intensities, a highly adaptable analysis program was developed for cell/sphere counting and size measurement. Using a Pluronic® F108 (poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(propylene glycol)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)) coating on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a suspension culture environment was created to test a controversial hypothesis: whether larger or smaller cells are more stem-like defined by the capability to form single-cell-derived spheres. Different cell lines showed different correlations between sphere formation rate and initial cell size, suggesting heterogeneity in pathway regulation among breast cancer cell lines. More interestingly, by monitoring hundreds of spheres, we identified heterogeneity in sphere growth dynamics, indicating the cellular heterogeneity even within CSCs. These preliminary results highlight the power of unprecedented high-throughput and automation in CSC studies.

  14. Evaluation of an automated connective tissue disease screening assay in Korean patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. (United States)

    Jeong, Seri; Yang, Heeyoung; Hwang, Hyunyong


    This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic utilities of the automated connective tissues disease screening assay, CTD screen, in patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. A total of 1093 serum samples were assayed using CTD screen and indirect immunofluorescent (IIF) methods. Among them, 162 were diagnosed with systemic rheumatic disease, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and mixed connective tissue disease (MCT). The remaining 931 with non-systemic rheumatic disease were assigned to the control group. The median ratios of CTD screen tests were significantly higher in the systemic rheumatic disease group than in the control group. The positive likelihood ratios of the CTD screen were higher than those of IIF in patients with total rheumatic diseases (4.1 vs. 1.6), including SLE (24.3 vs. 10.7). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC-AUCs) of the CTD screen for discriminating total rheumatic diseases, RA, SLE, and MCT from controls were 0.68, 0.56, 0.92 and 0.80, respectively. The ROC-AUCs of the combinations with IIF were significantly higher in patients with total rheumatic diseases (0.72) and MCT (0.85) than in those of the CTD screen alone. Multivariate analysis indicated that both the CTD screen and IIF were independent variables for predicting systemic rheumatic disease. CTD screen alone and in combination with IIF were a valuable diagnostic tool for predicting systemic rheumatic diseases, particularly for SLE.

  15. High throughput cell-based assay for identification of glycolate oxidase inhibitors as a potential treatment for Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1 (United States)

    Wang, Mengqiao; Xu, Miao; Long, Yan; Fargue, Sonia; Southall, Noel; Hu, Xin; McKew, John C.; Danpure, Christopher J.; Zheng, Wei


    Glycolate oxidase (GO) and alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT) are both involved in the peroxisomal glyoxylate pathway. Deficiency in AGT function causes the accumulation of intracellular oxalate and the primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1). AGT enhancers or GO inhibitors may restore the abnormal peroxisomal glyoxylate pathway in PH1 patients. With stably transformed cells which mimic the glyoxylate metabolic pathway, we developed an indirect glycolate cytotoxicity assay in a 1,536-well plate format for high throughput screening. This assay can be used to identify compounds that reduce indirect glycolate-induced cytotoxicity by either enhancing AGT activity or inhibiting GO. A pilot screen of 4,096 known compounds identified two membrane permeable GO inhibitors: dichromate salt and colistimethate. We also developed a GO enzyme assay using the hydrogen peroxide-Amplex red reporter system. The IC50 values of potassium dichromate, sodium dichromate, and colistimethate sodium were 0.096, 0.108, and 2.3 μM in the GO enzyme assay, respectively. Further enzyme kinetic study revealed that both types of compounds inhibit GO activity by the mixed linear inhibition. Our results demonstrate that the cell-based assay and GO enzyme assay developed in this study are useful for further screening of large compound libraries for drug development to treat PH1. PMID:27670739

  16. An Automated High-Throughput Metabolic Stability Assay Using an Integrated High-Resolution Accurate Mass Method and Automated Data Analysis Software (United States)

    Shah, Pranav; Kerns, Edward; Nguyen, Dac-Trung; Obach, R. Scott; Wang, Amy Q.; Zakharov, Alexey; McKew, John; Simeonov, Anton; Hop, Cornelis E. C. A.


    Advancement of in silico tools would be enabled by the availability of data for metabolic reaction rates and intrinsic clearance (CLint) of a diverse compound structure data set by specific metabolic enzymes. Our goal is to measure CLint for a large set of compounds with each major human cytochrome P450 (P450) isozyme. To achieve our goal, it is of utmost importance to develop an automated, robust, sensitive, high-throughput metabolic stability assay that can efficiently handle a large volume of compound sets. The substrate depletion method [in vitro half-life (t1/2) method] was chosen to determine CLint. The assay (384-well format) consisted of three parts: 1) a robotic system for incubation and sample cleanup; 2) two different integrated, ultraperformance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (UPLC/MS) platforms to determine the percent remaining of parent compound, and 3) an automated data analysis system. The CYP3A4 assay was evaluated using two long t1/2 compounds, carbamazepine and antipyrine (t1/2 > 30 minutes); one moderate t1/2 compound, ketoconazole (10 < t1/2 < 30 minutes); and two short t1/2 compounds, loperamide and buspirone (t½ < 10 minutes). Interday and intraday precision and accuracy of the assay were within acceptable range (∼12%) for the linear range observed. Using this assay, CYP3A4 CLint and t1/2 values for more than 3000 compounds were measured. This high-throughput, automated, and robust assay allows for rapid metabolic stability screening of large compound sets and enables advanced computational modeling for individual human P450 isozymes. PMID:27417180

  17. Evaluation of a CLEIA automated assay system for the detection of a panel of tumor markers. (United States)

    Falzarano, Renato; Viggiani, Valentina; Michienzi, Simona; Longo, Flavia; Tudini, Silvestra; Frati, Luigi; Anastasi, Emanuela


    Tumor markers are commonly used to detect a relapse of disease in oncologic patients during follow-up. It is important to evaluate new assay systems for a better and more precise assessment, as a standardized method is currently lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the concordance between an automated chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay system (LUMIPULSE® G1200) and our reference methods using seven tumor markers. Serum samples from 787 subjects representing a variety of diagnoses, including oncologic, were analyzed using LUMIPULSE® G1200 and our reference methods. Serum values were measured for the following analytes: prostate-specific antigen (PSA), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), cancer antigen 125 (CA125), carbohydrate antigen 15-3 (CA15-3), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9), and cytokeratin 19 fragment (CYFRA 21-1). For the determination of CEA, AFP, and PSA, an automatic analyzer based on chemiluminescence was applied as reference method. To assess CYFRA 21-1, CA125, CA19-9, and CA15-3, an immunoradiometric manual system was employed. Method comparison by Passing-Bablok analysis resulted in slopes ranging from 0.9728 to 1.9089 and correlation coefficients from 0.9977 to 0.9335. The precision of each assay was assessed by testing six serum samples. Each sample was analyzed for all tumor biomarkers in duplicate and in three different runs. The coefficients of variation were less than 6.3 and 6.2 % for within-run and between-run variation, respectively. Our data suggest an overall good interassay agreement for all markers. The comparison with our reference methods showed good precision and reliability, highlighting its usefulness in clinical laboratory's routine.

  18. Distinct gene expression responses of two anticonvulsant drugs in a novel human embryonic stem cell based neural differentiation assay protocol

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulpen, Sjors H. W.; de Jong, Esther; de la Fonteyne, Liset J. J.; de Klerk, Arja; Piersma, Aldert H.


    Hazard assessment of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is increasingly gaining from knowledge about molecular mechanisms of toxic action acquired in dedicated in vitro assays. We have developed an efficient human embryonic stem cell neural differentiation test (hESTn) that allows the study of the molecu

  19. Automation of o-dianisidine assay for ceruloplasmin activity analyses: usefulness of investigation in Wilson's disease and in hepatic encephalopathy. (United States)

    Siotto, Mariacristina; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; Marano, Massimo; Squitti, Rosanna


    Ceruloplasmin (Cp) is a serum ferroxidase that plays an essential role in iron metabolism. It is routinely tested by immunoturbidimetric assays that quantify the concentration of the protein both in its active and inactive forms. Cp activity is generally analyzed manually; the process is time-consuming, has a limited repeatability, and is not suitable for a clinical setting. To overcome these inconveniences, we have set the automation of the o-dianisidine Cp activity assay on a Cobas Mira Plus apparatus. The automation was rapid and repeatable, and the data were provided in terms of IU/L. The assay was adapted for human sera and showed a good precision [coefficient of variation (CV) 3.7 %] and low limit of detection (LoD 11.58 IU/L). The simultaneous analysis of Cp concentration and activity in the same run allowed us to calculate the Cp-specific activity that provides a better index of the overall Cp status. To test the usefulness of this automation, we tested this assay on 104 healthy volunteers and 36 patients with Wilson's disease, hepatic encephalopathy, and chronic liver disease. Cp activity and specific activity distinguished better patients between groups with respect to Cp concentration alone, and providing support for the clinical investigation of neurological diseases in which liver failure is one of the clinical hallmarks.

  20. Establishment and validation of whole-cell based fluorescence assays to identify anti-mycobacterial compounds using the Acanthamoeba castellanii-Mycobacterium marinum host-pathogen system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Kicka

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis is considered to be one of the world's deadliest disease with 2 million deaths each year. The need for new antitubercular drugs is further exacerbated by the emergence of drug-resistance strains. Despite multiple recent efforts, the majority of the hits discovered by traditional target-based screening showed low efficiency in vivo. Therefore, there is heightened demand for whole-cell based approaches directly using host-pathogen systems. The phenotypic host-pathogen assay described here is based on the monitoring of GFP-expressing Mycobacterium marinum during infection of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. The assay showed straight-forward medium-throughput scalability, robustness and ease of manipulation, demonstrating its qualities as an efficient compound screening system. Validation with a series of known antitubercular compounds highlighted the advantages of the assay in comparison to previously published macrophage-Mycobacterium tuberculosis-based screening systems. Combination with secondary growth assays based on either GFP-expressing D. discoideum or M. marinum allowed us to further fine-tune compound characterization by distinguishing and quantifying growth inhibition, cytotoxic properties and antibiotic activities of the compounds. The simple and relatively low cost system described here is most suitable to detect anti-infective compounds, whether they present antibiotic activities or not, in which case they might exert anti-virulence or host defense boosting activities, both of which are largely overlooked by classical screening approaches.

  1. Establishment and validation of whole-cell based fluorescence assays to identify anti-mycobacterial compounds using the Acanthamoeba castellanii-Mycobacterium marinum host-pathogen system. (United States)

    Kicka, Sébastien; Trofimov, Valentin; Harrison, Christopher; Ouertatani-Sakouhi, Hajer; McKinney, John; Scapozza, Leonardo; Hilbi, Hubert; Cosson, Pierre; Soldati, Thierry


    Tuberculosis is considered to be one of the world's deadliest disease with 2 million deaths each year. The need for new antitubercular drugs is further exacerbated by the emergence of drug-resistance strains. Despite multiple recent efforts, the majority of the hits discovered by traditional target-based screening showed low efficiency in vivo. Therefore, there is heightened demand for whole-cell based approaches directly using host-pathogen systems. The phenotypic host-pathogen assay described here is based on the monitoring of GFP-expressing Mycobacterium marinum during infection of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. The assay showed straight-forward medium-throughput scalability, robustness and ease of manipulation, demonstrating its qualities as an efficient compound screening system. Validation with a series of known antitubercular compounds highlighted the advantages of the assay in comparison to previously published macrophage-Mycobacterium tuberculosis-based screening systems. Combination with secondary growth assays based on either GFP-expressing D. discoideum or M. marinum allowed us to further fine-tune compound characterization by distinguishing and quantifying growth inhibition, cytotoxic properties and antibiotic activities of the compounds. The simple and relatively low cost system described here is most suitable to detect anti-infective compounds, whether they present antibiotic activities or not, in which case they might exert anti-virulence or host defense boosting activities, both of which are largely overlooked by classical screening approaches.

  2. A novel cell-based duplex high-throughput screening assay combining fluorescent Ca(2+) measurement with homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence technology. (United States)

    Kiss, László; Cselenyák, Attila; Varga, Ágnes; Visegrády, András


    Cell-based assays for G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation applied in high-throughput screening (HTS) monitor various readouts for second messengers or intracellular effectors. Recently, our understanding of diverging signaling pathways downstream of receptor activation and the capability of small molecules to selectively modulate signaling routes has increased substantially, underlining the importance of selecting appropriate readouts in cellular functional screens. To minimize the rate of false negatives in large-scale screening campaigns, it is crucial to maximize the chance of a ligand being detected, and generally applicable methods for detecting multiple analytes from a single well might serve this purpose. The few assays developed so far based on multiplexed GPCR readouts are limited to only certain applications and usually rely on genetic manipulations hindering screening in native or native-like cellular systems. Here we describe a more generally applicable and HTS-compatible homogeneous assay based on the combination of fluorometric detection of [Ca(2+)] with subsequent homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) cAMP readout in the same well. Besides describing development and validation of the assay, using a cell line recombinantly expressing the human PTH1 receptor screening of a small library is also presented, demonstrating the robustness and HTS compatibility of the novel paradigm.

  3. Distinct gene expression responses of two anticonvulsant drugs in a novel human embryonic stem cell based neural differentiation assay protocol. (United States)

    Schulpen, Sjors H W; de Jong, Esther; de la Fonteyne, Liset J J; de Klerk, Arja; Piersma, Aldert H


    Hazard assessment of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is increasingly gaining from knowledge about molecular mechanisms of toxic action acquired in dedicated in vitro assays. We have developed an efficient human embryonic stem cell neural differentiation test (hESTn) that allows the study of the molecular interaction of compounds with the neural differentiation process. Within the 11-day differentiation protocol of the assay, embryonic stem cells lost their pluripotency, evidenced by the reduced expression of stem cell markers Pou5F1 and Nanog. Moreover, stem cells differentiated into neural cells, with morphologically visible neural structures together with increased expression of neural differentiation-related genes such as βIII-tubulin, Map2, Neurogin1, Mapt and Reelin. Valproic acid (VPA) and carbamazepine (CBZ) exposure during hESTn differentiation led to concentration-dependent reduced expression of βIII-tubulin, Neurogin1 and Reelin. In parallel VPA caused an increased gene expression of Map2 and Mapt which is possibly related to the neural protective effect of VPA. These findings illustrate the added value of gene expression analysis for detecting compound specific effects in hESTn. Our findings were in line with and could explain effects observed in animal studies. This study demonstrates the potential of this assay protocol for mechanistic analysis of specific compound-induced inhibition of human neural cell differentiation.

  4. A cell-based luciferase assay amenable to high-throughput screening of inhibitors of arenavirus budding. (United States)

    Capul, Althea A; de la Torre, Juan Carlos


    Several arenaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever (HF) disease in humans for which there are no licensed vaccines, and current therapy is limited to the use of ribavirin (Rib) that is only partially effective and associated with significant side effects. In addition, compelling evidence indicates that the prototypic arenavirus lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is a neglected human pathogen of clinical significance. Therefore, it is important to develop novel and effective anti-arenaviral drugs. The arenavirus Z protein is the driving force of arenavirus budding, and PPPY and PTAP late (L) domain motifs within Z are critical for Z-mediated budding, which involves the interaction of Z with a variety of host cellular factors. Compounds capable of inhibiting these virus-host cell interactions represent candidate anti-arenaviral drugs. The identification of these candidate compounds would be facilitated by the availability of a Z budding assay amenable to high-throughput screens (HTS). To this end, we have developed a novel assay that allows for rapid and quantitative assessment of Z-mediated budding. We provide evidence that this novel assay is amenable to HTS to identify small molecule inhibitors of Z-mediated budding, as well as to uncover cellular genes contributing to arenavirus budding.

  5. Assay of mouse-cell clones for retrovirus p30 protein by use of an automated solid-state radioimmunoassay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kennel, S.J.; Tnnant, R.W.


    A solid-state radioimmunoassay system has been developed that is useful for automated analysis of samples in microtiter plates. Assays for interspecies and type-specific antigenic determinants of the C-type retrovirus protein, p30, have been used to identify clones of cells producing this protein. This method allows testing of at least 1000 clones a day, making it useful for studies of frequencies of virus protein induction, defective virus production, and formation of recombinant viruses.

  6. Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Based Developmental Toxicity Assays for Chemical Safety Screening and Systems Biology Data Generation. (United States)

    Shinde, Vaibhav; Klima, Stefanie; Sureshkumar, Perumal Srinivasan; Meganathan, Kesavan; Jagtap, Smita; Rempel, Eugen; Rahnenführer, Jörg; Hengstler, Jan Georg; Waldmann, Tanja; Hescheler, Jürgen; Leist, Marcel; Sachinidis, Agapios


    Efficient protocols to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells to various tissues in combination with -omics technologies opened up new horizons for in vitro toxicity testing of potential drugs. To provide a solid scientific basis for such assays, it will be important to gain quantitative information on the time course of development and on the underlying regulatory mechanisms by systems biology approaches. Two assays have therefore been tuned here for these requirements. In the UKK test system, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) (or other pluripotent cells) are left to spontaneously differentiate for 14 days in embryoid bodies, to allow generation of cells of all three germ layers. This system recapitulates key steps of early human embryonic development, and it can predict human-specific early embryonic toxicity/teratogenicity, if cells are exposed to chemicals during differentiation. The UKN1 test system is based on hESC differentiating to a population of neuroectodermal progenitor (NEP) cells for 6 days. This system recapitulates early neural development and predicts early developmental neurotoxicity and epigenetic changes triggered by chemicals. Both systems, in combination with transcriptome microarray studies, are suitable for identifying toxicity biomarkers. Moreover, they may be used in combination to generate input data for systems biology analysis. These test systems have advantages over the traditional toxicological studies requiring large amounts of animals. The test systems may contribute to a reduction of the costs for drug development and chemical safety evaluation. Their combination sheds light especially on compounds that may influence neurodevelopment specifically.

  7. Processing nanoparticles with A4F-SAXS for toxicological studies: Iron oxide in cell-based assays. (United States)

    Knappe, Patrick; Boehmert, Linda; Bienert, Ralf; Kamutzki, Silvana; Karmutzki, Silvana; Niemann, Birgit; Lampen, Alfonso; Thünemann, Andreas F


    Nanoparticles are not typically ready-to-use for in vitro cell culture assays. Prior to their use in assays, powder samples containing nanoparticles must be dispersed, de-agglomerated, fractionated by size, and characterized with respect to size and size distribution. For this purpose we report exemplarily on polyphosphate-stabilized iron oxide nanoparticles in aqueous suspension. Fractionation and online particle size analysis was performed in a time-saving procedure lasting 50 min by combining asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (A4F) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Narrowly distributed nanoparticle fractions with radii of gyration (R(g)) from 7 to 21 nm were obtained from polydisperse samples. The A4F-SAXS combination is introduced for the preparation of well-characterized sample fractions originating from a highly polydisperse system as typically found in engineered nanoparticles. A4F-SAXS processed particles are ready-to-use for toxicological studies. The results of preliminary tests of the effects of fractionated iron oxide nanoparticles with a R(g) of 15 nm on a human colon model cell line are reported.

  8. A new cell-based assay to evaluate myogenesis in mouse myoblast C2C12 cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kodaka, Manami [Department of Medical Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Yang, Zeyu [Department of Medical Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Department of Ultrasound, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang (China); Nakagawa, Kentaro; Maruyama, Junichi [Department of Medical Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Xu, Xiaoyin [Department of Medical Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Department of Breast Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou (China); Sarkar, Aradhan; Ichimura, Ayana [Department of Medical Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Nasu, Yusuke [Department of Breast Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou (China); Ozawa, Takeaki [Department of Chemistry, School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo (Japan); Iwasa, Hiroaki [Department of Medical Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Ishigami-Yuasa, Mari [Chemical Biology Screening Center, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Ito, Shigeru [Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Kagechika, Hiroyuki [Chemical Biology Screening Center, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo (Japan); and others


    The development of the efficient screening system of detecting compounds that promote myogenesis and prevent muscle atrophy is important. Mouse C2C12 cells are widely used to evaluate myogenesis but the procedures of the assay are not simple and the quantification is not easy. We established C2C12 cells expressing the N-terminal green fluorescence protein (GFP) and the C-terminal GFP (GFP1–10 and GFP11 cells). GFP1–10 and GFP11 cells do not exhibit GFP signals until they are fused. The signal intensity correlates with the expression of myogenic markers and myofusion. Myogenesis-promoting reagents, such as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and β-guanidinopropionic acid (GPA), enhance the signals, whereas the poly-caspase inhibitor, z-VAD-FMK, suppresses it. GFP signals are observed when myotubes formed by GFP1–10 cells are fused with single nuclear GFP11 cells, and enhanced by IGF1, GPA, and IBS008738, a recently-reported myogenesis-promoting reagent. Fusion between myotubes formed by GFP1–10 and GFP11 cells is associated with the appearance of GFP signals. IGF1 and GPA augment these signals, whereas NSC23766, Rac inhibitor, decreases them. The conditioned medium of cancer cells suppresses GFP signals during myogenesis and reduces the width of GFP-positive myotubes after differentiation. Thus the novel split GFP-based assay will provide the useful method for the study of myogenesis, myofusion, and atrophy. - Highlights: • C2C12 cells expressing split GFP proteins show GFP signals when mix-cultured. • The GFP signals correlate with myogenesis and myofusion. • The GFP signals attenuate under the condition that muscle atrophy is induced.

  9. Discovery of novel BRD4 inhibitors by high-throughput screening, crystallography, and cell-based assays. (United States)

    Sun, Zhongya; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Zhifeng; Xie, Yiqian; Jiang, Hao; Chen, Limin; Ding, Hong; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Jiang, Hualiang; Zheng, Mingyue; Luo, Cheng


    As an epigenetic reader, BRD4 regulates the transcription of important downstream genes that are essential for the survival of tumor cells. Small molecular inhibitors targeting the first bromodomain of BRD4 (BRD4-BD1) have showed promising potentials in the therapies of BRD4-related cancers. Through AlphaScreen-based high-throughput screening assay, a novel small molecular inhibitor was identified, and named DCBD-005, which inhibited the binding between BRD4-BD1 and acetylated lysines with an IC50 value of 0.81±0.03μM. The compound DCBD-005 effectively inhibited the viability, caused cell cycle arrest, and induced apoptosis in human leukemia MV4-11 cells. Moreover, the crystal structure of compound DCBD-005 with the BRD4-BD1 was determined at 1.72Å resolution, which revealed the binding mechanism of the leading compound, and also provided solid basis for further structure-based optimization. These results indicated that this novel BRD4-BD1 inhibitor DCBD-005 is promising to be developed into a drug candidate in the treatment of BRD4-related diseases.

  10. [Use of procalcitonine in intensive care units: comparison of semi quantitative PCT-Q Brahms assay with automated PCT-Kryptor assay]. (United States)

    Schuch, Géraldine; Duc-Marchand, Catherine; Venet, Cyrille; Mann, Hubert; Tixier, Anne; Bionda, Clara


    Procalcitonine (PCT) is recognized as a major and specific biomarker in diagnosis of bacterial infection. Used early in sepsis, it allows immediate administration of antibiotics and monitoring its effectiveness. Confronted on systemic inflammation response syndrom (SIRS), physicians must react quickly and effectively to evaluate bacterial infection and sepsis. The objective of this study was to compare analytical and clinical performances of semi-quantitative PCT-Q assay (Brahms) with quantitative and automated assay such on Kryptor (Brahms). Fifty blood samples of intensive care patients were compared. The analytical performance observed with PCT-Q assay is accurate: linear ratio kappa of 0.912 (95% CI 0.61, 0.97) and a good correlation between these techniques (p < 0.0001) (MedCalc software) were observed. Three discordances were observed and confirm the difficulties of reading for values close to 0.5 ng/mL. For these patients, PCT result showed its interest to discriminate local infection of a sepsis, to stop antibiotherapy with broad spectrum and to consolidate a therapeutic effectiveness in multi-visceral failure context. The semi-quantitative assay seems adapted for a fast and reliable evaluation of PCT in a general-purpose laboratory, not requiring neither dedicated analyzer, nor complex technicality but a control of the visual evaluation of results. It could be used for diagnosis of sepsis without monitoring precisely therapeutic follow-up.

  11. Identification of RSK and TTK as Modulators of Blood Vessel Morphogenesis Using an Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Vascular Differentiation Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamis Hammoud


    Full Text Available Blood vessels are formed through vasculogenesis, followed by remodeling of the endothelial network through angiogenesis. Many events that occur during embryonic vascular development are recapitulated during adult neoangiogenesis, which is critical to tumor growth and metastasis. Current antiangiogenic tumor therapies, based largely on targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway, show limited clinical benefits, thus necessitating the discovery of alternative targets. Here we report the development of a robust embryonic stem cell-based vascular differentiation assay amenable to small-molecule screens to identify novel modulators of angiogenesis. In this context, RSK and TTK were identified as angiogenic modulators. Inhibition of these pathways inhibited angiogenesis in embryoid bodies and human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Furthermore, inhibition of RSK and TTK reduced tumor growth, vascular density, and improved survival in an in vivo Lewis lung carcinoma mouse model. Our study suggests that RSK and TTK are potential targets for antiangiogenic therapy, and provides an assay system for further pathway screens.

  12. Serum bactericidal assay for the evaluation of typhoid vaccine using a semi-automated colony-counting method. (United States)

    Jang, Mi Seon; Sahastrabuddhe, Sushant; Yun, Cheol-Heui; Han, Seung Hyun; Yang, Jae Seung


    Typhoid fever, mainly caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), is a life-threatening disease, mostly in developing countries. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is widely used to quantify antibodies against S. Typhi in serum but does not provide information about functional antibody titers. Although the serum bactericidal assay (SBA) using an agar plate is often used to measure functional antibody titers against various bacterial pathogens in clinical specimens, it has rarely been used for typhoid vaccines because it is time-consuming and labor-intensive. In the present study, we established an improved SBA against S. Typhi using a semi-automated colony-counting system with a square agar plate harboring 24 samples. The semi-automated SBA efficiently measured bactericidal titers of sera from individuals immunized with S. Typhi Vi polysaccharide vaccines. The assay specifically responded to S. Typhi Ty2 but not to other irrelevant enteric bacteria including Vibrio cholerae and Shigella flexneri. Baby rabbit complement was more appropriate source for the SBA against S. Typhi than complements from adult rabbit, guinea pig, and human. We also examined the correlation between SBA and ELISA for measuring antibody responses against S. Typhi using pre- and post-vaccination sera from 18 human volunteers. The SBA titer showed a good correlation with anti-Vi IgG quantity in the serum as determined by Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.737 (P typhoid vaccines.

  13. A simple viability analysis for unicellular cyanobacteria using a new autofluorescence assay, automated microscopy, and ImageJ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schulze Katja


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Currently established methods to identify viable and non-viable cells of cyanobacteria are either time-consuming (eg. plating or preparation-intensive (eg. fluorescent staining. In this paper we present a new and fast viability assay for unicellular cyanobacteria, which uses red chlorophyll fluorescence and an unspecific green autofluorescence for the differentiation of viable and non-viable cells without the need of sample preparation. Results The viability assay for unicellular cyanobacteria using red and green autofluorescence was established and validated for the model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Both autofluorescence signals could be observed simultaneously allowing a direct classification of viable and non-viable cells. The results were confirmed by plating/colony count, absorption spectra and chlorophyll measurements. The use of an automated fluorescence microscope and a novel ImageJ based image analysis plugin allow a semi-automated analysis. Conclusions The new method simplifies the process of viability analysis and allows a quick and accurate analysis. Furthermore results indicate that a combination of the new assay with absorption spectra or chlorophyll concentration measurements allows the estimation of the vitality of cells.

  14. An automated assay for the clinical measurement of plasma renin activity by immuno-MALDI (iMALDI). (United States)

    Popp, Robert; Malmström, David; Chambers, Andrew G; Lin, David; Camenzind, Alexander G; van der Gugten, J Grace; Holmes, Daniel T; Pugia, Michael; Jaremek, Marta; Cornett, Shannon; Suckau, Detlev; Borchers, Christoph H


    Plasma renin activity (PRA) is essential for the screening and diagnosis of primary aldosteronism (PA), a form of secondary hypertension, which affects approximately 100 million people worldwide. It is commonly determined by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and, more recently, by relatively low-throughput LC-MS/MS methods. In order to circumvent the negative aspects of RIAs (radioisotopes, cross-reactivity) and the low throughput of LC-MS based methods, we have developed a high-throughput immuno-MALDI (iMALDI)-based assay for PRA determination using an Agilent Bravo for automated liquid handling and a Bruker Microflex LRF instrument for MALDI analysis, with the goal of implementing the assay in clinical laboratories. The current assay allows PRA determination of 29 patient samples (192 immuno-captures), within ~6 to 7h, using a 3-hour Ang I generation period, at a 7.5-fold faster analysis time than LC-MS/MS. The assay is performed on 350μL of plasma, and has a linear range from 0.08 to 5.3ng/L/s in the reflector mode, and 0.04 to 5.3ng/L/s in the linear mode. The analytical precision is 2.0 to 9.7% CV in the reflector mode, and 1.5 to 14.3% CV in the linear mode. A method comparison to a clinically employed LC-MS/MS assay for PRA determination showed excellent correlation within the linear range, with an R(2) value of ≥0.98. This automated high throughput iMALDI platform has clinically suitable sensitivity, precision, linear range, and correlation with the standard method for PRA determination. Furthermore, the developed workflow based on the iMALDI technology can be used for the determination of other proteomic biomarkers. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Medical Proteomics.

  15. A High Throughput, 384-Well, Semi-Automated, Hepatocyte Intrinsic Clearance Assay for Screening New Molecular Entities in Drug Discovery. (United States)

    Heinle, Lance; Peterkin, Vincent; de Morais, Sonia M; Jenkins, Gary J; Badagnani, Ilaria


    A high throughput, semi-automated clearance screening assay in hepatocytes was developed allowing a scientist to generate data for 96 compounds in one week. The 384-well format assay utilizes a Thermo Multidrop Combi and an optimized LC-MS/MS method. The previously reported LCMS/ MS method reduced the analytical run time by 3-fold, down to 1.2 min injection-to-injection. The Multidrop was able to deliver hepatocytes to 384-well plates with minimal viability loss. Comparison of results from the new 384-well and historical 24-well assays yielded a correlation of 0.95. In addition, results obtained for 25 marketed drugs with various metabolism pathways had a correlation of 0.75 when compared with literature values. Precision was maintained in the new format as 8 compounds tested in ≥39 independent experiments had coefficients of variation ≤21%. The ability to predict in vivo clearances using the new stability assay format was also investigated using 22 marketed drugs and 26 AbbVie compounds. Correction of intrinsic clearance values with binding to hepatocytes (in vitro data) and plasma (in vivo data) resulted in a higher in vitro to in vivo correlation when comparing 22 marketed compounds in human (0.80 vs 0.35) and 26 AbbVie Discovery compounds in rat (0.56 vs 0.17), demonstrating the importance of correcting for binding in clearance studies. This newly developed high throughput, semi-automated clearance assay allows for rapid screening of Discovery compounds to enable Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) analysis based on high quality hepatocyte stability data in sufficient quantity and quality to drive the next round of compound synthesis.

  16. Fast and automated DNA assays on a compact disc (CD)-based microfluidic platform (United States)

    Jia, Guangyao

    Nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics offers enormous potential for the rapid and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases. However, most of the existing commercial tests are time-consuming and technically complicated, and are thus incompatible with the need for rapid identification of infectious agents. We have successfully developed a CD-based microfluidic platform for fast and automated DNA array hybridization and a low cost, disposable plastic microfluidic platform for polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These platforms have proved to be a promising approach to meet the requirements in terms of detection speed and operational convenience in diagnosis of infectious diseases. In the CD-based microfluidic platform for DNA hybridization, convection is introduced to the system to enhance mass transport so as to accelerate the hybridization rate since DNA hybridization is a diffusion limited reaction. Centrifugal force is utilized for sample propulsion and surface force is used for liquid gating. Standard microscope glass slides are used as the substrates for capture probes owing to their compatibility with commercially available instrumentation (e.g. laser scanners) for detection. Microfabricated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) structures are used to accomplish the fluidic functions required by the protocols for DNA hybridization. The assembly of the PDMS structure and the glass slide forms a flow-through hybridization unit that can be accommodated onto the CD platform for reagent manipulation. The above scheme has been validated with oligonucleotides as the targets using commercially available enzyme-labeled fluorescence (ELF 97) for detection of the hybridization events, and tested with amplicons of genomic staphylococcus DNA labeled with Cy dye. In both experiments, significantly higher fluorescence intensities were observed in the flow-through hybridization unit compared to the passive assays. The CD fluidic scheme was also adapted to the immobilization of

  17. Fluorescence-PCR Assays and Isolation of Luminescent Bacterial Clones Using an Automated Plate Reader (United States)

    Crowley, Thomas E.


    The genes responsible for luminescence in various species of the marine microorganism "Photobacterium", have been used for many years as a tool by researchers and instructors. In particular, the "lux" operon of "Photobacterium fischeri" has been used by many instructors to teach recombinant DNA techniques. Two methods using an automated plate…

  18. Avicequinone C Isolated from Avicennia marina Exhibits 5α-Reductase-Type 1 Inhibitory Activity Using an Androgenic Alopecia Relevant Cell-Based Assay System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchy Jain


    Full Text Available Avicennia marina (AM exhibits various biological activities and has been traditionally used in Egypt to cure skin diseases. In this study, the methanolic heartwood extract of AM was evaluated for inhibitory activity against 5α-reductase (5α-R [E.C.], the enzyme responsible for the over-production of 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT causing androgenic alopecia (AGA. An AGA-relevant cell-based assay was developed using human hair dermal papilla cells (HHDPCs, the main regulator of hair growth and the only cells within the hair follicle that are the direct site of 5α-DHT action, combined with a non-radioactive thin layer chromatography (TLC detection technique. The results revealed that AM is a potent 5α-R type 1 (5α-R1 inhibitor, reducing the 5α-DHT production by 52% at the final concentration of 10 µg/mL. Activity-guided fractionation has led to the identification of avicequinone C, a furanonaphthaquinone, as a 5α-R1 inhibitor with an IC50 of 9.94 ± 0.33 µg/mL or 38.8 ± 1.29 µM. This paper is the first to report anti-androgenic activity through 5α-R1 inhibition of AM and avicequinone C.

  19. Meganuclease-driven targeted integration in CHO-K1 cells for the fast generation of HTS-compatible cell-based assays. (United States)

    Cabaniols, Jean-Pierre; Ouvry, Christine; Lamamy, Véronique; Fery, Isabelle; Craplet, Marie-Laure; Moulharat, Natacha; Guenin, Sophie-Pénélope; Bedut, Stéphane; Nosjean, Olivier; Ferry, Gilles; Devavry, Séverine; Jacqmarcq, Cécile; Lebuhotel, Céline; Mathis, Luc; Delenda, Christophe; Boutin, Jean A; Duchâteau, Philippe; Cogé, Francis; Pâques, Frédéric


    The development of cell-based assays for high-throughput screening (HTS) approaches often requires the generation of stable transformant cell lines. However, these cell lines are essentially created by random integration of a gene of interest (GOI) with no control over the level and stability of gene expression. The authors developed a targeted integration system in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, called the cellular genome positioning system (cGPS), based on the stimulation of homologous gene targeting by meganucleases. Five different GOIs were knocked in at the same locus in cGPS CHO-K1 cells. Further characterization revealed that the cGPS CHO-K1 system is more rapid (2-week protocol), efficient (all selected clones expressed the GOI), reproducible (GOI expression level variation of 12%), and stable over time (no change in GOI expression after 23 weeks of culture) than classical random integration. Moreover, in all cGPS CHO-K1 targeted clones, the recombinant protein was biologically active and its properties similar to the endogenous protein. This fast and robust method opens the door for creating large collections of cell lines of better quality and expressing therapeutically relevant GOIs at physiological levels, thereby enhancing the potential scope of HTS.

  20. Generic HPLC platform for automated enzyme reaction monitoring: Advancing the assay toolbox for transaminases and other PLP-dependent enzymes. (United States)

    Börner, Tim; Grey, Carl; Adlercreutz, Patrick


    Methods for rapid and direct quantification of enzyme kinetics independent of the substrate stand in high demand for both fundamental research and bioprocess development. This study addresses the need for a generic method by developing an automated, standardizable HPLC platform monitoring reaction progress in near real-time. The method was applied to amine transaminase (ATA) catalyzed reactions intensifying process development for chiral amine synthesis. Autosampler-assisted pipetting facilitates integrated mixing and sampling under controlled temperature. Crude enzyme formulations in high and low substrate concentrations can be employed. Sequential, small (1 µL) sample injections and immediate detection after separation permits fast reaction monitoring with excellent sensitivity, accuracy and reproducibility. Due to its modular design, different chromatographic techniques, e.g. reverse phase and size exclusion chromatography (SEC) can be employed. A novel assay for pyridoxal 5'-phosphate-dependent enzymes is presented using SEC for direct monitoring of enzyme-bound and free reaction intermediates. Time-resolved changes of the different cofactor states, e.g. pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate and the internal aldimine were traced in both half reactions. The combination of the automated HPLC platform with SEC offers a method for substrate-independent screening, which renders a missing piece in the assay and screening toolbox for ATAs and other PLP-dependent enzymes.

  1. Automation of the in vitro micronucleus and chromosome aberration assay for the assessment of the genotoxicity of the particulate and gas-vapor phase of cigarette smoke. (United States)

    Roemer, Ewald; Zenzen, Volker; Conroy, Lynda L; Luedemann, Kathrin; Dempsey, Ruth; Schunck, Christian; Sticken, Edgar Trelles


    Total particulate matter (TPM) and the gas-vapor phase (GVP) of mainstream smoke from the Reference Cigarette 3R4F were assayed in the cytokinesis-block in vitro micronucleus (MN) assay and the in vitro chromosome aberration (CA) assay, both using V79-4 Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts exposed for up to 24 h. The Metafer image analysis platform was adapted resulting in a fully automated evaluation system of the MN assay for the detection, identification and reporting of cells with micronuclei together with the determination of the cytokinesis-block proliferation index (CBPI) to quantify the treatment-related cytotoxicity. In the CA assay, the same platform was used to identify, map and retrieve metaphases for a subsequent CA evaluation by a trained evaluator. In both the assays, TPM and GVP provoked a significant genotoxic effect: up to 6-fold more micronucleated target cells than in the negative control and up to 10-fold increases in aberrant metaphases. Data variability was lower in the automated version of the MN assay than in the non-automated. It can be estimated that two test substances that differ in their genotoxicity by approximately 30% can statistically be distinguished in the automated MN and CA assays. Time savings, based on man hours, due to the automation were approximately 70% in the MN and 25% in the CA assays. The turn-around time of the evaluation phase could be shortened by 35 and 50%, respectively. Although only cigarette smoke-derived test material has been applied, the technical improvements should be of value for other test substances.

  2. Evaluation of a rapid and completely automated real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assay for diagnosis of enteroviral meningitis. (United States)

    Nolte, Frederick S; Rogers, Beverly B; Tang, Yi-Wei; Oberste, M Steven; Robinson, Christine C; Kehl, K Sue; Rand, Kenneth A; Rotbart, Harley A; Romero, Jose R; Nyquist, Ann-Christine; Persing, David H


    Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for enterovirus RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have emerged as the new gold standard for diagnosis of enteroviral meningitis, and their use can improve the management and decrease the costs for caring for children with enteroviral meningitis. The Xpert EV assay (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA) is a rapid, fully automated real-time PCR test for the detection of enterovirus RNA that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for in vitro diagnostic use in March 2007. In this multicenter trial we established the clinical performance characteristics of the Xpert EV assay in patients presenting with meningitis symptoms relative to clinical truth. Clinical truth for enteroviral meningitis was defined as clinical evidence of meningitis, the absence of another detectable pathogen in CSF, and detection of enterovirus in CSF either by two reference NAATs or by viral culture. A total of 199 prospectively and 235 retrospectively collected specimens were eligible for inclusion in this study. The overall prevalence of enteroviral meningitis was 26.04%. The Xpert EV assay had a sensitivity of 94.69% (90% confidence interval [CI] = 89.79 to 97.66%), specificity of 100% (90% CI = 99.07 to 100%), positive predictive value of 100%, negative predictive value of 98.17, and an accuracy of 98.62% relative to clinical truth. The Xpert EV assay demonstrated a high degree of accuracy for diagnosis of enteroviral meningitis. The simplicity and on-demand capability of the Xpert EV assay should prove to be a valuable adjunct to the evaluation of suspected meningitis cases.

  3. Automated high-content assay for compounds selectively toxic to Trypanosoma cruzi in a myoblastic cell line.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Alonso-Padilla


    Full Text Available Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, represents a very important public health problem in Latin America where it is endemic. Although mostly asymptomatic at its initial stage, after the disease becomes chronic, about a third of the infected patients progress to a potentially fatal outcome due to severe damage of heart and gut tissues. There is an urgent need for new drugs against Chagas disease since there are only two drugs available, benznidazole and nifurtimox, and both show toxic side effects and variable efficacy against the chronic stage of the disease.Genetically engineered parasitic strains are used for high throughput screening (HTS of large chemical collections in the search for new anti-parasitic compounds. These assays, although successful, are limited to reporter transgenic parasites and do not cover the wide T. cruzi genetic background. With the aim to contribute to the early drug discovery process against Chagas disease we have developed an automated image-based 384-well plate HTS assay for T. cruzi amastigote replication in a rat myoblast host cell line. An image analysis script was designed to inform on three outputs: total number of host cells, ratio of T. cruzi amastigotes per cell and percentage of infected cells, which respectively provides one host cell toxicity and two T. cruzi toxicity readouts. The assay was statistically robust (Z´ values >0.6 and was validated against a series of known anti-trypanosomatid drugs.We have established a highly reproducible, high content HTS assay for screening of chemical compounds against T. cruzi infection of myoblasts that is amenable for use with any T. cruzi strain capable of in vitro infection. Our visual assay informs on both anti-parasitic and host cell toxicity readouts in a single experiment, allowing the direct identification of compounds selectively targeted to the parasite.

  4. Automated reporter quantification in vivo: high-throughput screening method for reporter-based assays in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Walker

    Full Text Available Reporter-based assays underlie many high-throughput screening (HTS platforms, but most are limited to in vitro applications. Here, we report a simple whole-organism HTS method for quantifying changes in reporter intensity in individual zebrafish over time termed, Automated Reporter Quantification in vivo (ARQiv. ARQiv differs from current "high-content" (e.g., confocal imaging-based whole-organism screening technologies by providing a purely quantitative data acquisition approach that affords marked improvements in throughput. ARQiv uses a fluorescence microplate reader with specific detection functionalities necessary for robust quantification of reporter signals in vivo. This approach is: 1 Rapid; achieving true HTS capacities (i.e., >50,000 units per day, 2 Reproducible; attaining HTS-compatible assay quality (i.e., Z'-factors of ≥0.5, and 3 Flexible; amenable to nearly any reporter-based assay in zebrafish embryos, larvae, or juveniles. ARQiv is used here to quantify changes in: 1 Cell number; loss and regeneration of two different fluorescently tagged cell types (pancreatic beta cells and rod photoreceptors, 2 Cell signaling; relative activity of a transgenic Notch-signaling reporter, and 3 Cell metabolism; accumulation of reactive oxygen species. In summary, ARQiv is a versatile and readily accessible approach facilitating evaluation of genetic and/or chemical manipulations in living zebrafish that complements current "high-content" whole-organism screening methods by providing a first-tier in vivo HTS drug discovery platform.

  5. Identification of Antiviral Agents Targeting Hepatitis B Virus Promoter from Extracts of Indonesian Marine Organisms by a Novel Cell-Based Screening Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsuya Yamashita


    Full Text Available The current treatments of chronic hepatitis B (CHB face a limited choice of vaccine, antibody and antiviral agents. The development of additional antiviral agents is still needed for improvement of CHB therapy. In this study, we established a screening system in order to identify compounds inhibiting the core promoter activity of hepatitis B virus (HBV. We prepared 80 extracts of marine organisms from the coral reefs of Indonesia and screened them by using this system. Eventually, two extracts showed high inhibitory activity (>95% and low cytotoxicity (66% to 77%. Solvent fractionation, column chromatography and NMR analysis revealed that 3,5-dibromo-2-(2,4-dibromophenoxy-phenol (compound 1 and 3,4,5-tribromo-2-(2,4-dibromophenoxy-phenol (compound 2, which are classified as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, were identified as anti-HBV agents in the extracts. Compounds 1 and 2 inhibited HBV core promoter activity as well as HBV production from HepG2.2.15.7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The EC50 values of compounds 1 and 2 were 0.23 and 0.80 µM, respectively, while selectivity indexes of compound 1 and 2 were 18.2 and 12.8, respectively. These results suggest that our cell-based HBV core promoter assay system is useful to determine anti-HBV compounds, and that two PBDE compounds are expected to be candidates of lead compounds for the development of anti-HBV drugs.

  6. Fully automated high-performance liquid chromatographic assay for the analysis of free catecholamines in urine. (United States)

    Said, R; Robinet, D; Barbier, C; Sartre, J; Huguet, C


    A totally automated and reliable high-performance liquid chromatographic method is described for the routine determination of free catecholamines (norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine) in urine. The catecholamines were isolated from urine samples using small alumina columns. A standard automated method for pH adjustment of urine before the extraction step has been developed. The extraction was performed on an ASPEC (Automatic Sample Preparation with Extraction Columns, Gilson). The eluate was collected in a separate tube and then automatically injected into the chromatographic column. The catecholamines were separated by reversed-phase ion-pair liquid chromatography and quantified by fluorescence detection. No manual intervention was required during the extraction and separation procedure. One sample may be run every 15 min, ca. 96 samples in 24 h. Analytical recoveries for all three catecholamines are 63-87%, and the detection limits are 0.01, 0.01, and 0.03 microM for norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine, respectively, which is highly satisfactory for urine. Day-to-day coefficients of variation were less than 10%.

