Roche launches ultra-high-throughput xCELLigence system

xCELLigence real-time cell analyzer is a new cell analysis platform launched by Roche Applied Science in 2008. It requires no labeling and continuously monitors cell response by measuring electrical resistance. As soon as it was listed, it received wide attention from the market.

In the past, there were three members of the xCELLigence RTCA instrument family, namely SP, MP, and DP. The first two can analyze one and six 96-well plates, while the latter analyzes three 16-well plates. Recently, Roche has launched a higher-throughput xCELLigence system-xCELLigence RTCA HT instrument.

The new instrument combines the advantages and flexibility of the xCELLigence system with high-throughput analysis and is suitable for automated screening applications. Researchers can independently run 1-4 384-well E-Plates on 4 RTCA HT Stations to read 4 384-well plates in parallel. The design of the RTCA HT instrument allows integration with automated plate and liquid handling systems.

In February, the first RTCA HT instrument was installed in the laboratory of Professor Matt Cooper, University of Queensland, Australia. The system is mainly used for GPCR and cytotoxicity analysis. Cooper's research team is dedicated to the exploration of new biophysical methods for the identification of disease molecular pathways and rapid diagnosis of diseases.

They are working hard to develop new antibiotics to respond to drug-resistant pathogens. In addition, they are also developing cell-specific labels to allow drugs to reach appropriate targets, initially focusing on antibiotics and then expanding to anti-cancer drugs. Professor Cooper is a pioneer in label-free technology and has published two books in this area: "Label-Free Technologies for Drug Discovery" and "Label-free Biosensors: Techniques and Applications".

Professor Cooper believes that the emergence of a 384-well screening system based on impedance technology is very important for GPCR screening and ligand-guided signaling pathways. At least 800 human G-protein coupled receptors are currently known, of which approximately 350 are considered useful drug targets. Although only 7% of GPCRs are currently drug targets, they account for 35% of best-selling drugs. Unmarked can really challenge the current screening mode, because reading is non-invasive, real-time, cumulative, and does not depend on the signal path.

The xCELLigence RTCA instrument requires no external marking and continuously monitors cell response by measuring electrical resistance. Microelectrodes are integrated at the bottom of specially designed tissue culture E-Plate to measure changes in cell status and provide accurate quantitative information including cell number, cell adhesion, cell viability and cell morphology. Continuous impedance monitoring of cell responsiveness allows researchers to accurately identify important experimental time points for more detailed downstream analysis. Compared with traditional terminal analysis, impedance measurement represents a revolution in cell monitoring.

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