Cell Screening

The Cell Screening Core provides equipment and expertise to assist investigators in performing high-content image-based analysis of cells in multi-well plates. With high-content analysis, quantitative phenotypic measurements can be made on individual cells. Phenotypic changes may include changes in the production of cellular products such as proteins and changes in the morphology of cells and their components. Multiple parameters can be measured simultaneously, hence the name high-content analysis. Imaging can be done in standard 6, 24, 96, 384 & 1536-well plates.

Large scale projects include chemical compound library screening for drug discovery and RNAi library screening for target identification and validation. In addition, the equipment can be used for a variety of quantitative imaging projects of any size.

The main proficiencies of the Cell Screening Core include our flexibility to be able to handle large screens with hundreds of multi-well plates as well as small experiments with only a few wells in one plate and our expertise in being able to design custom analysis algorithms that meet research needs. Researchers here have easy access to their images, data and analysis tools on the WCMC network.


Core Director: Harold "Skip" Ralph, MPA
Email: har2001@med.cornell.edu
Phone: 212-746-6480
Location: E-00.05


Consultation & Training: Consultation on experimental design and assay development. Training can be done for image processing and analysis using MetaXpress software for screening and MetaMorph software for microscopy.

Data Analysis: Processing and analysis of screening images can be performed on our image processing workstation located in E-135.

Sample Preparation: Preparation of assay plates including dispensing of cells and reagents and plate washing can be performed using the facility equipment located in E-209.

Compound and RNAi Screening: Through the High Throughput Screening Resource Center at Rockefeller University we have access to a library of over 170,000 structurally diverse compounds, natural products and known drugs. RNAi libraries targeting Human, Mouse, Drosophila and C. elegans genomes are available for screening. See http://www.rockefeller.edu/htsrc/ for details.


The facility has an ImageXpress MICRO Automated High-Content Analysis System from Molecular Devices, which is an automated widefield fluorescent microscope designed for scanning standard microplates or slides for live cell or fixed end-point assays.

Photo: ImageXpress Micro Automated High Ontent Analysis system
  • Compatible with 6, 24, 96, 384 and 1536-well plates with clear plastic or glass bottoms.
  • High-speed laser autofocus allows for imaging of up to 100 plates per day.
  • 300 watt xenon arc lamp provides illumination from UV to near IR.
  • Imaging of up to five different wavelengths and four objectives per experiment.
  • Long working-distance Nikon objectives ranging from 2X to 60X.
  • Thermo CataLyst Express robot allows for unattended screening of up to 45 plates per run.
  • MetaXpress software and MDCStore integrated database with 5TB of ITS supported server space for images.

For dispensing the facility has two Multidrop 384 dispensers

  • Automatic, programmable 8-channel dispenser.
  • Dispenses from 5μl to 395μl per well in 96 and 384-well plates.
  • Uses easily changeable, autoclavable dispensing cassettes.

For plate washing the facility has a BioTek ELx405 Select CW microplate washer.

  • Optimized for gentle washing of cell monolayers in 96 and 384-well plates.
  • Supports variable dispense volumes, flow and aspiration rates.
  • Up to 75 different user-customized programs can be saved.
Photo:  BioTek ELx405 Select CW microplate washer