  7. Assessment of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated activities of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in a human cell-based reporter gene assay. (United States)

    Vondráček, Jan; Pěnčíková, Kateřina; Neča, Jiří; Ciganek, Miroslav; Grycová, Aneta; Dvořák, Zdeněk; Machala, Miroslav


    Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-mediated activity is one of key events in toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Although various classes of AhR ligands may differentially activate human and rodent AhR, there is presently a lack of data on the human AhR-inducing relative potencies (REPs) of PAHs. Here, we focused on estimation of the AhR-mediated activities of a large set of environmental PAHs in human gene reporter AZ-AhR cell line, with an aim to develop the human AhR-based REP values with potential implications for risk assessment of PAHs. The previously identified weakly active PAHs mostly failed to activate the AhR in human cells. The order for REPs of individual PAHs in human cells largely corresponded with the available data from rodent-based experimental systems; nevertheless, we identified differences up to one order of magnitude in REP values of PAHs between human and rodent cells. Higher REP values were found in human cells for some important environmental contaminants or suspected carcinogens, such as indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, benz[a]anthracene or benzo[b]fluoranthene, while lower REP values were determined for methyl-substituted PAHs. Our results also indicate that a different rate of metabolism for individual PAHs in human vs. rodent cells may affect estimation of REP values in human cell-based assay, and potentially alter toxicity of some compounds, such as benzofluoranthenes, in humans. We applied the AZ-AhR assay to evaluation of the AhR-mediated activity of complex mixtures of organic compounds associated with diesel exhaust particles, and we identified the polar compounds present in these mixtures as being particularly highly active in human cells, as compared with rodent cells. The present data suggest that differences may exist between the AhR-mediated potencies of PAHs in human and rodent cells, and that the AhR-mediated effects of polar PAH derivatives and metabolites in human cell models deserve further

  8. Development of a Cryptosporidium oocyst assay using an automated fiber optic-based biosensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kramer Marianne F


    Full Text Available Abstract An intestinal protozoan parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum, is a major cause of waterborne gastrointestinal disease worldwide. Detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in potable water is a high priority for the water treatment industry to reduce potential outbreaks among the consumer populace. Anti-Cryptosporidium oocyst polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies were tested as capture and detection reagents for use in a fiber optic biosensor assay for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts. Antibodies were validated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, flow cytometry, Western blotting and fluorescent microscopy. Oocysts could be detected at a concentration of 105 oocysts/ml when the polyclonal antibodies were used as the capture and detection reagents. When oocysts were boiled prior to detection, a ten-fold increase in sensitivity was achieved using the polyclonal antibody. Western blotting and immunofluorescence revealed that both the monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies recognize a large (>300 kDa molecular weight mucin-like antigen present on the surface of the oocyst wall. The polyclonal antibody also reacted with a small (105 kDa molecular weight antigen that was present in boiled samples of oocysts. Preliminary steps to design an in-line biosensor assay system have shown that oocysts would have to be concentrated from water samples and heat treated to allow detection by a biosensor assay.

  9. Automated 5 ' nuclease assay for detection of virulence factors in porcine Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frydendahl, K.; Imberechts, H.; Lehmann, S.


    (STa, STb, EAST1) and heat labile LT) enterotoxins and the verocytotoxin variant 2e (VT2e). To correctly identify false negative results, an endogenous internal control targeting the E. coil 16S rRNA gene was incorporated in each test tube. The assay was evaluated using a collection of E. coil...

  10. Automated direct assay system for RU38486, an antiprogesterone-antiglucocorticoid agent, and its metabolites using high performance liquid chromatography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available An automated direct assay system using high performance liquid chromatography was developed for the measurement of RU38486 and its three metabolites (RU42698, RU42848, RU42633 in human serum. Serum concentrations of these compounds were measured up to 144 h following single oral administration of 200 (200 mg group, n = 3 or 400 mg (400 mg group, n = 3 of RU38486 to healthy female volunteers. The serum half-lives (200 mg group-400 mg group of RU38486, RU42698, RU42848 and RU42633 were 31.8-33.1 h, 41.2-39.3 h, 33.9-36.6 h and 29.2-36.6 h, respectively. Our system could quantify them easily and simultaneously, and was considered to be valuable in studies on the relationship between the pharmacokinetics and the clinical effects of RU38486.

  11. Particle counting assay for anti-toxoplasma IgG antibodies. Comparison with four automated commercial enzyme-linked immunoassays. (United States)

    Galanti, L M; Dell'Omo, J; Wanet, B; Guarin, J L; Jamart, J; Garrino, M G; Masson, P L; Cambiaso, C L


    An assay for anti-toxoplasma IgG antibodies based on agglutination of latex particles was set up and compared with commercial immunoassays. The reaction was measured by instrumental counting of particles remaining unagglutinated. The running time was 45 min. This test (PaC) was compared using 243 serum samples with four automated commercial immunoassays: the Enzymum test Toxo IgG (ES300, Boehringer), the Vidas Toxo IgG (Biomérieux), the IMX Toxo IgG (Abbott), the Magia Toxoplasma gondii IgG (Merck). The mean values (+/- SD) obtained by IMX (25 IU +/- 68) and ES300 (45 IU +/- 142) were significantly lower than the values obtained by Vidas (73 IU +/- 237, p Magia (80 IU +/- 300, p < 10(-4) and p = 0.0005) and by PaC (70 IU +/- 260, p < 10(-4) and p = 0.0126). The correlations between PaC and Toxo IgG Boehringer, Biomérieux, Abbott, Merck were r = 0.97, r = 0.98, r = 0.94, r = 0.98, respectively. The correlation coefficients between the enzyme-immunoassays ranged from 0.96 to 0.99. All positive samples by PaC were found to be positive by enzyme-immunoassays except for eight sera which were doubtful positives by the Enzymum test ToxoIgG from Boehringer. No negative sample by PaC was found positive by any of the enzyme-immunoassays. In PaC, when two latex preparations coated with different antigen were compared, the correlation was rather weak (r = 0.93) suggesting that the selection of the antigen can be critical. In conclusion, the four automated commercial immunoassays now available gave similar results. However, the discrepancies observed in this study underlined the importance of clinical and biological follow-up of the patients and the necessity to confirm the result. The introduction of a new technique such as PaC, which is now available for a large variety of assays in Clinical Chemistry and Microbiology, is justified by its intrinsic advantage of homogeneity. Therefore, automation is easy as well as the control of possible interference.

  12. Performance of the new automated Abbott RealTime MTB assay for rapid detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in respiratory specimens. (United States)

    Chen, J H K; She, K K K; Kwong, T-C; Wong, O-Y; Siu, G K H; Leung, C-C; Chang, K-C; Tam, C-M; Ho, P-L; Cheng, V C C; Yuen, K-Y; Yam, W-C


    The automated high-throughput Abbott RealTime MTB real-time PCR assay has been recently launched for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) clinical diagnosis. This study would like to evaluate its performance. We first compared its diagnostic performance with the Roche Cobas TaqMan MTB assay on 214 clinical respiratory specimens. Prospective analysis of a total 520 specimens was then performed to further evaluate the Abbott assay. The Abbott assay showed a lower limit of detection at 22.5 AFB/ml, which was more sensitive than the Cobas assay (167.5 AFB/ml). The two assays demonstrated a significant difference in diagnostic performance (McNemar's test; P = 0.0034), in which the Abbott assay presented significantly higher area under curve (AUC) than the Cobas assay (1.000 vs 0.880; P = 0.0002). The Abbott assay demonstrated extremely low PCR inhibition on clinical respiratory specimens. The automated Abbott assay required only very short manual handling time (0.5 h), which could help to improve the laboratory management. In the prospective analysis, the overall estimates for sensitivity and specificity of the Abbott assay were both 100 % among smear-positive specimens, whereas the smear-negative specimens were 96.7 and 96.1 %, respectively. No cross-reactivity with non-tuberculosis mycobacterial species was observed. The superiority in sensitivity of the Abbott assay for detecting MTBC in smear-negative specimens could further minimize the risk in MTBC false-negative detection. The new Abbott RealTime MTB assay has good diagnostic performance which can be a useful diagnostic tool for rapid MTBC detection in clinical laboratories.

  13. A Comparison of Anti-Nuclear Antibody Quantification Using Automated Enzyme Immunoassays and Immunofluorescence Assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baronaite, Renata; Engelhart, Merete; Mørk Hansen, Troels;


    Anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) have traditionally been evaluated using indirect fluorescence assays (IFA) with HEp-2 cells. Quantitative immunoassays (EIA) have replaced the use of HEp-2 cells in some laboratories. Here, we evaluated ANA in 400 consecutive and unselected routinely referred patients...... patients were compared. The majority of the results were the same between the two methods (n = 325, 84%); however, 8% (n = 30) yielded equivocal results (equivocal-negative and equivocal-positive) and 8% (n = 31) yielded divergent results (positive-negative). The results showed fairly good agreement......, with Cohen's kappa value of 0.30 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.14-0.46), which decreased to 0.23 (95% CI = 0.06-0.40) when the results for dsDNA were omitted. The EIA method was less reliable for assessing nuclear and speckled reactivity patterns, whereas the IFA method presented difficulties detecting...

  14. A novel flow-based procedure for automation of respirometric assays in soils. (United States)

    Silva, Claudineia R; Oliveira, Eliezer; Zagatto, Elias A G; Henriquez, Camelia


    A flow-based strategy involving a gas-diffusion sampling probe was proposed for evaluating the respiration rate in soils. The amount of CO2 collected after a pre-defined time interval was proportional to the free CO2 released by the soil ecosystem. The 500-mL incubation flasks typically used for soil respirometric assays were adapted and a special cover was designed for connecting a tubular gas diffusion membrane, a fan, and a septum for adding the CO2(g) standards required for calibration. The method relied on the pH-dependent absorbance variations resulting from the CO2 collection. A 1.3mmolL(-1) bromothymol blue solution (pH 7.0) acted as both acceptor and carrier streams. In order to widen the dynamical working range to 0.003-0.2mmol CO2, two analytical curves were obtained, each related to a different time interval for the CO2 collection. Kinetic curves related to CO2 release by the soil samples were straightforwardly attained. Repeatability and detection limit were estimated as 2.0% and 0.001mmol CO2 (n=10), and accuracy was assessed in relation to a recommended titrimetric procedure.

  15. Development of an automated method for Folin-Ciocalteu total phenolic assay in artichoke extracts. (United States)

    Yoo, Kil Sun; Lee, Eun Jin; Leskovar, Daniel; Patil, Bhimanagouda S


    We developed a system to run the Folin-Ciocalteu (F-C) total phenolic assay, in artichoke extract samples, which is fully automatic, consistent, and fast. The system uses 2 high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pumps, an autosampler, a column heater, a UV/Vis detector, and a data collection system. To test the system, a pump delivered 10-fold diluted F-C reagent solution at a rate of 0.7 mL/min, and 0.4 g/mL sodium carbonate at a rate of 2.1 mL/min. The autosampler injected 10 μL per 1.2 min, which was mixed with the F-C reagent and heated to 65 °C while it passed through the column heater. The heated reactant was mixed with sodium carbonate and color intensity was measured by the detector at 600 nm. The data collection system recorded the color intensity, and peak area of each sample was calculated as the concentration of the total phenolic content, expressed in μg/mL as either chlorogenic acid or gallic acid. This new method had superb repeatability (0.7% CV) and a high correlation with both the manual method (r(2) = 0.93) and the HPLC method (r(2) = 0.78). Ascorbic acid and quercetin showed variable antioxidant activity, but sugars did not. This method can be efficiently applied to research that needs to test many numbers of antioxidant capacity samples with speed and accuracy.

  16. A simple micro-extraction plate assay for automated LC-MS/MS analysis of human serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. (United States)

    Geib, Timon; Meier, Florian; Schorr, Pascal; Lammert, Frank; Stokes, Caroline S; Volmer, Dietrich A


    This short application note describes a simple and automated assay for determination of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in very small volumes of human serum. It utilizes commercial 96-well micro-extraction plates with commercial 25(OH)D isotope calibration and quality control kits. Separation was achieved using a pentafluorophenyl liquid chromatography column followed by multiple reaction monitoring-based quantification on an electrospray triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. Emphasis was placed on providing a simple assay that can be rapidly established in non-specialized laboratories within days, without the need for laborious and time consuming sample preparation steps, advanced calibration or data acquisition routines. The analytical figures of merit obtained from this assay compared well to established assays. To demonstrate the applicability, the assay was applied to analysis of serum samples from patients with chronic liver diseases and compared to results from a routine clinical immunoassay.

  17. Implementation and development of an automated, ultra-high-capacity, acoustic, flexible dispensing platform for assay-ready plate delivery. (United States)

    Griffith, Dylan; Northwood, Roger; Owen, Paul; Simkiss, Ellen; Brierley, Andrew; Cross, Kevin; Slaney, Andrew; Davis, Miranda; Bath, Colin


    Compound management faces the daily challenge of providing high-quality samples to drug discovery. The advent of new screening technologies has seen demand for liquid samples move toward nanoliter ranges, dispensed by contactless acoustic droplet ejection. Within AstraZeneca, a totally integrated assay-ready plate production platform has been created to fully exploit the advantages of this technology. This enables compound management to efficiently deliver large throughputs demanded by high-throughput screening while maintaining regular delivery of smaller numbers of compounds in varying plate formats for cellular or biochemical concentration-response curves in support of hit and lead optimization (structure-activity relationship screening). The automation solution, CODA, has the capability to deliver compounds on demand for single- and multiple-concentration ranges, in batch sizes ranging from 1 sample to 2 million samples, integrating seamlessly into local compound and test management systems. The software handles compound orders intelligently, grouping test requests together dependent on output plate type and serial dilution ranges so that source compound vessels are shared among numerous tests, ensuring conservation of sample, reduced labware and costs, and efficiency of work cell logistics. We describe the development of CODA to address the customer demand, challenges experienced, learning made, and subsequent enhancements.

  18. Evaluation of an immunoenzymometric assay (IEMA) using automated system for determination of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. (United States)

    Fonseca, E; Mason, M; Galván, R E; Pascoe, D; Ochoa, R; Hernández, M; Zárate, A


    It has been proposed that automated systems for immunoenzymometric assay (IEMA) may substitute traditional radioimmunoassay (RIA) for measurement of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in blood due to the advantage of being more rapid, higher sensitivity, lower cost and not requiring radioactive reagents. The study was designed to evaluate both systems using serum samples to determine luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations. The automatic system (ES-300) for IEMA utilized two monoclonal antibodies, one of them on the solid phase was the specific extractant for the antigen, and the other was a peroxidase labeled antibody which recognizes a different epitope in the antigen molecule, specifically bound in linear proportion to the antigen concentration. Blood samples were obtained from patients who were treated at the hospital for various clinical problems ("problem group") as well as blood samples from patients in whom FSH and LH concentrations were already known ("high", "medium" and "low" levels) by previous RIA ("control group"). IEMA showed a higher sensitivity, 0.42 and 0.96 mIU/ml for FSH and LH, respectively, whereas RIA was 1.95 mIU/ml for both hormones. Intra- and interassay coefficient of variation were below 10% within the range of 15-150 mIU/ml for FSH and 5-100 mIU/ml for LH; however, the coefficient of variation was 15-25% at lower concentrations of FSH and LH. Accuracy of IEMA was evaluated by recovery percentage, thus when high and medium concentrations of FSH and LH were analyzed the recovery was between 99-104%. On the other hand, the recovery was 110% when low levels of FSH and LH were used. In conclusion, IEMA resulted reliable when FSH and LH concentrations are in the middle and high range; likewise, the detection limit of IEMA was lower than RIA, particularly for FSH. On the bases of these results, IEMA showed several advantages over RIA, but its reliability diminishes when serum

  19. An automated packed protein G micro-pipette tip assay for rapid quantification of polyclonal antibodies in ovine serum. (United States)

    Chhatre, Sunil; Francis, Richard; Bracewell, Daniel G; Titchener-Hooker, Nigel J


    The demands on the biopharmaceutical sector to expedite process development have instigated the deployment of micro-biochemical engineering techniques to acquire manufacturing insight with extremely small sample volumes. In conjunction with automated liquid handlers, this permits the simultaneous evaluation of multiple operating conditions and reduces manual intervention. For these benefits to be sustained, novel ways are now required to accelerate analysis and so prevent this becoming a throughput bottleneck. For example, although Protein G HPLC is used to quantify antibody titres in bioprocess feedstocks, it can be time-consuming owing to the serial nature of its application. Although commercial options are available that can process many samples simultaneously, these require separate, potentially expensive instruments. A more integrated approach is desirable wherein the assay is implemented directly on a robot. This article describes a high-throughput alternative to antibody HPLC analysis which uses an eight-channel liquid handler to control pipette tips packed with 40 μL of Protein G affinity matrix. The linearity, range, limit of detection, specificity and precision of the method were established, with results showing that antibody was detected reliably and specifically between 0.10 and 1.00 mg/mL. Subsequently, the technique was used to quantify the antibody titre in ovine serum, which is used as feed material by BTG PLC for manufacturing FDA-approved polyclonal bio-therapeutics. The mean concentration determined by the tips was comparable to that found by HPLC, but the tip method delivered its results in less than 40% of the time and with the potential for further, substantial time-savings possible by using higher capacity robots.

  20. Performance evaluation of new automated hepatitis B viral markers in the clinical laboratory: two quantitative hepatitis B surface antigen assays and an HBV core-related antigen assay. (United States)

    Park, Yongjung; Hong, Duck Jin; Shin, Saeam; Cho, Yonggeun; Kim, Hyon-Suk


    We evaluated quantitative hepatitis B surface antigen (qHBsAg) assays and a hepatitis B virus (HBV) core-related antigen (HBcrAg) assay. A total of 529 serum samples from patients with hepatitis B were tested. HBsAg levels were determined by using the Elecsys (Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN) and Architect (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL) qHBsAg assays. HBcrAg was measured by using Lumipulse HBcrAg assay (Fujirebio, Tokyo, Japan). Serum aminotransferases and HBV DNA were respectively quantified by using the Hitachi 7600 analyzer (Hitachi High-Technologies, Tokyo, Japan) and the Cobas AmpliPrep/Cobas TaqMan test (Roche). Precision of the qHBsAg and HBcrAg assays was assessed, and linearity of the qHBsAg assays was verified. All assays showed good precision performance with coefficients of variation between 4.5% and 5.3% except for some levels. Both qHBsAg assays showed linearity from 0.1 to 12,000.0 IU/mL and correlated well (r = 0.9934). HBsAg levels correlated with HBV DNA (r = 0.3373) and with HBcrAg (r = 0.5164), and HBcrAg also correlated with HBV DNA (r = 0.5198; P HBcrAg assays.

  1. Additive mixture effects of estrogenic chemicals in human cell-based assays can be influenced by inclusion of chemicals with differing effect profiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Mark Evans

    Full Text Available A growing body of experimental evidence indicates that the in vitro effects of mixtures of estrogenic chemicals can be well predicted from the estrogenicity of their components by the concentration addition (CA concept. However, some studies have observed small deviations from CA. Factors affecting the presence or observation of deviations could include: the type of chemical tested; number of mixture components; mixture design; and assay choice. We designed mixture experiments that address these factors, using mixtures with high numbers of components, chemicals from diverse chemical groups, assays with different in vitro endpoints and different mixture designs and ratios. Firstly, the effects of mixtures composed of up to 17 estrogenic chemicals were examined using estrogenicity assays with reporter-gene (ERLUX and cell proliferation (ESCREEN endpoints. Two mixture designs were used: 1 a 'balanced' design with components present in proportion to a common effect concentration (e.g. an EC(10 and 2 a 'non-balanced' design with components in proportion to potential human tissue concentrations. Secondly, the individual and simultaneous ability of 16 potential modulator chemicals (each with minimal estrogenicity to influence the assay outcome produced by a reference mixture of estrogenic chemicals was examined. Test chemicals included plasticizers, phthalates, metals, PCBs, phytoestrogens, PAHs, heterocyclic amines, antioxidants, UV filters, musks, PBDEs and parabens. In all the scenarios tested, the CA concept provided a good prediction of mixture effects. Modulation studies revealed that chemicals possessing minimal estrogenicity themselves could reduce (negatively modulate the effect of a mixture of estrogenic chemicals. Whether the type of modulation we observed occurs in practice most likely depends on the chemical concentrations involved, and better information is required on likely human tissue concentrations of estrogens and of potential

  2. An automated, high-throughput, 384 well Cytochrome P450 cocktail IC50 assay using a rapid resolution LC-MS/MS end-point. (United States)

    Youdim, Kuresh A; Lyons, Richard; Payne, Leon; Jones, Barry C; Saunders, Kenneth


    The current study focused on the development of an automated IC50 cocktail assay in a miniaturized 384 well assay format. This was developed in combination with a significantly shorter high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) run-time; than those currently reported in the literature. The 384-well assay used human liver microsomes in conjunction with a cocktail of probe substrates metabolized by the five major CYPs (tacrine for CYP1A2, diclofenac for CYP2C9, (S)-mephenytoin for CYP2C19, dextromethorphan for CYP2D6 and midazolam for CYP3A4). To validate the usefulness of the automated and analytical methodologies, IC50 determinations were performed for a series of test compounds known to exhibit inhibition across these five major P450s. Eight compounds (sertraline, disulfuram, ticlopidine fluconazole, fluvoxamine, ketoconazole, miconazole, paroxetine, flunitrazepam) were studied as part of a cocktail assay, and against each CYPs individually. The data showed that the IC50s generated with cocktail incubations did not differ to a great extent from those obtained in the single probe experiments and hence unlikely to significantly influence the predicted clinical DDI risk. In addition the present method offered a significant advantage over some of the existing cocktail analytical methodology in that separation can be achieved with run times as short as 1 min without compromising data integrity. Although numerous studies have been reported to measure CYP inhibition in a cocktail format the need to support growing discovery libraries not only relies on higher throughput assays but quicker analytical run times. The current study reports a miniaturized high-throughput cocktail IC50 assay, in conjunction with a robust, rapid resolution LC-MS/MS end-point offered increased sample throughput without compromising analytical sensitivity or analyte resolution.

  3. Automated immunohistochemical assay for estrogen receptor status in breast cancer using monoclonal antibody CC4-5 on the Ventana ES. (United States)

    Nichols, G E; Frierson, H F; Boyd, J C; Hanigan, M H


    Determination of breast cancer estrogen receptor (ER) status as a predictor of tumor response to adjuvant endocrine therapy remains a mainstay of breast cancer management. Recent second generation anti-ER antibodies and new epitope retrieval methods have produced paraffin-based immunohistochemical results that correlate closely with the dextran-coated charcoal (DCC) assay and appear to represent a superior method of ER assay. The authors determined the ER status of 103 invasive breast cancers by paraffin-based, automated immunohistochemistry on the Ventana ES using a new monoclonal antibody, CC4-5, and compared the results to those of parallel DCC biochemical analysis and manual immunohistochemical analysis using anti-ER monoclonal antibody ER1D5. The specificity of the CC4-5 antibody for ER protein was confirmed by Western blot analysis. Sixty of 103 cases were positive for ER by CC4-5 automated immunohistochemistry. With a ligand binding assay threshold value of 20 fmol/mg protein, there were 50 positive cases by biochemical assay. The biochemical results corresponded to an 88% rate of agreement with automated CC4-5 staining. Analysis of discordant cases revealed that the majority of CC4-5 immunopositive only cases (8 of 11) were strongly positive, stroma rich tumors, suggesting that corresponding biochemical measurements were diluted by non representative stromal tissue. There was only one immunonegative, biochemically positive case (27 fmol/mg protein). Semiquantitation of CC4-5 staining using percent positive tumor cells or weighted average staining intensity (HSCORE) showed moderate to good correlation with quantitative DCC results (r = 0.64 and 0.62, P Ventana ES, most likely due to temperature constraints of the instrument. By manual ER1D5 staining, 40 of 79 examined cases were positive corresponding to a 99% rate of agreement with automated CC4-5 staining. Semiquantitation of ER1D5 staining by percent positive tumor cells and weighted average staining

  4. Evaluation of fully automated assays for the detection of Rubella IgM and IgG antibodies by the Elecsys(®) immunoassay system. (United States)

    van Helden, Josef; Grangeot-Keros, Liliane; Vauloup-Fellous, Christelle; Vleminckx, Renaud; Masset, Frédéric; Revello, Maria-Grazia


    Screening for acute rubella infection in pregnancy is an important element of antenatal care. This study compared the sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility of two new, fully automated Elecsys(®) Rubella IgM and IgG immunoassays designed for the Elecsys 2010, Modular Analytics E170, COBAS e-411 and COBAS e-601 and e602 analytical platforms, with current assays using serum from patients with primary rubella infections, vaccinated patients, patients with potentially cross-reacting infections and on routine samples in clinical laboratories in France, Germany and Italy. Both assays showed good within-run and within-laboratory precision. A sensitivity of 79.8-96.0% was demonstrated for Elecsys IgM in primary, early acute infection, consistent with existing assays. In samples obtained from routine antenatal screening, the Elecsys Rubella IgM assay revealed high specificity (98.7-99.0%). A significantly (prubella infection was excluded, and the incidence of false positives in patients with potentially cross-reacting infections was lower with Elecsys Rubella IgM compared with other. The Elecsys Rubella IgG assay exhibited a relative sensitivity of 99.9-100.0% and specificity of 97.4-100.0% in samples from routine antenatal screening. The Elecsys Rubella IgM and IgG assays allow convenient, rapid and reliable determination of anti-rubella antibodies. Sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility were comparable with existing assay systems. Assay results were available in approximately half the time required for currently employed methods and the assays are compatible with widely used analytical platforms.

  5. Demonstration of the dynamic mass redistribution label-free technology as a useful cell-based pharmacological assay for endogenously expressed GABAA receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klein, Anders B.; Nittegaard-Nielsen, Mia; Christensen, Julie T.


    Within the continuous quest for the discovery of pharmacol. interesting compds., the development of new and superior drug screening assays is desired. In recent years, the use of label-free techniques has paved the way for an alternative high-throughput screening method. An example is the Epic...... IMR-32 neuroblastoma cell line, which expresses relatively high levels of several endogenous GABAA receptor subunits, we show that GABA produces concn.-dependent cellular responses that can be measured and quantified in real-time. With the aid of the GABAA receptor-specific agonist muscimol...

  6. Development of a robust cell-based high-throughput screening assay to identify targets of HIV-1 viral protein R dimerization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zych C


    Full Text Available Courtney Zych,1 Alexander Domling,2 Velpandi Ayyavoo11Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USAAbstract: Targeting protein–protein interactions (PPI is an emerging field in drug discovery. Dimerization and PPI are essential properties of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 proteins, their mediated functions, and virus biology. Additionally, dimerization is required for the functional interaction of HIV-1 proteins with many host cellular components. In this study, a bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC-based screening assay was developed that can quantify changes in dimerization, using HIV-1 viral protein R (Vpr dimerization as a "proof of concept." Results demonstrated that Venus Vpr (generated by BiFC Vpr constructs could be competed off in a dose-dependent manner using untagged, full-length Vpr as a competitor molecule. The change in signal intensity was measured quantitatively through flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy in a high content screening assay. High content imaging was used to screen a library of small molecules for an effect on Vpr dimerization. Among the tested molecules, a few of the small molecules demonstrate an effect on Vpr dimerization in a dose-dependent manner.Keywords: BiFC, protein–protein interaction, HIV-1 Vpr, dimerization, drug targets

  7. Development and evaluation of a real-time PCR assay for detection of Pneumocystis jirovecii on the fully automated BD MAX platform. (United States)

    Dalpke, Alexander H; Hofko, Marjeta; Zimmermann, Stefan


    Pneumocystis jirovecii is an opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised and AIDS patients. Detection by quantitative PCR is faster and more sensitive than microscopic diagnosis yet requires specific infrastructure. We adapted a real-time PCR amplifying the major surface glycoprotein (MSG) target from Pneumocystis jirovecii for use on the new BD MAX platform. The assay allowed fully automated DNA extraction and multiplex real-time PCR. The BD MAX assay was evaluated against manual DNA extraction and conventional real-time PCR. The BD MAX was used in the research mode running a multiplex PCR (MSG, internal control, and sample process control). The assay had a detection limit of 10 copies of an MSG-encoding plasmid per PCR that equated to 500 copies/ml in respiratory specimens. We observed accurate quantification of MSG targets over a 7- to 8-log range. Prealiquoting and sealing of the complete PCR reagents in conical tubes allowed easy and convenient handling of the BD MAX PCR. In a retrospective analysis of 54 positive samples, the BD MAX assay showed good quantitative correlation with the reference PCR method (R(2) = 0.82). Cross-contamination was not observed. Prospectively, 278 respiratory samples were analyzed by both molecular assays. The positivity rate overall was 18.3%. The BD MAX assay identified 46 positive samples, compared to 40 by the reference PCR. The BD MAX assay required liquefaction of highly viscous samples with dithiothreitol as the only manual step, thus offering advantages for timely availability of molecular-based detection assays.

  8. High-throughput screening of cellulase F mutants from multiplexed plasmid sets using an automated plate assay on a functional proteomic robotic workcell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qureshi Nasib


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The field of plasmid-based functional proteomics requires the rapid assay of proteins expressed from plasmid libraries. Automation is essential since large sets of mutant open reading frames are being cloned for evaluation. To date no integrated automated platform is available to carry out the entire process including production of plasmid libraries, expression of cloned genes, and functional testing of expressed proteins. Results We used a functional proteomic assay in a multiplexed setting on an integrated plasmid-based robotic workcell for high-throughput screening of mutants of cellulase F, an endoglucanase from the anaerobic fungus Orpinomyces PC-2. This allowed us to identify plasmids containing optimized clones expressing mutants with improved activity at lower pH. A plasmid library of mutagenized clones of the celF gene with targeted variations in the last four codons was constructed by site-directed PCR mutagenesis and transformed into Escherichia coli. A robotic picker integrated into the workcell was used to inoculate medium in a 96-well deep well plate, combining the transformants into a multiplexed set in each well, and the plate was incubated on the workcell. Plasmids were prepared from the multiplexed culture on the liquid handler component of the workcell and used for in vitro transcription/translation. The multiplexed expressed recombinant proteins were screened for improved activity and stability in an azo-carboxymethylcellulose plate assay. The multiplexed wells containing mutants with improved activity were identified and linked back to the corresponding multiplexed cultures stored in glycerol. Spread plates were prepared from the glycerol stocks and the workcell was used to pick single colonies from the spread plates, prepare plasmid, produce recombinant protein, and assay for activity. The screening assay and subsequent deconvolution of the multiplexed wells resulted in identification of improved Cel

  9. Similarities in the endocrine-disrupting potencies of indoor dust and flame retardants by using human osteosarcoma (U2OS) cell-based reporter gene assays. (United States)

    Suzuki, Go; Tue, Nguyen Minh; Malarvannan, Govindan; Sudaryanto, Agus; Takahashi, Shin; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Sakai, Shin-ichi; Brouwer, Abraham; Uramaru, Naoto; Kitamura, Shigeyuki; Takigami, Hidetaka


    Indoor dust is a sink for many kinds of pollutants, including flame retardants (FRs), plasticizers, and their contaminants and degradation products. These pollutants can be migrated to indoor dust from household items such as televisions and computers. To reveal high-priority end points of and contaminant candidates in indoor dust, using CALUX reporter gene assays based on human osteosarcoma (U2OS) cell lines, we evaluated and characterized the endocrine-disrupting potencies of crude extracts of indoor dust collected from Japan (n = 8), the United States (n = 21), Vietnam (n = 10), the Philippines (n = 17), and Indonesia (n = 10) and for 23 selected FRs. The CALUX reporter gene assays used were specific for compounds interacting with the human androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor α (ERα), progesterone receptor (PR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ2 (PPARγ2). Indoor dust extracts were agonistic to ERα, GR, and PPARγ2 and antagonistic against AR, PR, GR, and PPARγ2. In comparison, a majority of FRs was agonistic to ERα and PPARγ2 only, and some FRs demonstrated receptor-specific antagonism against all tested nuclear receptors. Hierarchical clustering clearly indicated that agonism of ERα and antagonism of AR and PR were common, frequently detected end points for indoor dust and tested FRs. Given our previous results regarding the concentrations of FRs in indoor dust and in light of our current results, candidate contributors to these effects include not only internationally controlled brominated FRs but also alternatives such as some phosphorus-containing FRs. In the context of indoor pollution, high-frequency effects of FRs such as agonism of ERα and antagonism of AR and PR are candidate high-priority end points for further investigation.

  10. A robotics platform for automated batch fabrication of high density, microfluidics-based DNA microarrays, with applications to single cell, multiplex assays of secreted proteins. (United States)

    Ahmad, Habib; Sutherland, Alex; Shin, Young Shik; Hwang, Kiwook; Qin, Lidong; Krom, Russell-John; Heath, James R


    Microfluidics flow-patterning has been utilized for the construction of chip-scale miniaturized DNA and protein barcode arrays. Such arrays have been used for specific clinical and fundamental investigations in which many proteins are assayed from single cells or other small sample sizes. However, flow-patterned arrays are hand-prepared, and so are impractical for broad applications. We describe an integrated robotics/microfluidics platform for the automated preparation of such arrays, and we apply it to the batch fabrication of up to eighteen chips of flow-patterned DNA barcodes. The resulting substrates are comparable in quality with hand-made arrays and exhibit excellent substrate-to-substrate consistency. We demonstrate the utility and reproducibility of robotics-patterned barcodes by utilizing two flow-patterned chips for highly parallel assays of a panel of secreted proteins from single macrophage cells.

  11. Comparative study of the toxic effects of Chrysaora quinquecirrha (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) and Chironex fleckeri (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) venoms using cell-based assays. (United States)

    Ponce, Dalia; Brinkman, Diane L; Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Wright, Christine E; Dorantes-Aranda, Juan José


    The venoms of jellyfish cause toxic effects in diverse biological systems that can trigger local and systemic reactions. In this study, the cytotoxic and cytolytic effects of Chrysaora quinquecirrha and Chironex fleckeri venoms were assessed and compared using three in vitro assays. Venoms from both species were cytotoxic to fish gill cells and rat cardiomyocytes, and cytolytic in sheep erythrocytes. Both venoms decreased cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner; however, the greatest difference in venom potencies was observed in the fish gill cell line, wherein C. fleckeri was 12.2- (P = 0.0005) and 35.7-fold (P fleckeri and other cubozoan jellyfish species. In this study, proteins homologous to CfTX-1 and CfTX-2 toxins from C. fleckeri and CqTX-A toxin from Chironex yamaguchii were identified in C. quinquecirrha venom using tandem mass spectrometry. The presence and relative abundance of these proteins may explain the differences in venom potency between cubozoan and scyphozoan jellyfish and may reflect their importance in the action of venoms.

  12. Blockade of Androgen Markers Using a Novel Betasitosterol, Thioctic Acid and Carnitine-containing Compound in Prostate and Hair Follicle Cell-based Assays. (United States)

    Chen, Li; Wang, Jiaolong; Mouser, Glen; Li, Yan Chun; Marcovici, Geno


    Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) affects approximately 70% of men and 40% of women in an age-dependent manner and is partially mediated by androgen hormones. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) similarly affects 50% of the male population, rising by 10% each decade. Finasteride inhibits 5-alpha reductase (5AR) and is used to treat both disorders, despite offering limited clinical benefits accompanied by significant adverse side effects. Building on our previous work demonstrating the efficacy of naturally derived 5AR inhibitors (such as stigmasterol and beta sitosterol), we hypothesize that targeting 5AR as well as inflammatory pathways may yield improved efficacy in AGA and BPH. Here we address these dual pathomechanisms by examining the potency of a novel composition using in vitro assays of representative cell lines for AGA (hair follicle dermal papilla cells) and BPH (LNCaP prostate cells), respectively. Exposure of cells to the novel test composition down-regulated mRNA expression profiles characteristic of both disease processes, which outperformed finasteride. Changes in mRNA expression were corroborated at the protein level as assessed by western blotting. These studies provide proof of concept that novel, naturally derived compositions simultaneously targeting 5AR and inflammatory mediators may represent a rational approach to treating AGA and BPH. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. Rapid Multiplexed Flow Cytometric Assay for Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection Using an Automated Fluidic Microbead-Trapping Flow Cell for Enhanced Sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozanich, Richard M.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Warner, Marvin G.; Miller, Keith D.; Antolick, Kathryn C.; Marks, James D.; Lou, Jianlong; Grate, Jay W.


    A bead-based sandwich immunoassay for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) has been developed and demonstrated using a recombinant 50 kDa fragment (BoNT/A-HC-fragment) of the BoNT/A heavy chain (BoNT/A-HC) as a structurally valid simulant. Three different anti-BoNT/A antibodies were attached to three different fluorescent dye encoded flow cytometry beads for multiplexing. The assay was conducted in two formats: a manual microcentrifuge tube format and an automated fluidic system format. Flow cytometry detection was used for both formats. The fluidic system used a novel microbead-trapping flow cell to capture antibody-coupled beads with subsequent sequential perfusion of sample, wash, dye-labeled reporter antibody, and final wash solutions. After the reaction period, the beads were collected for analysis by flow cytometry. Sandwich assays performed on the fluidic system gave median fluorescence intensity signals on the flow cytometer that were 2-4 times higher than assays performed manually in the same amount of time. Limits of detection were estimated at 1 pM (~50 pg/mL for BoNT/A-HC-fragment) for the 15 minute fluidic assay.

  14. A new automated method for the determination of the Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC of human plasma, based on the crocin bleaching assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Notas George


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Antioxidant molecules, which scavenge free radical species to prevent or delay oxidative damage of important macromolecules, membrane lipids and lipoproteins, are prevalent in plasma and other biological fluids. Among them, bilirubin, uric acid and protein thiols are the major endogenous antioxidants, while vitamins C and E, as well as a number of food-derived (polyaromatic substances, belonging to stilbens, flavonoids and phenolic acids, are the main classes of nutritional antioxidants. Assays for total antioxidant capacity in plasma differ in their type of oxidation source, target and measurement used to detect the oxidized product. Methods In the present work we present an automated assay for the estimation of blood total antioxidant capacity (TAC assay, based on the crocin bleaching (oxidation method. This method was adapted on a modern autoanalyzer, was linear over a wide range of values (0–3 mmol/L, and performed using an end point measurement. Results The TAC method presented a linear correlation with another automated commercial Total Antioxidant Status (TAS test. Detection of the interference of different metabolites revealed a significant participation of TAC from uric acid, bilirubin, albumin, a minor interference from ascorbic acid, and no interference from hemoglobin. TAC was not modified by two freeze/thawing cycles, and was stable in samples stored at room temperature for 4 hours. K-EDTA and heparin were the best anticoagulants, while citrate decreased TAC by 20%. Reference values derived from samples of normal blood donors was 1.175 ± 0.007 mmol/L (mean ± SEM, while a diet rich in antioxidants more than doubled this value. Conclusions The proposed TAC assay, is fully automated, stable and reliable, and could be of value in the estimation of the AC of plasma. It is further proposed to calculate the antioxidant capacity of plasma after a subtraction of all interference deriving from endogenous and

  15. Evaluation of an automated rapid diagnostic assay for detection of Gram-negative bacteria and their drug-resistance genes in positive blood cultures. (United States)

    Tojo, Masayoshi; Fujita, Takahiro; Ainoda, Yusuke; Nagamatsu, Maki; Hayakawa, Kayoko; Mezaki, Kazuhisa; Sakurai, Aki; Masui, Yoshinori; Yazaki, Hirohisa; Takahashi, Hiroshi; Miyoshi-Akiyama, Tohru; Totsuka, Kyoichi; Kirikae, Teruo; Ohmagari, Norio


    We evaluated the performance of the Verigene Gram-Negative Blood Culture Nucleic Acid Test (BC-GN; Nanosphere, Northbrook, IL, USA), an automated multiplex assay for rapid identification of positive blood cultures caused by 9 Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) and for detection of 9 genes associated with β-lactam resistance. The BC-GN assay can be performed directly from positive blood cultures with 5 minutes of hands-on and 2 hours of run time per sample. A total of 397 GNB positive blood cultures were analyzed using the BC-GN assay. Of the 397 samples, 295 were simulated samples prepared by inoculating GNB into blood culture bottles, and the remaining were clinical samples from 102 patients with positive blood cultures. Aliquots of the positive blood cultures were tested by the BC-GN assay. The results of bacterial identification between the BC-GN assay and standard laboratory methods were as follows: Acinetobacter spp. (39 isolates for the BC-GN assay/39 for the standard methods), Citrobacter spp. (7/7), Escherichia coli (87/87), Klebsiella oxytoca (13/13), and Proteus spp. (11/11); Enterobacter spp. (29/30); Klebsiella pneumoniae (62/72); Pseudomonas aeruginosa (124/125); and Serratia marcescens (18/21); respectively. From the 102 clinical samples, 104 bacterial species were identified with the BC-GN assay, whereas 110 were identified with the standard methods. The BC-GN assay also detected all β-lactam resistance genes tested (233 genes), including 54 bla(CTX-M), 119 bla(IMP), 8 bla(KPC), 16 bla(NDM), 24 bla(OXA-23), 1 bla(OXA-24/40), 1 bla(OXA-48), 4 bla(OXA-58), and 6 blaVIM. The data shows that the BC-GN assay provides rapid detection of GNB and β-lactam resistance genes in positive blood cultures and has the potential to contributing to optimal patient management by earlier detection of major antimicrobial resistance genes.

  16. Automation and validation of micronucleus detection in the 3D EpiDerm™ human reconstructed skin assay and correlation with 2D dose responses (United States)

    Chapman, K. E.; Thomas, A. D.; Jenkins, G. J. S.


    Recent restrictions on the testing of cosmetic ingredients in animals have resulted in the need to test the genotoxic potential of chemicals exclusively in vitro prior to licensing. However, as current in vitro tests produce some misleading positive results, sole reliance on such tests could prevent some chemicals with safe or beneficial exposure levels from being marketed. The 3D human reconstructed skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay is a promising new in vitro approach designed to assess genotoxicity of dermally applied compounds. The assay utilises a highly differentiated in vitro model of the human epidermis. For the first time, we have applied automated micronucleus detection to this assay using MetaSystems Metafer Slide Scanning Platform (Metafer), demonstrating concordance with manual scoring. The RSMN assay’s fixation protocol was found to be compatible with the Metafer, providing a considerably shorter alternative to the recommended Metafer protocol. Lowest observed genotoxic effect levels (LOGELs) were observed for mitomycin-C at 4.8 µg/ml and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) at 1750 µg/ml when applied topically to the skin surface. In-medium dosing with MMS produced a LOGEL of 20 µg/ml, which was very similar to the topical LOGEL when considering the total mass of MMS added. Comparisons between 3D medium and 2D LOGELs resulted in a 7-fold difference in total mass of MMS applied to each system, suggesting a protective function of the 3D microarchitecture. Interestingly, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a positive clastogen in 2D systems, tested negative in this assay. A non-genotoxic carcinogen, methyl carbamate, produced negative results, as expected. We also demonstrated expression of the DNA repair protein N-methylpurine-DNA glycosylase in EpiDerm™. Our preliminary validation here demonstrates that the RSMN assay may be a valuable follow-up to the current in vitro test battery, and together with its automation, could contribute to minimising unnecessary in

  17. Multicenter analytical performance evaluation of a fully automated anti-Müllerian hormone assay and reference interval determination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anckaert, E.; Öktem, M.; Thies, A.; Cohen-Bacrie, M.; Daan, N. M P; Schiettecatte, J.; Müller, C.; Topcu, D.; Gröning, A.; Ternaux, F.; Engel, C.; Engelmann, S.; Milczynski, C.


    Objectives: Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is an established biomarker for assessing ovarian reserve and predicting response to controlled ovarian stimulation. Its routine clinical use is hampered by the variability and low-throughput of available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The presen

  18. Cell-based assays in combination with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight tandem mass spectrometry for screening bioactive capilliposide C metabolites generated by rat intestinal microflora. (United States)

    Cheng, Zhongzhe; Huang, Meilin; Chen, Guiying; Yang, Guangjie; Zhou, Xin; Chen, Chang; Zhang, Yang; Xu, Yong; Feng, Yulin; Zhang, Lin; Jiang, Hongliang


    Many plant-derived glycosides are used as medications. It is common that these glycosides show poor intestinal absorption but their metabolites generated by intestinal microflora demonstrate strong bioactivity. Hence, it is crucial to develop a method for the identification and characterization of the metabolites, and consequently reveal the pathway in which the glycosides are processed in gut. In this study, cell-based assays in combination with ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS) were developed for rapid discovery and evaluation of the metabolites of a glycoside compound, capilliposide C (LC-C). 92.7% of LC-C was biotransformed by rat intestinal microflora after 36-h incubation at 37°C. Human cancer cell lines HepG2, PC-3 and A549 was treated with metabolites pool, respectively, which was followed by cell viability assays and characterization of metabolites using UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS. As a result, significant cytotoxicity was observed for the metabolites pool, from which six metabolites were identified. Based on the metabolites identified, deglycosylation and esterolysis were proposed as the major metabolic pathways of LC-C in rat intestinal microflora. In addition, M4, an esterolysis product of LC-C, was obtained and evaluated for its bioactivity in vitro. As a result, M4 exhibited a reduction in cell viability in HepG2 with an IC50 value of 17.46±1.55μg/mL.

  19. Towards the standardisation of the neuroblastoma (neuro-2a) cell-based assay for ciguatoxin-like toxicity detection in fish: application to fish caught in the Canary Islands. (United States)

    Caillaud, A; Eixarch, H; de la Iglesia, P; Rodriguez, M; Dominguez, L; Andree, K B; Diogène, J


    The ouabain/veratridine-dependent neuroblastoma (neuro-2a) cell-based assay (CBA) was applied for the determination of the presence of ciguatoxin (CTX)-like compounds in ciguatera-suspected fish samples caught in the Canary Islands. In order to avoid matrix interferences the maximal concentration of wet weight fish tissue exposed to the neuro-2a cells was set at 20 mg tissue equivalent (TE) ml(-1) according to the sample preparation procedure applied. In the present study, the limit of quantification (LOQ) of CTX1B equivalents in fish extract was set at the limit of detection (LOD), being defined as the concentration of CTX1B equivalents inhibiting 20% cell viability (IC(20)). The LOQ was estimated as 0.0096 ng CTX1B eq.g TE(-1) with 23-31% variability between experiments. These values were deemed sufficient even though quantification given at the IC(50) (the concentration of CTX1B equivalents inhibiting 50% cell viability) is more accurate with a variability of 17-19% between experiments. Among the 13 fish samples tested, four fish samples were toxic to the neuro-2a cells with estimations of the content in CTX1B g(-1) of TE ranging from 0.058 (± 0.012) to 6.23 (± 0.713) ng CTX1B eq.g TE(-1). The high sensitivity and specificity of the assay for CTX1B confirmed its suitability as a screening tool of CTX-like compounds in fish extracts at levels that may cause ciguatera fish poisoning. Species identification of fish samples by DNA sequence analysis was conducted in order to confirm tentatively the identity of ciguatera risk species and it revealed some evidence of inadvertent misidentification. Results presented in this study are a contribution to the standardisation of the neuro-2a CBA and to the risk analysis for ciguatera in the Canary Islands.

