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High Throughput Screening Core

High Throughput Screening Core (HTSC), located in the Molecular Biology Research building, is one of the most important tools in modern-day drug discovery. The premise of HTSC is to automate and miniaturize the assay process, thereby significantly decreasing the cost and time commitments of screening a biological target against thousands of chemical compounds. The HTSC houses a Tecan Freedom EVO 200 liquid handling robot that is fully capable of assembling and monitoring over 10,000 reactions, in duplicate, in a typical working day. A Tecan Infinite F200 Pro spectrophotometer is fully integrated into the robot deck to capture absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence output from the assays. All assay plates are barcoded in order to automate data collection and to ultimately correlate activity measurements with specific library compounds. Once the screening and data collection are completed, the results are analyzed to generate a structure-activity relationship (SAR) for the screened compounds, identifying chemical trends in the compounds that affect or inhibit the biological target of interest.

The HTSC currently offers a library of over 100,000 diverse, drug-like compounds and a number of specialty compound sets available for screening. Researchers at UIC who wish to deposit novel compounds or natural product fractions into our collection are encouraged to do so.

The Tecan Freedom Evo 200 is also ideally suited to carry out high-throughput protein crystallization. Users can typically screen over 1000 crystallization conditions in under 2 hours. Crystallization plates contain 96 wells, with 3 sitting drop compartments per well, with a 1 µL protein 1 µL crystallization reagent capacity per compartment. Assembly of the crystallization plates is temperature controlled, and all completed plates are automatically sealed with an optically clear adhesive. The HTSC is stocked with 12 NeXtal crystallization suites (Qiagen), with each suite containing 96 unique conditions. Users have the option to supply their own crystallization screens in 96 deep-well blocks.

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