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Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening


ISSN (Print): 1386-2073
ISSN (Online): 1875-5402

Back to Basics: Label-Free Technologies for Small Molecule Screening

Author(s): Andrew K. Shiau*, Mark E. Massari and Can C. Ozbal

Volume 11, Issue 3, 2008

Page: [231 - 237] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/138620708783877807


Small molecule high-throughput screening in drug discovery today is dominated by techniques which are dependent upon artificial labels or reporter systems. While effective, these approaches can be affected by certain experimental limitations, such as conformational restrictions imposed by the selected label or compound fluorescence/quenching. Label-free approaches potentially address many of these issues by allowing researchers to investigate more native systems without fluorescence- or luminescence-based readouts. However, due to throughput and expense constraints, label-free methods have been largely relegated to a supporting role as the basis of secondary assays. In this review, we describe recent improvements in impedance-based, optical biosensor-based, automated patch clamp and mass spectrometry technologies that have enhanced their ease of use and throughput and, hence, their utility for primary screening of small- to medium-sized compound libraries. The ultimate maturation of these techniques will enable drug discovery researchers to screen large chemical libraries against minimally manipulated biological systems.

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