  20. Improving the measurement of longitudinal change in renal function: automated detection of changes in laboratory creatinine assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norman Poh


    Full Text Available IntroductionRenal function is reported using the estimates of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR. However, eGFR values are recorded without reference to the particular serum creatinine (SCr assays used to derive them, and newer assays were introduced at different time points across the laboratories in the United Kingdom. These changes may cause systematic bias in eGFR reported in routinely collected data, even though laboratory-reported eGFR values have a correction factor applied.DesignAn algorithm to detect changes in SCr that in turn affect eGFR calculation method was developed. It compares the mapping of SCr values on to eGFR values across a time series of paired eGFR and SCr measurements.SettingRoutinely collected primary care data from 20,000 people with the richest renal function data from the quality improvement in chronic kidney disease trial.ResultsThe algorithm identified a change in eGFR calculation method in 114 (90% of the 127 included practices. This change was identified in 4736 (23.7% patient time series analysed. This change in calibration method was found to cause a significant step change in the reported eGFR values, producing a systematic bias. The eGFR values could not be recalibrated by applying the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation to the laboratory reported SCr values.ConclusionsThis algorithm can identify laboratory changes in eGFR calculation methods and changes in SCr assay. Failure to account for these changes may misconstrue renal function changes over time. Researchers using routine eGFR data should account for these effects.  

  1. Cytomegalovirus DNA quantification using an automated platform for nucleic acid extraction and real-time PCR assay setup. (United States)

    Forman, Michael; Wilson, Andy; Valsamakis, Alexandra


    Analytical performance characteristics of the QIAsymphony RGQ system with artus cytomegalovirus (CMV) reagents were determined. Measurable range spanned 2.0 to ≥ 7.0 log(10) copies/ml. The detection limit was 23 copies/ml. Intrarun and interrun coefficients of variation were ≤ 2.1% at 3.0 and 5.0 log(10) copies/ml. In clinical specimens, RGQ values were ~0.2 log(10) copies/ml higher than those in an assay using a BioRobot M48 extraction/manual reaction setup/7500 Real-Time PCR instrument. No cross-contamination was observed.

  2. Rapid, semi-automated, and inexpensive radioimmunoassay of cAMP: application in GPCR-mediated adenylate cyclase assays. (United States)

    Brown, Justin T; Kant, Andrew; Mailman, Richard B


    Cyclic AMP (cAMP) is an important signal transduction second messenger that is commonly used as a functional mirror on the actions of G protein-coupled receptors that can activate or inhibit adenylate cyclases. A radioimmunoassay for cAMP with femtomole sensitivity was first reported by Steiner more than 30 years ago, and there have been several subsequent modifications that have improved this assay in various ways. Here we describe additional improvement to existing methods that markedly improve speed and reduce cost without sacrificing sensitivity, and is also adaptable to analysis of cGMP. The primary antibody is coupled directly to magnetic beads that are then separated from unbound marker using filtration on microplates. This eliminates the need for a secondary antibody, and markedly increases throughput. In addition, we report a simple, reproducible, and inexpensive method to make the radiomarker used for this assay. Although still requiring the use of radioactivity, the resulting method retains a high degree of accuracy and precision, and is suitable for low-cost high throughput screening. Use of aspects of this method can also improve throughput in other radioimmunoassays.

  3. Performance of an automated solid-phase red cell adherence system compared with that of a manual gel microcolumn assay for the identification of antibodies eluted from red blood cells. (United States)

    Finck, R H; Davis, R J; Teng, S; Goldfinger, D; Ziman, A F; Lu, Q; Yuan, S


    IgG antibodies coating red blood cells (RBCs) can be removed by elution procedures and their specificity determined by antibody identification studies. Although such testing is traditionally performed using the tube agglutination assay, prior studies have shown that the gel microcolumn (GMC) assay may also be used with comparable results. The purpose of this study was to compare an automated solid-phase red cell adherence (SPRCA) system with a GMC assay for the detection of antibodies eluted from RBCs. Acid eluates from 51 peripheral blood (PB) and 7 cord blood (CB) samples were evaluated by both an automated SPRCA instrument and a manual GMC assay. The concordance rate between the two systems for peripheral RBC samples was 88.2 percent (45 of 51), including cases with alloantibodies (n = 8), warm autoantibodies (n = 12), antibodies with no identifiable specificity (n = 2), and negative results (n = 23). There were six discordant cases, of which four had alloantibodies (including anti-Jka, -E, and -e) demonstrable by the SPRCA system only. In the remaining 2 cases, anti-Fya and antibodies with no identifiable specificity were demonstrable by the GMC assay only. All seven CB specimens produced concordant results, showing anti-A (n = 3), -B (n = 1), maternal anti-Jka (n = 2), or a negative result (n = 1). Automated SPRCA technology has a performance that is comparable with that of a manual GMC assay for identifying antibodies eluted from PB and CB RBCs.

  4. In-syringe magnetic stirring-assisted dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction for automation and downscaling of methylene blue active substances assay. (United States)

    Suárez, Ruth; Horstkotte, Burkhard; Cerdà, Victor


    A simple and rapid method for the determination of the methylene blue active substances assay based on in-syringe automation of magnetic stirring-assisted dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction was developed. The proposed method proved to be valid for the determination of anionic surfactant in waste, pond, well, tap, and drinking water samples. Sample mixing with reagents, extraction and phase separation were performed within the syringe of an automated syringe pump containing a magnetic stirring bar for homogenization and solvent dispersion. The syringe module was used upside-down to enable the use of chloroform as an extraction solvent of higher density than water. The calibration was found to be linear up to 0.3mg/L using only 200 µL of solvent and 4 mL of sample. The limits of detection (3σ) and quantification (10σ) were 7.0 µg/L and 22 µg/L, respectively. The relative standard deviation for 10 replicate determinations of 0.1mg/L SBDS was below 3%. Concentrations of anionic surfactants in natural water samples were in the range of 0.032-0.213 mg/L and no significant differences towards the standard method were found. Standard additions gave analyte recoveries between 95% and 106% proving the general applicability and adequateness of the system to MBSA index determination. Compared to the tedious standard method requiring up to 50 mL of chloroform, the entire procedure took only 345 s using 250-times less solvent.

  5. Novel pharmacological activity of loperamide and CP-339,818 on human HCN channels characterized with an automated electrophysiology assay. (United States)

    Lee, Yan T; Vasilyev, Dmitry V; Shan, Qin J; Dunlop, John; Mayer, Scott; Bowlby, Mark R


    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels underlie the pacemaker currents in neurons (I(h)) and cardiac (I(f)) cells. As such, the identification and characterization of novel blockers of HCN channels is important to enable the dissection of their function in vivo. Using a new IonWorks HT electrophysiology assay with human HCN1 and HCN4 expressed stably in cell lines, four HCN channel blockers are characterized. Two blockers known for their activity at opioid/Ca(2+) channels and K(+) channels, loperamide and CP-339,818 (respectively), are described to block HCN1 more potently than HCN4. The known HCN blocker ZD7288 was also found to be more selective for HCN1 over HCN4, while the HCN blocker DK-AH269 was equipotent on HCN4 and HCN1. Partial replacement of the intracellular Cl(-) with gluconate reduced the potency on both channels, but to varying degrees. For both HCN1 and HCN4, ZD7288 was most sensitive in lower Cl(-) solutions, while the potency of loperamide was not affected by the differing solutions. The block of HCN1 for all compounds was voltage-dependent, being relieved at more negative potentials. The voltage-dependent, Cl(-) dependent, HCN1 preferring compounds described here elaborate on the current known pharmacology of HCN channels and may help provide novel tools and chemical starting points for the investigation of HCN channel function in natively expressing systems.

  6. Platelet-induced thrombin generation by the calibrated automated thrombogram assay is increased in patients with essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera. (United States)

    Panova-Noeva, Marina; Marchetti, Marina; Spronk, Henri Maria; Russo, Laura; Diani, Erika; Finazzi, Guido; Finazzi, Good; Salmoiraghi, Silvia; Rambaldi, Alessandro; Rambaldi, Aueesandrd; Barbui, Tiziano; Barbui, Titiano; Ten Cate, Hugo; Ten Cate, Huao; Falanga, Anna


    The platelet contribution to the thrombophilic state of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), i.e., essential thrombocythemia (ET) and polycythemia vera (PV), remains uncertain. In this study we aimed to characterize the thrombin generation (TG) potential expressed by platelets from these subjects, compare it to normal platelets, and identify what factors might be responsible for platelet TG. In a group of 140 MPN patients (80 ET and 60 PV) and 72 healthy subjects, we measured the global procoagulant potential of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) utilizing the TG assay by the calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT). To characterize the procoagulant contribution of platelets in PRP, the TG of both isolated platelets and platelet-poor plasma was measured, and the platelet surface expression of TF was determined. Finally, the activation status of platelets was assessed by the levels of P-selectin expressed on platelet surface. MPN patients had significantly increased PRP and isolated platelet TG potential compared to controls. This was associated to the occurrence of platelet activation. Patients carriers of the JAK2V617F mutation showed the highest values of TG and platelet surface TF and P-selectin. Platelet TG potential was significantly lower in hydroxyurea(HU) compared to non-HU-treated patients and was lowest in HU-treated JAK2V617F carriers. In subjects not receiving HU, platelet TG significantly increased by JAK2V617F allele burden increment (P < 0.05).This study demonstrates a platelet-dependent form of hypercoagulability in MPN patients, particularly in those carriers of the JAK2V617F mutation. The cytoreductive therapy with HU significantly affects this prothrombotic phenotype.

  7. Clinical evaluation of new automated cytomegalovirus IgM and IgG assays for the Elecsys(®) analyser platform. (United States)

    Revello, M G; Vauloup-Fellous, C; Grangeot-Keros, L; van Helden, J; Dickstein, Y; Lipkin, I; Mühlbacher, A; Lazzarotto, T


    Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a leading cause of physical and neurological abnormalities in newborns. Hence, the diagnosis of CMV infection in pregnant women is necessary in order to allow appropriate management of their pregnancy. New assays have been developed for the Roche Elecsys® immunoassay platform that detect CMV-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)M and IgG, with the IgM assay designed to target IgM produced at the start of infection rather than IgM persisting later in infection. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of the new assays compared with other commercial kits widely distributed in laboratories. The performance of the Elecsys and comparator CMV IgM and IgG assays was assessed using 967 preselected patient samples characterised by CMV infection status, as well as being compared using 1,668 unselected clinical samples. The Elecsys CMV IgM and IgG assays performed consistently with comparator assays using the preselected samples. The Elecsys CMV IgM assay showed improved sensitivity compared with the Enzygnost® assay in primary infection (91.2 % vs. 79.4 %) and improved specificity over the Architect® assay in potentially cross-reacting samples (94.1 % vs. 82.4 %). The Elecsys IgM assay reported fewer positive results in the later stages of CMV infection compared with ETI-CYTOK-M ELISA, while the Elecsys IgG assay reported slightly fewer negative results in the early stages of infection compared with ETI-CYTOK-G ELISA. There was good agreement between Elecsys and comparator assays using unselected clinical samples (range 90.4-99.4 %). The Elecsys CMV IgM and IgG assays compare well with routinely used assays and are suitable for clinical use.

  8. Detection of BRAF Mutations Using a Fully Automated Platform and Comparison with High Resolution Melting, Real-Time Allele Specific Amplification, Immunohistochemistry and Next Generation Sequencing Assays, for Patients with Metastatic Melanoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Harlé

    Full Text Available Metastatic melanoma is a severe disease with one of the highest mortality rate in skin diseases. Overall survival has significantly improved with immunotherapy and targeted therapies. Kinase inhibitors targeting BRAF V600 showed promising results. BRAF genotyping is mandatory for the prescription of anti-BRAF therapies.Fifty-nine formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded melanoma samples were assessed using High-Resolution-Melting (HRM PCR, Real-time allele-specific amplification (RT-ASA PCR, Next generation sequencing (NGS, immunohistochemistry (IHC and the fully-automated molecular diagnostics platform IdyllaTM. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated using NGS as the reference standard to compare the different assays.BRAF mutations were found in 28(47.5%, 29(49.2%, 31(52.5%, 29(49.2% and 27(45.8% samples with HRM, RT-ASA, NGS, IdyllaTM and IHC respectively. Twenty-six (81.2% samples were found bearing a c.1799T>A (p.Val600Glu mutation, three (9.4% with a c.1798_1799delinsAA (p.Val600Lys mutation and one with c.1789_1790delinsTC (p.Leu597Ser mutation. Two samples were found bearing complex mutations.HRM appears the less sensitive assay for the detection of BRAF V600 mutations. The RT-ASA, IdyllaTM and IHC assays are suitable for routine molecular diagnostics aiming at the prescription of anti-BRAF therapies. IdyllaTM assay is fully-automated and requires less than 2 minutes for samples preparation and is the fastest of the tested assays.

  9. Development of an artificial-antigen-presenting-cell-based assay for the detection of low-frequency virus-specific CD8(+) T cells in whole blood, with application for measles virus. (United States)

    Ndhlovu, Zaza M; Angenendt, Monika; Heckel, Diana; Schneck, Jonathan P; Griffin, Diane E; Oelke, Mathias


    Evaluation of the immune responses induced by childhood vaccines requires measurement of T-cell, as well as antibody, responses. However, cellular immune responses are often not analyzed because of technical hurdles and the volume of blood required. Therefore, a sensitive and specific assay for antigen-specific T cells that utilizes a small volume of blood would facilitate new vaccine evaluation. We developed a novel assay for quantifying virus-specific CD8(+) T cells that combines the use of HLA-A2 immunoglobulin-based artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPCs) for stimulation of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells in whole blood with quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) to detect gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) mRNA. This assay was optimized using a well-established cytomegalovirus (CMV) CD8(+) T-cell system. The aAPC-qRT-PCR assay had comparable sensitivity to intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) in detecting CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells with a detection limit of less than 0.004%. The assay was applied to the detection of low-frequency measles virus (MV)-specific CD8(+) T cells by stimulating blood from five MV-immune HLA-A*0201 donors with four different MV-specific peptides (MV peptide aAPCs). Stimulation with three of the MV peptide aAPCs resulted in significant increases in IFN-gamma mRNA ranging from 3.3- to 13.5-fold. Our results show that the aAPC-qRT-PCR assay is highly sensitive and specific and can be standardized for screening MV-specific CD8(+) T cells in vaccine trials. The technology should be transferable to analysis of CD8(+) T-cell responses to other antigens.

  10. Development of fully automated determination of marker-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) avidity based on the avidity competition assay format: application for Abbott Architect cytomegalovirus and Toxo IgG Avidity assays. (United States)

    Curdt, Ingo; Praast, Gerald; Sickinger, Eva; Schultess, Jan; Herold, Iris; Braun, Hans Bertram; Bernhardt, Stephanie; Maine, Gregory T; Smith, Darwin D; Hsu, Stephen; Christ, Heike M; Pucci, Dominick; Hausmann, Michael; Herzogenrath, Jörg


    Determination of the avidity of immunoglobulin G (IgG) directed against a specific marker has become an established diagnostic tool for identifying or excluding acute infections with pathogens. A novel assay format termed AVIcomp (avidity competition based on mass action) circumventing the conventional chaotropic format has been developed for determination of the avidity of marker-specific IgG in patient specimens. Its applications for cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Toxoplasma gondii are presented. Specific high-avidity IgG from the patient specimen is selectively blocked using a soluble antigen in a sample pretreatment reagent, and the amount of remaining specific low-avidity IgG is determined relative to that in an untreated control. The comparison of the conventional chaotropic format, represented by the Radim CMV IgG Avidity assay, and the newly developed AVIcomp method, as exemplified by the Architect CMV IgG Avidity assay, on blood drawn within 4 months after seroconversion revealed a sensitivity of 100% (97.3% by an alternative calculation) for the AVIcomp format versus 87.5% (75.7% by an alternative calculation) for the chaotropic avidity assay. The specificity on 312 CMV IgG reactive and CMV IgM nonreactive specimens from pregnant women was 100% for the AVIcomp assay and 99.7% for the conventional avidity assay. The Architect Toxo IgG Avidity assay showed an agreement of 97.2% with the bioMérieux Vidas Toxo IgG Avidity Assay employing chaotropic reagents. These performance data suggest that the AVIcomp format shows superior sensitivity and equivalent specificity for the determination of IgG avidity to assays based on the chaotropic method and that the AVIcomp format may also be applicable to other disease states.

  11. Automation in immunohematology. (United States)

    Bajpai, Meenu; Kaur, Ravneet; Gupta, Ekta


    There have been rapid technological advances in blood banking in South Asian region over the past decade with an increasing emphasis on quality and safety of blood products. The conventional test tube technique has given way to newer techniques such as column agglutination technique, solid phase red cell adherence assay, and erythrocyte-magnetized technique. These new technologies are adaptable to automation and major manufacturers in this field have come up with semi and fully automated equipments for immunohematology tests in the blood bank. Automation improves the objectivity and reproducibility of tests. It reduces human errors in patient identification and transcription errors. Documentation and traceability of tests, reagents and processes and archiving of results is another major advantage of automation. Shifting from manual methods to automation is a major undertaking for any transfusion service to provide quality patient care with lesser turnaround time for their ever increasing workload. This article discusses the various issues involved in the process.

  12. Automation in Immunohematology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meenu Bajpai


    Full Text Available There have been rapid technological advances in blood banking in South Asian region over the past decade with an increasing emphasis on quality and safety of blood products. The conventional test tube technique has given way to newer techniques such as column agglutination technique, solid phase red cell adherence assay, and erythrocyte-magnetized technique. These new technologies are adaptable to automation and major manufacturers in this field have come up with semi and fully automated equipments for immunohematology tests in the blood bank. Automation improves the objectivity and reproducibility of tests. It reduces human errors in patient identification and transcription errors. Documentation and traceability of tests, reagents and processes and archiving of results is another major advantage of automation. Shifting from manual methods to automation is a major undertaking for any transfusion service to provide quality patient care with lesser turnaround time for their ever increasing workload. This article discusses the various issues involved in the process.

  13. A semi-automated system for quantifying the oxidative potential of ambient particles in aqueous extracts using the dithiothreitol (DTT assay: results from the Southeastern Center for Air Pollution and Epidemiology (SCAPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Fang


    Full Text Available A variety of methods are used to measure the capability of particulate matter (PM to catalytically generate reactive oxygen species (ROS in vivo, also defined as the aerosol oxidative potential. A widely used measure of aerosol oxidative potential is the dithiothreitol (DTT assay, which monitors the depletion of DTT (a surrogate for cellular antioxidants as catalyzed by the redox-active species in PM. However, a major constraint in the routine use of the DTT assay for integrating it with the large-scale health studies is its labor-intensive and time-consuming protocol. To specifically address this concern, we have developed a semi-automated system for quantifying the oxidative potential of aerosol liquid extracts using the DTT assay. The system, capable of unattended analysis at one sample per hour, has a high analytical precision (Coefficient of Variation of 12% for standards, 4% for ambient samples, and reasonably low limit of detection (0.31 nmol min−1. Comparison of the automated approach with the manual method conducted on ambient samples yielded good agreement (slope = 1.08 ± 0.12, r2 = 0.92, N = 9. The system was utilized for the Southeastern Center for Air Pollution and Epidemiology (SCAPE to generate an extensive data set on DTT activity of ambient particles collected from contrasting environments (urban, road-side, and rural in the southeastern US. We find that water-soluble PM2.5 DTT activity on a per air volume basis was spatially uniform and often well correlated with PM2.5 mass (r = 0.49 to 0.88, suggesting regional sources contributing to the PM oxidative potential in southeast US. However, the greater heterogeneity in the intrinsic DTT activity (per PM mass basis across seasons indicates variability in the DTT activity associated with aerosols from sources that vary with season. Although developed for the DTT assay, the instrument can also be used to determine oxidative potential with other acellular assays.

  14. A semi-automated system for quantifying the oxidative potential of ambient particles in aqueous extracts using the dithiothreitol (DTT) assay: results from the Southeastern Center for Air Pollution and Epidemiology (SCAPE) (United States)

    Fang, T.; Verma, V.; Guo, H.; King, L. E.; Edgerton, E. S.; Weber, R. J.


    A variety of methods are used to measure the capability of particulate matter (PM) to catalytically generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vivo, also defined as the aerosol oxidative potential. A widely used measure of aerosol oxidative potential is the dithiothreitol (DTT) assay, which monitors the depletion of DTT (a surrogate for cellular antioxidants) as catalyzed by the redox-active species in PM. However, a major constraint in the routine use of the DTT assay for integrating it with large-scale health studies is its labor-intensive and time-consuming protocol. To specifically address this concern, we have developed a semi-automated system for quantifying the oxidative potential of aerosol liquid extracts using the DTT assay. The system, capable of unattended analysis at one sample per hour, has a high analytical precision (coefficient of variation of 15% for positive control, 4% for ambient samples) and reasonably low limit of detection (0.31 nmol min-1). Comparison of the automated approach with the manual method conducted on ambient samples yielded good agreement (slope = 1.08 ± 0.12, r2 = 0.92, N = 9). The system was utilized for the Southeastern Center for Air Pollution & Epidemiology (SCAPE) to generate an extensive data set on DTT activity of ambient particles collected from contrasting environments (urban, roadside, and rural) in the southeastern US. We find that water-soluble PM2.5 DTT activity on a per-air-volume basis was spatially uniform and often well correlated with PM2.5 mass (r = 0.49 to 0.88), suggesting regional sources contributing to the PM oxidative potential in the southeastern US. The correlation may also suggest a mechanistic explanation (oxidative stress) for observed PM2.5 mass-health associations. The heterogeneity in the intrinsic DTT activity (per-PM-mass basis) across seasons indicates variability in the DTT activity associated with aerosols from sources that vary with season. Although developed for the DTT assay, the

  15. Rapid semi-automated quantitative multiplex tandem PCR (MT-PCR assays for the differential diagnosis of influenza-like illness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwyer Dominic E


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Influenza A, including avian influenza, is a major public health threat in developed and developing countries. Rapid and accurate detection is a key component of strategies to contain spread of infection, and the efficient diagnosis of influenza-like-illness is essential to protect health infrastructure in the event of a major influenza outbreak. Methods We developed a multiplexed PCR (MT-PCR assay for the simultaneous diagnosis of respiratory viruses causing influenza-like illness, including the specific recognition of influenza A haemagglutinin subtypes H1, H3, and H5. We tested several hundred clinical specimens in two diagnostic reference laboratories and compared the results with standard techniques. Results The sensitivity and specificity of these assays was higher than individual assays based on direct antigen detection and standard PCR against a range of control templates and in several hundred clinical specimens. The MT-PCR assays provided differential diagnoses as well as potentially useful quantitation of virus in clinical samples. Conclusions MT-PCR is a potentially powerful tool for the differential diagnosis of influenza-like illness in the clinical diagnostic laboratory.

  16. Identification of CTX-M15-, SHV-28-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST15 as an epidemic clone in the Copenhagen area using a semi-automated Rep-PCR typing assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, J B; Skov, M N; Jørgensen, R L;


    Rapid molecular typing methods can be a valuable aid in the investigation of suspected outbreaks. We used a semi-automated repetitive sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (Rep-PCR) typing assay and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to investigate the relationship between local Klebsiella...... pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) producing extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and their relation to recognized Danish outbreak strains. PFGE and Rep-PCR produced similar clustering among isolates. Individual isolates from each cluster were further characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing of bla (TEM......), bla (SHV), and bla (CTX-M), and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Thirty-five out of 52 ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates were ST15 and bla (CTX-M15), bla (SHV-28), and bla (TEM-1) positive by PCR. Ten out of 52 were ST16 and tested positive for bla (CTX-M15), bla (SHV-1), and bla (TEM-1...

  17. Warehouse automation


    Pogačnik, Jure


    An automated high bay warehouse is commonly used for storing large number of material with a high throughput. In an automated warehouse pallet movements are mainly performed by a number of automated devices like conveyors systems, trolleys, and stacker cranes. From the introduction of the material to the automated warehouse system to its dispatch the system requires no operator input or intervention since all material movements are done automatically. This allows the automated warehouse to op...

  18. Automated Assay of Telomere Length Measurement and Informatics for 100,000 Subjects in the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) Cohort (United States)

    Lapham, Kyle; Kvale, Mark N.; Lin, Jue; Connell, Sheryl; Croen, Lisa A.; Dispensa, Brad P.; Fang, Lynn; Hesselson, Stephanie; Hoffmann, Thomas J.; Iribarren, Carlos; Jorgenson, Eric; Kushi, Lawrence H.; Ludwig, Dana; Matsuguchi, Tetsuya; McGuire, William B.; Miles, Sunita; Quesenberry, Charles P.; Rowell, Sarah; Sadler, Marianne; Sakoda, Lori C.; Smethurst, David; Somkin, Carol P.; Van Den Eeden, Stephen K.; Walter, Lawrence; Whitmer, Rachel A.; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Risch, Neil; Schaefer, Catherine; Blackburn, Elizabeth H.


    The Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health (RPGEH) Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging (GERA) cohort includes DNA specimens extracted from saliva samples of 110,266 individuals. Because of its relationship to aging, telomere length measurement was considered an important biomarker to develop on these subjects. To assay relative telomere length (TL) on this large cohort over a short time period, we created a novel high throughput robotic system for TL analysis and informatics. Samples were run in triplicate, along with control samples, in a randomized design. As part of quality control, we determined the within-sample variability and employed thresholds for the elimination of outlying measurements. Of 106,902 samples assayed, 105,539 (98.7%) passed all quality control (QC) measures. As expected, TL in general showed a decline with age and a sex difference. While telomeres showed a negative correlation with age up to 75 years, in those older than 75 years, age positively correlated with longer telomeres, indicative of an association of longer telomeres with more years of survival in those older than 75. Furthermore, while females in general had longer telomeres than males, this difference was significant only for those older than age 50. An additional novel finding was that the variance of TL between individuals increased with age. This study establishes reliable assay and analysis methodologies for measurement of TL in large, population-based human studies. The GERA cohort represents the largest currently available such resource, linked to comprehensive electronic health and genotype data for analysis. PMID:26092717

  19. A qPCR and multiplex pyrosequencing assay combined with automated data processing for rapid and unambiguous detection of ESBL-producers Enterobacteriaceae. (United States)

    Deccache, Yann; Irenge, Leonid M; Ambroise, Jérôme; Savov, Encho; Marinescu, Dan; Chirimwami, Raphael B; Gala, Jean-Luc


    Rapid and specific detection of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing (ESBL) bacteria is crucial both for timely antibiotic therapy when treating infected patients as well as for appropriate infection control measures aimed at curbing the spread of ESBL-producing isolates. Whereas a variety of phenotypic methods are currently available for ESBL detection, they remain time consuming and sometimes difficult to interpret while being also affected by a lack of sensitivity and specificity. Considering the longer turnaround time (TAT) of susceptibility testing and culture results, DNA-based ESBL identification would be a valuable surrogate for phenotypic-based methods. Putative ESBL-positive Enterobacteriaceae isolates (n = 330) from clinical specimen were prospectively collected in Bulgaria, Romania and Democratic Republic of Congo and tested in this study. All isolates were assessed for ESBL-production by the E-test method and those giving undetermined ESBL status were re-tested using the combination disk test. A genotypic assay successively combining qPCR detection of blaCTX-M, blaTEM and blaSHV genes with a multiplex pyrosequencing of blaTEM and blaSHV genes was developed in order to detect the most common ESBL-associated TEM and SHV single nucleotides polymorphisms, irrespective of their plasmid and/or chromosomal location. This assay was applied on all Enterobacteriaceae isolates (n = 330). Phenotypic and genotypic results matched in 324/330 (98.2%). Accordingly, real-time PCR combined with multiplex pyrosequencing appears to be a reliable and easy-to-perform assay with high-throughput identification and fast TAT (~5 h).

  20. Rapid detection of Gram-negative bacteria and their drug resistance genes from positive blood cultures using an automated microarray assay. (United States)

    Han, Eunhee; Park, Dong-Jin; Kim, Yukyoung; Yu, Jin Kyung; Park, Kang Gyun; Park, Yeon-Joon


    We evaluated the performance of the Verigene Gram-negative blood culture (BC-GN) assay (CE-IVD version) for identification of Gram-negative (GN) bacteria and detection of resistance genes. A total of 163 GN organisms (72 characterized strains and 91 clinical isolates from 86 patients) were tested; among the clinical isolates, 86 (94.5%) isolates were included in the BC-GN panel. For identification, the agreement was 98.6% (146/148, 95% confidence interval [CI], 92.1-100) and 70% (7/10, 95% CI, 53.5-100) for monomicrobial and polymicrobial cultures, respectively. Of the 48 resistance genes harbored by 43 characterized strains, all were correctly detected. Of the 19 clinical isolates harboring resistance genes, 1 CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli isolated in polymicrobial culture was not detected. Overall, BC-GN assay provides acceptable accuracy for rapid identification of Gram-negative bacteria and detection of resistance genes, compared with routine laboratory methods despite that it has limitations in the number of genus/species and resistance gene included in the panel and it shows lower sensitivity in polymicrobial cultures.

  1. In vivo erythrocyte micronucleus assay III. Validation and regulatory acceptance of automated scoring and the use of rat peripheral blood reticulocytes, with discussion of non-hematopoietic target cells and a single dose-level limit test. (United States)

    Hayashi, Makoto; MacGregor, James T; Gatehouse, David G; Blakey, David H; Dertinger, Stephen D; Abramsson-Zetterberg, Lilianne; Krishna, Gopala; Morita, Takeshi; Russo, Antonella; Asano, Norihide; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Ohyama, Wakako; Gibson, Dave


    The in vivo micronucleus assay working group of the International Workshop on Genotoxicity Testing (IWGT) discussed new aspects in the in vivo micronucleus (MN) test, including the regulatory acceptance of data derived from automated scoring, especially with regard to the use of flow cytometry, the suitability of rat peripheral blood reticulocytes to serve as the principal cell population for analysis, the establishment of in vivo MN assays in tissues other than bone marrow and blood (for example liver, skin, colon, germ cells), and the biological relevance of the single-dose-level test. Our group members agreed that flow cytometric systems to detect induction of micronucleated immature erythrocytes have advantages based on the presented data, e.g., they give good reproducibility compared to manual scoring, are rapid, and require only small quantities of peripheral blood. Flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood reticulocytes has the potential to allow monitoring of chromosome damage in rodents and also other species as part of routine toxicology studies. It appears that it will be applicable to humans as well, although in this case the possible confounding effects of splenic activity will need to be considered closely. Also, the consensus of the group was that any system that meets the validation criteria recommended by the IWGT (2000) should be acceptable. A number of different flow cytometric-based micronucleus assays have been developed, but at the present time the validation data are most extensive for the flow cytometric method using anti-CD71 fluorescent staining especially in terms of inter-laboratory collaborative data. Whichever method is chosen, it is desirable that each laboratory should determine the minimum sample size required to ensure that scoring error is maintained below the level of animal-to-animal variation. In the second IWGT, the potential to use rat peripheral blood reticulocytes as target cells for the micronucleus assay was discussed

  2. Suitability of Cell-Based Label-Free Detection for Cytotoxicity Screening of Carbon Nanotubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Meindl


    Full Text Available Cytotoxicity testing of nanoparticles (NPs by conventional screening assays is often complicated by interference. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs are particularly difficult to assess. To test the suitability of cell-based label-free techniques for this application, a panel of CNTs with different diameters and surface functionalizations was assessed by impedance-based technique (xCELLigence RTCA and automated microscopy (Cell-IQ compared to formazan bioreduction (MTS assay. For validation of the label-free systems different concentrations of ethanol and of amine (AMI polystyrene NPs were used. CNTs were evaluated in various cell lines, but only endothelial EAhy926 cells and L929 and V79 fibroblasts could be evaluated in all systems. Polystyrene particles obtained similar results in all assays. All systems identified thin (20 nm CNTs, but detection by xCELLigence system was less sensitive to CNT-induced cytotoxicity. Despite advantages, such as continuous monitoring and more detailed analysis of cytotoxic effects, label-free techniques cannot be generally recommended for cytotoxicity screening of NPs.

  3. 全自动尿沉渣检测法判断血尿来源临床价值分析%The clinical value of automated urine assay to determine hematuria sources

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王霞; 李佳音


    Objective To investigate the clinical value of automated urine assay to determine hematuria sources. Methods 106 cases with looking for hematuria were diagnosed by biopsy examination, all were produced by Sysnex UF-100 type analyzer and ordinary optical microscope examination, then clinical detect compliance rate and calculate specificity of two methods were compared.results to determine for: automated urine assay as follows: non-uniformity, homogeneity and mixed. Microscopy shaped as follows: red blood cells and red blood cells into normal. Statistical analysis performed were used SPSS13.0, The mean value between the two groups compared were used the t test, P < 0.05 was as the difference has statistically significant. Results Automated urine microscopy and light microscopy method for the clinical diagnosis of glomerular hematuria coincidence rate was significantly higher than non-glomerular origin(P < 0.05), automatic analysis method for glomerular and non-glomerular diseases diagnostic specificity hematuria sources were higher than microscopy(P < 0.05). Conclusion Automated urine microscopy analyzer sources glomerular urine red blood cells has high specificity and clinical diagnosis, it has simply operation and short time-consuming, so it is worthy of attention.%目的:探讨全自动尿沉渣检测法判断血尿来源的临床价值。方法选择因血尿查因住院患者106例,所有患者均经肾活检检查确诊,并均通过使用Sysnex公司生产的UF-100型分析仪和普通光学显微镜检查,比较两种检查方法的检测临床符合率,并计算特异性。结果判断为:全自动尿沉渣检测法为:非均一性、均一性与混合性三种。显微镜法分为正常红细胞和异形红细胞。统计学处理应用SPSS13.0进行,两组间均数的比较使用t检验,P<0.05为差异有统计学意义。结果全自动尿沉渣镜法和光镜法对肾小球性血尿诊断临床符合率显著高

  4. Accounting Automation




    Accounting Automation   Click Link Below To Buy:  Or Visit Accounting Automation” Please respond to the following: Imagine you are a consultant hired to convert a manual accounting system to an automated system. Suggest the key advantages and disadvantages of automating a manual accounting system. Identify the most important step in the conversion process. Provide a rationale for your response. ...

  5. Home Automation


    Ahmed, Zeeshan


    In this paper I briefly discuss the importance of home automation system. Going in to the details I briefly present a real time designed and implemented software and hardware oriented house automation research project, capable of automating house's electricity and providing a security system to detect the presence of unexpected behavior.

  6. Distinguishing aggregate formation and aggregate clearance using cell based assays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Eenjes, E.; J.M. Dragich; H. Kampinga (Harm); A. Yamamoto, A.


    textabstractThe accumulation of ubiquitinated proteinaceous inclusions represents a complex process, reflecting the disequilibrium between aggregate formation and aggregate clearance. Although decreasing aggregate formation or augmenting aggregate clearance will ultimately lead to diminished aggrega

  7. Mammalian Cell-Based Sensor System (United States)

    Banerjee, Pratik; Franz, Briana; Bhunia, Arun K.

    Use of living cells or cellular components in biosensors is receiving increased attention and opens a whole new area of functional diagnostics. The term "mammalian cell-based biosensor" is designated to biosensors utilizing mammalian cells as the biorecognition element. Cell-based assays, such as high-throughput screening (HTS) or cytotoxicity testing, have already emerged as dependable and promising approaches to measure the functionality or toxicity of a compound (in case of HTS); or to probe the presence of pathogenic or toxigenic entities in clinical, environmental, or food samples. External stimuli or changes in cellular microenvironment sometimes perturb the "normal" physiological activities of mammalian cells, thus allowing CBBs to screen, monitor, and measure the analyte-induced changes. The advantage of CBBs is that they can report the presence or absence of active components, such as live pathogens or active toxins. In some cases, mammalian cells or plasma membranes are used as electrical capacitors and cell-cell and cell-substrate contact is measured via conductivity or electrical impedance. In addition, cytopathogenicity or cytotoxicity induced by pathogens or toxins resulting in apoptosis or necrosis could be measured via optical devices using fluorescence or luminescence. This chapter focuses mainly on the type and applications of different mammalian cell-based sensor systems.

  8. A one-day, dispense-only IP-One HTRF assay for high-throughput screening of Galphaq protein-coupled receptors: towards cells as reagents. (United States)

    Bergsdorf, Christian; Kropp-Goerkis, Carmen; Kaehler, Irene; Ketscher, Lars; Boemer, Ulf; Parczyk, Karsten; Bader, Benjamin


    Abstract: Compared to biochemical high-throughput screening (HTS) assays, cell-based functional assays are generally thought to be more time consuming and complex because of additional efforts for running continuous cell cultures as well as the numerous assay steps when transferring media and compounds. A common strategy to compensate the anticipated reduction in overall throughput is to implement highly automated cell culture and screening systems. However, such systems require substantial investments in sophisticated hardware and highly specialized personnel. In trying to set up alternatives to increasing throughput in functional cell-based screening, we combined several approaches. By using (1) cryopreserved cell aliquots instead of continuous cell culture, (2) cells in suspension instead of adherent cells, and (3) "ready-to-screen" assay plates with nanoliter aliquots of test compounds, an assay procedure was developed that very much resembles a standard biochemical, enzymatic assay comprising only a few dispense steps. Chinese hamster ovary cells stably overexpressing a Galphaq-coupled receptor were used as a model system to measure receptor activation by detection of intracellular D-myo-inositol 1-phosphate with the help of homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF, CISbio International, Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France). Initially established in 384-well adherent cell format, the assay was successfully transferred to 1,536-well format. The assay quality was sufficient to run HTS campaigns in both formats with good Z'-factors and excellent reproducibility of antagonists. Subsequently, the assay procedure was optimized for usage of suspension cells. The influences of cell culture media, plate type, cell number, and incubation time were assessed. Finally, the suspension cell assay was applied to pharmacological characterization of a small molecule antagonist by Schild plot analysis. Our data demonstrate not only the application of the IP-One HTRF assay (CISbio

  9. 采用磁微粒分离酶联免疫法构建基于KGN细胞的雌激素生物合成筛选模型%Establishment of a Cell-based Screen Platform for Estrogen Biosynthesis Using Magnetic Particle-based Enzyme-linked immunosorbent Assay

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    鲁丹枫; Azimova Bahtigul Jovliqizi; 张国林; 王飞


    Estrogens play important roles in the growth and development of human,and the disorders of estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism can lead to occurrence of many diseases such as breast cancer and osteoporosis. Currently, the cell-based screen models for estrogen biosynthesis need the use of radioactive substances, which cause environmental pollution and the cost for screening too high to be affordable,thus severely restrict the finding of new drugs to modulate estrogen biosynthesis in a tissue-specific manner. By using human granulosa-like KGN cells which express high amount of aromatase.we found that the 17β-estradiol magnetic particle-based enzyme-linked imminosorbent assay (ELISA) was more stable and sensitive than conventional polystyrene-based ELJSA in quantification of 17β-estradiol by comparing the cross-reactivity and sensitivity of the two different 17β-estradiol ELJSA methods. After further examining the effects of phenol red in cell culture medium and testosterone substance concentration on the quantitative detection of 17β-estradi-ol.we successfully established a human granulosa-like KGN cell-based screen platform for estrogen biosynthesis by using magnetic particle-based ELJSA.%雌激素在机体生长发育中发挥着重要作用,其合成代谢紊乱会导致乳腺癌和骨质疏松等疾病发生.目前,基于细胞的雌激素合成筛选模型需用到放射性底物,对环境污染大,成本较高,限制了具有组织特异性调控雌激素合成的药物筛选.我们以高表达芳香化酶的KGN细胞为检测对象,比较基于聚苯乙烯酶联免疫法和磁微粒分离酶联免疫法的雌二醇ELISA试剂盒的交叉反应和灵敏度,发现相对于聚苯乙烯酶联免疫法,磁微粒分离酶联免疫法能够稳定高效的检测雌激素合成.进一步比较培养基中酚红和底物睾酮对雌二醇检测的影响,成功建立通过磁微粒酶联免疫法检测KGN细胞雌二醇合成的筛选模型.

  10. Multicentre comparison of a diagnostic assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Waters, Patrick; Reindl, Markus; Saiz, Albert;


    ) assays in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD). METHODS: Coded samples from patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or NMOSD (101) and controls (92) were tested at 15 European diagnostic centres using 21 assays including live (n=3) or fixed cell-based assays (n=10), flow cytometry (n=4...

  11. Digital microfluidics for automated hanging drop cell spheroid culture. (United States)

    Aijian, Andrew P; Garrell, Robin L


    Cell spheroids are multicellular aggregates, grown in vitro, that mimic the three-dimensional morphology of physiological tissues. Although there are numerous benefits to using spheroids in cell-based assays, the adoption of spheroids in routine biomedical research has been limited, in part, by the tedious workflow associated with spheroid formation and analysis. Here we describe a digital microfluidic platform that has been developed to automate liquid-handling protocols for the formation, maintenance, and analysis of multicellular spheroids in hanging drop culture. We show that droplets of liquid can be added to and extracted from through-holes, or "wells," and fabricated in the bottom plate of a digital microfluidic device, enabling the formation and assaying of hanging drops. Using this digital microfluidic platform, spheroids of mouse mesenchymal stem cells were formed and maintained in situ for 72 h, exhibiting good viability (>90%) and size uniformity (% coefficient of variation screen was performed on human colorectal adenocarcinoma spheroids to demonstrate the ability to recapitulate physiologically relevant phenomena such as insulin-induced drug resistance. With automatable and flexible liquid handling, and a wide range of in situ sample preparation and analysis capabilities, the digital microfluidic platform provides a viable tool for automating cell spheroid culture and analysis.

  12. Library Automation


    Dhakne, B. N.; Giri, V. V.; Waghmode, S. S.


    New technologies library provides several new materials, media and mode of storing and communicating the information. Library Automation reduces the drudgery of repeated manual efforts in library routine. By use of library automation collection, Storage, Administration, Processing, Preservation and communication etc.

  13. Sensitive-cell-based fish chromatophore biosensor (United States)

    Plant, Thomas K.; Chaplen, Frank W.; Jovanovic, Goran; Kolodziej, Wojtek; Trempy, Janine E.; Willard, Corwin; Liburdy, James A.; Pence, Deborah V.; Paul, Brian K.


    A sensitive biosensor (cytosensor) has been developed based on color changes in the toxin-sensitive colored living cells of fish. These chromatophores are highly sensitive to the presence of many known and unknown toxins produced by microbial pathogens and undergo visible color changes in a dose-dependent manner. The chromatophores are immobilized and maintained in a viable state while potential pathogens multiply and fish cell-microbe interactions are monitored. Low power LED lighting is used to illuminate the chromatophores which are magnified using standard optical lenses and imaged onto a CCD array. Reaction to toxins is detected by observing changes is the total area of color in the cells. These fish chromatophores are quite sensitive to cholera toxin, Staphococcus alpha toxin, and Bordatella pertussis toxin. Numerous other toxic chemical and biological agents besides bacterial toxins also cause readily detectable color effects in chromatophores. The ability of the chromatophore cell-based biosensor to distinguish between different bacterial pathogens was examined. Toxin producing strains of Salmonella enteritis, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Bacillus cereus induced movement of pigmented organelles in the chromatophore cells and this movement was measured by changes in the optical density over time. Each bacterial pathogen elicited this measurable response in a distinctive and signature fashion. These results suggest a chromatophore cell-based biosensor assay may be applicable for the detection and identification of virulence activities associated with certain air-, food-, and water-borne bacterial pathogens.

  14. Automation or De-automation (United States)

    Gorlach, Igor; Wessel, Oliver


    In the global automotive industry, for decades, vehicle manufacturers have continually increased the level of automation of production systems in order to be competitive. However, there is a new trend to decrease the level of automation, especially in final car assembly, for reasons of economy and flexibility. In this research, the final car assembly lines at three production sites of Volkswagen are analysed in order to determine the best level of automation for each, in terms of manufacturing costs, productivity, quality and flexibility. The case study is based on the methodology proposed by the Fraunhofer Institute. The results of the analysis indicate that fully automated assembly systems are not necessarily the best option in terms of cost, productivity and quality combined, which is attributed to high complexity of final car assembly systems; some de-automation is therefore recommended. On the other hand, the analysis shows that low automation can result in poor product quality due to reasons related to plant location, such as inadequate workers' skills, motivation, etc. Hence, the automation strategy should be formulated on the basis of analysis of all relevant aspects of the manufacturing process, such as costs, quality, productivity and flexibility in relation to the local context. A more balanced combination of automated and manual assembly operations provides better utilisation of equipment, reduces production costs and improves throughput.

  15. Pressure-driven microfluidic perfusion culture device for integrated dose-response assays. (United States)

    Hattori, Koji; Sugiura, Shinji; Kanamori, Toshiyuki


    Cell-based assays are widely used in the various stages of drug discovery. Advances in microfluidic systems over the past two decades have enabled them to become a powerful tool for cell-based assays to achieve both reliability and high throughput. The interface between the micro-world and macro-world is important in industrial assay processes. Therefore, microfluidic cell-based assays using pressure-driven liquid handling are an ideal platform for integrated assays. The aim of this article is to review recent advancements in microfluidic cell-based assays focusing on a pressure-driven perfusion culture device. Here, we review the development of microfluidic cell-based assay devices and discuss the techniques involved in designing a microfluidic network, device fabrication, liquid and cell manipulation, and detection schemes for pressure-driven perfusion culture devices. Finally, we describe recent progress in semiautomatic and reliable pressure-driven microfluidic cell-based assays.

  16. Rover waste assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)


    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched {sup 235}U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for {sup 137}Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  17. [Cell based therapy for COPD]. (United States)

    Kubo, Hiroshi


    To develop a new cell based therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we need to understand 1) the role of tissue-specific and bone marrow-derived stem cells, 2) extracellular matrix, and 3) growth factors. Recently, bronchioalveolar stem cells were identified in murine distal lungs. Impairment of these stem cells may cause improper lung repair after inflammation, resulting in pulmonary emphysema. Bone marrow-derived cells are necessary to repair injured lungs. However, the long term role of these cells is not understood yet. Although we need more careful analysis and additional experiments, growth factors, such as hepatocyte growth factor, are good candidates for the new cell based therapy for COPD. Lung was believed as a non-regenerative organ. Based on these recent reports about lung regeneration and stem cells, however, new strategies to treat COPD and a new point of view to understand the pathophysiology of COPD are rising.

  18. Fuel cell-based instrumentation for ethanol determination in alcoholic beverages, fermentations, and biofluids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parry, K.W.


    The main aim of this project was to devise an alternative method for ethanol assay, employing an electrochemical fuel cell sensor. Thus, the early part of this thesis describes the work carried out in the development of a new analytical technique for this purpose. This work resulted in the production of a successful prototype unit which has led to the development of a commercial instrument, vis., the Lion Drinks Alcolmeter (DA-1) available from Lion Laboratories Ltd. The problem of determining the ethanol content of a fermenting liquor at any point during a fermentation process was also broached and a novel technique combining a flow dilution system, dynamic headspace analysis and a fuel cell sensor was developed. This procedure, suitably automated, will enable the ethanolic content of a fermenting beverage to be determined at any stage during a fermentation, the results obtained in this manner being in excellent agreement with those obtained gas chromatographically. Methods of extending the linear working range of a fuel cell-based sampling system are reported in the hope that the encouraging results obtained may initiate further progress in this field. Finally, the sensing system used in this work has also been utilized with an alternative sampling procedure for the determination of ethanol in biological fluids, mainly for clinical and forensic applications. This work has also led to the production of a commercial instrument, viz. the Lion AE-D3 Alcolmeter.

