High-throughput screening (HTS) on cell-based assays measures cellular responses via methods such as absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence. Absorbance-based assays detect variations in the light absorption by cells, which can be indicative of cellular activity or proliferation. In fluorescence-based assays, fluorescent dyes are used to monitor specific cellular mechanisms or molecular interactions. Luminescence-based assays evaluate biological processes, often from enzyme-substrate reactions, by light emission detection. Compared to biochemical or isolated target-based assays, HTS cell-based assays are able to evaluate compound effects on cellular models, which are more closely resemble physiological conditions. The evaluation of cellular response to compounds in question, leads to further research routes in understanding potential therapeutic effects, toxicity and mechanisms. Additionally, HTS cell-based assays could give information regarding cell signaling pathways, proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation.
High-throughput cell-based assays, has been further facilitated by automated liquid handling systems and robotic platforms, allowing the rapid screening of large libraries of compounds in short time period. The above advantages benefit the screening procedure, not only regarding time period, but also by contributing to the identification of potential drug candidates, novel targets and alternative pathways for drug development.
Cell-based assays used in high-throughput screening offer a powerful tool for evaluating compound effects on cellular mechanisms. They are crucial in fields of drug discovery and pathophysiology. With continuous improvements in technology and methodology, cell-based assays play a crucial role in accelerating biomedical research and development.