Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 180-186

First online:

Cell-Based Assays for High-Throughput Screening

  • W. Frank AnAffiliated withChemical Biology Platform, The Broad Institute
  • , Nicola TollidayAffiliated withChemical Biology Platform, The Broad Institute Email author 

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Cell-based assays represent approximately half of all high-throughput screens currently performed. Here, we review in brief the history and status of high-throughput screening (HTS), and summarize some of the challenges and benefits associated with the use of cell-based assays in HTS. Approaches for successful experimental design and execution of cell-based screens are introduced, including strategies for assay development, implementation of primary and secondary screens, and target identification. In doing so, we hope to provide a comprehensive review of the cell-based HTS process and an introduction to the methodologies and techniques used.


Assay development Cell-based assay High-content screening (HCS) High-throughput screening (HTS) Small-molecule screening Target identification