  19. Real time assays for quantifying cytotoxicity with single cell resolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonny C Hsiao

    Full Text Available A new live cell-based assay platform has been developed for the determination of complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC, antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC, and overall cytotoxicity in human whole blood. In these assays, the targeted tumor cell populations are first labeled with fluorescent Cell Tracker dyes and immobilized using a DNA-based adhesion technique. This allows the facile generation of live cell arrays that are arranged arbitrarily or in ordered rectilinear patterns. Following the addition of antibodies in combination with serum, PBMCs, or whole blood, cell death within the targeted population can be assessed by the addition of propidium iodide (PI as a viability probe. The array is then analyzed with an automated microscopic imager. The extent of cytotoxicity can be quantified accurately by comparing the number of surviving target cells to the number of dead cells labeled with both Cell Tracker and PI. Excellent batch-to-batch reproducibility has been achieved using this method. In addition to allowing cytotoxicity analysis to be conducted in real time on a single cell basis, this new assay overcomes the need for hazardous radiochemicals. Fluorescently-labeled antibodies can be used to identify individual cells that bear the targeted receptors, but yet resist the CDC and ADCC mechanisms. This new approach also allows the use of whole blood in cytotoxicity assays, providing an assessment of antibody efficacy in a highly relevant biological mixture. Given the rapid development of new antibody-based therapeutic agents, this convenient assay platform is well-poised to streamline the drug discovery process significantly.

  20. Automating Finance (United States)

    Moore, John


    In past years, higher education's financial management side has been riddled with manual processes and aging mainframe applications. This article discusses schools which had taken advantage of an array of technologies that automate billing, payment processing, and refund processing in the case of overpayment. The investments are well worth it:…

  1. Cell-based detection of microbial biomaterial contaminations. (United States)

    Roch, Toralf; Ma, Nan; Kratz, Karl; Lendlein, Andreas


    A major challenge in biomaterial synthesis and functionalization is the prevention of microbial contaminations such as endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides (LPS)). In addition to LPS, which are exclusively expressed by Gram negative bacteria, also other microbial products derived from fungi or Gram positive bacteria can be found as contaminations in research laboratories. Typically, the Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL)-test is used to determine the endotoxin levels of medical devices. However, this test fails to detect material-bound LPS and other microbial contaminations and, as demonstrated in this study, detects LPS from various bacterial species with different sensitivities.In this work, a cell-based assay using genetically engineered RAW macrophages, which detect not only soluble but also material-bound microbial contaminations is introduced.The sensitivity of this cell-line towards different LPS species and different heat-inactivated microbes was investigated. As proof of principle a soft hydrophobic poly(n-butyl acrylate) network (cPnBA), which may due to adhesive properties strongly bind microbes, was deliberately contaminated with heat-inactivated bacteria. While the LAL-test failed to detect the microbial contamination, the cell-based assay clearly detected material-bound microbial contaminations. Our data demonstrate that a cell-based detection system should routinely be used as supplement to the LAL-test to determine microbial contaminations of biomaterials.

  2. Heating automation


    Tomažič, Tomaž


    This degree paper presents usage and operation of peripheral devices with microcontroller for heating automation. The main goal is to make a quality system control for heating three house floors and with that, increase efficiency of heating devices and lower heating expenses. Heat pump, furnace, boiler pump, two floor-heating pumps and two radiator pumps need to be controlled by this system. For work, we have chosen a development kit stm32f4 - discovery with five temperature sensors, LCD disp...

  3. Automation Security


    Mirzoev, Dr. Timur


    Web-based Automated Process Control systems are a new type of applications that use the Internet to control industrial processes with the access to the real-time data. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks contain computers and applications that perform key functions in providing essential services and commodities (e.g., electricity, natural gas, gasoline, water, waste treatment, transportation) to all Americans. As such, they are part of the nation s critical infrastructu...

  4. Marketing automation


    Raluca Dania TODOR


    The automation of the marketing process seems to be nowadays, the only solution to face the major changes brought by the fast evolution of technology and the continuous increase in supply and demand. In order to achieve the desired marketing results, businessis have to employ digital marketing and communication services. These services are efficient and measurable thanks to the marketing technology used to track, score and implement each campaign. Due to the...

  5. Validation of a high-content screening assay using whole-well imaging of transformed phenotypes. (United States)

    Ramirez, Christina N; Ozawa, Tatsuya; Takagi, Toshimitsu; Antczak, Christophe; Shum, David; Graves, Robert; Holland, Eric C; Djaballah, Hakim


    Automated microscopy was introduced two decades ago and has become an integral part of the discovery process as a high-content screening platform with noticeable challenges in executing cell-based assays. It would be of interest to use it to screen for reversers of a transformed cell phenotype. In this report, we present data obtained from an optimized assay that identifies compounds that reverse a transformed phenotype induced in NIH-3T3 cells by expressing a novel oncogene, KP, resulting from fusion between platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) and kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), that was identified in human glioblastoma. Initial image acquisitions using multiple tiles per well were found to be insufficient as to accurately image and quantify the clusters; whole-well imaging, performed on the IN Cell Analyzer 2000, while still two-dimensional imaging, was found to accurately image and quantify clusters, due largely to the inherent variability of their size and well location. The resulting assay exhibited a Z' value of 0.79 and a signal-to-noise ratio of 15, and it was validated against known effectors and shown to identify only PDGFRα inhibitors, and then tested in a pilot screen against a library of 58 known inhibitors identifying mostly PDGFRα inhibitors as reversers of the KP induced transformed phenotype. In conclusion, our optimized and validated assay using whole-well imaging is robust and sensitive in identifying compounds that reverse the transformed phenotype induced by KP with a broader applicability to other cell-based assays that are challenging in HTS against chemical and RNAi libraries.

  6. Cell-Based Genotoxicity Testing (United States)

    Reifferscheid, Georg; Buchinger, Sebastian

    Genotoxicity test systems that are based on bacteria display an important role in the detection and assessment of DNA damaging chemicals. They belong to the basic line of test systems due to their easy realization, rapidness, broad applicability, high sensitivity and good reproducibility. Since the development of the Salmonella microsomal mutagenicity assay by Ames and coworkers in the early 1970s, significant development in bacterial genotoxicity assays was achieved and is still a subject matter of research. The basic principle of the mutagenicity assay is a reversion of a growth inhibited bacterial strain, e.g., due to auxotrophy, back to a fast growing phenotype (regain of prototrophy). Deeper knowledge of the ­mutation events allows a mechanistic understanding of the induced DNA-damage by the utilization of base specific tester strains. Collections of such specific tester strains were extended by genetic engineering. Beside the reversion assays, test systems utilizing the bacterial SOS-response were invented. These methods are based on the fusion of various SOS-responsive promoters with a broad variety of reporter genes facilitating numerous methods of signal detection. A very important aspect of genotoxicity testing is the bioactivation of ­xenobiotics to DNA-damaging compounds. Most widely used is the extracellular metabolic activation by making use of rodent liver homogenates. Again, genetic engineering allows the construction of highly sophisticated bacterial tester strains with significantly enhanced sensitivity due to overexpression of enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics. This provides mechanistic insights into the toxification and detoxification pathways of xenobiotics and helps explaining the chemical nature of hazardous substances in unknown mixtures. In summary, beginning with "natural" tester strains the rational design of bacteria led to highly specific and sensitive tools for a rapid, reliable and cost effective

  7. Development and validation of an automated extraction method (accelerated solvent extraction) and a reverse-phase HPLC analysis method for assay of ivermectin in a meat-based chewable formulation. (United States)

    Abend, Andreas M; Chung, Le; McCollum, David G; Wuelfing, W Peter


    A new method for monitoring ivermectin content in HEARTGARD CHEWABLES has been developed and validated. The method consists of the automated extraction of ivermectin from the meat-based formulation under conditions of elevated temperature and pressure (accelerated solvent extraction, ASE, and determination of the active by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The method resolves both active species of ivermectin (components H(2)B(1a) and H(2)B(1b)) from the formulation matrix.

  8. Enzyme assays. (United States)

    Reymond, Jean-Louis; Fluxà, Viviana S; Maillard, Noélie


    Enzyme assays are analytical tools to visualize enzyme activities. In recent years a large variety of enzyme assays have been developed to assist the discovery and optimization of industrial enzymes, in particular for "white biotechnology" where selective enzymes are used with great success for economically viable, mild and environmentally benign production processes. The present article highlights the aspects of fluorogenic and chromogenic substrates, sensors, and enzyme fingerprinting, which are our particular areas of interest.

  9. Cell-Based Biosensors Principles and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Wang, Ping


    Written by recognized experts the field, this leading-edge resource is the first book to systematically introduce the concept, technology, and development of cell-based biosensors. You find details on the latest cell-based biosensor models and novel micro-structure biosensor techniques. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this unique volume presents the latest innovative applications of cell-based biosensors in a variety of biomedical fields. The book also explores future trends of cell-based biosensors, including integrated chips, nanotechnology and microfluidics. Over 140 illustrations hel

  10. Multi-Center Evaluation of the Fully Automated PCR-Based Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Assay for Rapid KRAS Mutation Status Determination on Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissue of Human Colorectal Cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solassol, Jérôme; Vendrell, Julie; Märkl, Bruno


    sample-to-result solution. This test enables qualitative detection of 21 mutations in codons 12, 13, 59, 61, 117, and 146 of the KRAS oncogene being clinically relevant according to the latest clinical guidelines. Here, the performance of the Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Assay, for Research Use Only...

  11. Automated Budget System (United States)

    Department of Transportation — The Automated Budget System (ABS) automates management and planning of the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) budget by providing enhanced capability to plan,...

  12. Automation 2017

    CERN Document Server

    Zieliński, Cezary; Kaliczyńska, Małgorzata


    This book consists of papers presented at Automation 2017, an international conference held in Warsaw from March 15 to 17, 2017. It discusses research findings associated with the concepts behind INDUSTRY 4.0, with a focus on offering a better understanding of and promoting participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Each chapter presents a detailed analysis of a specific technical problem, in most cases followed by a numerical analysis, simulation and description of the results of implementing the solution in a real-world context. The theoretical results, practical solutions and guidelines presented are valuable for both researchers working in the area of engineering sciences and practitioners looking for solutions to industrial problems. .

  13. Marketing automation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TODOR Raluca Dania


    Full Text Available The automation of the marketing process seems to be nowadays, the only solution to face the major changes brought by the fast evolution of technology and the continuous increase in supply and demand. In order to achieve the desired marketing results, businessis have to employ digital marketing and communication services. These services are efficient and measurable thanks to the marketing technology used to track, score and implement each campaign. Due to the technical progress, the marketing fragmentation, demand for customized products and services on one side and the need to achieve constructive dialogue with the customers, immediate and flexible response and the necessity to measure the investments and the results on the other side, the classical marketing approached had changed continue to improve substantially.

  14. Adaptation of a Cell-Based High Content Screening System for the In-Depth Analysis of Celiac Biopsy Tissue. (United States)

    Cooper, Sarah E J; Mohamed, Bashir M; Elliott, Louise; Davies, Anthony Mitchell; Feighery, Conleth F; Kelly, Jacinta; Dunne, Jean


    The IN Cell Analyzer 1000 possesses several distinguishing features that make it a valuable tool in research today. This fully automated high content screening (HCS) system introduced quantitative fluorescent microscopy with computerized image analysis for use in cell-based analysis. Previous studies have focused on live cell assays, where it has proven to be a powerful and robust method capable of providing reproducible, quantitative data. Using HCS as a tool to investigate antigen expression in duodenal biopsies, we developed a novel approach to tissue positioning and mapping. We adapted IN Cell Analyzer 1000's image acquisition and analysis software for the investigation of tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and smooth muscle alpha-actin (SM α-actin) staining in paraffin-embedded duodenal tissue sections from celiac patients and healthy controls. These innovations allowed a quantitative analysis of cellular structure and protein expression. The results from routine biopsy material indicated the intensity of protein expression was altered in celiac disease compared to normal biopsy material.

  15. A semi-automated multiplex high-throughput assay for measuring IgG antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) domains in small volumes of plasma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cham, Gerald K K; Kurtis, Jonathan; Lusingu, John;


    BACKGROUND: The level of antibodies against PfEMP1 is routinely quantified by the conventional microtitre enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). However, ELISA only measures one analyte at a time and requires a relatively large plasma volume if the complete antibody profile of the sample...... of twenty nine PfEMP1 domains were PCR amplified from 3D7 genomic DNA, expressed in the Baculovirus system and purified by metal-affinity chromatography. The antibody reactivity level to the recombinant PfEMP1 proteins in human hyper-immune plasma was measured by ELISA. In parallel, these recombinant PfEMP1......-based assay was sensitive, accurate and reproducible. Four recombinant PfEMP1 proteins C17, D5, D9 and D12, selected on the basis that they showed a spread of median fluorescent intensity (MFI) values from low to high when analysed by the bead-based assay were analysed by ELISA and the results from both...

  16. Automated, Miniaturized and Integrated Quality Control-on-Chip (QC-on-a-Chip) for Advanced Cell Therapy Applications (United States)

    Wartmann, David; Rothbauer, Mario; Kuten, Olga; Barresi, Caterina; Visus, Carmen; Felzmann, Thomas; Ertl, Peter


    The combination of microfabrication-based technologies with cell biology has laid the foundation for the development of advanced in vitro diagnostic systems capable of evaluating cell cultures under defined, reproducible and standardizable measurement conditions. In the present review we describe recent lab-on-a-chip developments for cell analysis and how these methodologies could improve standard quality control in the field of manufacturing cell-based vaccines for clinical purposes. We highlight in particular the regulatory requirements for advanced cell therapy applications using as an example dendritic cell-based cancer vaccines to describe the tangible advantages of microfluidic devices that overcome most of the challenges associated with automation, miniaturization and integration of cell-based assays. As its main advantage lab-on-a-chip technology allows for precise regulation of culturing conditions, while simultaneously monitoring cell relevant parameters using embedded sensory systems. State-of-the-art lab-on-a-chip platforms for in vitro assessment of cell cultures and their potential future applications for cell therapies and cancer immunotherapy are discussed in the present review.

  17. Automated, Miniaturized and Integrated Quality Control-on-Chip (QC-on-a-Chip for Advanced Cell Therapy Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eWartmann


    Full Text Available The combination of microfabrication-based technologies with cell biology has laid the foundation for the development of advanced in vitro diagnostic systems capable of evaluating cell cultures under defined, reproducible and standardizable measurement conditions. In the present review we describe recent lab-on-a-chip developments for cell analysis and how these methodologies could improve standard quality control in the field of manufacturing cell-based vaccines for clinical purposes. We highlight in particular the regulatory requirements for advanced cell therapy applications using as an example dendritic cell-based cancer vaccines to describe the tangible advantages of microfluidic devices that overcome most of the challenges associated with automation, miniaturization and integration of cell-based assays. As its main advantage lab-on-a-chip technology allows for precise regulation of culturing conditions, while simultaneously monitoring cell relevant parameters using embedded sensory systems. State-of-the-art lab-on-a-chip platforms for in vitro assessment of cell cultures and their potential future applications for cell therapies and cancer immunotherapy are discussed in the present review.

  18. Development of a cell-based bioassay for phospholipase A2-triggered liposomal drug release

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arouri, Ahmad; Trojnar, Jakub; Schmidt, Steffen


    models, the pattern of sPLA2-assisted drug release is unknown due to the lack of a suitable bio-relevant model. We report here on the development of a novel bioluminescence living-cell-based luciferase assay for the monitoring of sPLA2-triggered release of luciferin from liposomes. To this end, we...

  19. Manufacturing and automation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Córdoba Nieto


    Full Text Available The article presents concepts and definitions from different sources concerning automation. The work approaches automation by virtue of the author’s experience in manufacturing production; why and how automation prolects are embarked upon is considered. Technological reflection regarding the progressive advances or stages of automation in the production area is stressed. Coriat and Freyssenet’s thoughts about and approaches to the problem of automation and its current state are taken and examined, especially that referring to the problem’s relationship with reconciling the level of automation with the flexibility and productivity demanded by competitive, worldwide manufacturing.

  20. Designs and concept reliance of a fully automated high-content screening platform. (United States)

    Radu, Constantin; Adrar, Hosna Sana; Alamir, Ab; Hatherley, Ian; Trinh, Trung; Djaballah, Hakim


    High-content screening (HCS) is becoming an accepted platform in academic and industry screening labs and does require slightly different logistics for execution. To automate our stand-alone HCS microscopes, namely, an alpha IN Cell Analyzer 3000 (INCA3000), originally a Praelux unit hooked to a Hudson Plate Crane with a maximum capacity of 50 plates per run, and the IN Cell Analyzer 2000 (INCA2000), in which up to 320 plates could be fed per run using the Thermo Fisher Scientific Orbitor, we opted for a 4 m linear track system harboring both microscopes, plate washer, bulk dispensers, and a high-capacity incubator allowing us to perform both live and fixed cell-based assays while accessing both microscopes on deck. Considerations in design were given to the integration of the alpha INCA3000, a new gripper concept to access the onboard nest, and peripheral locations on deck to ensure a self-reliant system capable of achieving higher throughput. The resulting system, referred to as Hestia, has been fully operational since the new year, has an onboard capacity of 504 plates, and harbors the only fully automated alpha INCA3000 unit in the world.

  1. Automated diagnostic kiosk for diagnosing diseases (United States)

    Regan, John Frederick; Birch, James Michael


    An automated and autonomous diagnostic apparatus that is capable of dispensing collection vials and collections kits to users interesting in collecting a biological sample and submitting their collected sample contained within a collection vial into the apparatus for automated diagnostic services. The user communicates with the apparatus through a touch-screen monitor. A user is able to enter personnel information into the apparatus including medical history, insurance information, co-payment, and answer a series of questions regarding their illness, which is used to determine the assay most likely to yield a positive result. Remotely-located physicians can communicate with users of the apparatus using video tele-medicine and request specific assays to be performed. The apparatus archives submitted samples for additional testing. Users may receive their assay results electronically. Users may allow the uploading of their diagnoses into a central databank for disease surveillance purposes.

  2. An automated swimming respirometer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)



    An automated respirometer is described that can be used for computerized respirometry of trout and sharks.......An automated respirometer is described that can be used for computerized respirometry of trout and sharks....

  3. Configuration Management Automation (CMA) - (United States)

    Department of Transportation — Configuration Management Automation (CMA) will provide an automated, integrated enterprise solution to support CM of FAA NAS and Non-NAS assets and investments. CMA...

  4. Autonomy and Automation (United States)

    Shively, Jay


    A significant level of debate and confusion has surrounded the meaning of the terms autonomy and automation. Automation is a multi-dimensional concept, and we propose that Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) automation should be described with reference to the specific system and task that has been automated, the context in which the automation functions, and other relevant dimensions. In this paper, we present definitions of automation, pilot in the loop, pilot on the loop and pilot out of the loop. We further propose that in future, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) RPAS Panel avoids the use of the terms autonomy and autonomous when referring to automated systems on board RPA. Work Group 7 proposes to develop, in consultation with other workgroups, a taxonomy of Levels of Automation for RPAS.

  5. Cell-Based Therapies for Diabetic Complications (United States)

    Bernardi, Stella; Severini, Giovanni Maria; Zauli, Giorgio; Secchiero, Paola


    In recent years, accumulating experimental evidence supports the notion that diabetic patients may greatly benefit from cell-based therapies, which include the use of adult stem and/or progenitor cells. In particular, mesenchymal stem cells and the circulating pool of endothelial progenitor cells have so far been the most studied populations of cells proposed for the treatment of vascular complications affecting diabetic patients. We review the evidence supporting their use in this setting, the therapeutic benefits that these cells have shown so far as well as the challenges that cell-based therapies in diabetic complications put out. PMID:21822425

  6. Cell-Based Therapies for Diabetic Complications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Bernardi


    Full Text Available In recent years, accumulating experimental evidence supports the notion that diabetic patients may greatly benefit from cell-based therapies, which include the use of adult stem and/or progenitor cells. In particular, mesenchymal stem cells and the circulating pool of endothelial progenitor cells have so far been the most studied populations of cells proposed for the treatment of vascular complications affecting diabetic patients. We review the evidence supporting their use in this setting, the therapeutic benefits that these cells have shown so far as well as the challenges that cell-based therapies in diabetic complications put out.

  7. Developmental toxicity assay using high content screening of zebrafish embryos. (United States)

    Lantz-McPeak, Susan; Guo, Xiaoqing; Cuevas, Elvis; Dumas, Melanie; Newport, Glenn D; Ali, Syed F; Paule, Merle G; Kanungo, Jyotshna


    Typically, time-consuming standard toxicological assays using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo model evaluate mortality and teratogenicity after exposure during the first 2 days post-fertilization. Here we describe an automated image-based high content screening (HCS) assay to identify the teratogenic/embryotoxic potential of compounds in zebrafish embryos in vivo. Automated image acquisition was performed using a high content microscope system. Further automated analysis of embryo length, as a statistically quantifiable endpoint of toxicity, was performed on images post-acquisition. The biological effects of ethanol, nicotine, ketamine, caffeine, dimethyl sulfoxide and temperature on zebrafish embryos were assessed. This automated developmental toxicity assay, based on a growth-retardation endpoint should be suitable for evaluating the effects of potential teratogens and developmental toxicants in a high throughput manner. This approach can significantly expedite the screening of potential teratogens and developmental toxicants, thereby improving the current risk assessment process by decreasing analysis time and required resources.

  8. Cell-Based Microarrays for In Vitro Toxicology (United States)

    Wegener, Joachim


    DNA/RNA and protein microarrays have proven their outstanding bioanalytical performance throughout the past decades, given the unprecedented level of parallelization by which molecular recognition assays can be performed and analyzed. Cell microarrays (CMAs) make use of similar construction principles. They are applied to profile a given cell population with respect to the expression of specific molecular markers and also to measure functional cell responses to drugs and chemicals. This review focuses on the use of cell-based microarrays for assessing the cytotoxicity of drugs, toxins, or chemicals in general. It also summarizes CMA construction principles with respect to the cell types that are used for such microarrays, the readout parameters to assess toxicity, and the various formats that have been established and applied. The review ends with a critical comparison of CMAs and well-established microtiter plate (MTP) approaches.

  9. Cell-Based Microarrays for In Vitro Toxicology. (United States)

    Wegener, Joachim


    DNA/RNA and protein microarrays have proven their outstanding bioanalytical performance throughout the past decades, given the unprecedented level of parallelization by which molecular recognition assays can be performed and analyzed. Cell microarrays (CMAs) make use of similar construction principles. They are applied to profile a given cell population with respect to the expression of specific molecular markers and also to measure functional cell responses to drugs and chemicals. This review focuses on the use of cell-based microarrays for assessing the cytotoxicity of drugs, toxins, or chemicals in general. It also summarizes CMA construction principles with respect to the cell types that are used for such microarrays, the readout parameters to assess toxicity, and the various formats that have been established and applied. The review ends with a critical comparison of CMAs and well-established microtiter plate (MTP) approaches.

  10. Workflow automation architecture standard

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moshofsky, R.P.; Rohen, W.T. [Boeing Computer Services Co., Richland, WA (United States)


    This document presents an architectural standard for application of workflow automation technology. The standard includes a functional architecture, process for developing an automated workflow system for a work group, functional and collateral specifications for workflow automation, and results of a proof of concept prototype.

  11. Electrochemical As(III) whole-cell based biochip sensor. (United States)

    Cortés-Salazar, Fernando; Beggah, Siham; van der Meer, Jan Roelof; Girault, Hubert H


    The development of a whole-cell based sensor for arsenite detection coupling biological engineering and electrochemical techniques is presented. This strategy takes advantage of the natural Escherichia coli resistance mechanism against toxic arsenic species, such as arsenite, which consists of the selective intracellular recognition of arsenite and its pumping out from the cell. A whole-cell based biosensor can be produced by coupling the intracellular recognition of arsenite to the generation of an electrochemical signal. Hereto, E. coli was equipped with a genetic circuit in which synthesis of beta-galactosidase is under control of the arsenite-derepressable arsR-promoter. The E. coli reporter strain was filled in a microchip containing 16 independent electrochemical cells (i.e. two-electrode cell), which was then employed for analysis of tap and groundwater samples. The developed arsenic-sensitive electrochemical biochip is easy to use and outperforms state-of-the-art bacterial bioreporters assays specifically in its simplicity and response time, while keeping a very good limit of detection in tap water, i.e. 0.8ppb. Additionally, a very good linear response in the ranges of concentration tested (0.94ppb to 3.75ppb, R(2)=0.9975 and 3.75 ppb to 30ppb, R(2)=0.9991) was obtained, complying perfectly with the acceptable arsenic concentration limits defined by the World Health Organization for drinking water samples (i.e. 10ppb). Therefore, the proposed assay provides a very good alternative for the portable quantification of As (III) in water as corroborated by the analysis of natural groundwater samples from Swiss mountains, which showed a very good agreement with the results obtained by atomic absorption spectroscopy.

  12. An ultrasensitive rapid immunocytotoxicity assay for detecting Clostridium difficile toxins (United States)

    He, Xiangyun; Wang, Jufang; Steele, Jennifer; Sun, Xingmin; Nie, Weijia; Tzipori, Saul; Feng, Hanping


    We describe a novel ultrasensitive cell-based immunocytotoxicity assay for detecting less then 1 pg/ml of Clostridium difficile toxins in porcine clinical samples. The assay is simple to perform with a turnaround time of approximately 3 hours and capable of detecting less then 1 pg/ml of toxin A. Using this assay, we were able to detect the presence of C. difficile toxins in the fecal and serum specimens of experimentally infected piglets. PMID:19393695

  13. Automation in Clinical Microbiology (United States)

    Ledeboer, Nathan A.


    Historically, the trend toward automation in clinical pathology laboratories has largely bypassed the clinical microbiology laboratory. In this article, we review the historical impediments to automation in the microbiology laboratory and offer insight into the reasons why we believe that we are on the cusp of a dramatic change that will sweep a wave of automation into clinical microbiology laboratories. We review the currently available specimen-processing instruments as well as the total laboratory automation solutions. Lastly, we outline the types of studies that will need to be performed to fully assess the benefits of automation in microbiology laboratories. PMID:23515547

  14. Fluorogenic Cell-Based Biosensors for Monitoring Microbes (United States)

    Curtis, Theresa; Salazar, Noe; Tabb, Joel; Chase, Chris


    Fluorogenic cell-based sensor systems for detecting microbes (especially pathogenic ones) and some toxins and allergens are undergoing development. These systems harness the natural signaltransduction and amplification cascades that occur in mast cells upon activation with antigens. These systems include (1) fluidic biochips for automated containment of samples, reagents, and wastes and (2) sensitive, compact fluorometers for monitoring the fluorescent responses of mast cells engineered to contain fluorescent dyes. It should be possible to observe responses within minutes of adding immune complexes. The systems have been shown to work when utilizing either immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies or traditionally generated rat antibodies - a promising result in that it indicates that the systems could be developed to detect many target microbes. Chimeric IgE antibodies and rat immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies could be genetically engineered for recognizing biological and chemical warfare agents and airborne and food-borne allergens. Genetic engineering efforts thus far have yielded (1) CD14 chimeric antibodies that recognize both Grampositive and Gram-negative bacteria and bind to the surfaces of mast cells, eliciting a degranulation response and (2) rat IgG2a antibodies that act similarly in response to low levels of canine parvovirus.

  15. Automated DNA Sequencing System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armstrong, G.A.; Ekkebus, C.P.; Hauser, L.J.; Kress, R.L.; Mural, R.J.


    Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a core DNA sequencing facility to support biological research endeavors at ORNL and to conduct basic sequencing automation research. This facility is novel because its development is based on existing standard biology laboratory equipment; thus, the development process is of interest to the many small laboratories trying to use automation to control costs and increase throughput. Before automation, biology Laboratory personnel purified DNA, completed cycle sequencing, and prepared 96-well sample plates with commercially available hardware designed specifically for each step in the process. Following purification and thermal cycling, an automated sequencing machine was used for the sequencing. A technician handled all movement of the 96-well sample plates between machines. To automate the process, ORNL is adding a CRS Robotics A- 465 arm, ABI 377 sequencing machine, automated centrifuge, automated refrigerator, and possibly an automated SpeedVac. The entire system will be integrated with one central controller that will direct each machine and the robot. The goal of this system is to completely automate the sequencing procedure from bacterial cell samples through ready-to-be-sequenced DNA and ultimately to completed sequence. The system will be flexible and will accommodate different chemistries than existing automated sequencing lines. The system will be expanded in the future to include colony picking and/or actual sequencing. This discrete event, DNA sequencing system will demonstrate that smaller sequencing labs can achieve cost-effective the laboratory grow.

  16. A magnetic cell-based sensor. (United States)

    Wang, Hua; Mahdavi, Alborz; Tirrell, David A; Hajimiri, Ali


    Cell-based sensing represents a new paradigm for performing direct and accurate detection of cell- or tissue-specific responses by incorporating living cells or tissues as an integral part of a sensor. Here we report a new magnetic cell-based sensing platform by combining magnetic sensors implemented in the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) integrated microelectronics process with cardiac progenitor cells that are differentiated directly on-chip. We show that the pulsatile movements of on-chip cardiac progenitor cells can be monitored in a real-time manner. Our work provides a new low-cost approach to enable high-throughput screening systems as used in drug development and hand-held devices for point-of-care (PoC) biomedical diagnostic applications.

  17. Cell-based bioassays in microfluidic systems (United States)

    Itle, Laura J.; Zguris, Jeanna C.; Pishko, Michael V.


    The development of cell-based bioassays for high throughput drug screening or the sensing of biotoxins is contingent on the development of whole cell sensors for specific changes in intracellular conditions and the integration of those systems into sample delivery devices. Here we show the feasibility of using a 5-(and-6)-carboxy SNARF-1, acetoxymethyl ester, acetate, a fluorescent dye capable of responding to changes in intracellular pH, as a detection method for the bacterial endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide. We used photolithography to entrap cells with this dye within poly(ethylene) glyocol diacrylate hydrogels in microfluidic channels. After 18 hours of exposure to lipopolysaccharide, we were able to see visible changes in the fluorescent pattern. This work shows the feasibility of using whole cell based biosensors within microfluidic networks to detect cellular changes in response to exogenous agents.

  18. Stem cell-based approaches in dentistry


    Mitsiadis, T A; Orsini, G.; Jimenez-Rojo, L


    Repair of dental pulp and periodontal lesions remains a major clinical challenge. Classical dental treatments require the use of specialised tissue-adapted materials with still questionable efficacy and durability. Stem cell-based therapeutic approaches could offer an attractive alternative in dentistry since they can promise physiologically improved structural and functional outcomes. These therapies necessitate a sufficient number of specific stem cell populations for implantation. Dental m...

  19. Ontology for cell-based geographic information (United States)

    Zheng, Bin; Huang, Lina; Lu, Xinhai


    Inter-operability is a key notion in geographic information science (GIS) for the sharing of geographic information (GI). That requires a seamless translation among different information sources. Ontology is enrolled in GI discovery to settle the semantic conflicts for its natural language appearance and logical hierarchy structure, which are considered to be able to provide better context for both human understanding and machine cognition in describing the location and relationships in the geographic world. However, for the current, most studies on field ontology are deduced from philosophical theme and not applicable for the raster expression in GIS-which is a kind of field-like phenomenon but does not physically coincide to the general concept of philosophical field (mostly comes from the physics concepts). That's why we specifically discuss the cell-based GI ontology in this paper. The discussion starts at the investigation of the physical characteristics of cell-based raster GI. Then, a unified cell-based GI ontology framework for the recognition of the raster objects is introduced, from which a conceptual interface for the connection of the human epistemology and the computer world so called "endurant-occurrant window" is developed for the better raster GI discovery and sharing.

  20. Laboratory Automation and Middleware. (United States)

    Riben, Michael


    The practice of surgical pathology is under constant pressure to deliver the highest quality of service, reduce errors, increase throughput, and decrease turnaround time while at the same time dealing with an aging workforce, increasing financial constraints, and economic uncertainty. Although not able to implement total laboratory automation, great progress continues to be made in workstation automation in all areas of the pathology laboratory. This report highlights the benefits and challenges of pathology automation, reviews middleware and its use to facilitate automation, and reviews the progress so far in the anatomic pathology laboratory.

  1. Lump corrections for radioactive waste assay. (United States)

    Miller, T J


    Previous studies have shown that automated radioactive waste assay techniques, such as segmented gamma scanner (SGS) and automated qualitative and quantitative (AQ2), have severely underestimated fissile material due to either the malfunction or absence of appropriate lump correction routines. This paper examines the application of manual techniques, such as Monte Carlo N particle (MCNP) and spectral non-destructive assay platform (SNAP) software, to lump corrections in plutonium (Pu), enriched uranium (EU) and depleted uranium (DU) waste streams. Excellent results have been obtained when comparing MCNP with SNAP and applying the SNAP lump correction routine to a range of simulated and typical wastes containing various Pu and EU lump sizes. It has been concluded that the need for lump corrections was relatively rare and usually apparent from abnormal gamma ray peak area ratios, since most AWE waste streams are only lightly shielded.

  2. Development of a universal high-throughput calcium assay for G-protein-coupled receptors with promiscuous G-protein Gα15/16

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ting ZHU; Li-yan FANG; Xin XIE


    Aim:To develop a universal high-throughput screening assay based on Gα15/16-mediated calcium mobilization for the identification of novel modulators of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). Methods:In the present study, CHO-K1 or HEK293 cells were co-transfected with plasmids encoding promiscuous G-protein Cα15/16 and various receptors originally coupled to Gαs, Gαi, or Gαq pathways. Intracellular calcium change was monitored with fluorescent dye Fluo-4. Results:We found out for all the receptors tested, Gα15/16 could shift the receptors' coupling to the calcium mobilization pathway, and the EC50 values of the ligands generated with this method were comparable with reported values that were ob-tained using traditional methods. This assay was validated and optimized with the δ-opioid receptor, which originally coupled to God and was recently found to play important roles in neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. A large-scale screening of 48 000 compounds was performed based on this system. Sev-eral new modulators were identified and confirmed with the traditional GTPγS binding assay. Conclusion:This cell-based calcium assay was proved to be robust and easy to automate, and could be used as a universal method in search-ing for GPCR modulators.

  3. An automated flow cytometric micronucleus assay for human lymphocytes. (United States)

    Schreiber, G A; Beisker, W; Braselmann, H; Bauchinger, M; Bögl, K W; Nüsse, M


    A new flow cytometric method is presented for scoring micronuclei (MN) in human lymphocytes after in vitro gamma-irradiation. Fifty to fifty-five hours after PHA-stimulation, the frequency of micronuclei per nucleus and the fraction of cells in the second cell cycle were measured using flow cytometry. All data were automatically analysed using our DAS-software package. Eight individual linear-quadratic dose response curves derived from five donors revealed inter- and intra-individual variabilities of all curve parameters. Since also an age dependence was found for spontaneous MN-frequencies and for the linear curve parameter, a combined linear-quadratic age-dose-effect model was used to fit the data. The 90% prediction intervals show that a reliable individual dose estimation for donors aged between 23 and 54 years cannot be achieved for exposures below 1 Gy.

  4. Profiling of drugs and environmental chemicals for functional impairment of neural crest migration in a novel stem cell-based test battery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zimmer, B.; Pallocca, G.; Dreser, N.; Foerster, S.; Waldmann, T.; Westerhout, J.; Julien, S.; Krause, K.H.; Van Thriel, C.; Hengstler, J.G.; Sachinidis, A.; Bosgra, S.; Leist, M.


    Developmental toxicity in vitro assays have hitherto been established as stand-alone systems, based on a limited number of toxicants. Within the embryonic stem cell-based novel alternative tests project, we developed a test battery framework that allows inclusion of any developmental toxicity assay

  5. Automating checks of plan check automation. (United States)

    Halabi, Tarek; Lu, Hsiao-Ming


    While a few physicists have designed new plan check automation solutions for their clinics, fewer, if any, managed to adapt existing solutions. As complex and varied as the systems they check, these programs must gain the full confidence of those who would run them on countless patient plans. The present automation effort, planCheck, therefore focuses on versatility and ease of implementation and verification. To demonstrate this, we apply planCheck to proton gantry, stereotactic proton gantry, stereotactic proton fixed beam (STAR), and IMRT treatments.

  6. Automation in Warehouse Development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamberg, R.; Verriet, J.


    The warehouses of the future will come in a variety of forms, but with a few common ingredients. Firstly, human operational handling of items in warehouses is increasingly being replaced by automated item handling. Extended warehouse automation counteracts the scarcity of human operators and support

  7. Automate functional testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh Kalindri


    Full Text Available Currently, software engineers are increasingly turning to the option of automating functional tests, but not always have successful in this endeavor. Reasons range from low planning until over cost in the process. Some principles that can guide teams in automating these tests are described in this article.

  8. More Benefits of Automation. (United States)

    Getz, Malcolm


    Describes a study that measured the benefits of an automated catalog and automated circulation system from the library user's point of view in terms of the value of time saved. Topics discussed include patterns of use, access time, availability of information, search behaviors, and the effectiveness of the measures used. (seven references)…

  9. Advances in inspection automation (United States)

    Weber, Walter H.; Mair, H. Douglas; Jansen, Dion; Lombardi, Luciano


    This new session at QNDE reflects the growing interest in inspection automation. Our paper describes a newly developed platform that makes the complex NDE automation possible without the need for software programmers. Inspection tasks that are tedious, error-prone or impossible for humans to perform can now be automated using a form of drag and drop visual scripting. Our work attempts to rectify the problem that NDE is not keeping pace with the rest of factory automation. Outside of NDE, robots routinely and autonomously machine parts, assemble components, weld structures and report progress to corporate databases. By contrast, components arriving in the NDT department typically require manual part handling, calibrations and analysis. The automation examples in this paper cover the development of robotic thickness gauging and the use of adaptive contour following on the NRU reactor inspection at Chalk River.

  10. Automated model building

    CERN Document Server

    Caferra, Ricardo; Peltier, Nicholas


    This is the first book on automated model building, a discipline of automated deduction that is of growing importance Although models and their construction are important per se, automated model building has appeared as a natural enrichment of automated deduction, especially in the attempt to capture the human way of reasoning The book provides an historical overview of the field of automated deduction, and presents the foundations of different existing approaches to model construction, in particular those developed by the authors Finite and infinite model building techniques are presented The main emphasis is on calculi-based methods, and relevant practical results are provided The book is of interest to researchers and graduate students in computer science, computational logic and artificial intelligence It can also be used as a textbook in advanced undergraduate courses

  11. Automation in Warehouse Development

    CERN Document Server

    Verriet, Jacques


    The warehouses of the future will come in a variety of forms, but with a few common ingredients. Firstly, human operational handling of items in warehouses is increasingly being replaced by automated item handling. Extended warehouse automation counteracts the scarcity of human operators and supports the quality of picking processes. Secondly, the development of models to simulate and analyse warehouse designs and their components facilitates the challenging task of developing warehouses that take into account each customer’s individual requirements and logistic processes. Automation in Warehouse Development addresses both types of automation from the innovative perspective of applied science. In particular, it describes the outcomes of the Falcon project, a joint endeavour by a consortium of industrial and academic partners. The results include a model-based approach to automate warehouse control design, analysis models for warehouse design, concepts for robotic item handling and computer vision, and auton...

  12. High-throughput pseudovirion-based neutralization assay for analysis of natural and vaccine-induced antibodies against human papillomaviruses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Sehr

    Full Text Available A highly sensitive, automated, purely add-on, high-throughput pseudovirion-based neutralization assay (HT-PBNA with excellent repeatability and run-to-run reproducibility was developed for human papillomavirus types (HPV 16, 18, 31, 45, 52, 58 and bovine papillomavirus type 1. Preparation of 384 well assay plates with serially diluted sera and the actual cell-based assay are separated in time, therefore batches of up to one hundred assay plates can be processed sequentially. A mean coefficient of variation (CV of 13% was obtained for anti-HPV 16 and HPV 18 titers for a standard serum tested in a total of 58 repeats on individual plates in seven independent runs. Natural antibody response was analyzed in 35 sera from patients with HPV 16 DNA positive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2+ lesions. The new HT-PBNA is based on Gaussia luciferase with increased sensitivity compared to the previously described manual PBNA (manPBNA based on secreted alkaline phosphatase as reporter. Titers obtained with HT-PBNA were generally higher than titers obtained with the manPBNA. A good linear correlation (R(2 = 0.7 was found between HT-PBNA titers and anti-HPV 16 L1 antibody-levels determined by a Luminex bead-based GST-capture assay for these 35 sera and a Kappa-value of 0.72, with only 3 discordant sera in the low titer range. In addition to natural low titer antibody responses the high sensitivity of the HT-PBNA also allows detection of cross-neutralizing antibodies induced by commercial HPV L1-vaccines and experimental L2-vaccines. When analyzing the WHO international standards for HPV 16 and 18 we determined an analytical sensitivity of 0.864 and 1.105 mIU, respectively.

  13. Novel Cell-Based Assays for Detecting Low Levels of Active Ricin Following Decontamination (United States)


    of MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide], which is converted to a purple formazan dye by cellular reductive power...general decay in cell viability. Loss in cell viability is detected as loss in absorbance of formazan at 550–620 nm, resulting from the reduction of MTT

  14. Urolithins, Intestinal Microbial Metabolites of Pomegranate Ellagitannins, Exhibit Potent Antioxidant Activity in Cell-Based Assay (United States)

    Many health benefits of pomegranate products have been attributed to the potent antioxidant action of their tannin components, mainly punicalagins and ellagic acid. While moving through the intestines, ellagitannins are metabolized by gut bacteria into urolithins that readily enter systemic circulat...

  15. In vitro cell based assay for activity analysis of staphylococcal enterotoxin A in food (United States)

    Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) are a leading cause of food poisoning. They function both as toxins that cause gastroenteritis after ingestion and as superantigens that non-specifically activate large numbers of T cells. Monkey or kitten bioassays were historically developed for analysis of SE act...

  16. Systematic review automation technologies (United States)


    Systematic reviews, a cornerstone of evidence-based medicine, are not produced quickly enough to support clinical practice. The cost of production, availability of the requisite expertise and timeliness are often quoted as major contributors for the delay. This detailed survey of the state of the art of information systems designed to support or automate individual tasks in the systematic review, and in particular systematic reviews of randomized controlled clinical trials, reveals trends that see the convergence of several parallel research projects. We surveyed literature describing informatics systems that support or automate the processes of systematic review or each of the tasks of the systematic review. Several projects focus on automating, simplifying and/or streamlining specific tasks of the systematic review. Some tasks are already fully automated while others are still largely manual. In this review, we describe each task and the effect that its automation would have on the entire systematic review process, summarize the existing information system support for each task, and highlight where further research is needed for realizing automation for the task. Integration of the systems that automate systematic review tasks may lead to a revised systematic review workflow. We envisage the optimized workflow will lead to system in which each systematic review is described as a computer program that automatically retrieves relevant trials, appraises them, extracts and synthesizes data, evaluates the risk of bias, performs meta-analysis calculations, and produces a report in real time. PMID:25005128

  17. Chef infrastructure automation cookbook

    CERN Document Server

    Marschall, Matthias


    Chef Infrastructure Automation Cookbook contains practical recipes on everything you will need to automate your infrastructure using Chef. The book is packed with illustrated code examples to automate your server and cloud infrastructure.The book first shows you the simplest way to achieve a certain task. Then it explains every step in detail, so that you can build your knowledge about how things work. Eventually, the book shows you additional things to consider for each approach. That way, you can learn step-by-step and build profound knowledge on how to go about your configuration management

  18. Automated planar patch-clamp. (United States)

    Milligan, Carol J; Möller, Clemens


    Ion channels are integral membrane proteins that regulate the flow of ions across the plasma membrane and the membranes of intracellular organelles of both excitable and non-excitable cells. Ion channels are vital to a wide variety of biological processes and are prominent components of the nervous system and cardiovascular system, as well as controlling many metabolic functions. Furthermore, ion channels are known to be involved in many disease states and as such have become popular therapeutic targets. For many years now manual patch-clamping has been regarded as one of the best approaches for assaying ion channel function, through direct measurement of ion flow across these membrane proteins. Over the last decade there have been many remarkable breakthroughs in the development of technologies enabling the study of ion channels. One of these breakthroughs is the development of automated planar patch-clamp technology. Automated platforms have demonstrated the ability to generate high-quality data with high throughput capabilities, at great efficiency and reliability. Additional features such as simultaneous intracellular and extracellular perfusion of the cell membrane, current clamp operation, fast compound application, an increasing rate of parallelization, and more recently temperature control have been introduced. Furthermore, in addition to the well-established studies of over-expressed ion channel proteins in cell lines, new generations of planar patch-clamp systems have enabled successful studies of native and primary mammalian cells. This technology is becoming increasingly popular and extensively used both within areas of drug discovery as well as academic research. Many platforms have been developed including NPC-16 Patchliner(®) and SyncroPatch(®) 96 (Nanion Technologies GmbH, Munich), CytoPatch™ (Cytocentrics AG, Rostock), PatchXpress(®) 7000A, IonWorks(®) Quattro and IonWorks Barracuda™, (Molecular Devices, LLC); Dynaflow(®) HT (Cellectricon

  19. Does co-extracted dissolved organic carbon cause artefacts in cell-based bioassays? (United States)

    Neale, Peta A; Escher, Beate I


    Bioanalytical tools are increasingly being employed for water quality monitoring, with applications including samples that are rich in natural organic matter (or dissolved organic carbon, DOC), such as wastewater. While issues associated with co-extracted DOC have been identified for chemical analysis and for bioassays with isolated enzymes, little is known about its effect on cell-based bioassays. Using mixture experiments as diagnostic tools, this study aims to assess whether different molecular weight fractions of wastewater-derived DOC adversely affect cell-based bioassays, specifically the bioluminescence inhibition test with the bacteria Vibrio fischeri, the combined algae assay with Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and the human cell line AREc32 assay for oxidative stress. DOC did not cause suppressive effects in mixtures with reference compounds. Binary mixtures further indicated that co-extracted DOC did not disturb cell-based bioassays, while slight deviations from toxicity predictions for low molecular weight fractions may be partially due to the availability of natural components to V. fischeri, in addition to organic micropollutants.

  20. Automated Vehicles Symposium 2015

    CERN Document Server

    Beiker, Sven


    This edited book comprises papers about the impacts, benefits and challenges of connected and automated cars. It is the third volume of the LNMOB series dealing with Road Vehicle Automation. The book comprises contributions from researchers, industry practitioners and policy makers, covering perspectives from the U.S., Europe and Japan. It is based on the Automated Vehicles Symposium 2015 which was jointly organized by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in July 2015. The topical spectrum includes, but is not limited to, public sector activities, human factors, ethical and business aspects, energy and technological perspectives, vehicle systems and transportation infrastructure. This book is an indispensable source of information for academic researchers, industrial engineers and policy makers interested in the topic of road vehicle automation.

