Updated in 5/11/2011 4:56:07 PM      Viewed: 561 times      (Journal Article)
Molecular biotechnology (2011)

An Automated High Throughput Screening-Compatible Assay to Identify Regulators of Stem Cell Neural Differentiation

L Casalino , D Magnani , Falco De , S Filosa , G Minchiotti , EJ Patriarca , Cesare De
ABSTRACT
The use of Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) holds considerable promise both for drug discovery programs and the treatment of degenerative disorders in regenerative medicine approaches. Nevertheless, the successful use of ESCs is still limited by the lack of efficient control of ESC self-renewal and differentiation capabilities. In this context, the possibility to modulate ESC biological properties and to obtain homogenous populations of correctly specified cells will help developing physiologically relevant screens, designed for the identification of stem cell modulators. Here, we developed a high throughput screening-suitable ESC neural differentiation assay by exploiting the Cell (maker) robotic platform and demonstrated that neural progenies can be generated from ESCs in complete automation, with high standards of accuracy and reliability. Moreover, we performed a pilot screening providing proof of concept that this assay allows the identification of regulators of ESC neural differentiation in full automation.