High Content Screening

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E-Separation Solutions

E-Separation Solutions-06-10-2010, Volume 0, Issue 0

High content screening (HCS) is a high-throughput method, which enables the functional analysis of cells.

High content screening (HCS) is a high-throughput method, which enables the functional analysis of cells. HCS plays a vital role for drug discovery applications, including drug targets verification and pathway detection in both the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Oftentimes, the technology is used in neuroscience research, especially in drug development for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

2009 Cell Analysis Instrumentation - HCS Market Share.


The first step of performing an HCS experiment is to label the cell of interest with a fluorescence biomarker. After the cells are loaded into the wells and placed into the instrument, a particular wavelength of light is shined onto the cells, which illuminates the labeled cells and gives the embedded camera the opportunity to take photos.

One drawback of HCS is the difficulty of analyzing the vast amount of data obtained. Both HCS instrument manufacturers and third party software vendors have been allocating significant resources into developing more accommodative software to address this need. Another obstacle of HCS is its lackluster image resolution. However, the development of higher resolution digital cameras, faster shutters, automated microscopes, quantum dots, and new fluorophores has dramatically improved the resolution.

The total market for high content screening accounted for about 12% of the total market for cell analysis instrumentation or more than $160 million in 2009. The technology is expected to post strong growth driven by the governmental stimuli funding for cell-based research.

The foregoing data was extracted and adapted from SDi’s Cell Analysis: Instruments, Equipment, Cell Culture, and More report published in December 2009. For more information, contact Glenn Cudiamat, VP of Research Services, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, tel. (310) 641-4982, fax (310) 641-8851, e-mail:cudiamat@strategic-directions.com