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.