  1. I-94 Automation FAQs (United States)

    Department of Homeland Security — In order to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs and streamline the admissions process, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has automated Form I-94 at air and...

  2. Automated Vehicles Symposium 2014

    CERN Document Server

    Beiker, Sven; Road Vehicle Automation 2


    This paper collection is the second volume of the LNMOB series on Road Vehicle Automation. The book contains a comprehensive review of current technical, socio-economic, and legal perspectives written by experts coming from public authorities, companies and universities in the U.S., Europe and Japan. It originates from the Automated Vehicle Symposium 2014, which was jointly organized by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Burlingame, CA, in July 2014. The contributions discuss the challenges arising from the integration of highly automated and self-driving vehicles into the transportation system, with a focus on human factors and different deployment scenarios. This book is an indispensable source of information for academic researchers, industrial engineers, and policy makers interested in the topic of road vehicle automation.

  3. Hydrometeorological Automated Data System (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Office of Hydrologic Development of the National Weather Service operates HADS, the Hydrometeorological Automated Data System. This data set contains the last 48...

  4. Automating the Media Center. (United States)

    Holloway, Mary A.


    Discusses the need to develop more efficient information retrieval skills by the use of new technology. Lists four stages used in automating the media center. Describes North Carolina's pilot programs. Proposes benefits and looks at the media center's future. (MVL)

  5. Disassembly automation automated systems with cognitive abilities

    CERN Document Server

    Vongbunyong, Supachai


    This book presents a number of aspects to be considered in the development of disassembly automation, including the mechanical system, vision system and intelligent planner. The implementation of cognitive robotics increases the flexibility and degree of autonomy of the disassembly system. Disassembly, as a step in the treatment of end-of-life products, can allow the recovery of embodied value left within disposed products, as well as the appropriate separation of potentially-hazardous components. In the end-of-life treatment industry, disassembly has largely been limited to manual labor, which is expensive in developed countries. Automation is one possible solution for economic feasibility. The target audience primarily comprises researchers and experts in the field, but the book may also be beneficial for graduate students.



    Муравський, В. В.; Хома, Н. Г.


    Accountant accepts active voice in organization of the automated account in the conditions of the informative systems introduction in enterprise activity. Effective accounting automation needs identification and warning of organizational risks. Authors researched, classified and generalized the risks of introduction of the informative accounting systems. The ways of liquidation of the organizational risks sources andminimization of their consequences are gives. The method of the effective con...

  7. Instant Sikuli test automation

    CERN Document Server

    Lau, Ben


    Get to grips with a new technology, understand what it is and what it can do for you, and then get to work with the most important features and tasks. A concise guide written in an easy-to follow style using the Starter guide approach.This book is aimed at automation and testing professionals who want to use Sikuli to automate GUI. Some Python programming experience is assumed.

  8. Automated security management

    CERN Document Server

    Al-Shaer, Ehab; Xie, Geoffrey


    In this contributed volume, leading international researchers explore configuration modeling and checking, vulnerability and risk assessment, configuration analysis, and diagnostics and discovery. The authors equip readers to understand automated security management systems and techniques that increase overall network assurability and usability. These constantly changing networks defend against cyber attacks by integrating hundreds of security devices such as firewalls, IPSec gateways, IDS/IPS, authentication servers, authorization/RBAC servers, and crypto systems. Automated Security Managemen

  9. Automation of Diagrammatic Reasoning


    Jamnik, Mateja; Bundy, Alan; Green, Ian


    Theorems in automated theorem proving are usually proved by logical formal proofs. However, there is a subset of problems which humans can prove in a different way by the use of geometric operations on diagrams, so called diagrammatic proofs. Insight is more clearly perceived in these than in the corresponding algebraic proofs: they capture an intuitive notion of truthfulness that humans find easy to see and understand. We are identifying and automating this diagrammatic reasoning on mathemat...

  10. Automated Lattice Perturbation Theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Monahan, Christopher


    I review recent developments in automated lattice perturbation theory. Starting with an overview of lattice perturbation theory, I focus on the three automation packages currently "on the market": HiPPy/HPsrc, Pastor and PhySyCAl. I highlight some recent applications of these methods, particularly in B physics. In the final section I briefly discuss the related, but distinct, approach of numerical stochastic perturbation theory.

  11. Marketing automation supporting sales


    Sandell, Niko


    The past couple of decades has been a time of major changes in marketing. Digitalization has become a permanent part of marketing and at the same time enabled efficient collection of data. Personalization and customization of content are playing a crucial role in marketing when new customers are acquired. This has also created a need for automation to facilitate the distribution of targeted content. As a result of successful marketing automation more information of the customers is gathered ...

  12. Automated sample preparation for CE-SDS. (United States)

    Le, M Eleanor; Vizel, Alona; Hutterer, Katariina M


    Traditionally, CE with SDS (CE-SDS) places many restrictions on sample composition. Requirements include low salt content, known initial sample concentration, and a narrow window of final sample concentration. As these restrictions require buffer exchange for many sample types, sample preparation is often tedious and yields poor sample recoveries. To improve capacity and streamline sample preparation, an automated robotic platform was developed using the PhyNexus Micro-Extractor Automated Instrument (MEA) for both the reduced and nonreduced CE-SDS assays. This automated sample preparation normalizes sample concentration, removes salts and other contaminants, and adds the required CE-SDS reagents, essentially eliminating manual steps during sample preparation. Fc-fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies were used in this work to demonstrate benefits of this approach when compared to the manual method. With optimized conditions, this application has demonstrated decreased analyst "hands on" time and reduced total assay time. Sample recovery greater than 90% can be achieved, regardless of initial composition and concentration of analyte.

  13. Elements of EAF automation processes (United States)

    Ioana, A.; Constantin, N.; Dragna, E. C.


    Our article presents elements of Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) automation. So, we present and analyze detailed two automation schemes: the scheme of electrical EAF automation system; the scheme of thermic EAF automation system. The application results of these scheme of automation consists in: the sensitive reduction of specific consummation of electrical energy of Electric Arc Furnace, increasing the productivity of Electric Arc Furnace, increase the quality of the developed steel, increasing the durability of the building elements of Electric Arc Furnace.

  14. Optimization of cell motility evaluation in scratch assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gotsulyak N. Ya.


    Full Text Available A scratch test is one of the most popular methods of classical cell migration assay in a monolayer culture. At the same time, the scratch assay has some disadvantages that can be easily corrected. Aim. Optimization the existent scratch assay on the base of detection of scratch wound surface area and the length of the field of observation which is more objective and less time consuming. Methods. Scratch assay. Results. The modification of scratch assay enables to perform measurement more accurately and rapidly. This approach is more simple and eliminates the main disadvantages of the classical method. Conclusions. The procedure of scratch wound width measurement calculated on the base of detection of cell free area and the length of the field of observation is more effective than the classical wound healing assay. It will be useful for the estimation of cell migration dynamics in monolayer culture for a wide range of live cell based experiments.

  15. Cell-based technologies for Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica Santoro Haddad

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Huntington's disease (HD is a fatal genetic disorder, which causes the progressive breakdown of neurons in the human brain. HD deteriorates human physical and mental abilities over time and has no cure. Stem cell-based technologies are promising novel treatments, and in HD, they aim to replace lost neurons and/or to prevent neural cell death. Herein we discuss the use of human fetal tissue (hFT, neural stem cells (NSCs of hFT origin or embryonic stem cells (ESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs, in clinical and pre-clinical studies. The in vivo use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs, which are derived from non-neural tissues, will also be discussed. All these studies prove the potential of stem cells for transplantation therapy in HD, demonstrating cell grafting and the ability to differentiate into mature neurons, resulting in behavioral improvements. We claim that there are still many problems to overcome before these technologies become available for HD patient treatment, such as: a safety regarding the use of NSCs and pluripotent stem cells, which are potentially teratogenic; b safety regarding the transplantation procedure itself, which represents a risk and needs to be better studied; and finally c technical and ethical issues regarding cells of fetal and embryonic origin.

  16. Stem Cell-Based Gene Therapy. (United States)

    Bagnis; Mannoni


    Many researchers and clinicians wonder if gene therapy remains a way to treat genetic or acquired life-threatening diseases. For the last few years, many experimental, pre-clinical, and clinical data have been published showing that it is possible to transfer with relatively high efficiency new genetic information (transgene) in many cells or tissues including both hematopoietic progenitor cells and differentiated cells. Based on experimental works, addition of the normal gene to cells with deletions, mutations, or alterations of the corresponding endogenous one has been shown to reverse the phenotype and to restore (in some case) the functional defect. In spite of very attractive preliminary results, however, suggesting the feasibility and safety of this process, therapeutically efficient gene transfer and expression in targeted cells or tissues must be proven. In this review, we will focus primarily on the attempts to use gene transfer in hematopoietic stem cells as a model for more general genetic manipulations of stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells are included in a subset of bone marrow, cord blood, or peripheral blood cells identified by the expression of the CD34 antigen on their membrane.

  17. Automated Combinatorial Chemistry in the Organic Chemistry Majors Laboratory (United States)

    Nichols, Christopher J.; Hanne, Larry F.


    A multidisciplinary experiment has been developed in which students each synthesize a combinatorial library of 48 hydrazones with the aid of a liquid-handling robot. Each product is then subjected to a Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion assay to assess its antibacterial activity. Students gain experience working with automation and at the…

  18. Lab-on-a-Chip Multiplex Assays. (United States)

    Peter, Harald; Wienke, Julia; Bier, Frank F


    Lab-on-a-chip multiplex assays allow a rapid identification of multiple parameters in an automated manner. Here we describe a lab-based preparation followed by a rapid and fully automated DNA microarray hybridization and readout in less than 10 min using the Fraunhofer in vitro diagnostics (ivD) platform to enable rapid identification of bacterial species and detection of antibiotic resistance. The use of DNA microarrays allows a fast adaptation of new biomarkers enabling the identification of different genes as well as single-nucleotide-polymorphisms (SNPs) within these genes. In this protocol we describe a DNA microarray developed for identification of Staphylococcus aureus and the mecA resistance gene.

  19. Development of a Radioactive Waste Assay System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Duck Won; Song, Myung Jae; Shin, Sang Woon; Sung, Kee Bang; Ko, Dae Hach [Korea Electric Power Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Kil Jeong; Park, Jong Mook; Jee, Kwang Yoong [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)


    Nuclear Act of Korea requires the manifest of low and intermediate level radioactive waste generated at nuclear power plants prior to disposal sites.Individual history records of the radioactive waste should be contained the information about the activity of nuclides in the drum, total activity, weight, the type of waste. A fully automated nuclide analysis assay system, non-destructive analysis and evaluation system of the radioactive waste, was developed through this research project. For the nuclides that could not be analysis directly by MCA, the activities of the representative {gamma}-emitters(Cs-137, Co-60) contained in the drum were measured by using that system. Then scaling factors were used to calculate the activities of {alpha}, {beta}-emitters. Furthermore, this system can automatically mark the analysis results onto the drum surface. An automated drum handling system developed through this research project can reduce the radiation exposure to workers. (author). 41 refs., figs.

  20. A plug-and-play approach to automated data interpretation: the data interpretation module (DIM)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartog, B.K.D.; Elling, J.W.; Mniszewski, S.M.


    The Contaminant Analysis Automation (CAA) Project`s automated analysis laboratory provides a ``plug-and-play`` reusable infrastructure for many types of environmental assays. As a sample progresses through sample preparation to sample analysis and finally to data interpretation, increasing expertise and judgment are needed at each step. The Data Interpretation Module (DIM) echoes the automation`s plug-and-play philosophy as a reusable engine and architecture for handling both the uncertainty and knowledge required for interpreting contaminant sample data. This presentation describes the implementation and performance of the DIM in interpreting polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) gas chromatogram and shows the DIM architecture`s reusability for other applications.

  1. Materials Testing and Automation (United States)

    Cooper, Wayne D.; Zweigoron, Ronald B.


    The advent of automation in materials testing has been in large part responsible for recent radical changes in the materials testing field: Tests virtually impossible to perform without a computer have become more straightforward to conduct. In addition, standardized tests may be performed with enhanced efficiency and repeatability. A typical automated system is described in terms of its primary subsystems — an analog station, a digital computer, and a processor interface. The processor interface links the analog functions with the digital computer; it includes data acquisition, command function generation, and test control functions. Features of automated testing are described with emphasis on calculated variable control, control of a variable that is computed by the processor and cannot be read directly from a transducer. Three calculated variable tests are described: a yield surface probe test, a thermomechanical fatigue test, and a constant-stress-intensity range crack-growth test. Future developments are discussed.

  2. Automation of Taxiing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslav Bursík


    Full Text Available The article focuses on the possibility of automation of taxiing, which is the part of a flight, which, under adverse weather conditions, greatly reduces the operational usability of an airport, and is the only part of a flight that has not been affected by automation, yet. Taxiing is currently handled manually by the pilot, who controls the airplane based on information from visual perception. The article primarily deals with possible ways of obtaining navigational information, and its automatic transfer to the controls. Analyzed wand assessed were currently available technologies such as computer vision, Light Detection and Ranging and Global Navigation Satellite System, which are useful for navigation and their general implementation into an airplane was designed. Obstacles to the implementation were identified, too. The result is a proposed combination of systems along with their installation into airplane’s systems so that it is possible to use the automated taxiing.

  3. Automating the CMS DAQ

    CERN Document Server

    Bauer, Gerry; Behrens, Ulf; Branson, James; Chaze, Olivier; Cittolin, Sergio; Coarasa Perez, Jose Antonio; Darlea, Georgiana Lavinia; Deldicque, Christian; Dobson, Marc; Dupont, Aymeric; Erhan, Samim; Gigi, Dominique; Glege, Frank; Gomez Ceballos, Guillelmo; Gomez-Reino Garrido, Robert; Hartl, Christian; Hegeman, Jeroen Guido; Holzner, Andre Georg; Masetti, Lorenzo; Meijers, Franciscus; Meschi, Emilio; Mommsen, Remigius; Morovic, Srecko; Nunez Barranco Fernandez, Carlos; O'Dell, Vivian; Orsini, Luciano; Ozga, Wojciech Andrzej; Paus, Christoph Maria Ernst; Petrucci, Andrea; Pieri, Marco; Racz, Attila; Raginel, Olivier; Sakulin, Hannes; Sani, Matteo; Schwick, Christoph; Spataru, Andrei Cristian; Stieger, Benjamin Bastian; Sumorok, Konstanty; Veverka, Jan; Wakefield, Christopher Colin; Zejdl, Petr


    We present the automation mechanisms that have been added to the Data Acquisition and Run Control systems of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment during Run 1 of the LHC, ranging from the automation of routine tasks to automatic error recovery and context-sensitive guidance to the operator. These mechanisms helped CMS to maintain a data taking efficiency above 90\\% and to even improve it to 95\\% towards the end of Run 1, despite an increase in the occurrence of single-event upsets in sub-detector electronics at high LHC luminosity.

  4. Automating the CMS DAQ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bauer, G.; et al.


    We present the automation mechanisms that have been added to the Data Acquisition and Run Control systems of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment during Run 1 of the LHC, ranging from the automation of routine tasks to automatic error recovery and context-sensitive guidance to the operator. These mechanisms helped CMS to maintain a data taking efficiency above 90% and to even improve it to 95% towards the end of Run 1, despite an increase in the occurrence of single-event upsets in sub-detector electronics at high LHC luminosity.

  5. Altering user' acceptance of automation through prior automation exposure. (United States)

    Bekier, Marek; Molesworth, Brett R C


    Air navigation service providers worldwide see increased use of automation as one solution to overcome the capacity constraints imbedded in the present air traffic management (ATM) system. However, increased use of automation within any system is dependent on user acceptance. The present research sought to determine if the point at which an individual is no longer willing to accept or cooperate with automation can be manipulated. Forty participants underwent training on a computer-based air traffic control programme, followed by two ATM exercises (order counterbalanced), one with and one without the aid of automation. Results revealed after exposure to a task with automation assistance, user acceptance of high(er) levels of automation ('tipping point') decreased; suggesting it is indeed possible to alter automation acceptance. Practitioner Summary: This paper investigates whether the point at which a user of automation rejects automation (i.e. 'tipping point') is constant or can be manipulated. The results revealed after exposure to a task with automation assistance, user acceptance of high(er) levels of automation decreased; suggesting it is possible to alter automation acceptance.

  6. Microbead agglutination based assays

    KAUST Repository

    Kodzius, Rimantas


    We report a simple and rapid room temperature assay for point-of-care (POC) testing that is based on specific agglutination. Agglutination tests are based on aggregation of microbeads in the presence of a specific analyte thus enabling the macroscopic observation. Such tests are most often used to explore antibody-antigen reactions. Agglutination has been used for protein assays using a biotin/streptavidin system as well as a hybridization based assay. The agglutination systems are prone to selftermination of the linking analyte, prone to active site saturation and loss of agglomeration at high analyte concentrations. We investigated the molecular target/ligand interaction, explaining the common agglutination problems related to analyte self-termination, linkage of the analyte to the same bead instead of different microbeads. We classified the agglutination process into three kinds of assays: a two- component assay, a three-component assay and a stepped three- component assay. Although we compared these three kinds of assays for recognizing DNA and protein molecules, the assay can be used for virtually any molecule, including ions and metabolites. In total, the optimized assay permits detecting analytes with high sensitivity in a short time, 5 min, at room temperature. Such a system is appropriate for POC testing.

  7. Colorimetric protein assay techniques. (United States)

    Sapan, C V; Lundblad, R L; Price, N C


    There has been an increase in the number of colorimetric assay techniques for the determination of protein concentration over the past 20 years. This has resulted in a perceived increase in sensitivity and accuracy with the advent of new techniques. The present review considers these advances with emphasis on the potential use of such technologies in the assay of biopharmaceuticals. The techniques reviewed include Coomassie Blue G-250 dye binding (the Bradford assay), the Lowry assay, the bicinchoninic acid assay and the biuret assay. It is shown that each assay has advantages and disadvantages relative to sensitivity, ease of performance, acceptance in the literature, accuracy and reproducibility/coefficient of variation/laboratory-to-laboratory variation. A comparison of the use of several assays with the same sample population is presented. It is suggested that the most critical issue in the use of a chromogenic protein assay for the characterization of a biopharmaceutical is the selection of a standard for the calibration of the assay; it is crucial that the standard be representative of the sample. If it is not possible to match the standard with the sample from the perspective of protein composition, then it is preferable to use an assay that is not sensitive to the composition of the protein such as a micro-Kjeldahl technique, quantitative amino acid analysis or the biuret assay. In a complex mixture it might be inappropriate to focus on a general method of protein determination and much more informative to use specific methods relating to the protein(s) of particular interest, using either specific assays or antibody-based methods. The key point is that whatever method is adopted as the 'gold standard' for a given protein, this method needs to be used routinely for calibration.

  8. Development of robotic plasma radiochemical assays for positron emission tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexoff, D.L.; Shea, C.; Fowler, J.S.; Gatley, S.J.; Schlyer, D.J. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States). Dept. of Chemistry


    A commercial laboratory robot system (Zymate PyTechnology II Laboratory Automation System; Zymark Corporation, Hopkinton, MA) was interfaced to standard and custom laboratory equipment and programmed to perform rapid radiochemical analyses for quantitative PET studies. A Zymark XP robot arm was used to carry out the determination of unchanged (parent) radiotracer in plasma using only solid phase extraction methods. Robotic throughput for the assay of parent radiotracer in plasma is 4--6 samples/hour depending on the radiotracer. Robotic assays of parent compound in plasma were validated for the radiotracers [{sup 11}C]Benztropine, [{sup 11}C]cocaine, [{sup 11}C]clorgyline, [{sup 11}C]deprenyl, [{sup 11}C]methadone, [{sup 11}C]methylphenidate, [{sup 11}C]raclorpride, and [{sup 11}C]SR46349B. A simple robot-assisted methods development strategy has been implemented to facilitate the automation of plasma assays of new radiotracers.

  9. Microcontroller for automation application (United States)

    Cooper, H. W.


    The description of a microcontroller currently being developed for automation application was given. It is basically an 8-bit microcomputer with a 40K byte random access memory/read only memory, and can control a maximum of 12 devices through standard 15-line interface ports.

  10. Automated Composite Column Wrapping


    ECT Team, Purdue


    The Automated Composite Column Wrapping is performed by a patented machine known as Robo-Wrapper. Currently there are three versions of the machine available for bridge retrofit work depending on the size of the columns being wrapped. Composite column retrofit jacket systems can be structurally just as effective as conventional steel jacketing in improving the seismic response characteristics of substandard reinforced concrete columns.

  11. Automated Web Applications Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru Dan CĂPRIŢĂ


    Full Text Available Unit tests are a vital part of several software development practicesand processes such as Test-First Programming, Extreme Programming andTest-Driven Development. This article shortly presents the software quality andtesting concepts as well as an introduction to an automated unit testingframework for PHP web based applications.

  12. Automated Student Model Improvement (United States)

    Koedinger, Kenneth R.; McLaughlin, Elizabeth A.; Stamper, John C.


    Student modeling plays a critical role in developing and improving instruction and instructional technologies. We present a technique for automated improvement of student models that leverages the DataShop repository, crowd sourcing, and a version of the Learning Factors Analysis algorithm. We demonstrate this method on eleven educational…

  13. Automated Accounting. Instructor Guide. (United States)

    Moses, Duane R.

    This curriculum guide was developed to assist business instructors using Dac Easy Accounting College Edition Version 2.0 software in their accounting programs. The module consists of four units containing assignment sheets and job sheets designed to enable students to master competencies identified in the area of automated accounting. The first…



    Carrión Muñoz, Rolando; Docente de la FII - UNMSM


    The article shows the role that ergonomics in automation of processes, and the importance for Industrial Engineering.  El artículo nos muestra el papel que tiene la ergonomía en la automatización de los procesos, y la importancia para la Ingeniería Industrial.

  15. Mechatronic Design Automation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fan, Zhun

    successfully design analogue filters, vibration absorbers, micro-electro-mechanical systems, and vehicle suspension systems, all in an automatic or semi-automatic way. It also investigates the very important issue of co-designing plant-structures and dynamic controllers in automated design of Mechatronic...

  16. Protokoller til Home Automation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, Kristian Ellebæk


    computer, der kan skifte mellem foruddefinerede indstillinger. Nogle gange kan computeren fjernstyres over internettet, så man kan se hjemmets status fra en computer eller måske endda fra en mobiltelefon. Mens nævnte anvendelser er klassiske indenfor home automation, er yderligere funktionalitet dukket op...

  17. Myths in test automation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jazmine Francis


    Full Text Available Myths in automation of software testing is an issue of discussion that echoes about the areas of service in validation of software industry. Probably, the first though that appears in knowledgeable reader would be Why this old topic again? What's New to discuss the matter? But, for the first time everyone agrees that undoubtedly automation testing today is not today what it used to be ten or fifteen years ago, because it has evolved in scope and magnitude. What began as a simple linear scripts for web applications today has a complex architecture and a hybrid framework to facilitate the implementation of testing applications developed with various platforms and technologies. Undoubtedly automation has advanced, but so did the myths associated with it. The change in perspective and knowledge of people on automation has altered the terrain. This article reflects the points of views and experience of the author in what has to do with the transformation of the original myths in new versions, and how they are derived; also provides his thoughts on the new generation of myths.

  18. A genomic biomarker signature can predict skin sensitizers using a cell-based in vitro alternative to animal tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albrekt Ann-Sofie


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Allergic contact dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease that affects a significant proportion of the population. This disease is caused by an adverse immune response towards chemical haptens, and leads to a substantial economic burden for society. Current test of sensitizing chemicals rely on animal experimentation. New legislations on the registration and use of chemicals within pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries have stimulated significant research efforts to develop alternative, human cell-based assays for the prediction of sensitization. The aim is to replace animal experiments with in vitro tests displaying a higher predictive power. Results We have developed a novel cell-based assay for the prediction of sensitizing chemicals. By analyzing the transcriptome of the human cell line MUTZ-3 after 24 h stimulation, using 20 different sensitizing chemicals, 20 non-sensitizing chemicals and vehicle controls, we have identified a biomarker signature of 200 genes with potent discriminatory ability. Using a Support Vector Machine for supervised classification, the prediction performance of the assay revealed an area under the ROC curve of 0.98. In addition, categorizing the chemicals according to the LLNA assay, this gene signature could also predict sensitizing potency. The identified markers are involved in biological pathways with immunological relevant functions, which can shed light on the process of human sensitization. Conclusions A gene signature predicting sensitization, using a human cell line in vitro, has been identified. This simple and robust cell-based assay has the potential to completely replace or drastically reduce the utilization of test systems based on experimental animals. Being based on human biology, the assay is proposed to be more accurate for predicting sensitization in humans, than the traditional animal-based tests.

  19. Absolute nuclear material assay (United States)

    Prasad, Manoj K [Pleasanton, CA; Snyderman, Neal J [Berkeley, CA; Rowland, Mark S [Alamo, CA


    A method of absolute nuclear material assay of an unknown source comprising counting neutrons from the unknown source and providing an absolute nuclear material assay utilizing a model to optimally compare to the measured count distributions. In one embodiment, the step of providing an absolute nuclear material assay comprises utilizing a random sampling of analytically computed fission chain distributions to generate a continuous time-evolving sequence of event-counts by spreading the fission chain distribution in time.

  20. Automating spectral measurements (United States)

    Goldstein, Fred T.


    This paper discusses the architecture of software utilized in spectroscopic measurements. As optical coatings become more sophisticated, there is mounting need to automate data acquisition (DAQ) from spectrophotometers. Such need is exacerbated when 100% inspection is required, ancillary devices are utilized, cost reduction is crucial, or security is vital. While instrument manufacturers normally provide point-and-click DAQ software, an application programming interface (API) may be missing. In such cases automation is impossible or expensive. An API is typically provided in libraries (*.dll, *.ocx) which may be embedded in user-developed applications. Users can thereby implement DAQ automation in several Windows languages. Another possibility, developed by FTG as an alternative to instrument manufacturers' software, is the ActiveX application (*.exe). ActiveX, a component of many Windows applications, provides means for programming and interoperability. This architecture permits a point-and-click program to act as automation client and server. Excel, for example, can control and be controlled by DAQ applications. Most importantly, ActiveX permits ancillary devices such as barcode readers and XY-stages to be easily and economically integrated into scanning procedures. Since an ActiveX application has its own user-interface, it can be independently tested. The ActiveX application then runs (visibly or invisibly) under DAQ software control. Automation capabilities are accessed via a built-in spectro-BASIC language with industry-standard (VBA-compatible) syntax. Supplementing ActiveX, spectro-BASIC also includes auxiliary serial port commands for interfacing programmable logic controllers (PLC). A typical application is automatic filter handling.

  1. A sandwiched microarray platform for benchtop cell-based high throughput screening (United States)

    Wu, Jinhui; Wheeldon, Ian; Guo, Yuqi; Lu, Tingli; Du, Yanan; Wang, Ben; He, Jiankang; Hu, Yiqiao; Khademhosseini, Ali


    The emergence of combinatorial chemistries and the increased discovery of natural compounds have led to the production of expansive libraries of drug candidates and vast numbers of compounds with potentially interesting biological activities. Despite broad interest in high throughput screening (HTS) across varied fields of biological research, there has not been an increase in accessible HTS technologies. Here, we present a simple microarray sandwich system suitable for screening chemical libraries in cell-based assays at the benchtop. The microarray platform delivers chemical compounds to isolated cell cultures by ‘sandwiching’ chemical-laden arrayed posts with cell-seeded microwells. In this way, an array of sealed cell-based assays was generated without cross-contamination between neighboring assays. After chemical exposure, cell viability was analyzed by fluorescence detection of cell viability indicator assays on a per microwell basis in a standard microarray scanner. We demonstrate the efficacy of the system by generating four hits from toxicology screens towards MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Three of the hits were identified in a combinatorial screen of a library of natural compounds in combination with verapamil, a P-glycoprotein inhibitor. A fourth hit, 9-methoxy-camptothecin, was identified by screening the natural compound library in the absence of verapamil. The method developed here miniaturizes existing HTS systems and enables the screening of a wide array of individual or combinatorial libraries in a reproducible and scalable manner. We anticipate broad application of such a system as it is amenable to combinatorial drug screening in a simple, robust and portable platform. PMID:20965560

  2. Quantitation of residual trypsin in cell-based therapeutics using immobilized α-1-antitrypsin or SBTI in an ELISA format. (United States)

    Braatz, James A; Elias, Christopher; Finny, Joseph G; Tran, Huan; McCaman, Michael


    An Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) has been developed for the quantitation of porcine trypsin as a process residual in cell therapy products based on its capture by either of two immobilized anti-trypsins, α-1-antitrypsin (α1AT) or soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI) followed by detection with a polyclonal goat anti-porcine trypsin-IgG conjugated with peroxidase. It was demonstrated that an extended range of antigen quantitation could be achieved that covered nearly three orders of magnitude of trypsin concentration. The utility of the assay was demonstrated by its application to samples generated in a cell-based therapeutic manufacturing setting.

  3. Combining the rapid MTT formazan exocytosis assay and the MC65 protection assay led to the discovery of carbazole analogs as small molecule inhibitors of Abeta oligomer-induced cytotoxicity. (United States)

    Hong, Hyun-Seok; Maezawa, Izumi; Yao, Nianhuan; Xu, Bailing; Diaz-Avalos, Ruben; Rana, Sandeep; Hua, Duy H; Cheng, R Holland; Lam, Kit S; Jin, Lee-Way


    The discovery of small molecule inhibitors of cytotoxicity induced by amyloid-beta (Abeta) oligomers, either applied extracellularly or accumulated intraneuronally, is an important goal of drug development for Alzheimer's disease (AD), but has been limited by the lack of efficient screening methods. Here we describe our approach using two cell-based methods. The first method takes advantage of the unique ability of extracellularly applied Abeta oligomers to rapidly induce the exocytosis of formazan formed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT). We employed a short protocol to quantify this toxicity, and quickly identified two novel inhibitors, code-named CP2 and A5, from two compound libraries. A second independent screen of the same libraries using our previously published MC65 protection assay, which identifies inhibitors of toxicity related to intracellular Abeta oligomers, also selected the same two leads, suggesting that both assays select for the same anti-Abeta oligomer properties displayed by these compounds. We further demonstrated that A5 attenuated the progressive aggregation of existing Abeta oligomers, reduced the level of intracellular Abeta oligomers, and prevented the Abeta oligomer-induced death of primary cortical neurons, effects similar to those demonstrated by CP2. Our results suggest that, when combined, the two methods would generate fewer false results and give a high likelihood of identifying leads that show promises in ameliorating Abeta oligomer-induced toxicities within both intraneuronal and extracellular sites. Both assays are simple, suitable for rapid screening of a large number of medicinal libraries, and amenable for automation.

  4. Transient expression assays in tobacco protoplasts. (United States)

    Vanden Bossche, Robin; Demedts, Brecht; Vanderhaeghen, Rudy; Goossens, Alain


    The sequence information generated through genome and transcriptome analysis from plant tissues has reached unprecedented sizes. Sequence homology-based annotations may provide hints for the possible function and roles of particular plant genes, but the functional annotation remains nonexistent or incomplete for many of them. To discover gene functions, transient expression assays are a valuable tool because they can be done more rapidly and at a higher scale than generating stably transformed tissues. Here, we describe a transient expression assay in protoplasts derived from suspension cells of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) for the study of the transactivation capacities of transcription factors. To enhance throughput and reproducibility, this method can be automated, allowing medium-throughput screening of interactions between large compendia of potential transcription factors and gene promoters.

  5. Predictions for rapid methods and automation in food microbiology. (United States)

    Fung, Daniel Y C


    A discussion is presented on the present status of rapid methods and automation in microbiology. Predictions are also presented for development in the following areas: viable cell counts; real-time monitoring of hygiene; polymerase chain reaction, ribotyping, and genetic tests in food laboratories; automated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunotests; rapid dipstick technology; biosensors for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point programs; instant detection of target pathogens by computer-generated matrix; effective separation and concentration for rapid identification of target cells; microbiological alert systems in food packages; and rapid alert kits for detecting pathogens at home.

  6. [Mechanism research on the lupeol treatment on MCF-7 breast cancer cells based on cell metabonomics]. (United States)

    Shi, Dongdong; Kuang, Yuanyuan; Wang, Guiming; Peng, Zhangxiao; Wang, Yan; Yan, Chao


    The objective of this research is to investigate the suppressive effects of lupeol on MCF-7 breast cancer cells, and explore its mechanism on inhibiting the proliferation of MCF-7 cells based on cell metabonomics and cell cycle. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used in the cell metabonomics assay to identify metabolites of MCF-7 cells and MCF-7 cells treated with lupeol. Then, orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) was used to process the metabolic data and model parameters of OPLS-DA were as follows: R2Ycum = 0.988, Q2Ycum = 0.964, which indicated that these two groups could be distinguished clearly. The metabolites (VIP (variable importance in the projection) > 1) were analyzed by t-test, and finally, metabolites (t < 0.05) were identified to be biomarkers. Eleven metabolites such as butanedioic acid, phosphoric acid, L-leucine and isoleucine which had a significant contribution to classification were selected and preliminarily identified due to the accurate mass. Cell cycle assay was analyzed by FACSCalibur. Since the cells in the phase of G1 were increased significantly after the treatment of lupeol, we speculated that lupeol has a blocking effect on the generation of succinyl-CoA and the reaction of substrate phosphorylation of tricarboxylic acid cycle of MCF-7 cells. This study provided a novel approach to the mechanism research on the lupeol treatment on MCF-7 breast cancer cells based on cell metabonomics.

  7. A cell-based computational modeling approach for developing site-directed molecular probes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing-Yu Yu

    Full Text Available Modeling the local absorption and retention patterns of membrane-permeant small molecules in a cellular context could facilitate development of site-directed chemical agents for bioimaging or therapeutic applications. Here, we present an integrative approach to this problem, combining in silico computational models, in vitro cell based assays and in vivo biodistribution studies. To target small molecule probes to the epithelial cells of the upper airways, a multiscale computational model of the lung was first used as a screening tool, in silico. Following virtual screening, cell monolayers differentiated on microfabricated pore arrays and multilayer cultures of primary human bronchial epithelial cells differentiated in an air-liquid interface were used to test the local absorption and intracellular retention patterns of selected probes, in vitro. Lastly, experiments involving visualization of bioimaging probe distribution in the lungs after local and systemic administration were used to test the relevance of computational models and cell-based assays, in vivo. The results of in vivo experiments were consistent with the results of in silico simulations, indicating that mitochondrial accumulation of membrane permeant, hydrophilic cations can be used to maximize local exposure and retention, specifically in the upper airways after intratracheal administration.

  8. ATLAS Distributed Computing Automation

    CERN Document Server

    Schovancova, J; The ATLAS collaboration; Borrego, C; Campana, S; Di Girolamo, A; Elmsheuser, J; Hejbal, J; Kouba, T; Legger, F; Magradze, E; Medrano Llamas, R; Negri, G; Rinaldi, L; Sciacca, G; Serfon, C; Van Der Ster, D C


    The ATLAS Experiment benefits from computing resources distributed worldwide at more than 100 WLCG sites. The ATLAS Grid sites provide over 100k CPU job slots, over 100 PB of storage space on disk or tape. Monitoring of status of such a complex infrastructure is essential. The ATLAS Grid infrastructure is monitored 24/7 by two teams of shifters distributed world-wide, by the ATLAS Distributed Computing experts, and by site administrators. In this paper we summarize automation efforts performed within the ATLAS Distributed Computing team in order to reduce manpower costs and improve the reliability of the system. Different aspects of the automation process are described: from the ATLAS Grid site topology provided by the ATLAS Grid Information System, via automatic site testing by the HammerCloud, to automatic exclusion from production or analysis activities.

  9. Rapid automated nuclear chemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, R.A.


    Rapid Automated Nuclear Chemistry (RANC) can be thought of as the Z-separation of Neutron-rich Isotopes by Automated Methods. The range of RANC studies of fission and its products is large. In a sense, the studies can be categorized into various energy ranges from the highest where the fission process and particle emission are considered, to low energies where nuclear dynamics are being explored. This paper presents a table which gives examples of current research using RANC on fission and fission products. The remainder of this text is divided into three parts. The first contains a discussion of the chemical methods available for the fission product elements, the second describes the major techniques, and in the last section, examples of recent results are discussed as illustrations of the use of RANC.

  10. The automation of science. (United States)

    King, Ross D; Rowland, Jem; Oliver, Stephen G; Young, Michael; Aubrey, Wayne; Byrne, Emma; Liakata, Maria; Markham, Magdalena; Pir, Pinar; Soldatova, Larisa N; Sparkes, Andrew; Whelan, Kenneth E; Clare, Amanda


    The basis of science is the hypothetico-deductive method and the recording of experiments in sufficient detail to enable reproducibility. We report the development of Robot Scientist "Adam," which advances the automation of both. Adam has autonomously generated functional genomics hypotheses about the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and experimentally tested these hypotheses by using laboratory automation. We have confirmed Adam's conclusions through manual experiments. To describe Adam's research, we have developed an ontology and logical language. The resulting formalization involves over 10,000 different research units in a nested treelike structure, 10 levels deep, that relates the 6.6 million biomass measurements to their logical description. This formalization describes how a machine contributed to scientific knowledge.

  11. Automated genotyping of dinucleotide repeat markers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perlin, M.W.; Hoffman, E.P. [Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)]|[Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)


    The dinucleotide repeats (i.e., microsatellites) such as CA-repeats are a highly polymorphic, highly abundant class of PCR-amplifiable markers that have greatly streamlined genetic mapping experimentation. It is expected that over 30,000 such markers (including tri- and tetranucleotide repeats) will be characterized for routine use in the next few years. Since only size determination, and not sequencing, is required to determine alleles, in principle, dinucleotide repeat genotyping is easily performed on electrophoretic gels, and can be automated using DNA sequencers. Unfortunately, PCR stuttering with these markers generates not one band for each allele, but a pattern of bands. Since closely spaced alleles must be disambiguated by human scoring, this poses a key obstacle to full automation. We have developed methods that overcome this obstacle. Our model is that the observed data is generated by arithmetic superposition (i.e., convolution) of multiple allele patterns. By quantitatively measuring the size of each component band, and exploiting the unique stutter pattern associated with each marker, closely spaced alleles can be deconvolved; this unambiguously reconstructs the {open_quotes}true{close_quotes} allele bands, with stutter artifact removed. We used this approach in a system for automated diagnosis of (X-linked) Duchenne muscular dystrophy; four multiplexed CA-repeats within the dystrophin gene were assayed on a DNA sequencer. Our method accurately detected small variations in gel migration that shifted the allele size estimate. In 167 nonmutated alleles, 89% (149/167) showed no size variation, 9% (15/167) showed 1 bp variation, and 2% (3/167) showed 2 bp variation. We are currently developing a library of dinucleotide repeat patterns; together with our deconvolution methods, this library will enable fully automated genotyping of dinucleotide repeats from sizing data.

  12. The Automated Medical Office



    With shock and surprise many physicians learned in the 1980s that they must change the way they do business. Competition for patients, increasing government regulation, and the rapidly escalating risk of litigation forces physicians to seek modern remedies in office management. The author describes a medical clinic that strives to be paperless using electronic innovation to solve the problems of medical practice management. A computer software program to automate information management in a c...

  13. Automation of printing machine


    Sušil, David


    Bachelor thesis is focused on the automation of the printing machine and comparing the two types of printing machines. The first chapter deals with the history of printing, typesettings, printing techniques and various kinds of bookbinding. The second chapter describes the difference between sheet-fed printing machines and offset printing machines, the difference between two representatives of rotary machines, technological process of the products on these machines, the description of the mac...

  14. Automated Cooperative Trajectories (United States)

    Hanson, Curt; Pahle, Joseph; Brown, Nelson


    This presentation is an overview of the Automated Cooperative Trajectories project. An introduction to the phenomena of wake vortices is given, along with a summary of past research into the possibility of extracting energy from the wake by flying close parallel trajectories. Challenges and barriers to adoption of civilian automatic wake surfing technology are identified. A hardware-in-the-loop simulation is described that will support future research. Finally, a roadmap for future research and technology transition is proposed.

  15. Automation in biological crystallization. (United States)

    Stewart, Patrick Shaw; Mueller-Dieckmann, Jochen


    Crystallization remains the bottleneck in the crystallographic process leading from a gene to a three-dimensional model of the encoded protein or RNA. Automation of the individual steps of a crystallization experiment, from the preparation of crystallization cocktails for initial or optimization screens to the imaging of the experiments, has been the response to address this issue. Today, large high-throughput crystallization facilities, many of them open to the general user community, are capable of setting up thousands of crystallization trials per day. It is thus possible to test multiple constructs of each target for their ability to form crystals on a production-line basis. This has improved success rates and made crystallization much more convenient. High-throughput crystallization, however, cannot relieve users of the task of producing samples of high quality. Moreover, the time gained from eliminating manual preparations must now be invested in the careful evaluation of the increased number of experiments. The latter requires a sophisticated data and laboratory information-management system. A review of the current state of automation at the individual steps of crystallization with specific attention to the automation of optimization is given.

  16. Automation in biological crystallization (United States)

    Shaw Stewart, Patrick; Mueller-Dieckmann, Jochen


    Crystallization remains the bottleneck in the crystallographic process leading from a gene to a three-dimensional model of the encoded protein or RNA. Automation of the individual steps of a crystallization experiment, from the preparation of crystallization cocktails for initial or optimization screens to the imaging of the experiments, has been the response to address this issue. Today, large high-throughput crystallization facilities, many of them open to the general user community, are capable of setting up thousands of crystallization trials per day. It is thus possible to test multiple constructs of each target for their ability to form crystals on a production-line basis. This has improved success rates and made crystallization much more convenient. High-throughput crystallization, however, cannot relieve users of the task of producing samples of high quality. Moreover, the time gained from eliminating manual preparations must now be invested in the careful evaluation of the increased number of experiments. The latter requires a sophisticated data and laboratory information-management system. A review of the current state of automation at the individual steps of crystallization with specific attention to the automation of optimization is given. PMID:24915074

  17. Contaminant analysis automation demonstration proposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dodson, M.G.; Schur, A.; Heubach, J.G.


    The nation-wide and global need for environmental restoration and waste remediation (ER&WR) presents significant challenges to the analytical chemistry laboratory. The expansion of ER&WR programs forces an increase in the volume of samples processed and the demand for analysis data. To handle this expanding volume, productivity must be increased. However. The need for significantly increased productivity, faces contaminant analysis process which is costly in time, labor, equipment, and safety protection. Laboratory automation offers a cost effective approach to meeting current and future contaminant analytical laboratory needs. The proposed demonstration will present a proof-of-concept automated laboratory conducting varied sample preparations. This automated process also highlights a graphical user interface that provides supervisory, control and monitoring of the automated process. The demonstration provides affirming answers to the following questions about laboratory automation: Can preparation of contaminants be successfully automated?; Can a full-scale working proof-of-concept automated laboratory be developed that is capable of preparing contaminant and hazardous chemical samples?; Can the automated processes be seamlessly integrated and controlled?; Can the automated laboratory be customized through readily convertible design? and Can automated sample preparation concepts be extended to the other phases of the sample analysis process? To fully reap the benefits of automation, four human factors areas should be studied and the outputs used to increase the efficiency of laboratory automation. These areas include: (1) laboratory configuration, (2) procedures, (3) receptacles and fixtures, and (4) human-computer interface for the full automated system and complex laboratory information management systems.

  18. An automated data acquisition system for isolated tissue studies. (United States)

    Gross, D M; Weitz, D


    The automation of an isolated atria assay is described. Data acquisition, operation of the strip chart recorder, data reduction and manipulation and generation of notebook pages showing final EC50's, dose-ratios and local pA2's has been completely automated. The data are acquired via a SYM-1 (6502 CPU) 8-bit single board computer running an assembly language program stored on an EPROM chip. The data from a physiological recorder system are stored by the SYM-1 and, at the conclusion of the experiment, transmitted to a DEC MINC-11 microminicomputer running a sequence of programs in BASIC for the mathematical manipulation of the data and the automatic generation of lab notebook pages. The automated system totally eliminates hand transcription of data, manual plotting of curves and mathematical errors.

  19. Transgenic Animal Mutation Assays

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tao Chen; Ph.D.D.A.B.T.


    @@ The novel transgenic mouse and rat mutation assays have provided a tool for analyzing in vivo mutation in any tissue, thus permitting the direct comparison of cancer incidence with mutant frequency.

  20. Tube-Forming Assays. (United States)

    Brown, Ryan M; Meah, Christopher J; Heath, Victoria L; Styles, Iain B; Bicknell, Roy


    Angiogenesis involves the generation of new blood vessels from the existing vasculature and is dependent on many growth factors and signaling events. In vivo angiogenesis is dynamic and complex, meaning assays are commonly utilized to explore specific targets for research into this area. Tube-forming assays offer an excellent overview of the molecular processes in angiogenesis. The Matrigel tube forming assay is a simple-to-implement but powerful tool for identifying biomolecules involved in angiogenesis. A detailed experimental protocol on the implementation of the assay is described in conjunction with an in-depth review of methods that can be applied to the analysis of the tube formation. In addition, an ImageJ plug-in is presented which allows automatic quantification of tube images reducing analysis times while removing user bias and subjectivity.

  1. Cell viability assays: introduction. (United States)

    Stoddart, Martin J


    The measurement of cell viability plays a fundamental role in all forms of cell culture. Sometimes it is the main purpose of the experiment, such as in toxicity assays. Alternatively, cell viability can be used to -correlate cell behaviour to cell number, providing a more accurate picture of, for example, anabolic -activity. There are wide arrays of cell viability methods which range from the most routine trypan blue dye exclusion assay to highly complex analysis of individual cells, such as using RAMAN microscopy. The cost, speed, and complexity of equipment required will all play a role in determining the assay used. This chapter aims to provide an overview of many of the assays available today.

  2. New Rapid Spore Assay (United States)

    Kminek, Gerhard; Conley, Catharine


    The presentation will detail approved Planetary Protection specifications for the Rapid Spore Assay for spacecraft components and subsystems. Outlined will be the research and studies on which the specifications were based. The research, funded by ESA and NASA/JPL, was conducted over a period of two years and was followed by limited cleanroom studies to assess the feasibility of this assay during spacecraft assembly.

  3. Greater Buyer Effectiveness through Automation (United States)


    FOB = free on board FPAC = Federal Procurement Automation Council FPDS = Federal Procurement Data System 4GL = fourth generation language GAO = General...Procurement Automation Council ( FPAC ), entitled Compendium of Automated Procurement Systems in Federal Agencies. The FPAC inventory attempted to identify...In some cases we have updated descriptions of systems identified by the FPAC study, but many of the newer systems are identified here for the first

  4. 78 FR 66039 - Modification of National Customs Automation Program Test Concerning Automated Commercial... (United States)


    ... SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Modification of National Customs Automation Program Test... National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning the Simplified Entry functionality in the...'s (CBP's) National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning Automated...

