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High Throughput Approaches

Using high throughput approaches, such as High Content Analysis, screening of nanoparticle-cell interactions at the membrane level can be performed rapidly in a time-resolved manner using real time multicolour imaging.

HCA allows for objective, quantitative and simultaneous measures of morphological parameters such as number, shape, staining intensity and texture of cellular and sub-cellular structures - as well the variance in these parameters across the cell population.  This ability to account for heterogeneity of cellular responses across the cell population is of particular importance, for it is well known that disease can emerge from a small subpopulation that exhibits anomalous responses that would barely be detectable in averaged measurements.

Within CBNI, HCA is being used to develop multi-parametric assays that reproduce key features of the functional impacts elucidated in detail under the functional impacts research platform, with the aim of reducing these complex, time- and resource-intensive methods (based on combined imaging, molecular biology assays and silencing approaches) to kits for assessment of the functional impacts of nanomaterials.  Biological end-points currently being addressed include apoptosis, autophagy, genotoxicity and protein fibrillation.