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HCS A Screening Automation

Photonics.com
Nov 2010
Leica Microsystems GmbHRequest Info
 
WETZLAR, Germany, Nov. 15, 2010 — Leica Microsystems has extended its automated high-content screening (HCS) solution to cover applications on confocal and wide-field fluorescence microscopy systems for primary and secondary screening. The HCS A package enables fast and efficient multiposition experiments – from automated image recording routines to complex multidimensional high-content screening experiments with simultaneous image export for immediate analysis by external analysis software.

Thanks to the specially developed computer-aided microscopy (CAM) interface, the screening experiment can be remotely controlled from other software packages. Intelligent algorithms can analyze images on the fly and send the new target coordinates and recording parameters via the CAM interface to the screening system, depending upon the results of the analysis. The wide-field and confocal system switches immediately from the primary scan to a predefined high-resolution secondary scan. The CAM interface renders the HCS A system an efficient and flexible tool for applications including rare event detection.

Based on the LAS AF Matrix M3 software, the system offers flexibility for defining screening patterns. It can be used for microtiter plates, chambered coverslips, spotted arrays, tissue microarrays, petri dishes and lab-on-a-chip applications. The single positions can be combined with different recording parameters. The complete parameter settings can also be transferred by LAN for use by all other HCS A screening systems.

The software platform offers a number of modules and functions that enhance the efficiency of the imaging system. The starter packages contain simple processes such as automatic composition of separate images (mosaicing) or multiwell plate screening in 2-or 3-D. More sophisticated requirements are served by software-supported autofoci for drift compensation for each individual position, single-object tracking using a motorized stage to follow the sample or automated immersion medium feed for water objectives.

High-content screening experiments usually generate several thousand single images that have to be saved and analyzed. The HCS A image formats are compatible with the Open Microscopy Environment format and therefore platform-independent. The system was designed for the company’s main confocal and wide-field system platforms. Users can choose between the proprietary TCS SP5 broadband confocal system, the TCS LSI for the visualization of samples from micro to macro scale and the TCS SPE, which is known for its stability and ease of use, the AF7000 and AF6500 high-speed systems for wide-field fluorescence and the flexible wide-field AF6000.


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GLOSSARY
fluorescence
The emission of light or other electromagnetic radiation of longer wavelengths by a substance as a result of the absorption of some other radiation of shorter wavelengths, provided the emission continues only as long as the stimulus producing it is maintained. In other words, fluorescence is the luminescence that persists for less than about 10-8 s after excitation.
high-content screening
Also known as HCS, an analytical method designed to collect statistically relevant amounts of quantitative data on many parallel cell populations or processes within cells through the combination of microtiterplates, high-resolution imaging, automated microscopy, fluorescent or bright-field sensors and image analysis software.  
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