  5. 77 FR 48527 - National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE... (United States)


    ... SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning...: General notice. SUMMARY: This notice announces modifications to the National Customs Automation Program...) National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning Automated Commercial Environment...

  6. World-wide distribution automation systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devaney, T.M.


    A worldwide power distribution automation system is outlined. Distribution automation is defined and the status of utility automation is discussed. Other topics discussed include a distribution management system, substation feeder, and customer functions, potential benefits, automation costs, planning and engineering considerations, automation trends, databases, system operation, computer modeling of system, and distribution management systems.

  7. RNA-protein binding kinetics in an automated microfluidic reactor. (United States)

    Ridgeway, William K; Seitaridou, Effrosyni; Phillips, Rob; Williamson, James R


    Microfluidic chips can automate biochemical assays on the nanoliter scale, which is of considerable utility for RNA-protein binding reactions that would otherwise require large quantities of proteins. Unfortunately, complex reactions involving multiple reactants cannot be prepared in current microfluidic mixer designs, nor is investigation of long-time scale reactions possible. Here, a microfluidic 'Riboreactor' has been designed and constructed to facilitate the study of kinetics of RNA-protein complex formation over long time scales. With computer automation, the reactor can prepare binding reactions from any combination of eight reagents, and is optimized to monitor long reaction times. By integrating a two-photon microscope into the microfluidic platform, 5-nl reactions can be observed for longer than 1000 s with single-molecule sensitivity and negligible photobleaching. Using the Riboreactor, RNA-protein binding reactions with a fragment of the bacterial 30S ribosome were prepared in a fully automated fashion and binding rates were consistent with rates obtained from conventional assays. The microfluidic chip successfully combines automation, low sample consumption, ultra-sensitive fluorescence detection and a high degree of reproducibility. The chip should be able to probe complex reaction networks describing the assembly of large multicomponent RNPs such as the ribosome.

  8. Automating CPM-GOMS (United States)

    John, Bonnie; Vera, Alonso; Matessa, Michael; Freed, Michael; Remington, Roger


    CPM-GOMS is a modeling method that combines the task decomposition of a GOMS analysis with a model of human resource usage at the level of cognitive, perceptual, and motor operations. CPM-GOMS models have made accurate predictions about skilled user behavior in routine tasks, but developing such models is tedious and error-prone. We describe a process for automatically generating CPM-GOMS models from a hierarchical task decomposition expressed in a cognitive modeling tool called Apex. Resource scheduling in Apex automates the difficult task of interleaving the cognitive, perceptual, and motor resources underlying common task operators (e.g. mouse move-and-click). Apex's UI automatically generates PERT charts, which allow modelers to visualize a model's complex parallel behavior. Because interleaving and visualization is now automated, it is feasible to construct arbitrarily long sequences of behavior. To demonstrate the process, we present a model of automated teller interactions in Apex and discuss implications for user modeling. available to model human users, the Goals, Operators, Methods, and Selection (GOMS) method [6, 21] has been the most widely used, providing accurate, often zero-parameter, predictions of the routine performance of skilled users in a wide range of procedural tasks [6, 13, 15, 27, 28]. GOMS is meant to model routine behavior. The user is assumed to have methods that apply sequences of operators and to achieve a goal. Selection rules are applied when there is more than one method to achieve a goal. Many routine tasks lend themselves well to such decomposition. Decomposition produces a representation of the task as a set of nested goal states that include an initial state and a final state. The iterative decomposition into goals and nested subgoals can terminate in primitives of any desired granularity, the choice of level of detail dependent on the predictions required. Although GOMS has proven useful in HCI, tools to support the


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test. With the help of software testing we can verify or validate the software product. Normally testing will be done after development of software but we can perform the software testing at the time of development process also. This paper will give you a brief introduction about Automated API Testing Tool. This tool of testing will reduce lots of headache after the whole development of software. It saves time as well as money. Such type of testing is helpful in the Industries & Colleges also.

  10. The automated medical office. (United States)

    Petreman, M


    With shock and surprise many physicians learned in the 1980s that they must change the way they do business. Competition for patients, increasing government regulation, and the rapidly escalating risk of litigation forces physicians to seek modern remedies in office management. The author describes a medical clinic that strives to be paperless using electronic innovation to solve the problems of medical practice management. A computer software program to automate information management in a clinic shows that practical thinking linked to advanced technology can greatly improve office efficiency.

  11. [Automated anesthesia record system]. (United States)

    Zhu, Tao; Liu, Jin


    Based on Client/Server architecture, a software of automated anesthesia record system running under Windows operation system and networks has been developed and programmed with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, Visual Basic 6.0 and SQL Server. The system can deal with patient's information throughout the anesthesia. It can collect and integrate the data from several kinds of medical equipment such as monitor, infusion pump and anesthesia machine automatically and real-time. After that, the system presents the anesthesia sheets automatically. The record system makes the anesthesia record more accurate and integral and can raise the anesthesiologist's working efficiency.

  12. High sensitivity automated multiplexed immunoassays using photonic crystal enhanced fluorescence microfluidic system. (United States)

    Tan, Yafang; Tang, Tiantian; Xu, Haisheng; Zhu, Chenqi; Cunningham, Brian T


    We demonstrate a platform that integrates photonic crystal enhanced fluorescence (PCEF) detection of a surface-based microspot fluorescent assay with a microfluidic cartridge to achieve simultaneous goals of high analytic sensitivity (single digit pg/mL), high selectivity, low sample volume, and assay automation. The PC surface, designed to provide optical resonances for the excitation wavelength and emission wavelength of Cyanines 5 (Cy5), was used to amplify the fluorescence signal intensity measured from a multiplexed biomarker microarray. The assay system is comprised of a plastic microfluidic cartridge for holding the PC and an assay automation system that provides a leak-free fluid interface during introduction of a sequence of fluids under computer control. Through the use of the assay automation system and the PC embedded within the microfluidic cartridge, we demonstrate pg/mL-level limits of detection by performing representative biomarker assays for interleukin 3 (IL3) and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-α). The results are consistent with limits of detection achieved without the use of the microfluidic device with the exception that coefficients of variability from spot-to-spot are substantially lower than those obtained by performing assays with manual manipulation of assay liquids. The system's capabilities are compatible with the goal of diagnostic instruments for point-of-care settings.

  13. Validation of T47D-KBluc cell assay for detection of estrogen receptor agonists and antagonists### (United States)

    There is growing concern of exposure to fish, wildlife, and humans to environmental estrogens and their potential impact on reproductive health. Cell-based assays are useful tools to determine the estrogenic activity of chemicals. Confidence in in vitro assay results is strengthe...

  14. Validation of T47D-KBluc cell assay for detection of estrogen receptor agonists and antagonists (United States)

    There is growing concern of exposure to fish, wildlife, and humans to environmental estrogens and their potential impact on reproductive health. Cell-based assays are useful tools to determine the estrogenic activity of chemicals. Confidence in in vitro assay results is strengthe...

  15. Automating quantum experiment control (United States)

    Stevens, Kelly E.; Amini, Jason M.; Doret, S. Charles; Mohler, Greg; Volin, Curtis; Harter, Alexa W.


    The field of quantum information processing is rapidly advancing. As the control of quantum systems approaches the level needed for useful computation, the physical hardware underlying the quantum systems is becoming increasingly complex. It is already becoming impractical to manually code control for the larger hardware implementations. In this chapter, we will employ an approach to the problem of system control that parallels compiler design for a classical computer. We will start with a candidate quantum computing technology, the surface electrode ion trap, and build a system instruction language which can be generated from a simple machine-independent programming language via compilation. We incorporate compile time generation of ion routing that separates the algorithm description from the physical geometry of the hardware. Extending this approach to automatic routing at run time allows for automated initialization of qubit number and placement and additionally allows for automated recovery after catastrophic events such as qubit loss. To show that these systems can handle real hardware, we present a simple demonstration system that routes two ions around a multi-zone ion trap and handles ion loss and ion placement. While we will mainly use examples from transport-based ion trap quantum computing, many of the issues and solutions are applicable to other architectures.

  16. Automated Postediting of Documents

    CERN Document Server

    Knight, K; Knight, Kevin; Chander, Ishwar


    Large amounts of low- to medium-quality English texts are now being produced by machine translation (MT) systems, optical character readers (OCR), and non-native speakers of English. Most of this text must be postedited by hand before it sees the light of day. Improving text quality is tedious work, but its automation has not received much research attention. Anyone who has postedited a technical report or thesis written by a non-native speaker of English knows the potential of an automated postediting system. For the case of MT-generated text, we argue for the construction of postediting modules that are portable across MT systems, as an alternative to hardcoding improvements inside any one system. As an example, we have built a complete self-contained postediting module for the task of article selection (a, an, the) for English noun phrases. This is a notoriously difficult problem for Japanese-English MT. Our system contains over 200,000 rules derived automatically from online text resources. We report on l...

  17. Automated Test Case Generation

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva


    I would like to present the concept of automated test case generation. I work on it as part of my PhD and I think it would be interesting also for other people. It is also the topic of a workshop paper that I am introducing in Paris. (abstract below) Please note that the talk itself would be more general and not about the specifics of my PhD, but about the broad field of Automated Test Case Generation. I would introduce the main approaches (combinatorial testing, symbolic execution, adaptive random testing) and their advantages and problems. (oracle problem, combinatorial explosion, ...) Abstract of the paper: Over the last decade code-based test case generation techniques such as combinatorial testing or dynamic symbolic execution have seen growing research popularity. Most algorithms and tool implementations are based on finding assignments for input parameter values in order to maximise the execution branch coverage. Only few of them consider dependencies from outside the Code Under Test’s scope such...

  18. Maneuver Automation Software (United States)

    Uffelman, Hal; Goodson, Troy; Pellegrin, Michael; Stavert, Lynn; Burk, Thomas; Beach, David; Signorelli, Joel; Jones, Jeremy; Hahn, Yungsun; Attiyah, Ahlam; Illsley, Jeannette


    The Maneuver Automation Software (MAS) automates the process of generating commands for maneuvers to keep the spacecraft of the Cassini-Huygens mission on a predetermined prime mission trajectory. Before MAS became available, a team of approximately 10 members had to work about two weeks to design, test, and implement each maneuver in a process that involved running many maneuver-related application programs and then serially handing off data products to other parts of the team. MAS enables a three-member team to design, test, and implement a maneuver in about one-half hour after Navigation has process-tracking data. MAS accepts more than 60 parameters and 22 files as input directly from users. MAS consists of Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (PERL) scripts that link, sequence, and execute the maneuver- related application programs: "Pushing a single button" on a graphical user interface causes MAS to run navigation programs that design a maneuver; programs that create sequences of commands to execute the maneuver on the spacecraft; and a program that generates predictions about maneuver performance and generates reports and other files that enable users to quickly review and verify the maneuver design. MAS can also generate presentation materials, initiate electronic command request forms, and archive all data products for future reference.

  19. Automated digital magnetofluidics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schneider, J; Garcia, A A; Marquez, M [Harrington Department of Bioengineering Arizona State University, Tempe AZ 85287-9709 (United States)], E-mail:


    Drops can be moved in complex patterns on superhydrophobic surfaces using a reconfigured computer-controlled x-y metrology stage with a high degree of accuracy, flexibility, and reconfigurability. The stage employs a DMC-4030 controller which has a RISC-based, clock multiplying processor with DSP functions, accepting encoder inputs up to 22 MHz, provides servo update rates as high as 32 kHz, and processes commands at rates as fast as 40 milliseconds. A 6.35 mm diameter cylindrical NdFeB magnet is translated by the stage causing water drops to move by the action of induced magnetization of coated iron microspheres that remain in the drop and are attracted to the rare earth magnet through digital magnetofluidics. Water drops are easily moved in complex patterns in automated digital magnetofluidics at an average speed of 2.8 cm/s over a superhydrophobic polyethylene surface created by solvent casting. With additional components, some potential uses for this automated microfluidic system include characterization of superhydrophobic surfaces, water quality analysis, and medical diagnostics.

  20. Against vaccine assay secrecy. (United States)

    Herder, Matthew; Hatchette, Todd F; Halperin, Scott A; Langley, Joanne M


    Increasing the transparency of the evidence base behind health interventions such as pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices, has become a major point of critique, conflict, and policy focus in recent years. Yet the lack of publicly available information regarding the immunogenicity assays upon which many important, widely used vaccines are based has received no attention to date. In this paper we draw attention to this critical public health problem by reporting on our efforts to secure vaccine assay information in respect of 10 vaccines through Canada's access to information law. We argue, under Canadian law, that the public health interest in having access to the methods for these laboratory procedures should override claims by vaccine manufacturers and regulators that this information is proprietary; and, we call upon several actors to take steps to ensure greater transparency with respect to vaccine assays, including regulators, private firms, researchers, research institutions, research funders, and journal editors.

  1. Against vaccine assay secrecy (United States)

    Herder, Matthew; Hatchette, Todd F; Halperin, Scott A; Langley, Joanne M


    Increasing the transparency of the evidence base behind health interventions such as pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices, has become a major point of critique, conflict, and policy focus in recent years. Yet the lack of publicly available information regarding the immunogenicity assays upon which many important, widely used vaccines are based has received no attention to date. In this paper we draw attention to this critical public health problem by reporting on our efforts to secure vaccine assay information in respect of 10 vaccines through Canada's access to information law. We argue, under Canadian law, that the public health interest in having access to the methods for these laboratory procedures should override claims by vaccine manufacturers and regulators that this information is proprietary; and, we call upon several actors to take steps to ensure greater transparency with respect to vaccine assays, including regulators, private firms, researchers, research institutions, research funders, and journal editors. PMID:25826194

  2. Assays for calcitonin receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teitelbaum, A.P.; Nissenson, R.A.; Arnaud, C.D.


    The assays for calcitonin receptors described focus on their use in the study of the well-established target organs for calcitonin, bone and kidney. The radioligand used in virtually all calcitonin binding studies is /sup 125/I-labelled salmon calcitonin. The lack of methionine residues in this peptide permits the use of chloramine-T for the iodination reaction. Binding assays are described for intact bone, skeletal plasma membranes, renal plasma membranes, and primary kidney cell cultures of rats. Studies on calcitonin metabolism in laboratory animals and regulation of calcitonin receptors are reviewed.

  3. CTL ELISPOT assay. (United States)

    Ranieri, Elena; Popescu, Iulia; Gigante, Margherita


    Enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot (Elispot) is a quantitative method for measuring relevant parameters of T cell activation. The sensitivity of Elispot allows the detection of low-frequency antigen-specific T cells that secrete cytokines and effector molecules, such as granzyme B and perforin. Cytotoxic T cell (CTL) studies have taken advantage with this high-throughput technology by providing insights into quantity and immune kinetics. Accuracy, sensitivity, reproducibility, and robustness of Elispot resulted in a wide range of applications in research as well as in diagnostic field. Actually, CTL monitoring by Elispot is a gold standard for the evaluation of antigen-specific T cell immunity in clinical trials and vaccine candidates where the ability to detect rare antigen-specific T cells is of relevance for immune diagnostic. The most utilized Elispot assay is the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) test, a marker for CD8(+) CTL activation, but Elispot can also be used to distinguish different subsets of activated T cells by using other cytokines such as T-helper (Th) 1-type cells (characterized by the production of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, IL-21, and TNF-α), Th2 (producing cytokines like IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13), and Th17 (IL-17) cells. The reliability of Elispot-generated data, by the evaluation of T cell frequency recognizing individual antigen/peptide, is the core of this method currently applied widely to investigate specific immune responses in cancer, infections, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. The Elispot assay is competing with other methods measuring single-cell cytokine production, e.g., intracellular cytokine by FACS or Miltenyi cytokine secretion assay. Other types of lymphocyte frequency and function assays include limiting dilution assay (LDA), cytotoxic T cell assay (CTL), and tetramer staining. Compared with respect to sensitivity the Elispot assay is outranking other methods to define frequency of antigen-specific lymphocytes. The method

  4. Get smart! automate your house!

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Amstel, P.; Gorter, N.; De Rouw, J.


    This "designers' manual" is made during the TIDO-course AR0531 Innovation and Sustainability This manual will help you in reducing both energy usage and costs by automating your home. It gives an introduction to a number of home automation systems that every homeowner can install.

  5. Opening up Library Automation Software (United States)

    Breeding, Marshall


    Throughout the history of library automation, the author has seen a steady advancement toward more open systems. In the early days of library automation, when proprietary systems dominated, the need for standards was paramount since other means of inter-operability and data exchange weren't possible. Today's focus on Application Programming…

  6. Classification of Automated Search Traffic (United States)

    Buehrer, Greg; Stokes, Jack W.; Chellapilla, Kumar; Platt, John C.

    As web search providers seek to improve both relevance and response times, they are challenged by the ever-increasing tax of automated search query traffic. Third party systems interact with search engines for a variety of reasons, such as monitoring a web site’s rank, augmenting online games, or possibly to maliciously alter click-through rates. In this paper, we investigate automated traffic (sometimes referred to as bot traffic) in the query stream of a large search engine provider. We define automated traffic as any search query not generated by a human in real time. We first provide examples of different categories of query logs generated by automated means. We then develop many different features that distinguish between queries generated by people searching for information, and those generated by automated processes. We categorize these features into two classes, either an interpretation of the physical model of human interactions, or as behavioral patterns of automated interactions. Using the these detection features, we next classify the query stream using multiple binary classifiers. In addition, a multiclass classifier is then developed to identify subclasses of both normal and automated traffic. An active learning algorithm is used to suggest which user sessions to label to improve the accuracy of the multiclass classifier, while also seeking to discover new classes of automated traffic. Performance analysis are then provided. Finally, the multiclass classifier is used to predict the subclass distribution for the search query stream.

  7. Translation: Aids, Robots, and Automation. (United States)

    Andreyewsky, Alexander


    Examines electronic aids to translation both as ways to automate it and as an approach to solve problems resulting from shortage of qualified translators. Describes the limitations of robotic MT (Machine Translation) systems, viewing MAT (Machine-Aided Translation) as the only practical solution and the best vehicle for further automation. (MES)

  8. Automated Methods Of Corrosion Measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bech-Nielsen, Gregers; Andersen, Jens Enevold Thaulov; Reeve, John Ch


    The chapter describes the following automated measurements: Corrosion Measurements by Titration, Imaging Corrosion by Scanning Probe Microscopy, Critical Pitting Temperature and Application of the Electrochemical Hydrogen Permeation Cell.......The chapter describes the following automated measurements: Corrosion Measurements by Titration, Imaging Corrosion by Scanning Probe Microscopy, Critical Pitting Temperature and Application of the Electrochemical Hydrogen Permeation Cell....

  9. Stem Cell-Based Therapies in Chagasic Cardiomyopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Campos de Carvalho


    Full Text Available Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and can lead to a dilated cardiomyopathy decades after the prime infection by the parasite. As with other dilated cardiomyopathies, conventional pharmacologic therapies are not always effective and as heart failure progresses patients need heart transplantation. Therefore alternative therapies are highly desirable and cell-based therapies have been investigated in preclinical and clinical studies. In this paper we review the main findings of such studies and discuss future directions for stem cell-based therapies in chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy.

  10. Cell-based biosensors: Towards the development of cellular monitoring

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Cell-based biosensors (CBBs), a research hotspot of biosensors, which treat living cells as sensing elements, can detect the functional information of biologically active analytes. They characterize with high sensitivity, excellent selectivity and rapid response, and have been applied in many fields, such as biomedicine, environmental monitoring and pharmaceutical screening. Recently cell-cultured technology, silicon microfabrication technology and genetic technology have promoted exploration of CBBs dramatically. To elucidate the novel research findings and applications of cell- based biosensors, this paper summarizes various research approaches, presents some challenges and proposes the research trends.

  11. Specific and global coagulation assays in the diagnosis of discrepant mild hemophilia A. (United States)

    Bowyer, Annette E; Van Veen, Joost J; Goodeve, Anne C; Kitchen, Steve; Makris, Michael


    The activity of the factor VIII coagulation protein can be measured by three methods: a one or two-stage clotting assay and a chromogenic assay. The factor VIII activity of most individuals with mild hemophilia A is the same regardless of which method is employed. However, approximately 30% of patients show marked discrepancies in factor VIII activity measured with the different methods. The objective of this study was to investigate the incidence of assay discrepancy in our center, assess the impact of alternative reagents on factor VIII activity assays and determine the usefulness of global assays of hemostasis in mild hemophilia A. Factor VIII activity was measured in 84 individuals with mild hemophilia A using different reagents. Assay discrepancy was defined as a two-fold or greater difference between the results of the one-stage and two-stage clotting assays. Rotational thromboelastometry and calibrated automated thrombography were performed. Assay discrepancy was observed in 31% of individuals; 12% with lower activity in the two-stage assay and 19% with lower activity in the one-stage assay. The phenotype could not always be predicted from the individual's genotype. Chromogenic assays were shown to be a suitable alternative to the two-stage clotting assay. Thromboelastometry was found to have poor sensitivity in hemophilia. Calibrated automated thrombography supported the results obtained by the two-stage and chromogenic assays. The current international guidelines do not define the type of assay to be used in the diagnosis of mild hemophilia A and some patients could be misclassified as normal. In our study, 4% of patients would not have been diagnosed on the basis of the one-stage factor VIII assay. Laboratories should use both one stage and chromogenic (or two-stage) assays in the diagnosis of patients with possible hemophilia A.

  12. A portable cell-based optical detection device for rapid detection of Listeria and Bacillus toxins (United States)

    Banerjee, Pratik; Banada, Padmapriya P.; Rickus, Jenna L.; Morgan, Mark T.; Bhunia, Arun K.


    A mammalian cell-based optical biosensor was built to detect pathogenic Listeria and Bacillus species. This sensor measures the ability of the pathogens to infect and induce cytotoxicity on hybrid lymphocyte cell line (Ped-2E9) resulting in the release of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) that can be detected optically using a portable spectrophotometer. The Ped-2E9 cells were encapsulated in collagen gel matrices and grown in 48-well plates or in specially designed filtration tube units. Toxin preparations or bacterial cells were introduced and ALP release was assayed after 3-5 h. Pathogenic L. monocytogenes strains or the listeriolysin toxins preparation showed cytotoxicity ranging from 55% - 92%. Toxin preparations (~20 μg/ml) from B. cereus strains showed 24 - 98% cytotoxicity. In contrast, a non-pathogenic L. innocua (F4247) and a B. substilis induced only 2% and 8% cytotoxicity, respectively. This cell-based detection device demonstrates its ability to detect the presence of pathogenic Listeria and Bacillus species and can potentially be used onsite for food safety or in biosecurity application.

  13. Instrument for assaying radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coleman, Jody Rustyn; Farfan, Eduardo B.


    An instrument for assaying radiation includes a flat panel detector having a first side opposed to a second side. A collimated aperture covers at least a portion of the first side of the flat panel detector. At least one of a display screen or a radiation shield may cover at least a portion of the second side of the flat panel detector.

  14. New oligosaccharyltransferase assay method. (United States)

    Kohda, Daisuke; Yamada, Masaki; Igura, Mayumi; Kamishikiryo, Jun; Maenaka, Katsumi


    We developed a new in vitro assay for oligosaccharyltransferase (OST), which catalyzes the transfer of preassembled oligosaccharides on lipid carriers onto asparagine residues in polypeptide chains. The asparagine residues reside in the sequon, Asn-X-Thr/Ser, where X can be any amino acid residue except Pro. We demonstrate the potency of our assay using the OST from yeast. In our method, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is used to separate the glycopeptide products from the peptide substrates. The substrate peptide is fluorescently labeled and the formation of glycopeptides is analyzed by fluorescence gel imaging. Two in vitro OST assay methods are now widely used, but both the methods depend on previous knowledge of the oligosaccharide moiety: One method uses lectin binding as the separation mechanism and the other method uses biosynthetically or chemoenzymatically synthesized lipid-linked oligosaccharides as donors. N-linked protein glycosylation is found in all three domains of life, but little is known about the N-glycosylation in Archaea. Thus, our new assay, which does not require a priori knowledge of the oligosaccharides, will be useful in such cases. Indeed, we have detected the OST activity in the membrane fraction from a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus.

  15. Hyaluronic Acid Assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Itenov, Theis S; Kirkby, Nikolai S; Bestle, Morten H


    BACKGROUD: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is proposed as a marker of functional liver capacity. The aim of the present study was to compare a new turbidimetric assay for measuring HA with the current standard method. METHODS: HA was measured by a particle-enhanced turbidimetric immunoassay (PETIA) and enzyme...

  16. Fluidic automation of nitrate and nitrite bioassays in whole blood by dissolvable-film based centrifugo-pneumatic actuation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nwankire, Charles E.; Chan, Di-Sien S.; Gaughran, Jennifer


    This paper demonstrates the full centrifugal microfluidic integration and automation of all liquid handling steps of a 7-step fluorescence-linked immunosorbent assay (FLISA) for quantifying nitrate and nitrite levels in whole blood within about 15 min. The assay protocol encompasses the extraction...

  17. Automated Standard Hazard Tool (United States)

    Stebler, Shane


    The current system used to generate standard hazard reports is considered cumbersome and iterative. This study defines a structure for this system's process in a clear, algorithmic way so that standard hazard reports and basic hazard analysis may be completed using a centralized, web-based computer application. To accomplish this task, a test server is used to host a prototype of the tool during development. The prototype is configured to easily integrate into NASA's current server systems with minimal alteration. Additionally, the tool is easily updated and provides NASA with a system that may grow to accommodate future requirements and possibly, different applications. Results of this project's success are outlined in positive, subjective reviews complete by payload providers and NASA Safety and Mission Assurance personnel. Ideally, this prototype will increase interest in the concept of standard hazard automation and lead to the full-scale production of a user-ready application.

  18. Robust automated knowledge capture.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevens-Adams, Susan Marie; Abbott, Robert G.; Forsythe, James Chris; Trumbo, Michael Christopher Stefan; Haass, Michael Joseph; Hendrickson, Stacey M. Langfitt


    This report summarizes research conducted through the Sandia National Laboratories Robust Automated Knowledge Capture Laboratory Directed Research and Development project. The objective of this project was to advance scientific understanding of the influence of individual cognitive attributes on decision making. The project has developed a quantitative model known as RumRunner that has proven effective in predicting the propensity of an individual to shift strategies on the basis of task and experience related parameters. Three separate studies are described which have validated the basic RumRunner model. This work provides a basis for better understanding human decision making in high consequent national security applications, and in particular, the individual characteristics that underlie adaptive thinking.

  19. [From automation to robotics]. (United States)


    The introduction of automation into the laboratory of biology seems to be unavoidable. But at which cost, if it is necessary to purchase a new machine for every new application? Fortunately the same image processing techniques, belonging to a theoretic framework called Mathematical Morphology, may be used in visual inspection tasks, both in car industry and in the biology lab. Since the market for industrial robotics applications is much higher than the market of biomedical applications, the price of image processing devices drops, and becomes sometimes less than the price of a complete microscope equipment. The power of the image processing methods of Mathematical Morphology will be illustrated by various examples, as automatic silver grain counting in autoradiography, determination of HLA genotype, electrophoretic gels analysis, automatic screening of cervical smears... Thus several heterogeneous applications may share the same image processing device, provided there is a separate and devoted work station for each of them.

  20. Automated electronic filter design

    CERN Document Server

    Banerjee, Amal


    This book describes a novel, efficient and powerful scheme for designing and evaluating the performance characteristics of any electronic filter designed with predefined specifications. The author explains techniques that enable readers to eliminate complicated manual, and thus error-prone and time-consuming, steps of traditional design techniques. The presentation includes demonstration of efficient automation, using an ANSI C language program, which accepts any filter design specification (e.g. Chebyschev low-pass filter, cut-off frequency, pass-band ripple etc.) as input and generates as output a SPICE(Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) format netlist. Readers then can use this netlist to run simulations with any version of the popular SPICE simulator, increasing accuracy of the final results, without violating any of the key principles of the traditional design scheme.

  1. Automated Essay Scoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Semire DIKLI


    Full Text Available Automated Essay Scoring Semire DIKLI Florida State University Tallahassee, FL, USA ABSTRACT The impacts of computers on writing have been widely studied for three decades. Even basic computers functions, i.e. word processing, have been of great assistance to writers in modifying their essays. The research on Automated Essay Scoring (AES has revealed that computers have the capacity to function as a more effective cognitive tool (Attali, 2004. AES is defined as the computer technology that evaluates and scores the written prose (Shermis & Barrera, 2002; Shermis & Burstein, 2003; Shermis, Raymat, & Barrera, 2003. Revision and feedback are essential aspects of the writing process. Students need to receive feedback in order to increase their writing quality. However, responding to student papers can be a burden for teachers. Particularly if they have large number of students and if they assign frequent writing assignments, providing individual feedback to student essays might be quite time consuming. AES systems can be very useful because they can provide the student with a score as well as feedback within seconds (Page, 2003. Four types of AES systems, which are widely used by testing companies, universities, and public schools: Project Essay Grader (PEG, Intelligent Essay Assessor (IEA, E-rater, and IntelliMetric. AES is a developing technology. Many AES systems are used to overcome time, cost, and generalizability issues in writing assessment. The accuracy and reliability of these systems have been proven to be high. The search for excellence in machine scoring of essays is continuing and numerous studies are being conducted to improve the effectiveness of the AES systems.

  2. Global Distribution of Businesses Marketing Stem Cell-Based Interventions. (United States)

    Berger, Israel; Ahmad, Amina; Bansal, Akhil; Kapoor, Tanvir; Sipp, Douglas; Rasko, John E J


    A structured search reveals that online marketing of stem-cell-based interventions is skewed toward developed economies including the United States, Ireland, Australia, and Germany. Websites made broad, imprecise therapeutic claims and frequently failed to detail procedures. Widespread marketing poses challenges to regulators, bioethicists, and those seeking realistic hope from therapies.

  3. Urolithins display both antioxidant and pro-oxidant activities depending on assay system and conditions. (United States)

    Kallio, Tuija; Kallio, Johanna; Jaakkola, Mari; Mäki, Marianne; Kilpeläinen, Pekka; Virtanen, Vesa


    The biological effects of polyphenolic ellagitannins are mediated by their intestinal metabolites, urolithins. This study investigated redox properties of urolithins A and B using ORAC assay, three cell-based assays, copper-initiated pro-oxidant activity (CIPA) assay, and cyclic voltammetry. Urolithins were strong antioxidants in the ORAC assay, but mostly pro-oxidants in cell-based assays, although urolithin A was an antioxidant in cell culture medium. Parent compound ellagic acid was a strong extracellular antioxidant, but showed no response in the intracellular assay. The CIPA assay confirmed the pro-oxidant activity of ellagitannin metabolites. In the cell proliferation assay, urolithins but not ellagic acid decreased growth and metabolism of HepG2 liver cells. In cyclic voltammetry, the oxidation of urolithin A was partly reversible, but that of urolithin B was irreversible. These results illustrate how strongly measured redox properties depend on the employed assay system and conditions and emphasize the importance of studying pro-oxidant and antioxidant activities in parallel.

  4. Photonic Crystal Surfaces as a General Purpose Platform for Label-Free and Fluorescent Assays


    Cunningham, Brian T.


    Photonic crystal surfaces can be designed to provide a wide range of functions that are used to perform biochemical and cell-based assays. Detection of the optical resonant reflections from photonic crystal surfaces enables high sensitivity label-free biosensing, while the enhanced electromagnetic fields that occur at resonant wavelengths can be used to enhance the detection sensitivity of any surface-based fluorescence assay. Fabrication of photonic crystals from inexpensive plastic material...

  5. 1Click1View: Interactive Visualization Methodology for RNAi Cell-Based Microscopic Screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Zwolinski


    Full Text Available Technological advancements are constantly increasing the size and complexity of data resulting from large-scale RNA interference screens. This fact has led biologists to ask complex questions, which the existing, fully automated analyses are often not adequate to answer. We present a concept of 1Click1View (1C1V as a methodology for interactive analytic software tools. 1C1V can be applied for two-dimensional visualization of image-based screening data sets from High Content Screening (HCS. Through an easy-to-use interface, one-click, one-view concept, and workflow based architecture, visualization method facilitates the linking of image data with numeric data. Such method utilizes state-of-the-art interactive visualization tools optimized for fast visualization of large scale image data sets. We demonstrate our method on an HCS dataset consisting of multiple cell features from two screening assays.

  6. Comparison of automated and manual determination of HER2 status in breast cancer for diagnostic use: a comparative methodological study using the Ventana BenchMark automated staining system and manual tests. (United States)

    Bánkfalvi, Agnes; Boecker, Werner; Reiner, Angelika


    This study was performed to test the validity of manual and automated HER2 tests in one hundred routinely formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded diagnostic breast carcinoma tissues. Immunohistochemical (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assays for HER2 were separately carried out in two institutes of pathology specialised in diagnostics of breast diseases. Manual immunostaining was performed by the Dako-HercepTest. Automated IHC and FISH were carried out in the Ventana BenchMark platform by using the Pathway-CB11 antibody and the INFORM(R) HER2 probe, respectively. Positivity rates varied between HercepTest (26%), automated CB11 IHC (23%) and automated FISH (22%). Overall concordance between positive (2+, 3+) and negative (0; 1+) results of manual and automated IHC was 97%, between automated FISH and IHC 92%, and between automated FISH and HercepTest 89%. The frequency of 2+ IHC scores was 13% using the BenchMark and 14% with the HercepTest; 6/12 and 8/14 of the respective cases were not amplified by FISH. Automated FISH was not interpretable in 11 of 100 specimens. In the 89 informative cases, automated IHC resulted in increased specificity (92% vs. 88%), increased positive predictive value (73% vs. 64%) and increased efficiency (92% vs. 89%). We conclude that automation improves the accuracy of HER2 detection in diagnostic breast carcinoma tissues and provides a new approach for the global standardization of clinical HER2 tests.

  7. Kinetic Tetrazolium Microtiter Assay (United States)

    Pierson, Duane L.; Stowe, Raymond; Koenig, David


    Kinetic tetrazolium microtiter assay (KTMA) involves use of tetrazolium salts and Triton X-100 (or equivalent), nontoxic, in vitro color developer solubilizing colored metabolite formazan without injuring or killing metabolizing cells. Provides for continuous measurement of metabolism and makes possible to determine rate of action of antimicrobial agent in real time as well as determines effective inhibitory concentrations. Used to monitor growth after addition of stimulatory compounds. Provides for kinetic determination of efficacy of biocide, greatly increasing reliability and precision of results. Also used to determine relative effectiveness of antimicrobial agent as function of time. Capability of generating results on day of test extremely important in treatment of water and waste, disinfection of hospital rooms, and in pharmaceutical, agricultural, and food-processing industries. Assay also used in many aspects of cell biology.

  8. The corneal pocket assay. (United States)

    Ziche, Marina; Morbidelli, Lucia


    The cornea in most species is physiologically avascular, and thus this assay allows the measurement of newly formed vessels. The continuous monitoring of neovascular growth in the same animal allows the evaluation of drugs acting as suppressors or stimulators of angiogenesis. Under anesthesia a micropocket is produced in the cornea thickness and the angiogenesis stimulus (tumor tissue, cell suspension, growth factor) is placed into the pocket in order to induce vascular outgrowth from the limbal capillaries. Neovascular development and progression can be modified by the presence of locally released or applied inhibitory factors or by systemic treatments. In this chapter the experimental details of the avascular cornea assay, the technical challenges, and advantages and disadvantages in different species are discussed. Protocols for local drug treatment and tissue sampling for histology and pharmacokinetic profile are reported.

  9. PDRRTs: Integrating Graph-Based and Cell-Based Planning (United States)


    Latombe, and M. H. Overmars, “Probabilistic roadmaps for path planning in high-dimensional configuration space,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Au...robots using configuration spaces and compliant motion,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 381–390, 2003. [14] V. Boor

  10. B cell helper assays. (United States)

    Abrignani, Sergio; Tonti, Elena; Casorati, Giulia; Dellabona, Paolo


    Activation, proliferation and differentiation of naïve B lymphocytes into memory B cells and plasma cells requires engagement of the B cell receptor (BCR) coupled to T-cell help (1, 2). T cells deliver help in cognate fashion when they are activated upon recognition of specific MHC-peptide complexes presented by B cells. T cells can also deliver help in a non-cognate or bystander fashion, when they do not find specific MHC-peptide complexes on B cells and are activated by alternative mechanisms. T-cell dependent activation of B cells can be studied in vitro by experimental models called "B cell helper assays" that are based on the co-culture of B cells with activated T cells. These assays allow to decipher the molecular bases for productive T-dependent B cell responses. We show here examples of B cell helper assays in vitro, which can be reproduced with any subset of T lymphocytes that displays the appropriate helper signals.

  11. Unit cell-based computer-aided manufacturing system for tissue engineering. (United States)

    Kang, Hyun-Wook; Park, Jeong Hun; Kang, Tae-Yun; Seol, Young-Joon; Cho, Dong-Woo


    Scaffolds play an important role in the regeneration of artificial tissues or organs. A scaffold is a porous structure with a micro-scale inner architecture in the range of several to several hundreds of micrometers. Therefore, computer-aided construction of scaffolds should provide sophisticated functionality for porous structure design and a tool path generation strategy that can achieve micro-scale architecture. In this study, a new unit cell-based computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system was developed for the automated design and fabrication of a porous structure with micro-scale inner architecture that can be applied to composite tissue regeneration. The CAM system was developed by first defining a data structure for the computing process of a unit cell representing a single pore structure. Next, an algorithm and software were developed and applied to construct porous structures with a single or multiple pore design using solid freeform fabrication technology and a 3D tooth/spine computer-aided design model. We showed that this system is quite feasible for the design and fabrication of a scaffold for tissue engineering.

  12. Building Automation Using Wired Communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ms. Supriya Gund*,


    Full Text Available In this paper, we present the design and implementation of a building automation system where communication technology LAN has been used. This paper mainly focuses on the controlling of home appliances remotely and providing security when the user is away from the place. This system provides ideal solution to the problems faced by home owners in daily life. This system provides security against intrusion as well as automates various home appliances using LAN. To demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed system, the device such as fire sensor, gas sensor, panic switch, intruder switch along with the smartcard have been developed and evaluated with the building automation system. These techniques are successfully merged in a single building automation system. This system offers a complete, low cost powerful and user friendly way of real-time monitoring and remote control of a building.

  13. Evolution of Home Automation Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd. Rihan


    Full Text Available In modern society home and office automation has becomeincreasingly important, providing ways to interconnectvarious home appliances. This interconnection results infaster transfer of information within home/offices leading tobetter home management and improved user experience.Home Automation, in essence, is a technology thatintegrates various electrical systems of a home to provideenhanced comfort and security. Users are grantedconvenient and complete control over all the electrical homeappliances and they are relieved from the tasks thatpreviously required manual control. This paper tracks thedevelopment of home automation technology over the lasttwo decades. Various home automation technologies havebeen explained briefly, giving a chronological account of theevolution of one of the most talked about technologies ofrecent times.

  14. Home automation with Intel Galileo

    CERN Document Server

    Dundar, Onur


    This book is for anyone who wants to learn Intel Galileo for home automation and cross-platform software development. No knowledge of programming with Intel Galileo is assumed, but knowledge of the C programming language is essential.

  15. Automating the Purple Crow Lidar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hicks Shannon


    Full Text Available The Purple Crow LiDAR (PCL was built to measure short and long term coupling between the lower, middle, and upper atmosphere. The initial component of my MSc. project is to automate two key elements of the PCL: the rotating liquid mercury mirror and the Zaber alignment mirror. In addition to the automation of the Zaber alignment mirror, it is also necessary to describe the mirror’s movement and positioning errors. Its properties will then be added into the alignment software. Once the alignment software has been completed, we will compare the new alignment method with the previous manual procedure. This is the first among several projects that will culminate in a fully-automated lidar. Eventually, we will be able to work remotely, thereby increasing the amount of data we collect. This paper will describe the motivation for automation, the methods we propose, preliminary results for the Zaber alignment error analysis, and future work.

  16. Network based automation for SMEs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shahabeddini Parizi, Mohammad; Radziwon, Agnieszka


    The implementation of appropriate automation concepts which increase productivity in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) requires a lot of effort, due to their limited resources. Therefore, it is strongly recommended for small firms to open up for the external sources of knowledge, which...... automation solutions. The empirical data collection involved application of a combination of comparative case study method with action research elements. This article provides an outlook over the challenges in implementing technological improvements and the way how it could be resolved in collaboration...... with other members of the same regional ecosystem. The findings highlight two main automation related areas where manufacturing SMEs could leverage on external sources on knowledge – these are assistance in defining automation problem as well as appropriate solution and provider selection. Consequently...

  17. National Automated Conformity Inspection Process - (United States)

    Department of Transportation — The National Automated Conformity Inspection Process (NACIP) Application is intended to expedite the workflow process as it pertains to the FAA Form 81 0-10 Request...

  18. Evolution of Home Automation Technology


    Mohd. Rihan; M. Salim Beg


    In modern society home and office automation has becomeincreasingly important, providing ways to interconnectvarious home appliances. This interconnection results infaster transfer of information within home/offices leading tobetter home management and improved user experience.Home Automation, in essence, is a technology thatintegrates various electrical systems of a home to provideenhanced comfort and security. Users are grantedconvenient and complete control over all the electrical homeappl...

  19. Technology modernization assessment flexible automation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, D.W.; Boyd, D.R.; Hansen, N.H.; Hansen, M.A.; Yount, J.A.


    The objectives of this report are: to present technology assessment guidelines to be considered in conjunction with defense regulations before an automation project is developed to give examples showing how assessment guidelines may be applied to a current project to present several potential areas where automation might be applied successfully in the depot system. Depots perform primarily repair and remanufacturing operations, with limited small batch manufacturing runs. While certain activities (such as Management Information Systems and warehousing) are directly applicable to either environment, the majority of applications will require combining existing and emerging technologies in different ways, with the special needs of depot remanufacturing environment. Industry generally enjoys the ability to make revisions to its product lines seasonally, followed by batch runs of thousands or more. Depot batch runs are in the tens, at best the hundreds, of parts with a potential for large variation in product mix; reconfiguration may be required on a week-to-week basis. This need for a higher degree of flexibility suggests a higher level of operator interaction, and, in turn, control systems that go beyond the state of the art for less flexible automation and industry in general. This report investigates the benefits and barriers to automation and concludes that, while significant benefits do exist for automation, depots must be prepared to carefully investigate the technical feasibility of each opportunity and the life-cycle costs associated with implementation. Implementation is suggested in two ways: (1) develop an implementation plan for automation technologies based on results of small demonstration automation projects; (2) use phased implementation for both these and later stage automation projects to allow major technical and administrative risk issues to be addressed. 10 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs. (JF)

  20. Aprendizaje automático


    Moreno, Antonio


    En este libro se introducen los conceptos básicos en una de las ramas más estudiadas actualmente dentro de la inteligencia artificial: el aprendizaje automático. Se estudian temas como el aprendizaje inductivo, el razonamiento analógico, el aprendizaje basado en explicaciones, las redes neuronales, los algoritmos genéticos, el razonamiento basado en casos o las aproximaciones teóricas al aprendizaje automático.

  1. 2015 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Hongbo


    Proceedings of the 2015 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference presents selected research papers from the CIAC’15, held in Fuzhou, China. The topics include adaptive control, fuzzy control, neural network based control, knowledge based control, hybrid intelligent control, learning control, evolutionary mechanism based control, multi-sensor integration, failure diagnosis, reconfigurable control, etc. Engineers and researchers from academia, industry and the government can gain valuable insights into interdisciplinary solutions in the field of intelligent automation.

  2. Automated Supernova Discovery (Abstract) (United States)

    Post, R. S.


    (Abstract only) We are developing a system of robotic telescopes for automatic recognition of Supernovas as well as other transient events in collaboration with the Puckett Supernova Search Team. At the SAS2014 meeting, the discovery program, SNARE, was first described. Since then, it has been continuously improved to handle searches under a wide variety of atmospheric conditions. Currently, two telescopes are used to build a reference library while searching for PSN with a partial library. Since data is taken every night without clouds, we must deal with varying atmospheric and high background illumination from the moon. Software is configured to identify a PSN, reshoot for verification with options to change the run plan to acquire photometric or spectrographic data. The telescopes are 24-inch CDK24, with Alta U230 cameras, one in CA and one in NM. Images and run plans are sent between sites so the CA telescope can search while photometry is done in NM. Our goal is to find bright PSNs with magnitude 17.5 or less which is the limit of our planned spectroscopy. We present results from our first automated PSN discoveries and plans for PSN data acquisition.

  3. Multifunction automated crawling system (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph (Inventor); Joffe, Benjamin (Inventor); Backes, Paul Gregory (Inventor)


    The present invention is an automated crawling robot system including a platform, a first leg assembly, a second leg assembly, first and second rails attached to the platform, and an onboard electronic computer controller. The first leg assembly has an intermittent coupling device and the second leg assembly has an intermittent coupling device for intermittently coupling the respective first and second leg assemblies to a particular object. The first and second leg assemblies are slidably coupled to the rail assembly and are slidably driven by motors to thereby allow linear movement. In addition, the first leg assembly is rotary driven by a rotary motor to thereby provide rotary motion relative to the platform. To effectuate motion, the intermittent coupling devices of the first and second leg assemblies alternately couple the respective first and second leg assemblies to an object. This motion is done while simultaneously moving one of the leg assemblies linearly in the desired direction and preparing the next step. This arrangement allows the crawler of the present invention to traverse an object in a range of motion covering 360 degrees.

