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Cell-based Assays

In collaboration with GE Healthcare Bio-sciences, the NeuroDiscovery Center has established a program centered around the IN Cell Analyzer 1000 — a flexible and easy to use sub-cellular analysis system suitable for medium-throughput screening, assay development and basic research.

Based in the NeuroDiscovery Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration, the IN Cell Analyzer 1000 is available for use by NeuroDiscovery members. (While priority is given to members investigating neurodegenerative diseases and the central nervous system, we welcome enquiries from all investigators.)

Program Resources

IN Cell Analyzer 1000
The IN Cell Analyzer 1000 is an automated epifluorescence based microscope system for flexible assay development and cellular analysis using a range of dedicated analysis modules. It is a modular platform that can be used in screening, lead profiling, target validation and assay development. The unit is a bench top instrument based on a Nikon microscope, motorized stage, high resolution CCD camera, and fast laser-based confocal auto focus.

Live cells can be observed in culture for responses to potential drug compounds to ascertain whether the compounds will be effective as drugs or toxic to cells, or to delineate gene function. By analyzing real-time events in live cells, the platform provides biologically relevant information, a pre-requisite to understanding functional biology and the role genes and proteins play in the cause of disease.

Image Analysis Software / Workstations
GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences has provided a sophisticated software package to accompany the instrument, including prepackaged, fully validated analysis routines for fast implementation. The IN Cell Developer Toolbox is also available to accommodate applications where the pre-developed analysis routines are not suitable, giving the users the flexibility to develop new cellular assay routines.

Example software modules available:


Examples of events to be measured:

Neuronal Morphology

Recognizes and quantitates neurite cell bodies and extensions


Endosomal trafficking, golgi integrity, mitochondrial translocation, Annexin V binding

Nuclear trafficking

Nucleo-cytoplasmic translocation, transcription factor activation and deactivation, nuclear hormone receptors

Object intensity

Calcium flux, cell proliferation, viability/cell count, reporter gene/protein expression, cell cycle based on DNA content

Plasma Membrane Spot Analysis

Cell survival signaling, cell migration signaling, membrane ruffling, measurement of discrete structures at cell surface

Plasma Membrane Trafficking

Labeled ligand internalization, receptor mediated PLC translocation, cell membrane receptor binding, plasma membrane sensors

Cell cycle trafficking

Cell cycle status reporting (distinguishes cell in prophase)



Limited training will be available via personnel of the LDDN. For training and access, please see contacts at right.