• Liquid Handling Systems : ECHO 655 & ECHO 555 (Beckman), PlateMate 2X3 (ThermoFisher), PlateMate Plus (ThermoFisher), BioMekFX, Hydra II (ThermoFisher), TTP Mosquito.
  • Bulk liquid Handlers: Multidrop nano, Multidrops, Matrix WellMates, BioTek Elx.
  • Multimodal Plate Readers: Perkin Elmer Envision & Enspire, BioTek Synergy Neo, Tecan Safire2, SpectraMax
  • Other Specialized systems: Lightcycler 480 (Roche), Functional Drug Screening System (Hamamatsu), EasyCyte Guava, Roche xCELLigence
  • High Content imaging platforms: (ImageXpress and BD pathway 855)
  • Cell Culture Facility

Key instrumentation

Labcyte Echo 555. The majority of compound library screens performed at KU-HTSL rely on solvated compound dispensing by the Labcyte ECHO 555, an acoustic liquid handler. The ECHO uses acoustic energy to eject compounds from a source plate to the destination assay plate. Acoustic transfer occurs very quickly, allowing an entire 384-well plate to be transferred in 2-4 minutes (depending on volume), comparable to the time required for a conventional tip based instrument to load tips, aspirate, and dispense. The ECHO allows precise and accurate transfer of volumes as low as 2.5 nanoliters, and larger volumes through increments of 2.5 nanoliters. The airborne transfer of compounds from the source plate to a facing (inverted) destination plate prevents cross-contamination, and avoids the problem of liquids sticking to tips. The ECHO allows transfer of any source well to any destination well, so it can easily cherry-pick and perform serial dilutions and dose responses quickly, without a need for intermediate plates, and can dispense to any plate format, including 1536 and 3456-well plate formats.

Roche LightCycler® 480. The Lightcycler is used for performing rapid, accurate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in combination with real-time, with online detection enabling absolute or relative quantification of a target nucleic acid, as well as post-PCR analysis of the amplified nucleic acid by Melting Curve analysis. The Lightcycler is used to perform high throughput screens based on measurement of changes in gene expression due to exposure of cells to small molecules or siRNA. Miniaturization of real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays in 384 well format permits direct and rapid measurement of levels of the native biologically relevant mRNA expression in primary cells or cell-lines of interest.


Molecular Devices ImageXpress Micro. The imageXpress Micro is widefield high content microscope capable of providing automated cellular imaging in fluorescent, transmitted light, and phase-contrast modes for fixed- or live-cell assays. Flexibility, speed and quality are assured with 3X field-of-view and autofocus control,and a broad range of objective lenses, multiple filter options, and MetaXpress Software solutions
 to optimize and speed up image analysis. A modular system design enables transmitted light, phase contrast, environmental control,fluidics, light source and external filter wheel selection for assays ranging from label-free imaging to long-term monitoring of cellular responses, compound addition and post-wash recovery. multiwell plates and slides. The system comes with powerful imaging software to perform a broad range of fluorescence-based kinetic and endpoint biological assays.


Functional Drug Screening System. FDSS is an imaging-based Fluorescence /Luminescence plate reader with built-in liquid handling for fast kinetic cell-based assays. Live cell kinetic analysis can be performed and the instrument is useful for enzymatic assays,ion-channels, calcium mobilization and membrane potential assays.

Detection Instruments

The KU-HTSL Screening facility has several plate readers to read 96, 384 and 1536 well assay plates: Biotek Synergy Neo,  MicroBeta2, two SpectraMax Plus384, Gemini XS plate reader, Tecan Safire and Perkin Elmer EnVision. All plate readers support high-throughput operations, either through stackers or via robotic integration.

Perkin Elmer Envision

BioTek Synergy Neo

Perkin Elmer EnSpire

Other Instruments

Covaris L8. The L-8 instrument is based on computer controlled, focused acoustic process designed for high-throughput fluidization, mixing, solvation, and dissolution in microplate formats and ensures that soluble compounds are in solution in HTS assays.

Nexus XPeel - Automated Plate Seal Removal System. The Xpeel removes seals from all types of plates at a rate of 250 seals removed per hour. The system can be readily integrated with external robotics.

Nikon Ti-inverted Microscope. The microscope contains a halogen bulb for brightfield applications and has on EXFO X-Cite 120PC with Fiber-mounted metal halide light source for fluorescence applications. The microscope has 5 fluorescence filter cubes (Cyan fluorescent protein, Green fluorescent protein, Yellow fluorescent protein, M Cherry, FITC and DAPI). The microscope is equipped with a Photometrics CoolSNAPHQ2 camera (1392 X 1040 array with14-bit digitization for 16,000 grey levels capability. The Universal Imaging Metamorph software has capabilities for 2d no neighbor and nearest neighbor deconvolution, color merge images, image processing filters and functions.


Cell Culture Facility

The cell culture laboratory consists of a quarantine room and a production room, both of which are biosafety level II facilities. Cells received at the facility are grown in quarantine laboratory that houses 2 Labconco Logic Class II Type A2 biosafety cabinets and 2 CO2 water-jacketed incubators. The cell lines that test negative for Mycoplasma or other contaminants are transferred to the main cell culture facility and grown for assay development and optimization. The main cell culture room has four CO2 incubators and three Labconco Purifier Logic Class II Type A2 biosafety and an Olympus CKX41 Inverted microscope.