  4. Automated ISS Flight Utilities (United States)

    Offermann, Jan Tuzlic


    During my internship at NASA Johnson Space Center, I worked in the Space Radiation Analysis Group (SRAG), where I was tasked with a number of projects focused on the automation of tasks and activities related to the operation of the International Space Station (ISS). As I worked on a number of projects, I have written short sections below to give a description for each, followed by more general remarks on the internship experience. My first project is titled "General Exposure Representation EVADOSE", also known as "GEnEVADOSE". This project involved the design and development of a C++/ ROOT framework focused on radiation exposure for extravehicular activity (EVA) planning for the ISS. The utility helps mission managers plan EVAs by displaying information on the cumulative radiation doses that crew will receive during an EVA as a function of the egress time and duration of the activity. SRAG uses a utility called EVADOSE, employing a model of the space radiation environment in low Earth orbit to predict these doses, as while outside the ISS the astronauts will have less shielding from charged particles such as electrons and protons. However, EVADOSE output is cumbersome to work with, and prior to GEnEVADOSE, querying data and producing graphs of ISS trajectories and cumulative doses versus egress time required manual work in Microsoft Excel. GEnEVADOSE automates all this work, reading in EVADOSE output file(s) along with a plaintext file input by the user providing input parameters. GEnEVADOSE will output a text file containing all the necessary dosimetry for each proposed EVA egress time, for each specified EVADOSE file. It also plots cumulative dose versus egress time and the ISS trajectory, and displays all of this information in an auto-generated presentation made in LaTeX. New features have also been added, such as best-case scenarios (egress times corresponding to the least dose), interpolated curves for trajectories, and the ability to query any time in the

  5. Automated Gas Distribution System (United States)

    Starke, Allen; Clark, Henry


    The cyclotron of Texas A&M University is one of the few and prized cyclotrons in the country. Behind the scenes of the cyclotron is a confusing, and dangerous setup of the ion sources that supplies the cyclotron with particles for acceleration. To use this machine there is a time consuming, and even wasteful step by step process of switching gases, purging, and other important features that must be done manually to keep the system functioning properly, while also trying to maintain the safety of the working environment. Developing a new gas distribution system to the ion source prevents many of the problems generated by the older manually setup process. This developed system can be controlled manually in an easier fashion than before, but like most of the technology and machines in the cyclotron now, is mainly operated based on software programming developed through graphical coding environment Labview. The automated gas distribution system provides multi-ports for a selection of different gases to decrease the amount of gas wasted through switching gases, and a port for the vacuum to decrease the amount of time spent purging the manifold. The Labview software makes the operation of the cyclotron and ion sources easier, and safer for anyone to use.

  6. Genetic circuit design automation. (United States)

    Nielsen, Alec A K; Der, Bryan S; Shin, Jonghyeon; Vaidyanathan, Prashant; Paralanov, Vanya; Strychalski, Elizabeth A; Ross, David; Densmore, Douglas; Voigt, Christopher A


    Computation can be performed in living cells by DNA-encoded circuits that process sensory information and control biological functions. Their construction is time-intensive, requiring manual part assembly and balancing of regulator expression. We describe a design environment, Cello, in which a user writes Verilog code that is automatically transformed into a DNA sequence. Algorithms build a circuit diagram, assign and connect gates, and simulate performance. Reliable circuit design requires the insulation of gates from genetic context, so that they function identically when used in different circuits. We used Cello to design 60 circuits forEscherichia coli(880,000 base pairs of DNA), for which each DNA sequence was built as predicted by the software with no additional tuning. Of these, 45 circuits performed correctly in every output state (up to 10 regulators and 55 parts), and across all circuits 92% of the output states functioned as predicted. Design automation simplifies the incorporation of genetic circuits into biotechnology projects that require decision-making, control, sensing, or spatial organization.

  7. Automated sugar analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadeu Alcides MARQUES


    Full Text Available Abstract Sugarcane monosaccharides are reducing sugars, and classical analytical methodologies (Lane-Eynon, Benedict, complexometric-EDTA, Luff-Schoorl, Musson-Walker, Somogyi-Nelson are based on reducing copper ions in alkaline solutions. In Brazil, certain factories use Lane-Eynon, others use the equipment referred to as “REDUTEC”, and additional factories analyze reducing sugars based on a mathematic model. The objective of this paper is to understand the relationship between variations in millivolts, mass and tenors of reducing sugars during the analysis process. Another objective is to generate an automatic model for this process. The work herein uses the equipment referred to as “REDUTEC”, a digital balance, a peristaltic pump, a digital camcorder, math programs and graphics programs. We conclude that the millivolts, mass and tenors of reducing sugars exhibit a good mathematical correlation, and the mathematical model generated was benchmarked to low-concentration reducing sugars (<0.3%. Using the model created herein, reducing sugars analyses can be automated using the new equipment.

  8. Automated Template Quantification for DNA Sequencing Facilities (United States)

    Ivanetich, Kathryn M.; Yan, Wilson; Wunderlich, Kathleen M.; Weston, Jennifer; Walkup, Ward G.; Simeon, Christian


    The quantification of plasmid DNA by the PicoGreen dye binding assay has been automated, and the effect of quantification of user-submitted templates on DNA sequence quality in a core laboratory has been assessed. The protocol pipets, mixes and reads standards, blanks and up to 88 unknowns, generates a standard curve, and calculates template concentrations. For pUC19 replicates at five concentrations, coefficients of variance were 0.1, and percent errors were from 1% to 7% (n = 198). Standard curves with pUC19 DNA were nonlinear over the 1 to 1733 ng/μL concentration range required to assay the majority (98.7%) of user-submitted templates. Over 35,000 templates have been quantified using the protocol. For 1350 user-submitted plasmids, 87% deviated by ≥ 20% from the requested concentration (500 ng/μL). Based on data from 418 sequencing reactions, quantification of user-submitted templates was shown to significantly improve DNA sequence quality. The protocol is applicable to all types of double-stranded DNA, is unaffected by primer (1 pmol/μL), and is user modifiable. The protocol takes 30 min, saves 1 h of technical time, and costs approximately $0.20 per unknown. PMID:16461949

  9. A cell-based biosensor for nanomaterials cytotoxicity assessment in three dimensional cell culture. (United States)

    Dubiak-Szepietowska, Monika; Karczmarczyk, Aleksandra; Winckler, Thomas; Feller, Karl-Heinz


    Nanoparticles (NPs) are widely used in consumer and medicinal products. The high prevalence of nanoparticles in the environment raises concerns regarding their effects on human health, but there is limited knowledge about how NPs interact with cells or tissues. Because the European Union has called for a substantial reduction of animal experiments for scientific purposes (Directive 2010/63), increased efforts are required to develop in vitro models to evaluate potentially hazardous agents. Here, we describe a new cell-based biosensor for the evaluation of NPs cytotoxicity. The new biosensor is based on transgenic human hepatoblastoma cells (HepG2) that express a secreted form of alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) as a reporter protein whose expression is induced upon activation of a stress response pathway controlled by the transcription regulator nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). The NF-κB_HepG2 sensor cells were cultured in a Matrigel-based three dimensional environment to simulate the in vivo situation. The new biosensor cells offer the advantage of generating fast and reproducible readout at lower concentrations and shorter incubation time than conventional viability assays, avoid possible interaction between nanomaterials and assay compounds, therefore, minimize generation of false positive or negative results and indicate mechanism of toxicity through NF-κB signaling.

  10. A novel yeast cell-based screen identifies flavone as a tankyrase inhibitor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yashiroda, Yoko, E-mail: [Chemical Genomics Research Group/Chemical Genetics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Okamoto, Reika [Chemical Genomics Research Group/Chemical Genetics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Japan Biological Informatics Consortium (JBIC), Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8073 (Japan); Hatsugai, Kaori [Division of Molecular Biotherapy, Cancer Chemotherapy Center, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8550 (Japan); Division of Chemotherapy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Keio University, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8512 (Japan); Takemoto, Yasushi [Chemical Genomics Research Group/Chemical Genetics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Goshima, Naoki [National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064 (Japan); Saito, Tamio [Chemical Biology Core Facility/Antibiotics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Hamamoto, Makiko [Department of Life Sciences, School of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 214-8571 (Japan); Sugimoto, Yoshikazu [Division of Chemotherapy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Keio University, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8512 (Japan); Osada, Hiroyuki [Chemical Biology Core Facility/Antibiotics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Seimiya, Hiroyuki [Division of Molecular Biotherapy, Cancer Chemotherapy Center, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8550 (Japan); Yoshida, Minoru [Chemical Genomics Research Group/Chemical Genetics Laboratory, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); CREST Research Project, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Saitama 332-0012 (Japan)


    The telomere-associated protein tankyrase 1 is a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and is considered to be a promising target for cancer therapy, especially for BRCA-associated cancers. However, an efficient assay system for inhibitor screening has not been established, mainly due to the difficulty of efficient preparation of the enzyme and its substrate. Here, we report a cell-based assay system for detecting inhibitory activity against tankyrase 1. We found that overexpression of the human tankyrase 1 gene causes a growth defect in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Chemicals that restore the growth defect phenotype can be identified as potential tankyrase 1 inhibitors. We performed a high-throughput screen using this system, and identified flavone as a compound that restores the growth of yeast cells overexpressing tankyrase 1. Indeed, flavone inhibited poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of proteins caused by overexpression of tankyrase 1 in yeast cells. This system allows rapid identification of inhibitory activity against tankyrase 1 and is amenable to high-throughput screening using robotics.

  11. Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Ischemic Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Hao


    Full Text Available In recent years, stem cell-based approaches have attracted more attention from scientists and clinicians due to their possible therapeutical effect on stroke. Animal studies have demonstrated that the beneficial effects of stem cells including embryonic stem cells (ESCs, inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, neural stem cells (NSCs, and mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs might be due to cell replacement, neuroprotection, endogenous neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and modulation on inflammation and immune response. Although several clinical studies have shown the high efficiency and safety of stem cell in stroke management, mainly MSCs, some issues regarding to cell homing, survival, tracking, safety, and optimal cell transplantation protocol, such as cell dose and time window, should be addressed. Undoubtably, stem cell-based gene therapy represents a novel potential therapeutic strategy for stroke in future.

  12. Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Prostate Cancer (United States)


    Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Prostate Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: John Isaacs; Jeffrey Karp ...clinical trials for CRPC. The team is composed of Drs. Jeffrey Karp Co-Director of Regenerative Therapeutics at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital...encapsulating a PSA-activated thapsigargin-based prodrug (G115, Fig. 5) were generated by the Karp lab with the properties outlined in Table 7. These

  13. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Based Therapy for Prostate Cancer (United States)


    Prostate: From Birth to Death and Potential Applications in Between. Prostate Cancer Foundation Tumor Microenvironment/ Immunology Working Group...Award Number: W81XWH-13-1-0304 TITLE: Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Prostate Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: John Isaacs CONTRACTING...Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions

  14. Glial progenitor cell-based treatment of the childhood leukodystrophies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Osorio, M Joana; Goldman, Steven A


    The childhood leukodystrophies comprise a group of hereditary disorders characterized by the absence, malformation or destruction of myelin. These disorders share common clinical, radiological and pathological features, despite their diverse molecular and genetic etiologies. Oligodendrocytes...... genetic editing of pluripotent stem cells. Yet these challenges notwithstanding, the promise of glial progenitor cell-based treatment of the childhood myelin disorders offers hope to the many victims of this otherwise largely untreatable class of disease....

  15. Donor-specific cell-based assays in studying sensitivity to low-dose radiation: a population-based perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dora eIl'yasova


    Full Text Available Currently, a linear no-threshold model is used to estimate health risks associated with exposure to low-dose radiation, a prevalent exposure in the general population, because the direct estimation from epidemiological studies suffers from uncertainty. This model has been criticized based on unique biology of low-dose radiation. Whether the departure from linearity is toward increased or decreased risk is intensely debated. We present an approach based on individual radiosensitivity testing and discuss how individual radiosensitivity can be assessed with the goal to develop a quantifiable measure of cellular response that can be conducted via high-throughput population testing.

  16. Cell-based assay for the detection of chemically induced cellular stress by immortalized untransformed transgenic hepatocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vezzoni Paolo


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Primary hepatocytes, one of the most widely used cell types for toxicological studies, have a very limited life span and must be freshly derived from mice or even humans. Attempts to use stable cell lines maintaining the enzymatic pattern of liver cells have been so far unsatisfactory. Stress proteins (heat shock proteins, HSPs have been proposed as general markers of cellular injury and their use for environmental monitoring has been suggested. The aim of this work is to develop a bi-transgenic hepatocyte cell line in order to evaluate the ability of various organic and inorganic chemicals to induce the expression of the HSP70 driven reporter gene. We previously described transgenic mice (Hsp70/hGH secreting high levels of human Growth Hormone (hGH following exposure to toxic compounds in vivo and in vitro in primary cultures derived from different organs. In addition, we also reported another transgenic model (AT/cytoMet allowing the reproducible immortalization of untransformed hepatocytes retaining in vitro complex liver functions. Results The transgenic mouse line Hsp70/hGH was crossed with the AT/cytoMet transgenic strain permitting the reproducible immortalization of untransformed hepatocytes. From double transgenic animals we derived several stable hepatic cell lines (MMH-GH which showed a highly-differentiated phenotype as judged from the retention of epithelial cell polarity and the profile of gene expression, including hepatocyte-enriched transcription factors and detoxifying enzymes. In these cell lines, stresses induced by exposure to inorganic [Sodium Arsenite (NaAsO2 and Cadmium Chloride (CdCl2], and organic [Benzo(aPyrene (BaP, PentaChloroPhenol (PCP, TetraChloroHydroQuinone (TCHQ, 1-Chloro-2,4-DiNitro-Benzene (CDNB] compounds, specifically induced hGH release in the culture medium. Conclusions MMH-GH, an innovative model to evaluate the toxic potential of chemical and physical xenobiotics, provides a simple biological system that may reduce the need for animal experimentation and/or continuously deriving fresh hepatocytes.

  17. Radon assay for SNO+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rumleskie, Janet [Laurentian University, Greater Sudbury, Ontario (Canada)


    The SNO+ experiment will study neutrinos while located 6,800 feet below the surface of the earth at SNOLAB. Though shielded from surface backgrounds, emanation of radon radioisotopes from the surrounding rock leads to back-grounds. The characteristic decay of radon and its daughters allows for an alpha detection technique to count the amount of Rn-222 atoms collected. Traps can collect Rn-222 from various positions and materials, including an assay skid that will collect Rn-222 from the organic liquid scintillator used to detect interactions within SNO+.


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


    The present invention relates to a device for use in performing assays on standard laboratory solid supports whereon chemical entities are attached. The invention furthermore relates to the use of such a device and a kit comprising such a device. The device according to the present invention is a......, when operatively connected, one or more chambers (21) comprising the chemical entities (41), the inlet(s) (5) and outlet(s) (6) and chambers (21) being in fluid connection. The device further comprise means for providing differing chemical conditions in each chamber (21)....

  19. Growth cone collapse assay. (United States)

    Cook, Geoffrey M W; Jareonsettasin, Prem; Keynes, Roger J


    The growth cone collapse assay has proved invaluable in detecting and purifying axonal repellents. Glycoproteins/proteins present in detergent extracts of biological tissues are incorporated into liposomes, added to growth cones in culture and changes in morphology are then assessed. Alternatively purified or recombinant molecules in aqueous solution may be added directly to the cultures. In both cases after a defined period of time (up to 1 h), the cultures are fixed and then assessed by inverted phase contrast microscopy for the percentage of growth cones showing a collapsed profile with loss of flattened morphology, filopodia, and lamellipodia.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Farhadzade


    Full Text Available Breakers relate to Electric Power Systems’ equipment, the reliability of which influence, to a great extend, on reliability of Power Plants. In particular, the breakers determine structural reliability of switchgear circuit of Power Stations and network substations. Failure in short-circuit switching off by breaker with further failure of reservation unit or system of long-distance protection lead quite often to system emergency.The problem of breakers’ reliability improvement and the reduction of maintenance expenses is becoming ever more urgent in conditions of systematic increasing of maintenance cost and repair expenses of oil circuit and air-break circuit breakers. The main direction of this problem solution is the improvement of diagnostic control methods and organization of on-condition maintenance. But this demands to use a great amount of statistic information about nameplate data of breakers and their operating conditions, about their failures, testing and repairing, advanced developments (software of computer technologies and specific automated information system (AIS.The new AIS with AISV logo was developed at the department: “Reliability of power equipment” of AzRDSI of Energy. The main features of AISV are:· to provide the security and data base accuracy;· to carry out systematic control of breakers conformity with operating conditions;· to make the estimation of individual  reliability’s value and characteristics of its changing for given combination of characteristics variety;· to provide personnel, who is responsible for technical maintenance of breakers, not only with information but also with methodological support, including recommendations for the given problem solving  and advanced methods for its realization.

  1. In vitro clinical trials: the future of cell-based profiling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan T Ross


    Full Text Available The drug discovery process classically revolves around a set of biochemical and cellular assays to drive potency optimization and structural-activity relationship (SAR models. Layered on top of these concepts is the inclusion of molecular features that affect final drug use, things like: bioavailability, toxicity, stability, solubility, formulation, route of administration, etc. Paradoxically, most drugs entering clinical trials are only tested in a handful of human genetic backgrounds before they are given to people. Here we review efforts and opine on the use of large scale in vitro cellular and in vivo models that attempt to model human disease and include diversity found in the human genetic population. Because hundreds to thousands of individual assays are needed to scratch the surface of human genetic diversity, sophisticated high throughput automation technologies or pooling & deconvolution strategies are required. Characterization of each model needs to be extensive to enable non-biased informatics based modeling. Such approaches will enable deep understanding of genetic to pharmacological response and result in new methods for patient stratification in the clinic. Oncology medicines and cancer genetics have been paving the way for these approaches and we expect to see continued expansion to other fields such as immunology and neuroscience.

  2. RAS - Screens & Assays - Drug Discovery (United States)

    The RAS Drug Discovery group aims to develop assays that will reveal aspects of RAS biology upon which cancer cells depend. Successful assay formats are made available for high-throughput screening programs to yield potentially effective drug compounds.

  3. ELISPOT Assay for Measurement of Antigen-Specific and Polyclonal Antibody Responses. (United States)

    Lycke, Nils; Coico, Richard


    The enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay for detection of antigen-specific and polyclonal antibody responses by single antibody-secreting cells has become the method of choice due to its cell-based quantitative value. Antigen stability and specificity and the diversity of antigens that can be used in the assay have contributed to the translational application of ELISPOT as demonstrated by many FDA-approved clinical tests that employ this technique. In addition, the ELISPOT assay can be used to detect two antigenically different secreted antibodies simultaneously by two-color analysis and offers the unique possibility of quantifying the number of antibody molecules secreted per cell.

  4. Automation: Decision Aid or Decision Maker? (United States)

    Skitka, Linda J.


    This study clarified that automation bias is something unique to automated decision making contexts, and is not the result of a general tendency toward complacency. By comparing performance on exactly the same events on the same tasks with and without an automated decision aid, we were able to determine that at least the omission error part of automation bias is due to the unique context created by having an automated decision aid, and is not a phenomena that would occur even if people were not in an automated context. However, this study also revealed that having an automated decision aid did lead to modestly improved performance across all non-error events. Participants in the non- automated condition responded with 83.68% accuracy, whereas participants in the automated condition responded with 88.67% accuracy, across all events. Automated decision aids clearly led to better overall performance when they were accurate. People performed almost exactly at the level of reliability as the automation (which across events was 88% reliable). However, also clear, is that the presence of less than 100% accurate automated decision aids creates a context in which new kinds of errors in decision making can occur. Participants in the non-automated condition responded with 97% accuracy on the six "error" events, whereas participants in the automated condition had only a 65% accuracy rate when confronted with those same six events. In short, the presence of an AMA can lead to vigilance decrements that can lead to errors in decision making.

  5. Bacterial assays for recombinagens. (United States)

    Hoffmann, G R


    Two principal strategies have been used for studying recombinagenic effects of chemicals and radiation in bacteria: (1) measurement of homologous recombination involving defined alleles in a partially diploid strain, and (2) measurement of the formation and loss of genetic duplications in the bacterial chromosome. In the former category, most methods involve one allele in the bacterial chromosome and another in a plasmid, but it is also possible to detect recombination between two chromosomal alleles or between two extrachromosomal alleles. This review summarizes methods that use each of these approaches for detecting recombination and tabulates data on agents that have been found to be recombinagenic in bacteria. The assays are discussed with respect to their effectiveness in testing for recombinagens and their potential for elucidating mechanisms underlying recombinagenic effects.

  6. An efficient strategy for cell-based antibody library selection using an integrated vector system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoon Hyerim


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cell panning of phage-displayed antibody library is a powerful tool for the development of therapeutic and imaging agents since disease-related cell surface proteins in native complex conformation can be directly targeted. Here, we employed a strategy taking advantage of an integrated vector system which allows rapid conversion of scFv-displaying phage into scFv-Fc format for efficient cell-based scFv library selection on a tetraspanin protein, CD9. Results A mouse scFv library constructed by using a phagemid vector, pDR-D1 was subjected to cell panning against stable CD9 transfectant, and the scFv repertoire from the enriched phage pool was directly transferred to a mammalian cassette vector, pDR-OriP-Fc1. The resulting constructs enabled transient expression of enough amounts of scFv-Fcs in HEK293E cells, and flow cytometric screening of binders for CD9 transfectant could be performed simply by using the culture supernatants. All three clones selected from the screening showed correct CD9-specificity. They could immunoprecipitate CD9 molecules out of the transfectant cell lysate and correctly stain endogenous CD9 expression on cancer cell membrane. Furthermore, competition assay with a known anti-CD9 monoclonal antibody (mAb suggested that the binding epitopes of some of them overlap with that of the mAb which resides within the large extracellular loop of CD9. Conclusions This study demonstrates that scFv-Fc from mammalian transient expression can be chosen as a reliable format for rapid screening and validation in cell-based scFv library selection, and the strategy described here will be applicable to efficient discovery of antibodies to diverse cell-surface targets.

  7. Defining new criteria for selection of cell-based intestinal models using publicly available databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christensen Jon


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The criteria for choosing relevant cell lines among a vast panel of available intestinal-derived lines exhibiting a wide range of functional properties are still ill-defined. The objective of this study was, therefore, to establish objective criteria for choosing relevant cell lines to assess their appropriateness as tumor models as well as for drug absorption studies. Results We made use of publicly available expression signatures and cell based functional assays to delineate differences between various intestinal colon carcinoma cell lines and normal intestinal epithelium. We have compared a panel of intestinal cell lines with patient-derived normal and tumor epithelium and classified them according to traits relating to oncogenic pathway activity, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT and stemness, migratory properties, proliferative activity, transporter expression profiles and chemosensitivity. For example, SW480 represent an EMT-high, migratory phenotype and scored highest in terms of signatures associated to worse overall survival and higher risk of recurrence based on patient derived databases. On the other hand, differentiated HT29 and T84 cells showed gene expression patterns closest to tumor bulk derived cells. Regarding drug absorption, we confirmed that differentiated Caco-2 cells are the model of choice for active uptake studies in the small intestine. Regarding chemosensitivity we were unable to confirm a recently proposed association of chemo-resistance with EMT traits. However, a novel signature was identified through mining of NCI60 GI50 values that allowed to rank the panel of intestinal cell lines according to their drug responsiveness to commonly used chemotherapeutics. Conclusions This study presents a straightforward strategy to exploit publicly available gene expression data to guide the choice of cell-based models. While this approach does not overcome the major limitations of such models

  8. International Conference Automation : Challenges in Automation, Robotics and Measurement Techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Zieliński, Cezary; Kaliczyńska, Małgorzata


    This book presents the set of papers accepted for presentation at the International Conference Automation, held in Warsaw, 2-4 March of 2016. It presents the research results presented by top experts in the fields of industrial automation, control, robotics and measurement techniques. Each chapter presents a thorough analysis of a specific technical problem which is usually followed by numerical analysis, simulation, and description of results of implementation of the solution of a real world problem. The presented theoretical results, practical solutions and guidelines will be valuable for both researchers working in the area of engineering sciences and for practitioners solving industrial problems. .

  9. VLSI implementation of moment invariants for automated inspection (United States)

    Armstrong, G. A.; Simpson, M. L.; Bouldin, D. W.

    This paper describes the design of a very large scale integration (VLSI) application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for use in automated inspection. The inspection scheme uses Hu and Maitra's algorithms for moment invariants. A prototype design was generated that resolved the long delay time of the multiplier by custom designing adder cells based on the Manchester carry chain. The prototype ASIC is currently being fabricated in 2.0-micron CMOS technology and has been simulated at 20 MHz. The final ASICs will be used in parallel at the board level to achieve the 230 MOPs necessary to perform the moment invariant algorithms in real time on 512 by 512 pixel images with 256 grey scales.

  10. Predicting changes in cardiac myocyte contractility during early drug discovery with in vitro assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morton, M.J., E-mail: [Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom); Armstrong, D.; Abi Gerges, N. [Drug Safety and Metabolism, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom); Bridgland-Taylor, M. [Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom); Pollard, C.E.; Bowes, J.; Valentin, J.-P. [Drug Safety and Metabolism, AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4TG (United Kingdom)


    Cardiovascular-related adverse drug effects are a major concern for the pharmaceutical industry. Activity of an investigational drug at the L-type calcium channel could manifest in a number of ways, including changes in cardiac contractility. The aim of this study was to define which of the two assay technologies – radioligand-binding or automated electrophysiology – was most predictive of contractility effects in an in vitro myocyte contractility assay. The activity of reference and proprietary compounds at the L-type calcium channel was measured by radioligand-binding assays, conventional patch-clamp, automated electrophysiology, and by measurement of contractility in canine isolated cardiac myocytes. Activity in the radioligand-binding assay at the L-type Ca channel phenylalkylamine binding site was most predictive of an inotropic effect in the canine cardiac myocyte assay. The sensitivity was 73%, specificity 83% and predictivity 78%. The radioligand-binding assay may be run at a single test concentration and potency estimated. The least predictive assay was automated electrophysiology which showed a significant bias when compared with other assay formats. Given the importance of the L-type calcium channel, not just in cardiac function, but also in other organ systems, a screening strategy emerges whereby single concentration ligand-binding can be performed early in the discovery process with sufficient predictivity, throughput and turnaround time to influence chemical design and address a significant safety-related liability, at relatively low cost. - Highlights: • The L-type calcium channel is a significant safety liability during drug discovery. • Radioligand-binding to the L-type calcium channel can be measured in vitro. • The assay can be run at a single test concentration as part of a screening cascade. • This measurement is highly predictive of changes in cardiac myocyte contractility.

  11. Dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy for colorectal cancer. (United States)

    Kajihara, Mikio; Takakura, Kazuki; Kanai, Tomoya; Ito, Zensho; Saito, Keisuke; Takami, Shinichiro; Shimodaira, Shigetaka; Okamoto, Masato; Ohkusa, Toshifumi; Koido, Shigeo


    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers and a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Although systemic therapy is the standard care for patients with recurrent or metastatic CRC, the prognosis is extremely poor. The optimal sequence of therapy remains unknown. Therefore, alternative strategies, such as immunotherapy, are needed for patients with advanced CRC. This review summarizes evidence from dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy strategies that are currently in clinical trials. In addition, we discuss the possibility of antitumor immune responses through immunoinhibitory PD-1/PD-L1 pathway blockade in CRC patients.

  12. Cell-based reparative therapies for multiple sclerosis. (United States)

    Ben-Hur, Tamir; Fainstein, Nina; Nishri, Yossi


    The strong rationale for cell-based therapy in multiple sclerosis is based on the ability of stem and precursor cells of neural and mesenchymal origin to attenuate neuroinflammation, to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and to participate directly in remyelination, if directed towards a myelin-forming fate. However, there are still major gaps in knowledge regarding induction of repair in chronic multiple sclerosis lesions, and whether transplanted cells can overcome the multiple environmental inhibitory factors which underlie the failure of endogenous repair. Major challenges in clinical translation include the determination of the optimal cellular platform, the route of cell delivery, and candidate patients for treatment.

  13. Manual versus automated blood sampling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teilmann, A C; Kalliokoski, Otto; Sørensen, Dorte B


    Facial vein (cheek blood) and caudal vein (tail blood) phlebotomy are two commonly used techniques for obtaining blood samples from laboratory mice, while automated blood sampling through a permanent catheter is a relatively new technique in mice. The present study compared physiological parameters......, glucocorticoid dynamics as well as the behavior of mice sampled repeatedly for 24 h by cheek blood, tail blood or automated blood sampling from the carotid artery. Mice subjected to cheek blood sampling lost significantly more body weight, had elevated levels of plasma corticosterone, excreted more fecal...... corticosterone metabolites, and expressed more anxious behavior than did the mice of the other groups. Plasma corticosterone levels of mice subjected to tail blood sampling were also elevated, although less significantly. Mice subjected to automated blood sampling were less affected with regard to the parameters...

  14. Automated Approaches to RFI Flagging (United States)

    Garimella, Karthik; Momjian, Emmanuel


    It is known that Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is a major issue in centimeter wavelength radio astronomy. Radio astronomy software packages include tools to excise RFI; both manual and automated utilizing the visibilities (the uv data). Here we present results on an automated RFI flagging approach that utilizes a uv-grid, which is the intermediate product when converting uv data points to an image. It is a well known fact that any signal that appears widespread in a given domain (e.g., image domain) is compact in the Fourier domain (uv-grid domain), i.e., RFI sources that appear as large scale structures (e.g., stripes) in images can be located and flagged using the uv-grid data set. We developed several automated uv-grid based flagging algorithms to detect and excise RFI. These algorithms will be discussed, and results of applying them to measurement sets will be presented.

  15. Automated power management and control (United States)

    Dolce, James L.


    A comprehensive automation design is being developed for Space Station Freedom's electric power system. A joint effort between NASA's Office of Aeronautics and Exploration Technology and NASA's Office of Space Station Freedom, it strives to increase station productivity by applying expert systems and conventional algorithms to automate power system operation. The initial station operation will use ground-based dispatches to perform the necessary command and control tasks. These tasks constitute planning and decision-making activities that strive to eliminate unplanned outages. We perceive an opportunity to help these dispatchers make fast and consistent on-line decisions by automating three key tasks: failure detection and diagnosis, resource scheduling, and security analysis. Expert systems will be used for the diagnostics and for the security analysis; conventional algorithms will be used for the resource scheduling.

  16. Implementation of design of experiments (DOE) in the development and validation of a cell-based bioassay for the detection of anti-drug neutralizing antibodies in human serum. (United States)

    Chen, Xinyi C; Zhou, Lei; Gupta, Shalini; Civoli, Francesca


    The administration of biological therapeutics can potentially elicit the development of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to the therapeutic drug in patients, which could have a significant impact on drug efficacy and safety. A rigorous in vitro cell-based assay for the detection of NAbs is critical for the assessment of the immunogenicity profile of the therapeutic drug. Conatumumab is a fully human monoclonal agonist antibody directed against the extracellular domain of human TRAIL receptor 2 (TR-2). It is being investigated as a cancer treatment because it is able to induce apoptosis in sensitive tumor cells. This report demonstrates how statistically designed experiments could be employed effectively in different stages of a NAb bioassay life cycle in order to characterize, optimize and stabilize the assay with added benefit of resource efficiency. By combining the approach of design of experiments (DOE) with subject matter expertise and experience, we were able to understand thoroughly how assay parameters affect the performance of the assay individually and interactively, identify the key assay parameters, define assay operating ranges and finally achieve a robust and sensitive cell-based assay for the detection of NAbs to Conatumumab. With the goal of developing a cell-based bioassay that is highly optimized for sensitivity, specificity, precision, and robustness, we performed 2 DOE experiments for assay optimization and 1 DOE experiment to validate assay robustness. We evaluated key operating parameters of the assay such as cell number, percentage of serum matrix, concentration of the therapeutic drug, concentration of the cross-linker, length of various incubation steps, cell age, interval between cell subculture and bioassay time, and detection equipment.

  17. 2013 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference

    CERN Document Server

    Deng, Zhidong


    Proceedings of the 2013 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference presents selected research papers from the CIAC’13, held in Yangzhou, China. The topics include e.g. adaptive control, fuzzy control, neural network based control, knowledge based control, hybrid intelligent control, learning control, evolutionary mechanism based control, multi-sensor integration, failure diagnosis, and reconfigurable control. Engineers and researchers from academia, industry, and government can gain an inside view of new solutions combining ideas from multiple disciplines in the field of intelligent automation. Zengqi Sun and Zhidong Deng are professors at the Department of Computer Science, Tsinghua University, China.

  18. 2013 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference

    CERN Document Server

    Deng, Zhidong


    Proceedings of the 2013 Chinese Intelligent Automation Conference presents selected research papers from the CIAC’13, held in Yangzhou, China. The topics include e.g. adaptive control, fuzzy control, neural network based control, knowledge based control, hybrid intelligent control, learning control, evolutionary mechanism based control, multi-sensor integration, failure diagnosis, and reconfigurable control. Engineers and researchers from academia, industry, and government can gain an inside view of new solutions combining ideas from multiple disciplines in the field of intelligent automation.   Zengqi Sun and Zhidong Deng are professors at the Department of Computer Science, Tsinghua University, China.

  19. Automated synthesis of sialylated oligosaccharides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Esposito


    Full Text Available Sialic acid-containing glycans play a major role in cell-surface interactions with external partners such as cells and viruses. Straightforward access to sialosides is required in order to study their biological functions on a molecular level. Here, automated oligosaccharide synthesis was used to facilitate the preparation of this class of biomolecules. Our strategy relies on novel sialyl α-(2→3 and α-(2→6 galactosyl imidates, which, used in combination with the automated platform, provided rapid access to a small library of conjugation-ready sialosides of biological relevance.

  20. Automation, Labor Productivity and Employment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kromann, Lene; Rose Skaksen, Jan; Sørensen, Anders

    CEBR fremlægger nu den første rapport i AIM-projektet. Rapporten viser, at der er gode muligheder for yderligere automation i en stor del af de danske fremstillingsvirksomheder. For i dag er gennemsnitligt kun omkring 30 % af virksomhedernes produktionsprocesser automatiserede. Navnlig procesområ......CEBR fremlægger nu den første rapport i AIM-projektet. Rapporten viser, at der er gode muligheder for yderligere automation i en stor del af de danske fremstillingsvirksomheder. For i dag er gennemsnitligt kun omkring 30 % af virksomhedernes produktionsprocesser automatiserede. Navnlig...

  1. Design automation, languages, and simulations

    CERN Document Server

    Chen, Wai-Kai


    As the complexity of electronic systems continues to increase, the micro-electronic industry depends upon automation and simulations to adapt quickly to market changes and new technologies. Compiled from chapters contributed to CRC's best-selling VLSI Handbook, this volume covers a broad range of topics relevant to design automation, languages, and simulations. These include a collaborative framework that coordinates distributed design activities through the Internet, an overview of the Verilog hardware description language and its use in a design environment, hardware/software co-design, syst

  2. Agile Data: Automating database refactorings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Xavier


    Full Text Available This paper discusses an automated approach to database change management throughout the companies’ development workflow. By using automated tools, companies can avoid common issues related to manual database deployments. This work was motivated by analyzing usual problems within organizations, mostly originated from manual interventions that may result in systems disruptions and production incidents. In addition to practices of continuous integration and continuous delivery, the current paper describes a case study in which a suggested pipeline is implemented in order to reduce the deployment times and decrease incidents due to ineffective data controlling.

  3. Design Automation in Synthetic Biology. (United States)

    Appleton, Evan; Madsen, Curtis; Roehner, Nicholas; Densmore, Douglas


    Design automation refers to a category of software tools for designing systems that work together in a workflow for designing, building, testing, and analyzing systems with a target behavior. In synthetic biology, these tools are called bio-design automation (BDA) tools. In this review, we discuss the BDA tools areas-specify, design, build, test, and learn-and introduce the existing software tools designed to solve problems in these areas. We then detail the functionality of some of these tools and show how they can be used together to create the desired behavior of two types of modern synthetic genetic regulatory networks.

  4. Network based automation for SMEs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shahabeddini Parizi, Mohammad; Radziwon, Agnieszka


    could be obtained through network interaction. Based on two extreme cases of SMEs representing low-tech industry and an in-depth analysis of their manufacturing facilities this paper presents how collaboration between firms embedded in a regional ecosystem could result in implementation of new...... automation solutions. The empirical data collection involved application of a combination of comparative case study method with action research elements. This article provides an outlook over the challenges in implementing technological improvements and the way how it could be resolved in collaboration......, this paper develops and discusses a set of guidelines for systematic productivity improvement within an innovative collaboration in regards to automation processes in SMEs....

  5. Cell-Based Strategies for Meniscus Tissue Engineering (United States)

    Niu, Wei; Guo, Weimin; Han, Shufeng; Zhu, Yun; Liu, Shuyun; Guo, Quanyi


    Meniscus injuries remain a significant challenge due to the poor healing potential of the inner avascular zone. Following a series of studies and clinical trials, tissue engineering is considered a promising prospect for meniscus repair and regeneration. As one of the key factors in tissue engineering, cells are believed to be highly beneficial in generating bionic meniscus structures to replace injured ones in patients. Therefore, cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering play a fundamental role in meniscal regeneration. According to current studies, the main cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering are single cell type strategies; cell coculture strategies also were applied to meniscus tissue engineering. Likewise, on the one side, the zonal recapitulation strategies based on mimicking meniscal differing cells and internal architectures have received wide attentions. On the other side, cell self-assembling strategies without any scaffolds may be a better way to build a bionic meniscus. In this review, we primarily discuss cell seeds for meniscus tissue engineering and their application strategies. We also discuss recent advances and achievements in meniscus repair experiments that further improve our understanding of meniscus tissue engineering. PMID:27274735

  6. Stem Cell-Based Cell Therapy for Glomerulonephritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meiling Jin


    Full Text Available Glomerulonephritis (GN, characterized by immune-mediated inflammatory changes in the glomerular, is a common cause of end stage renal disease. Therapeutic options for glomerulonephritis applicable to all cases mainly include symptomatic treatment and strategies to delay progression. In the attempt to yield innovative interventions fostering the limited capability of regeneration of renal tissue after injury and the uncontrolled pathological process by current treatments, stem cell-based therapy has emerged as novel therapy for its ability to inhibit inflammation and promote regeneration. Many basic and clinical studies have been performed that support the ability of various stem cell populations to ameliorate glomerular injury and improve renal function. However, there is a long way before putting stem cell-based therapy into clinical practice. In the present article, we aim to review works performed with respect to the use of stem cell of different origins in GN, and to discuss the potential mechanism of therapeutic effect and the challenges for clinical application of stem cells.

  7. Cell-Based Strategies for Meniscus Tissue Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Niu


    Full Text Available Meniscus injuries remain a significant challenge due to the poor healing potential of the inner avascular zone. Following a series of studies and clinical trials, tissue engineering is considered a promising prospect for meniscus repair and regeneration. As one of the key factors in tissue engineering, cells are believed to be highly beneficial in generating bionic meniscus structures to replace injured ones in patients. Therefore, cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering play a fundamental role in meniscal regeneration. According to current studies, the main cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering are single cell type strategies; cell coculture strategies also were applied to meniscus tissue engineering. Likewise, on the one side, the zonal recapitulation strategies based on mimicking meniscal differing cells and internal architectures have received wide attentions. On the other side, cell self-assembling strategies without any scaffolds may be a better way to build a bionic meniscus. In this review, we primarily discuss cell seeds for meniscus tissue engineering and their application strategies. We also discuss recent advances and achievements in meniscus repair experiments that further improve our understanding of meniscus tissue engineering.

  8. Cell-based microfluidic platform for mimicking human olfactory system. (United States)

    Lee, Seung Hwan; Oh, Eun Hae; Park, Tai Hyun


    Various attempts have been made to mimic the human olfactory system using human olfactory receptors (hORs). In particular, OR-expressed cell-based odorant detection systems mimic the smell sensing mechanism of humans, as they exploit endogenous cellular signaling pathways. However, the majority of such cell-based studies have been performed in the liquid phase to maintain cell viability, and liquid odorants were used as detection targets. Here, we present a microfluidic device for the detection of gaseous odorants which more closely mimics the human olfactory system. Cells expressing hOR were cultured on a porous membrane. The membrane was then flipped over and placed between two compartments. The upper compartment is the gaseous part where gaseous odorants are supplied, while the lower compartment is the aqueous part where viable cells are maintained in the liquid medium. Using this simple microfluidic device, we were able to detect gaseous odorant molecules by a fluorescence signal. The fluorescence signal was generated by calcium influx resulting from the interaction between odorant molecules and the hOR. The system allowed detection of gaseous odorant molecules in real-time, and the findings showed that the fluorescence responses increased dose-dependently in the range of 0-2 ppm odorant. In addition, the system can discriminate among gaseous odorant molecules. This microfluidic system closely mimics the human olfactory system in the sense that the submerged cells detect gaseous odorants.

  9. Automated Ply Inspection (API) for AFP Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Automated Ply Inspection (API) system autonomously inspects layups created by high speed automated fiber placement (AFP) machines. API comprises a high accuracy...

  10. Automated high-content live animal drug screening using C. elegans expressing the aggregation prone serpin α1-antitrypsin Z.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sager J Gosai

    Full Text Available The development of preclinical models amenable to live animal bioactive compound screening is an attractive approach to discovering effective pharmacological therapies for disorders caused by misfolded and aggregation-prone proteins. In general, however, live animal drug screening is labor and resource intensive, and has been hampered by the lack of robust assay designs and high throughput work-flows. Based on their small size, tissue transparency and ease of cultivation, the use of C. elegans should obviate many of the technical impediments associated with live animal drug screening. Moreover, their genetic tractability and accomplished record for providing insights into the molecular and cellular basis of human disease, should make C. elegans an ideal model system for in vivo drug discovery campaigns. The goal of this study was to determine whether C. elegans could be adapted to high-throughput and high-content drug screening strategies analogous to those developed for cell-based systems. Using transgenic animals expressing fluorescently-tagged proteins, we first developed a high-quality, high-throughput work-flow utilizing an automated fluorescence microscopy platform with integrated image acquisition and data analysis modules to qualitatively assess different biological processes including, growth, tissue development, cell viability and autophagy. We next adapted this technology to conduct a small molecule screen and identified compounds that altered the intracellular accumulation of the human aggregation prone mutant that causes liver disease in α1-antitrypsin deficiency. This study provides powerful validation for advancement in preclinical drug discovery campaigns by screening live C. elegans modeling α1-antitrypsin deficiency and other complex disease phenotypes on high-content imaging platforms.

  11. Herbicide resistance screening assay. (United States)

    Peterson, Joan M


    Herbicide resistance screening is a method that can be used not only to determine presence of the enzyme, phosphinothricin acetyltransferase, encoded by either the Bar or the Pat gene in transgenic maize, but also to assess the inheritance ratio of those genes in a segregating population. Herbicide screening can also be used to study linkage of a transgene of interest that was cotransformed with the herbicide resistance marker gene. By combining the herbicide screen assay with a PCR-based screen of leaf tissue DNA for the presence of both the Bar or the Pat gene marker and a cotransformed transgene of interest from the same seedling tissue and maintaining that seedling identity, the researcher can identify linkage or the possible breakdown in linkage of the marker gene and the transgene of interest. Further, the occurrence of "DNA silencing" can be evaluated if an individual seedling that was susceptible to the applied herbicide nonetheless gave PCR data that indicated presence of the gene responsible for herbicide resistance. Similarly, "DNA silencing" of the gene of interest may be investigated if the seeds can be screened and scored for that phenotypic trait in a nondestructive manner prior to planting.

  12. Ask the experts: automation: part I. (United States)

    Allinson, John L; Blick, Kenneth E; Cohen, Lucinda; Higton, David; Li, Ming


    Bioanalysis invited a selection of leading researchers to express their views on automation in the bioanalytical laboratory. The topics discussed include the challenges that the modern bioanalyst faces when integrating automation into existing drug-development processes, the impact of automation and how they envision the modern bioanalytical laboratory changing in the near future. Their enlightening responses provide a valuable insight into the impact of automation and the future of the constantly evolving bioanalytical laboratory.

  13. Automated Integrated Analog Filter Design Issues



    An analysis of modern automated integrated analog circuits design methods and their use in integrated filter design is done. Current modern analog circuits automated tools are based on optimization algorithms and/or new circuit generation methods. Most automated integrated filter design methods are only suited to gmC and switched current filter topologies. Here, an algorithm for an active RC integrated filter design is proposed, that can be used in automated filter designs. The algorithm is t...

  14. 75 FR 64737 - Automated Commercial Environment (ACE): Announcement of a National Customs Automation Program... (United States)


    ... National Customs Automation Program Test of Automated Manifest Capabilities for Ocean and Rail Carriers... Protection (CBP) will be conducting a National Customs Automation Program test concerning the transmission of...: Background The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) was established in Subtitle B of Title...

  15. 76 FR 69755 - National Customs Automation Program Test Concerning Automated Commercial Environment (ACE... (United States)


    ... SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Customs Automation Program Test Concerning Automated... Protection's (CBP's) plan to conduct a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning Automated..., at . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The National Customs...

  16. 76 FR 34246 - Automated Commercial Environment (ACE); Announcement of National Customs Automation Program Test... (United States)


    ... National Customs Automation Program Test of Automated Procedures for In-Bond Shipments Transiting Through....S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to conduct a National Customs Automation Program ( . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP)...

  17. Automated Analysis of Infinite Scenarios

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchholtz, Mikael


    The security of a network protocol crucially relies on the scenario in which the protocol is deployed. This paper describes syntactic constructs for modelling network scenarios and presents an automated analysis tool, which can guarantee that security properties hold in all of the (infinitely many...

  18. Automated Orientation of Aerial Images

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høhle, Joachim


    Methods for automated orientation of aerial images are presented. They are based on the use of templates, which are derived from existing databases, and area-based matching. The characteristics of available database information and the accuracy requirements for map compilation and orthoimage...

  19. Automated minimax design of networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Kaj; Schjær-Jacobsen, Hans; Voldby, J


    A new gradient algorithm for the solution of nonlinear minimax problems has been developed. The algorithm is well suited for automated minimax design of networks and it is very simple to use. It compares favorably with recent minimax and leastpth algorithms. General convergence problems related...

  20. Automating Workflow using Dialectical Argumentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Urovi, Visara; Bromuri, Stefano; McGinnis, Jarred; Stathis, Kostas; Omicini, Andrea


    This paper presents a multi-agent framework based on argumentative agent technology for the automation of the workflow selection and execution. In this framework, workflow selection is coordinated by agent interactions governed by the rules of a dialogue game whose purpose is to evaluate the workflo

  1. Teacherbot: Interventions in Automated Teaching (United States)

    Bayne, Sian


    Promises of "teacher-light" tuition and of enhanced "efficiency" via the automation of teaching have been with us since the early days of digital education, sometimes embraced by academics and institutions, and sometimes resisted as a set of moves which are damaging to teacher professionalism and to the humanistic values of…

  2. Automated monitoring of milk meters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, de R.M.; Andre, G.


    Automated monitoring might be an alternative for periodic checking of electronic milk meters. A computer model based on Dynamic Linear Modelling (DLM) has been developed for this purpose. Two situations are distinguished: more milking stands in the milking parlour and only one milking stand in the m

  3. Automated Accounting. Payroll. Instructor Module. (United States)

    Moses, Duane R.

    This teacher's guide was developed to assist business instructors using Dac Easy Accounting Payroll Version 3.0 edition software in their accounting programs. The module contains assignment sheets and job sheets designed to enable students to master competencies identified in the area of automated accounting--payroll. Basic accounting skills are…

  4. Automated Solar-Array Assembly (United States)

    Soffa, A.; Bycer, M.


