ECIS-based High Throughput Screening Instrumentation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44RR021300-02
Agency Tracking Number: RR021300
Amount: $749,994.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
APPLIED BIOPHYSICS, INC., 185 Jordan Road, TROY, NY, 12180
DUNS: 929023562
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (518) 880-6860
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of the research is to develop and fabricate an instrument that can facilitate the discovery of new drugs via high throughput screening (HTS). ECIS (electric cell-substrate impedance sensing) is a technology developed by Applied BioPhysics to study the behavior of cultured cells in real time. Instruments manufactured by the company currently find use in over 150 laboratories world wide to measure such fundamental cell properties as permeability of cell monolayers, cell migration and cell-extra cellular matrix interactions. The ECIS instrumentation had been limited to low throughput research endeavors where a maximum of 16 individual cell cultures could be monitored. Phase I research culminated in th e development and fabrication of the first 96 well version of ECIS. This instrument is limited to measurements of simple impedance and has a throughput restricted to a single 96 well plate. In spite of these limitations, the ECIS 9600 instrument is now bei ng successfully marketed primarily to academic laboratories. The objective of the Phase II research is to build upon the success of Phase I and create a truly high throughput ECIS system. The new instrument will be capable of monitoring the complex impedan ce of ECIS culture wells over a broad spectrum of AC frequencies. Custom electronics will accommodate rapid data acquisition of large numbers of 96 well plates permitting thousands of individual wells to be screened. The instrument will capitalize upon the power of monitoring complex impedance and will be tailored for two important cell-based assays. One of these assays will involve measurement of cell migration based on an automated ECIS-based wound-healing assay. The other will monitor changes in barrier function of cell layers. None of these important measurements can presently be accomplished in a high throughput assay. The achievement of these goals will involve several steps: development and testing the necessary electronics, design and testing of af fordable consumable arrays specifically tailored for each assay, production of custom software to run assays and manage the large resulting data files, interfacing the ECIS instrumentation with standard robotic plate handlers. Once a complete prototype i nstrument has been fabricated, we will establish two beta test sites where the instrumentation and its software will be thoroughly evaluated and changes implemented to yield the final production unit. In Phase III, the instrument will be used in HTS assays in the pharmaceutical industry, where literally tens of thousands of test compounds will be evaluated in the search for modern therapeutic drugs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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