A National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant was recently awarded to Hudson Robotics Inc. of New Jersey in cooperation with Johns Hopkins University for the purpose of developing a high-throughput screening (HTS) system for in vivo studies of zebrafish.
More About in vivo Studies
In vivo studies are done using a whole living organism. The HTS system being developed is termed the Automated Reporter Quantification in vivo (ARQiv) system. It is being created to bring high-throughput screening technology into the world of in vivo studies.
In the past, whole-organism, phenotypic research has relied on the use of image-based, high-content screening methods. These techniques are too slow to be used in studies related to preliminary drug discovery. Often the usual HTS studies, which are confined to in vitro assays, often identify leads that ultimately fail when they are followed up through in vivo assays.
The Purpose of the NIH Grant
According to a recent press release, the objective of the NIH grant is to develop an affordable and completely automated system that will make it possible for whole-organism in vivo assays to be used as a primary screening methodology. As a result, the need for expensive in vitro HTS assays followed up by in vivo lead confirming assays will be eliminated.
These processes have been followed for drug discovery related to many disease conditions. Using an automated system for which an suitable in vivo assay can be developed will save time and money while helping to streamline and speed up the drug discovery research process. NIH provides crucial financial support in the form of grants to support the advancement of its mission to enhance health, reduce the burdens of disability and illness and extend healthy life.
Participants in the Process
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University will provide the biological facilities and conduct assay design and testing by using automation and microplate-handling hardware provided by Hudson Robotics. Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Maryland. It was founded in 1876 and named for its first benefactor Johns Hopkins.
Hudson Robotics will also develop the essential software to run the assays as well as process results and provide the data required to optimize these screening methods. Hudson produces laboratory robotics instrumentation, systems and software to automate and accelerate life science research include drug discovery and genetic research.
Automation and Drug Discovery
Drug discovery is the research process used before drugs can be approved for use. People with various illnesses and diseases depend on innovative drug discovery for treatment and cures. The longer the process takes, the more likely people can suffer or lose their lives to deadly illnesses. Automation is a way to speed up the drug discovery process by reducing the labor required to conduct research and streamlining procedures.
For example, the development of Automated Reporter Quantification in vivo (ARQiv) system will eliminate an unnecessary step by making it possible to conduct in vivo studies of zebrafish. Through grants and ongoing research, the process automation and drug discovery can be improved to help benefit countless people waiting for medical solutions to various illnesses and diseases.