    Large arrays are rapidly assembled from individual solar cells by automated production line developed for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Apparatus positions cells within array, attaches interconnection tabs, applies solder flux, and solders interconnections. Cells are placed in either straight or staggered configurations and may be connected either in series or in parallel. Are attached at rate of one every 5 seconds.

  5. Automation, Performance and International Competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kromann, Lene; Sørensen, Anders

    This paper presents new evidence on trade‐induced automation in manufacturing firms using unique data combining a retrospective survey that we have assembled with register data for 2005‐2010. In particular, we establish a causal effect where firms that have specialized in product types for which ...

  6. Automation of Space Inventory Management (United States)

    Fink, Patrick W.; Ngo, Phong; Wagner, Raymond; Barton, Richard; Gifford, Kevin


    This viewgraph presentation describes the utilization of automated space-based inventory management through handheld RFID readers and BioNet Middleware. The contents include: 1) Space-Based INventory Management; 2) Real-Time RFID Location and Tracking; 3) Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) RFID; and 4) BioNet Middleware.

  7. Feasibility Analysis of Crane Automation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DONG Ming-xiao; MEI Xue-song; JIANG Ge-dong; ZHANG Gui-qing


    This paper summarizes the modeling methods, open-loop control and closed-loop control techniques of various forms of cranes, worldwide, and discusses their feasibilities and limitations in engineering. Then the dynamic behaviors of cranes are analyzed. Finally, we propose applied modeling methods and feasible control techniques and demonstrate the feasibilities of crane automation.

  8. Automated Clustering of Similar Amendments

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva


    The Italian Senate is clogged by computer-generated amendments. This talk will describe a simple strategy to cluster them in an automated fashion, so that the appropriate Senate procedures can be used to get rid of them in one sweep.

  9. Adaptation : A Partially Automated Approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manjing, Tham; Bukhsh, F.A.; Weigand, H.


    This paper showcases the possibility of creating an adaptive auditing system. Adaptation in an audit environment need human intervention at some point. Based on a case study this paper focuses on automation of adaptation process. It is divided into solution design and validation parts. The artifact

  10. Designing automated handheld navigation support

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uluca, D.; Streefkerk, J.W.; Sciacchitano, B.; McCrickard, D.S.


    Map usage on handheld devices suffers from limited screen size and the minimal attention that users can dedicate to them in mobile situations. This work examines effects of automating navigation features like zooming and panning as well as other features such as rotation, path finding and artifact r

  11. Use of recombinant salmonella flagellar hook protein (flgk) for detection of anti-salmonella antibodies in chickens by automated capillary immunoassay (United States)

    Background: Conventional immunoblot assays are a very useful tool for specific protein identification, but are tedious, labor-intensive and time-consuming. An automated capillary electrophoresis-based immunoblot assay called "Simple Western" has recently been developed that enables the protein sepa...

  12. Illinois: Library Automation and Connectivity Initiatives. (United States)

    Lamont, Bridget L.; Bloomberg, Kathleen L.


    Discussion of library automation in Illinois focuses on ILLINET, the Illinois Library and Information Network. Topics include automated resource sharing; ILLINET's online catalog; regional library system automation; community networking and public library technology development; telecommunications initiatives; electronic access to state government…

  13. You're a What? Automation Technician (United States)

    Mullins, John


    Many people think of automation as laborsaving technology, but it sure keeps Jim Duffell busy. Defined simply, automation is a technique for making a device run or a process occur with minimal direct human intervention. But the functions and technologies involved in automated manufacturing are complex. Nearly all functions, from orders coming in…

  14. Library Automation in the Netherlands and Pica. (United States)

    Bossers, Anton; Van Muyen, Martin


    Describes the Pica Library Automation Network (originally the Project for Integrated Catalogue Automation), which is based on a centralized bibliographic database. Highlights include the Pica conception of library automation, online shared cataloging system, circulation control system, acquisition system, and online Dutch union catalog with…

  15. Does Automated Feedback Improve Writing Quality? (United States)

    Wilson, Joshua; Olinghouse, Natalie G.; Andrada, Gilbert N.


    The current study examines data from students in grades 4-8 who participated in a statewide computer-based benchmark writing assessment that featured automated essay scoring and automated feedback. We examined whether the use of automated feedback was associated with gains in writing quality across revisions to an essay, and with transfer effects…

  16. Automating Shallow Seismic Imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steeples, Don W.


    This seven-year, shallow-seismic reflection research project had the aim of improving geophysical imaging of possible contaminant flow paths. Thousands of chemically contaminated sites exist in the United States, including at least 3,700 at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. Imaging technologies such as shallow seismic reflection (SSR) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) sometimes are capable of identifying geologic conditions that might indicate preferential contaminant-flow paths. Historically, SSR has been used very little at depths shallower than 30 m, and even more rarely at depths of 10 m or less. Conversely, GPR is rarely useful at depths greater than 10 m, especially in areas where clay or other electrically conductive materials are present near the surface. Efforts to image the cone of depression around a pumping well using seismic methods were only partially successful (for complete references of all research results, see the full Final Technical Report, DOE/ER/14826-F), but peripheral results included development of SSR methods for depths shallower than one meter, a depth range that had not been achieved before. Imaging at such shallow depths, however, requires geophone intervals of the order of 10 cm or less, which makes such surveys very expensive in terms of human time and effort. We also showed that SSR and GPR could be used in a complementary fashion to image the same volume of earth at very shallow depths. The primary research focus of the second three-year period of funding was to develop and demonstrate an automated method of conducting two-dimensional (2D) shallow-seismic surveys with the goal of saving time, effort, and money. Tests involving the second generation of the hydraulic geophone-planting device dubbed the ''Autojuggie'' showed that large numbers of geophones can be placed quickly and automatically and can acquire high-quality data, although not under rough topographic conditions. In some easy

  17. Development and validation of a high-content screening in vitro micronucleus assay in CHO-k1 and HepG2 cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerink, W.M.; Schirris, T.J.J.; Horbach, G.J.; Schoonen, W.G.


    In the present study an automated image analysis assisted in vitro micronucleus assay was developed with the rodent cell line CHO-k1 and the human hepatoma cell line HepG2, which are both commonly used in regulatory genotoxicity assays. The HepG2 cell line was chosen because of the presence in these

  18. Cellular Assays with a Molecular Endpoint Measured by SAMDI Mass Spectrometry. (United States)

    Berns, Eric J; Cabezas, Maria D; Mrksich, Milan


    Cell-based, high-throughput screening (HTS) assays are increasingly important tools used in drug discovery, but frequently rely on readouts of gene expression or phenotypic changes and require development of specialized, labeled reporters. Here a cell-based, label-free assay compatible with HTS is introduced that can report quantitatively on enzyme activities by measuring mass changes of substrates with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. The assay uses self-assembled monolayers to culture cells on arrays presenting substrates, which serve as reporters for a desired enzyme activity. Each spot of cells is treated with a compound, cultured and lysed, enabling endogenous enzymes to act on the immobilized peptide substrate. It is demonstrated that the assay can measure protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) activity from as few as five cells and a screen is described that identifies a compound that reduces PTP activity in cell lysates. This approach offers a valuable addition to the methods available for cell-based screening.

  19. Fetal fibroblasts and keratinocytes with immunosuppressive properties for allogeneic cell-based wound therapy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Zuliani

    Full Text Available Fetal skin heals rapidly without scar formation early in gestation, conferring to fetal skin cells a high and unique potential for tissue regeneration and scar management. In this study, we investigated the possibility of using fetal fibroblasts and keratinocytes to stimulate wound repair and regeneration for further allogeneic cell-based therapy development. From a single fetal skin sample, two clinical batches of keratinocytes and fibroblasts were manufactured and characterized. Tolerogenic properties of the fetal cells were investigated by allogeneic PBMC proliferation tests. In addition, the potential advantage of fibroblasts/keratinocytes co-application for wound healing stimulation has been examined in co-culture experiments with in vitro scratch assays and a multiplex cytokines array system. Based on keratin 14 and prolyl-4-hydroxylase expression analyses, purity of both clinical batches was found to be above 98% and neither melanocytes nor Langerhans cells could be detected. Both cell types demonstrated strong immunosuppressive properties as shown by the dramatic decrease in allogeneic PBMC proliferation when co-cultured with fibroblasts and/or keratinocytes. We further showed that the indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO activity is required for the immunoregulatory activity of fetal skin cells. Co-cultures experiments have also revealed that fibroblasts-keratinocytes interactions strongly enhanced fetal cells secretion of HGF, GM-CSF, IL-8 and to a lesser extent VEGF-A. Accordingly, in the in vitro scratch assays the fetal fibroblasts and keratinocytes co-culture accelerated the scratch closure compared to fibroblast or keratinocyte mono-cultures. In conclusion, our data suggest that the combination of fetal keratinocytes and fibroblasts could be of particular interest for the development of a new allogeneic skin substitute with immunomodulatory activity, acting as a reservoir for wound healing growth factors.

  20. Fetal fibroblasts and keratinocytes with immunosuppressive properties for allogeneic cell-based wound therapy. (United States)

    Zuliani, Thomas; Saiagh, Soraya; Knol, Anne-Chantal; Esbelin, Julie; Dréno, Brigitte


    Fetal skin heals rapidly without scar formation early in gestation, conferring to fetal skin cells a high and unique potential for tissue regeneration and scar management. In this study, we investigated the possibility of using fetal fibroblasts and keratinocytes to stimulate wound repair and regeneration for further allogeneic cell-based therapy development. From a single fetal skin sample, two clinical batches of keratinocytes and fibroblasts were manufactured and characterized. Tolerogenic properties of the fetal cells were investigated by allogeneic PBMC proliferation tests. In addition, the potential advantage of fibroblasts/keratinocytes co-application for wound healing stimulation has been examined in co-culture experiments with in vitro scratch assays and a multiplex cytokines array system. Based on keratin 14 and prolyl-4-hydroxylase expression analyses, purity of both clinical batches was found to be above 98% and neither melanocytes nor Langerhans cells could be detected. Both cell types demonstrated strong immunosuppressive properties as shown by the dramatic decrease in allogeneic PBMC proliferation when co-cultured with fibroblasts and/or keratinocytes. We further showed that the indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) activity is required for the immunoregulatory activity of fetal skin cells. Co-cultures experiments have also revealed that fibroblasts-keratinocytes interactions strongly enhanced fetal cells secretion of HGF, GM-CSF, IL-8 and to a lesser extent VEGF-A. Accordingly, in the in vitro scratch assays the fetal fibroblasts and keratinocytes co-culture accelerated the scratch closure compared to fibroblast or keratinocyte mono-cultures. In conclusion, our data suggest that the combination of fetal keratinocytes and fibroblasts could be of particular interest for the development of a new allogeneic skin substitute with immunomodulatory activity, acting as a reservoir for wound healing growth factors.

  1. High-Content Positional Biosensor Screening Assay for Compounds to Prevent or Disrupt Androgen Receptor and Transcriptional Intermediary Factor 2 Protein–Protein Interactions


    Hua, Yun; Shun, Tong Ying; Strock, Christopher J.; Johnston, Paul A.


    The androgen receptor–transcriptional intermediary factor 2 (AR-TIF2) positional protein–protein interaction (PPI) biosensor assay described herein combines physiologically relevant cell-based assays with the specificity of binding assays by incorporating structural information of AR and TIF2 functional domains along with intracellular targeting sequences and fluorescent reporters. Expression of the AR-red fluorescent protein (RFP) “prey” and TIF2-green fluorescent protein (GFP) “bait” compon...

  2. High-throughput immunoturbidimetric assays for in-process determination of polyclonal antibody concentration and functionality in crude samples

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Hanne; Kyhse-Andersen, J.; Thomas, O.R.T.


    We present fast, simple immunoturbidimetric assays suitable for direct determination of antibody 'concentration' and 'functionality' in crude samples, such as in-process samples taken at various stages during antibody purification. Both assays display excellent linearity and analytical recovery....... The 'functionality' assay displayed concentration dependent sensitivity to interference for ammonium sulphate and Tris(hydroxymethyl)-amino-methane, but was essentially unaffected by all other salts and buffer combinations tested. The immunoturbidimetric assays described here are generically applicable to polyclonal...... antibodies, require only basic laboratory equipment, are robust, fast, cheap, easy to perform, and readily adapted to automation....

  3. Comparison between automated system and PCR-based method for identification and antimicrobial susceptibility profile of clinical Enterococcus spp. (United States)

    Furlaneto-Maia, Luciana; Rocha, Kátia Real; Siqueira, Vera Lúcia Dias; Furlaneto, Márcia Cristina


    Enterococci are increasingly responsible for nosocomial infections worldwide. This study was undertaken to compare the identification and susceptibility profile using an automated MicrosScan system, PCR-based assay and disk diffusion assay of Enterococcus spp. We evaluated 30 clinical isolates of Enterococcus spp. Isolates were identified by MicrosScan system and PCR-based assay. The detection of antibiotic resistance genes (vancomycin, gentamicin, tetracycline and erythromycin) was also determined by PCR. Antimicrobial susceptibilities to vancomycin (30 µg), gentamicin (120 µg), tetracycline (30 µg) and erythromycin (15 µg) were tested by the automated system and disk diffusion method, and were interpreted according to the criteria recommended in CLSI guidelines. Concerning Enterococcus identification the general agreement between data obtained by the PCR method and by the automatic system was 90.0% (27/30). For all isolates of E. faecium and E. faecalis we observed 100% agreement. Resistance frequencies were higher in E. faecium than E. faecalis. The resistance rates obtained were higher for erythromycin (86.7%), vancomycin (80.0%), tetracycline (43.35) and gentamicin (33.3%). The correlation between disk diffusion and automation revealed an agreement for the majority of the antibiotics with category agreement rates of > 80%. The PCR-based assay, the van(A) gene was detected in 100% of vancomycin resistant enterococci. This assay is simple to conduct and reliable in the identification of clinically relevant enterococci. The data obtained reinforced the need for an improvement of the automated system to identify some enterococci.

  4. An automated HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped virus production for global HIV vaccine trials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke Schultz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Infections with HIV still represent a major human health problem worldwide and a vaccine is the only long-term option to fight efficiently against this virus. Standardized assessments of HIV-specific immune responses in vaccine trials are essential for prioritizing vaccine candidates in preclinical and clinical stages of development. With respect to neutralizing antibodies, assays with HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses are a high priority. To cover the increasing demands of HIV pseudoviruses, a complete cell culture and transfection automation system has been developed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The automation system for HIV pseudovirus production comprises a modified Tecan-based Cellerity system. It covers an area of 5×3 meters and includes a robot platform, a cell counting machine, a CO(2 incubator for cell cultivation and a media refrigerator. The processes for cell handling, transfection and pseudovirus production have been implemented according to manual standard operating procedures and are controlled and scheduled autonomously by the system. The system is housed in a biosafety level II cabinet that guarantees protection of personnel, environment and the product. HIV pseudovirus stocks in a scale from 140 ml to 1000 ml have been produced on the automated system. Parallel manual production of HIV pseudoviruses and comparisons (bridging assays confirmed that the automated produced pseudoviruses were of equivalent quality as those produced manually. In addition, the automated method was fully validated according to Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP guidelines, including the validation parameters accuracy, precision, robustness and specificity. CONCLUSIONS: An automated HIV pseudovirus production system has been successfully established. It allows the high quality production of HIV pseudoviruses under GCLP conditions. In its present form, the installed module enables the production of 1000 ml of virus-containing cell

  5. The comet assay – from toy to tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guenter Speit


    Full Text Available The comet assay is nowadays the most common method for measuring DNA damage and repair in single cells. It is based on the microelectrophoretic study published by Ostling and Johanson (1984 and was developed by Singh and coworkers (1988 to a versatile technique for quantitation of low levels of DNA damage in individual cells. This alkaline version still is the basis for the triumphant success of the comet assay in basic research into mechanisms of DNA damage and DNA repair, genotoxicity testing, ecotoxicology and human biomonitoring. Important technical improvements (e.g., the use of precoated slides, introduction of image analysis, high throughput methods, automated scoring systems made the assay more robust and more efficient. Modifications of the standard protocol provide more specific information on the type and biological significance of the damage studied. The introduction of lesion-specific endonucleases allowed the characterization of oxidative base damage, alkylation damage and UV-induced pyrimidine dimers. The combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH made it possible to identify DNA of particular chromosome regions and measure effects of damage and repair in particular genes. The comet assay is being increasingly used in genotoxicity testing. In particular, the in vivo comet assay has become a component of some genotoxicity test strategies and generally accepted test protocols have evolved over the years. A large international collaborative trial sponsored by the Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM was recently completed and an OECD test guideline was approved. The comet assay is widely used in human biomonitoring to measure DNA damage as a marker of exposure to genotoxic agents or to investigate genoprotective effects. However, there are still problems in comparing results from different laboratories and there is need for reducing inter-laboratory variation and identification of standard

  6. Accuracy of the Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting Assay for the Aquaporin-4 Antibody (AQP4-Ab): Comparison with the Commercial AQP4-Ab Assay Kit (United States)

    Kim, Yoo-Jin; Cheon, So Young; Kim, Boram; Jung, Kyeong Cheon; Park, Kyung Seok


    Background The aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-Ab) is a disease-specific autoantibody to neuromyelitis optica (NMO). We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the FACS assay in detecting the AQP4-Ab compared with the commercial cell-based assay (C-CBA) kit. Methods Human embryonic kidney-293 cells were transfected with human aquaporin-4 (M23) cDNA. The optimal cut off values of FACS assay was tested using 1123 serum samples from patients with clinically definite NMO, those at high risk for NMO, patients with multiple sclerosis, patients with other idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating diseases, and negative controls. The accuracy of FACS assay and C-CBA were compared in consecutive 225 samples that were collected between January 2014 and June 2014. Results With a cut-off value of MFIi of 3.5 and MFIr of 2.0, the receiver operating characteristic curve for the FACS assay showed an area under the curve of 0.876. Among 225 consecutive sera, the FACS assay and C-CBA had a sensitivity of 77.3% and 69.7%, respectively, in differentiating the sera of definite NMO patients from sera of controls without IDD or of MS. Both assay had a good specificity of 100% in it. The overall positivity of the C-CBA among FACS-positive sera was 81.5%; moreover, its positivity was low as 50% among FACS-positive sera with relatively low MFIis. Conclusions Both the FACS assay and C-CBA are sensitive and highly specific assays in detecting AQP4-Ab. However, in some sera with relatively low antibody titer, FACS-assay can be a more sensitive assay option. In real practice, complementary use of FACS assay and C-CBA will benefit the diagnosis of NMO patients, because the former can be more sensitive among low titer sera and the latter are easier to use therefore can be widely used. PMID:27658059

  7. Improved Computational Model of Grid Cells Based on Column Structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Zhou; Dewei Wu; Weilong Li; Jia Du


    To simulate the firing pattern of biological grid cells, this paper presents an improved computational model of grid cells based on column structure. In this model, the displacement along different directions is processed by modulus operation, and the obtained remainder is associated with firing rate of grid cell. Compared with the original model, the improved parts include that: the base of modulus operation is changed, and the firing rate in firing field is encoded by Gaussian⁃like function. Simulation validates that the firing pattern generated by the improved computational model is more consistent with biological characteristic than original model. Besides, the firing pattern is badly influenced by the cumulative positioning error, but the computational model can also generate the regularly hexagonal firing pattern when the real⁃time positioning results are modified.

  8. Microencapsulating and Banking Living Cells for Cell-Based Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wujie Zhang


    Full Text Available A major challenge to the eventual success of the emerging cell-based medicine such as tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and cell transplantation is the limited availability of the desired cell sources. This challenge can be addressed by cell microencapsulation to overcome the undesired immune response (i.e., to achieve immunoisolation so that non-autologous cells can be used to treat human diseases, and by cell/tissue preservation to bank living cells for wide distribution to end users so that they are readily available when needed in the future. This review summarizes the status quo of research in both cell microencapsulation and banking the microencapsulated cells. It is concluded with a brief outlook of future research directions in this important field.

  9. Printing technologies for biomolecule and cell-based applications. (United States)

    Ihalainen, Petri; Määttänen, Anni; Sandler, Niklas


    Biomolecules, such as enzymes, proteins and other biomacromolecules (polynucleotides, polypeptides, polysaccharides and DNA) that are immobilized on solid surfaces are relevant to many areas of science and technology. These functionalized surfaces have applications in biosensors, chromatography, diagnostic immunoassays, cell culturing, DNA microarrays and other analytical techniques. Printing technologies offer opportunities in this context. The main interests in printing biomolecules are in immobilizing them on surfaces for sensors and catalysts or for controlled delivery of protein-based drugs. Recently, there have been significant developments in the use of inkjet printing for dispensing of proteins, biomacromolecules and cells. This review discusses the use of roll-to-roll and inkjet printing technologies in manufacturing of biomolecule and cell-based applications.

  10. A fast Resazurin-based live viability assay is equivalent to the MTT-test in the KeratinoSens assay. (United States)

    Emter, Roger; Natsch, Andreas


    The KeratinoSens™ assay was the first cell-based in vitro test in the skin sensitisation adverse outcome pathway to be endorsed by an ECVAM statement. It includes a cell viability assessment, which serves two purposes: It forms part of the prediction model to exclude false-positive irritants and cytotoxicity provides some information on sensitizer potency of chemicals, which can feed into a multivariate potency model. In the KeratinoSens™ protocol, Nrf2-dependent luciferase induction and the MTT-viability assay are performed in parallel plates. Resazurin-based viability assays do not require cell lysis and are compatible with luciferase measurements in the same cells. Here, we performed detailed comparison of the tetrazolium-based MTT assay and the PrestoBlue® assay on 35 reference chemicals tested in the full KeratinoSens™ protocol. Log-transformed IC50 and IC30 values measured with both methods correlate with an R(2) of 0.97 and 0.95. A single chemical showed divergent results and analysis by four different viability assays indicated the PrestoBlue® read-out to be correct. The new more rapid and resource efficient approach has clear advantages: Dose-response curves show lower variability and the two endpoints are measured on the same cells. This approach is a valid addition to or replacement of the MTT-readout in the KeratinoSens™ assay and it is recommended as a general tool for luciferase-based reporter assays.

  11. Optimizing ELISAs for precision and robustness using laboratory automation and statistical design of experiments. (United States)

    Joelsson, Daniel; Moravec, Phil; Troutman, Matthew; Pigeon, Joseph; DePhillips, Pete


    Transferring manual ELISAs to automated platforms requires optimizing the assays for each particular robotic platform. These optimization experiments are often time consuming and difficult to perform using a traditional one-factor-at-a-time strategy. In this manuscript we describe the development of an automated process using statistical design of experiments (DOE) to quickly optimize immunoassays for precision and robustness on the Tecan EVO liquid handler. By using fractional factorials and a split-plot design, five incubation time variables and four reagent concentration variables can be optimized in a short period of time.

  12. Semantics-based Automated Web Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai-Feng Guo


    Full Text Available We present TAO, a software testing tool performing automated test and oracle generation based on a semantic approach. TAO entangles grammar-based test generation with automated semantics evaluation using a denotational semantics framework. We show how TAO can be incorporated with the Selenium automation tool for automated web testing, and how TAO can be further extended to support automated delta debugging, where a failing web test script can be systematically reduced based on grammar-directed strategies. A real-life parking website is adopted throughout the paper to demonstrate the effectivity of our semantics-based web testing approach.

  13. Automation for a base station stability testing



    This Batchelor’s thesis was commissioned by Oy LM Ericsson Ab Oulu. The aim of it was to help to investigate and create a test automation solution for the stability testing of the LTE base station. The main objective was to create a test automation for a predefined test set. This test automation solution had to be created for specific environments and equipment. This work included creating the automation for the test cases and putting them to daily test automation jobs. The key factor...

  14. Practical assay issues with the PERT/PBRT assay: a highly sensitive reverse transcriptase assay. (United States)

    Chang, A; Dusing, S


    Product safety testing for retroviruses can be achieved by a panel of screening assays, including electron microscopy, viral gene specific PCRs, virus propagation, and detection of reverse transciptase activity. The application of PCR-based reverse transcriptase assays (PERT) that are approximately a million-fold more sensitive than conventional nucleotide incorporation assays in the testing of biologicals is described. Use of PERT assays can be applied to three areas: (i) screening for adventitious retrovirus contamination; (ii) detecting and quantifying endogenous viral particle load and (iii) monitoring levels of infectious retrovirus generation in cell lines that contain endogenous retroviruses.

  15. Microfluidic delivery of small molecules into mammalian cells based on hydrodynamic focusing. (United States)

    Wang, Fen; Wang, Hao; Wang, Jun; Wang, Hsiang-Yu; Rummel, Peter L; Garimella, Suresh V; Lu, Chang


    Microfluidics-based cell assays offer high levels of automation and integration, and allow multiple assays to be run in parallel, based on reduced sample volumes. These characteristics make them attractive for studies associated with drug discovery. Controlled delivery of drug molecules or other exogenous materials into cells is a critical issue that needs to be addressed before microfluidics can serve as a viable platform for drug screening and studies. In this study, we report the application of hydrodynamic focusing for controlled delivery of small molecules into cells immobilized on the substrate of a microfluidic device. We delivered calcein AM which was permeant to the cell membrane into cells, and monitored its enzymatic conversion into fluorescent calcein during and after the delivery. Different ratios of the sample flow to the side flow were tested to determine how the conditions of hydrodynamic focusing affected the delivery. A 3D numerical model was developed to help understand the fluid flow, molecular diffusion due to hydrodynamic focusing in the microfluidic channel. The results from the simulation indicated that the calcein AM concentration on the outer surface of a cell was determined by the conditions of hydrodynamic focusing. By comparing the results from the simulation with those from the experiment, we found that the calcein AM concentration on the cell outer surface correlated very well with the amount of the molecules delivered into the cell. This suggests that hydrodynamic focusing provides an effective way for potentially quantitative delivery of exogenous molecules into cells at the single cell or subcellular level. We expect that our technique will pave the way to high-throughput drug screening and delivery on a microfluidic platform.

  16. Microrheological Coagulation Assay Exploiting Micromechanical Resonators. (United States)

    Padovani, Francesco; Duffy, James; Hegner, Martin


    Rheological measurements in biological liquids yield insights into homeostasis and provide information on important molecular processes that affect fluidity. We present a fully automated cantilever-based method for highly precise and sensitive measurements of microliter sample volumes of human blood plasma coagulation (0.009 cP for viscosity range 0.5-3 cP and 0.0012 g/cm(3) for density range 0.9-1.1 g/cm(3)). Microcantilever arrays are driven by a piezoelectric element, and resonance frequencies and quality factors of sensors that change over time are evaluated. A highly accurate approximation of the hydrodynamic function is introduced that correlates resonance frequency and quality factor of cantilever beams immersed in a fluid to the viscosity and density of that fluid. The theoretical model was validated using glycerol reference solutions. We present a surface functionalization protocol that allows minimization of unspecific protein adsorption onto cantilevers. Adsorption leads to measurement distortions and incorrect estimation of the fluid parameters (viscosity and density). Two hydrophilic terminated self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) sensor surfaces are compared to a hydrophobic terminated SAM coating. As expected, the hydrophobic modified surfaces induced the highest mass adsorption and could promote conformational changes of the proteins and subsequent abnormal biological activity. Finally, the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) coagulation assay was performed, and the viscosity, density, and coagulation rate of human blood plasma were measured along with the standard coagulation time. The method could extend and improve current coagulation testing.

  17. An Overview of Moonlight Applications Test Automation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Appasami Govindasamy


    Full Text Available Now-a-days web applications are developed by new technologies like Moonlight, Silverlight, JAVAFX, FLEX, etc. Silverlight is Microsoft's cross platform runtime and development technology for running Web-based multimedia applications in windows platform. Moonlight is an open-source implementation of the Silverlight development platform for Linux and other Unix/X11-based operating systems. It is a new technology in .Net 4.0 to develop rich interactive and attractive platform independent web applications. User Interface Test Automation is very essential for Software industries to reduce test time, cost and man power. Moonlight is new .NET technology to develop rich interactive Internet applications with the collaboration of Novel Corporation. Testing these kinds of applications are not so easy to test, especially the User interface test automation is very difficult. Software test automation has the capability to decrease the overall cost of testing and improve software quality, but most testing organizations have not been able to achieve the full potential of test automation. Many groups that implement test automation programs run into a number of common pitfalls. These problems can lead to test automation plans being completely scrapped, with the tools purchased for test automation becoming expensive. Often teams continue their automation effort, burdened with huge costs in maintaining large suites of automated test scripts. This paper will first discuss some of the key benefits of software test automation, and then examine the most common techniques used to implement software test automation of Moonlight Applications Test Automation. It will then discuss test automation and their potential. Finally, it will do test automation.

  18. Automated illustration of patients instructions. (United States)

    Bui, Duy; Nakamura, Carlos; Bray, Bruce E; Zeng-Treitler, Qing


    A picture can be a powerful communication tool. However, creating pictures to illustrate patient instructions can be a costly and time-consuming task. Building on our prior research in this area, we developed a computer application that automatically converts text to pictures using natural language processing and computer graphics techniques. After iterative testing, the automated illustration system was evaluated using 49 previously unseen cardiology discharge instructions. The completeness of the system-generated illustrations was assessed by three raters using a three-level scale. The average inter-rater agreement for text correctly represented in the pictograph was about 66 percent. Since illustration in this context is intended to enhance rather than replace text, these results support the feasibility of conducting automated illustration.

  19. Advances in Automation and Robotics

    CERN Document Server

    International conference on Automation and Robotics ICAR2011


    The international conference on Automation and Robotics-ICAR2011 is held during December 12-13, 2011 in Dubai, UAE. The proceedings of ICAR2011 have been published by Springer Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, which include 163 excellent papers selected from more than 400 submitted papers.   The conference is intended to bring together the researchers and engineers/technologists working in different aspects of intelligent control systems and optimization, robotics and automation, signal processing, sensors, systems modeling and control, industrial engineering, production and management.   This part of proceedings includes 81 papers contributed by many researchers in relevant topic areas covered at ICAR2011 from various countries such as France, Japan, USA, Korea and China etc.     Many papers introduced their advanced research work recently; some of them gave a new solution to problems in the field, with powerful evidence and detail demonstration. Others stated the application of their designed and...

  20. Automated methods of corrosion measurement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jens Enevold Thaulov; Bech-Nielsen, Gregers; Reeve, John Ch


    Measurements of corrosion rates and other parameters connected with corrosion processes are important, first as indicators of the corrosion resistance of metallic materials and second because such measurements are based on general and fundamental physical, chemical, and electrochemical relations....... Hence improvements and innovations in methods applied in corrosion research are likeliy to benefit basic disciplines as well. A method for corrosion measurements can only provide reliable data if the beckground of the method is fully understood. Failure of a method to give correct data indicates a need...... to revise assumptions regarding the basis of the method, which sometimes leads to the discovery of as-yet unnoticed phenomena. The present selection of automated methods for corrosion measurements is not motivated simply by the fact that a certain measurement can be performed automatically. Automation...

  1. CCD characterization and measurements automation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kotov, I.V., E-mail: [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973 (United States); Frank, J.; Kotov, A.I. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973 (United States); Kubanek, P. [Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences, Prague, CZ 18221 (Czech Republic); Image Processing Laboratory, Universidad de Valencia (Spain); O' Connor, P. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973 (United States); Prouza, M. [Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences, Prague, CZ 18221 (Czech Republic); Radeka, V.; Takacs, P. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973 (United States)


    Modern mosaic cameras have grown both in size and in number of sensors. The required volume of sensor testing and characterization has grown accordingly. For camera projects as large as the LSST, test automation becomes a necessity. A CCD testing and characterization laboratory was built and is in operation for the LSST project. Characterization of LSST study contract sensors has been performed. The characterization process and its automation are discussed, and results are presented. Our system automatically acquires images, populates a database with metadata information, and runs express analysis. This approach is illustrated on {sup 55}Fe data analysis. {sup 55}Fe data are used to measure gain, charge transfer efficiency and charge diffusion. Examples of express analysis results are presented and discussed.

  2. Fully automated (operational) modal analysis (United States)

    Reynders, Edwin; Houbrechts, Jeroen; De Roeck, Guido


    Modal parameter estimation requires a lot of user interaction, especially when parametric system identification methods are used and the modes are selected in a stabilization diagram. In this paper, a fully automated, generally applicable three-stage clustering approach is developed for interpreting such a diagram. It does not require any user-specified parameter or threshold value, and it can be used in an experimental, operational, and combined vibration testing context and with any parametric system identification algorithm. The three stages of the algorithm correspond to the three stages in a manual analysis: setting stabilization thresholds for clearing out the diagram, detecting columns of stable modes, and selecting a representative mode from each column. An extensive validation study illustrates the accuracy and robustness of this automation strategy.

  3. DOLFIN: Automated Finite Element Computing

    CERN Document Server

    Logg, Anders; 10.1145/1731022.1731030


    We describe here a library aimed at automating the solution of partial differential equations using the finite element method. By employing novel techniques for automated code generation, the library combines a high level of expressiveness with efficient computation. Finite element variational forms may be expressed in near mathematical notation, from which low-level code is automatically generated, compiled and seamlessly integrated with efficient implementations of computational meshes and high-performance linear algebra. Easy-to-use object-oriented interfaces to the library are provided in the form of a C++ library and a Python module. This paper discusses the mathematical abstractions and methods used in the design of the library and its implementation. A number of examples are presented to demonstrate the use of the library in application code.

  4. Investigating the feasibility of scale up and automation of human induced pluripotent stem cells cultured in aggregates in feeder free conditions. (United States)

    Soares, Filipa A C; Chandra, Amit; Thomas, Robert J; Pedersen, Roger A; Vallier, Ludovic; Williams, David J


    The transfer of a laboratory process into a manufacturing facility is one of the most critical steps required for the large scale production of cell-based therapy products. This study describes the first published protocol for scalable automated expansion of human induced pluripotent stem cell lines growing in aggregates in feeder-free and chemically defined medium. Cells were successfully transferred between different sites representative of research and manufacturing settings; and passaged manually and using the CompacT SelecT automation platform. Modified protocols were developed for the automated system and the management of cells aggregates (clumps) was identified as the critical step. Cellular morphology, pluripotency gene expression and differentiation into the three germ layers have been used compare the outcomes of manual and automated processes.

  5. Automated Tools for Rapid Prototyping

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    An automated environment is presented which aids the software engineers in developing data processing systems by using rapid prototyping techniques.The environment is being developed on VAX station.It can render good support to the specification of the requirements and the rapid creation of prototype.The goal,the methodology,the general structure of the environment and two sub-systems are discussed.

  6. Automated Analysis of Corpora Callosa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stegmann, Mikkel Bille; Davies, Rhodri H.


    This report describes and evaluates the steps needed to perform modern model-based interpretation of the corpus callosum in MRI. The process is discussed from the initial landmark-free contours to full-fledged statistical models based on the Active Appearance Models framework. Topics treated incl...... include landmark placement, background modelling and multi-resolution analysis. Preliminary quantitative and qualitative validation in a cross-sectional study show that fully automated analysis and segmentation of the corpus callosum are feasible....

  7. Automated Scheduling Via Artificial Intelligence (United States)

    Biefeld, Eric W.; Cooper, Lynne P.


    Artificial-intelligence software that automates scheduling developed in Operations Mission Planner (OMP) research project. Software used in both generation of new schedules and modification of existing schedules in view of changes in tasks and/or available resources. Approach based on iterative refinement. Although project focused upon scheduling of operations of scientific instruments and other equipment aboard spacecraft, also applicable to such terrestrial problems as scheduling production in factory.

  8. Automated Discovery of Inductive Theorems


    McCasland, Roy; Bundy, Alan; Serge, Autexier


    Inductive mathematical theorems have, as a rule, historically been quite difficult to prove – both for mathematics students and for auto- mated theorem provers. That said, there has been considerable progress over the past several years, within the automated reasoning community, towards proving some of these theorems. However, little work has been done thus far towards automatically discovering them. In this paper we present our methods of discovering (as well as proving) inductive theorems, ...

  9. Algorithms Could Automate Cancer Diagnosis (United States)

    Baky, A. A.; Winkler, D. G.


    Five new algorithms are a complete statistical procedure for quantifying cell abnormalities from digitized images. Procedure could be basis for automated detection and diagnosis of cancer. Objective of procedure is to assign each cell an atypia status index (ASI), which quantifies level of abnormality. It is possible that ASI values will be accurate and economical enough to allow diagnoses to be made quickly and accurately by computer processing of laboratory specimens extracted from patients.

  10. Automated Test Requirement Document Generation (United States)


    DIAGNOSTICS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF ARTIFICIAL INTELIGENCE ", 1984 International Test Conference, 01Oct84, (A3, 3, Cs D3, E2, G2, H2, 13, J6, K) 425...j0O GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS 0 ABBREVIATION DEFINITION AFSATCOM Air Force Satellite Communication Al Artificial Intelligence ASIC Application Specific...In-Test Equipment (BITE) and AI ( Artificial Intelligence) - Expert Systems - need to be fully applied before a completely automated process can be

  11. Adaptation: A Partially Automated Approach


    Manjing, Tham; Bukhsh, F.A.; Weigand, H.


    This paper showcases the possibility of creating an adaptive auditing system. Adaptation in an audit environment need human intervention at some point. Based on a case study this paper focuses on automation of adaptation process. It is divided into solution design and validation parts. The artifact design is developed around import procedures of M-company. An overview of the artefact is discussed in detail to fully describes the adaptation mechanism with automatic adjustment for compliance re...

  12. Personnel Aspects of Library Automation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C. Weber


    Full Text Available Personnel of an automation project is discussed in terms of talents needed in the design team, their qualifications and organization, the attitudes to be fostered, and the communication and documentation that is important for effective teamwork. Discussion is based on Stanford University's experience with Protect BALLOTS and includes comments on some specific problems which have personnel importance and may be faced in major design efforts.

  13. Home automation in the workplace. (United States)

    McCormack, J E; Tello, S F


    Environmental control units and home automation devices contribute to the independence and potential of individuals with disabilities, both at work and at home. Devices currently exist that can assist people with physical, cognitive, and sensory disabilities to control lighting, appliances, temperature, security, and telephone communications. This article highlights several possible applications for these technologies and discusses emerging technologies that will increase the benefits these devices offer people with disabilities.

  14. Fluorescence assay for evaluating microbicidal activity of hand antiseptics. (United States)

    Lopez-Gigosos, Rosa M; Mariscal, Alberto; Mariscal-Lopez, Eloisa; Gutierrez-Bedmar, Mario; Fernandez, Joaquin


    We developed a fluorescent β-d-glucuronidase activity (BGA)-based assay for detecting and quantifying Escherichia coli in samples to assess the biocide efficacy of hand antiseptics. The fluorescence level is proportional to the number of viable E. coli organisms present. We compared our assay results to those of the E. coli plate count method specified by the European standard for testing hygienic hand rub disinfectant products (EN1500). The plate count method requires excessive handling and materials and is not valid if the number of organisms per plate is too low or high for counting in many of the samples. We optimized the fluorescent assay based on the cleavage of 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-d-glucuronide by adding 4-nitrophenyl-β-d-glucuronide, a nonfluorogenic BGA substrate, to induce glucuronidase activity and reduce assay time. Furthermore, our method can be automated and eliminates the need for multiple dilutions. Fluorescence was temporally monitored, and the time required to reach a specific value of fluorescence was correlated with the initial number of viable E. coli organisms on the samples. There was a positive correlation (P counts by plate count and fluorescence methods. Reported effects in fluorescent BGA were compared to the EN1500 plate count method with five hand disinfectants. We found our method more advantageous, because it was as sensitive as the EN1500 method, requires less time to complete, and is less expensive and less laborious than conventional plating techniques.

  15. Transporter assays and assay ontologies: useful tools for drug discovery. (United States)

    Zdrazil, Barbara; Chichester, Christine; Zander Balderud, Linda; Engkvist, Ola; Gaulton, Anna; Overington, John P


    Transport proteins represent an eminent class of drug targets and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity) associated genes. There exists a large number of distinct activity assays for transport proteins, depending on not only the measurement needed (e.g. transport activity, strength of ligand–protein interaction), but also due to heterogeneous assay setups used by different research groups. Efforts to systematically organize this (divergent) bioassay data have large potential impact in Public-Private partnership and conventional commercial drug discovery. In this short review, we highlight some of the frequently used high-throughput assays for transport proteins, and we discuss emerging assay ontologies and their application to this field. Focusing on human P-glycoprotein (Multidrug resistance protein 1; gene name: ABCB1, MDR1), we exemplify how annotation of bioassay data per target class could improve and add to existing ontologies, and we propose to include an additional layer of metadata supporting data fusion across different bioassays.

  16. Automated bioacoustic identification of species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Chesmore


    Full Text Available Research into the automated identification of animals by bioacoustics is becoming more widespread mainly due to difficulties in carrying out manual surveys. This paper describes automated recognition of insects (Orthoptera using time domain signal coding and artificial neural networks. Results of field recordings made in the UK in 2002 are presented which show that it is possible to accurately recognize 4 British Orthoptera species in natural conditions under high levels of interference. Work is under way to increase the number of species recognized.Pesquisas sobre a identificação automatizada de animais através da bioacústica estão se ampliando, principalmente em vista das dificuldades para realizar levantamentos diretos. Este artigo descreve o reconhecimento automático de insetos Orthoptera utilizando a codificação de sinal no domínio temporal e redes neurais artificiais. Resultados de registros sonoros feitos no campo no Reino Unido em 2002 são apresentados, mostrando ser possível reconhecer corretamente 4 espécies britânicas de Orthoptera em condições naturais com altos níveis de interferências. Estão em andamento trabalhos para aumentar o número de espécies identificadas.

  17. Enhanced image reconstruction of three-dimensional fluorescent assays by subtractive structured-light illumination microscopy. (United States)

    Choi, Jong-ryul; Kim, Donghyun


    We investigate improved image reconstruction of structured light illumination for high-resolution imaging of three-dimensional (3D) cell-based assays. For proof of concept, an in situ fluorescence optical detection system was built with a digital micromirror device as a spatial light modulator, for which phase and tilting angle in a grid pattern were varied to implement specific image reconstruction schemes. Subtractive reconstruction algorithms based on structured light illumination were used to acquire images of fluorescent microbeads deposited as a two-dimensional monolayer or in 3D alginate matrix. We have confirmed that an optical subtraction algorithm improves axial and lateral resolution by effectively removing out-of-focus fluorescence. The results suggest that subtractive image reconstruction can be useful for structured illumination microscopy of broad types of cell-based assays with high image resolution.

  18. Editor's Highlight: Analysis of the Effects of Cell Stress and Cytotoxicity on In Vitro Assay Activity Across a Diverse Chemical and Assay Space. (United States)

    Judson, Richard; Houck, Keith; Martin, Matt; Richard, Ann M; Knudsen, Thomas B; Shah, Imran; Little, Stephen; Wambaugh, John; Woodrow Setzer, R; Kothya, Parth; Phuong, Jimmy; Filer, Dayne; Smith, Doris; Reif, David; Rotroff, Daniel; Kleinstreuer, Nicole; Sipes, Nisha; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Crofton, Kevin; Thomas, Russell S


    Chemical toxicity can arise from disruption of specific biomolecular functions or through more generalized cell stress and cytotoxicity-mediated processes. Here, responses of 1060 chemicals including pharmaceuticals, natural products, pesticidals, consumer, and industrial chemicals across a battery of 815 in vitro assay endpoints from 7 high-throughput assay technology platforms were analyzed in order to distinguish between these types of activities. Both cell-based and cell-free assays showed a rapid increase in the frequency of responses at concentrations where cell stress/cytotoxicity responses were observed in cell-based assays. Chemicals that were positive on at least 2 viability/cytotoxicity assays within the concentration range tested (typically up to 100 μM) activated a median of 12% of assay endpoints whereas those that were not cytotoxic in this concentration range activated 1.3% of the assays endpoints. The results suggest that activity can be broadly divided into: (1) specific biomolecular interactions against one or more targets (eg, receptors or enzymes) at concentrations below which overt cytotoxicity-associated activity is observed; and (2) activity associated with cell stress or cytotoxicity, which may result from triggering specific cell stress pathways, chemical reactivity, physico-chemical disruption of proteins or membranes, or broad low-affinity non-covalent interactions. Chemicals showing a greater number of specific biomolecular interactions are generally designed to be bioactive (pharmaceuticals or pesticidal active ingredients), whereas intentional food-use chemicals tended to show the fewest specific interactions. The analyses presented here provide context for use of these data in ongoing studies to predict in vivo toxicity from chemicals lacking extensive hazard assessment.

  19. Successful identification of novel agents to control infectious diseases from screening mixture-based peptide combinatorial libraries in complex cell-based bioassays. (United States)

    Boggiano, César; Reixach, Natàlia; Pinilla, Clemencia; Blondelle, Sylvie E


    Mixture-based peptide synthetic combinatorial libraries (SCLs) represent a valuable source for the development of novel agents to control infectious diseases. Indeed, a number of studies have now proven the ability of identifying active peptides from libraries composed of thousands to millions of peptides in cell-based biosystems of varying complexity. Furthermore, progressing knowledge on the importance of endogenous peptides in various immune responses lead to a regain in importance for peptides as potential therapeutic agents. This article is aimed at providing recent studies in our laboratory for the development of antimicrobial or antiviral peptides derived from mixture-based SCLs using cell-based assays, as well as a short review of the importance of such peptides in the control of infectious diseases. Furthermore, the use of positional scanning (PS) SCL-based biometrical analyses for the identification of native optimal epitopes specific to HIV-1 proteins is also presented.

  20. A high-throughput chemically induced inflammation assay in zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liebel Urban


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies on innate immunity have benefited from the introduction of zebrafish as a model system. Transgenic fish expressing fluorescent proteins in leukocyte populations allow direct, quantitative visualization of an inflammatory response in vivo. It has been proposed that this animal model can be used for high-throughput screens aimed at the identification of novel immunomodulatory lead compounds. However, current assays require invasive manipulation of fish individually, thus preventing high-content screening. Results Here we show that specific, noninvasive damage to lateral line neuromast cells can induce a robust acute inflammatory response. Exposure of fish larvae to sublethal concentrations of copper sulfate selectively damages the sensory hair cell population inducing infiltration of leukocytes to neuromasts within 20 minutes. Inflammation can be assayed in real time using transgenic fish expressing fluorescent proteins in leukocytes or by histochemical assays in fixed larvae. We demonstrate the usefulness of this method for chemical and genetic screens to detect the effect of immunomodulatory compounds and mutations affecting the leukocyte response. Moreover, we transformed the assay into a high-throughput screening method by using a customized automated imaging and processing system that quantifies the magnitude of the inflammatory reaction. Conclusions This approach allows rapid screening of thousands of compounds or mutagenized zebrafish for effects on inflammation and enables the identification of novel players in the regulation of innate immunity and potential lead compounds toward new immunomodulatory therapies. We have called this method the chemically induced inflammation assay, or ChIn assay. See Commentary article: