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New Approach Discovered for Speed Drug Discovery

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology designed a cellular interfacing array using low-cost electronics that measures multiple cellular properties and responses in real time.

To enhance the drug development process, scientists are finding new ways and means, however this method is quite costly, consumes a lot of time, and has high failure rate. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology studied to find a new approach for testing new potential drugs.

Previously, researchers used cell-based assays to monitor the physiological changes in the cells. Cell-based assays composed of living cells and sensor electronics, is used to provide data for high-throughput screening (HTS) during drug discovery. It enables the chemists to identify the right kind of drugs and target pathways for further development. However, this assays use electronic sensors that measure one physiological property at a time, while unable to perform holistic task at one time. The new cellular sensing tackles the limitations of previous sensors, allowing multiple compounds to be tested at the same time.

Hua Wang, associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, explained about the new measures: “The innovation of our technology is that we are able to leverage the advance of nano-electronic technologies to create cellular interfacing platforms with massively parallel pixels. And within each pixel we can detect multiple physiological parameters from the same group of cells at the same time.”

The new model is cost effective, provides multimodal sensing, and has a large field of view. The researchers aim this platform to be used for organ toxicity and other side effects at the initial phases of drug discovery.