High Content Automation

Drug Discovery and Screening

Optimize cell-based assays and small molecule screens with our automated high-content screening (HCS) platform.

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The automation and screening platform at the EDDU provides instruments and expertise to develop and execute high content/ high throughput assays. The instrumentation allows automating all assay steps, from plate preparation, cell seeding and maintenance to compound treatment, final plate processing, microscopy and image analysis, thereby increasing throughput and reproducibility. The platform supports the automation and miniaturization (e.g. 96 or 384 well microplate format, but also custom formats) of assays developed at the EDDU and by external partner’s. It allows investigating even complex 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional cellular systems, e.g. mixed neuronal cultures and spheroids, and performing low to medium high throughput compound testing for functional and drugging discovery studies.


High Content Screening Microscopes:

Molecular Devices ImageXpress Micro 

  • Widefield and confocal mode
  • 5 channel fluorescence light source (395, 475, 555, 635, 730nm) and brightfield modes 
  • Objectives: 4X Air, 10X Air, 20X AirLWD, 20X highNA water immersion, 40X highNA Air 
  • Automated plate feeding 
  • Image Analysis software with analysis modules and custom analysis editor (MetaXpress) 

PerkinElmer Opera Phenix Plus 

  • Widefield and confocal mode, live imaging, integrated compound/ reagent dispensing 
  • 5 channel laser light source (375,425, 488, 561, 640nm) and brightfield modes 
  • Objectives: 1.25X Air, 10X Air, 20X Air, 20X highNA water immersion, 40X highNA water immersion 
  • Image Analysis software (Harmony) 

Thermo Scientific CX5 

  • Widefield mode 
  • 5 channel fluorescence light source (386, 485, 560, 650, 740nm) 
  • Objectives: 10XAir, 20XAir 
  • Image analysis software (Studio)

Plate processing:

BioTek 406 and 405

  • Plate coating, cell seeding, media changes, fixation, staining

Thermo Scientific PlateMate

  • Automated compound pinning to 96 and 384 well plates

Dispendix iDOT

  • Non-contact droplet dispensing for compound/ reagent addition, including e.g. concentration gradient dispensing and complex dispensing schemes.

Contact Us

For more information or to inquire about using our facilities for your research, please email wolfgang.e.reintsch [at] mcgill.ca (Wolfgang Reintsch) and andrea.krahnroldan [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Andrea Krahn).



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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.




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