High-content screening of peptide-based non-viral gene delivery systems

Markus de Raad1, Erik A. Teunissen1, Daphne Lelieveld2, David A. Egan2 and Enrico Mastrobattista1

1Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Utrecht, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands; 2Cell Screening Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands


High-content screening (HCS) uses high-capacity automated fluorescence imaging for the quantitative analysis of single cells and cell populations. We developed an HCS assay for rapid screening of non-viral gene delivery systems as exemplified by the screening of a small library of peptide-based transfectants. These peptides were simultaneously screened for transfection efficiency, cytotoxicity, induction of cell permeability and the capacity to transfect non-dividing cells. We demonstrated that HCS is a valuable extension to the already existing screening methods for the in vitro evaluation of non-viral gene delivery systems.


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