DATE: June 22, 2017
TIME: 7:00AM PDT, 10:00AM ET
Cell-based assays are a core research tool, offering an informative and cost-effective counterpart or alternative to in vivo and animal tests. Although this area of research was once dominated by destructive methods involving cell lysis, live cell assays have now become commonplace, allowing measurements to be performed in real time, either at a single time (end-point assay) or repeatedly over the course of minutes, hours or even days (kinetic assays). Fortunately, running live cell assays needn’t blow your budget. Advances in fluorescent reagents, detection equipment, automation and software have made it possible to run a wide selection of information-rich, real-time cell-based assays using affordable microplate readers.
Monitoring even relatively basic aspects of cell health – such as proliferation, viability and apoptosis – can provide significant biological insights. Cell health indicators are often monitored simultaneously with specific biological markers to add even more information to the mix. More recently, multimode microplate readers have begun to incorporate cell imaging capabilities, enabling researchers to study more complex applications, such as wound healing, cell migration or bacterial aggregation.
French company SMALTIS specializes in the investigation of antibiotic resistance mechanisms, and uses its expertise to assist public and private research laboratories performing microbiology studies. The company continuously improves its service offering by developing innovative biological tools and novel procedures, and has recently acquired a Tecan Spark® multimode microplate reader, allowing several new methods to be established: (i) quantifying the ability of bacteria to adhere to and/or invade eukaryotic cells, (ii) monitoring of bacterial aggregation, and (iii) measuring the bioluminescence of pathogenic bacteria modified by luxCDABE operon chromosomal insertion.