Toxicity Assays in Nanodrops combining Bioassay and Morphometric Endpoints


Béatrice SCHAACK, Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA de Grenoble), Laboratoire Biopuces, Grenoble, France.


  • Frédéric Lemaire, Céline A. Mandon, Julien Reboud, Alexandre Papine, Jesus Angulo, Hervé Pointu, Chantal Diaz-Latoud, Christian Lajaunie, François Chatelain, André-Patrick Arrigo, Béatrice Schaack High Content Toxicity Assays in Nanodrops Reveals Individual Cell Behavior, PLOS-ONE 200717;2:e163
  • B. Schaack, J. Reboud, S. Combe, B. Fouqué, F. Berger, O. Filhol-Cochet*, and F. Chatelain. A ‘drop-chip’ cell array for high throughput DNA and siRNA transfection combined with drug screening. NanoBiotechnology, 2005, vol1:183-190


A novel High throughput cell based toxicity assay should be amenable to miniaturisation and parallelisation of cell dispense and treatment, and should feature high content imaging. The approach adopted in the TOXDROP project is the innovative ‘cell on chip’ technology, with the aim to screen chemicals for toxicity using cells cultured within tiny ‘nanodrops’.

A first prototype of the TOXDROP system consisted of a glass surface with hydrophilic/hydrophobic areas adapted for precise positioning of the drops, which measure 500 micrometer in diameter. High throughput is achieved since 800 culture drops can be placed per slide; the slide contains 100 drops/cm2, and each drop contains 100 cells. To dispense a precise number of cells, ‘cellJet’ printing has been adapted, whereby cells are individually ejected. The cells can be adherent or in suspension and can be cultured for as much as 5 days in a system with controlled evaporation. The spotting system is dedicated and automated. Each cell of each drop is independently detected and analyzed, with up to 50 parameters taken into account for each cell. Bioinformatics are used to analyze the massive amount of data generated by the TOXDROP system. Very precise IC50 can be established for each endpoint parameter.


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