Scottish Bioscreening Facility

SBF BannerBioscreening is used to identify changes at the cellular or molecular level in response to the introduction of a particular compound (or drug). Bioscreening allows these alterations to be identified through colour changes that are detected using advanced imaging technology.

The Scottish Bioscreening Facility (SBF) is based around High Content Image Based Screening (HCS) with the GE IN Cell 2000©. This wide-field fluorescence microscopy platform is useful for high throughput image capture and analysis of numerous parameters in a biologically relevant context (e.g. whole cells).

The SBF team has experience with numerous High Content Image-based screens, with expertise in areas such as sample preparation, image acquisition, High Content (image) Analysis and algorithm development, image data management and HCS data mining.

The SBF also houses a versatile integrated liquid handling platform contained in a Class 2 safety enclosure. The liquid handling system consists of a Beckman Coulter Biomek FXp dual arm liquid handling robot, a Thermo Multidrop Reagent Dispenser with 6-source valve, a BioTek plate washer for microplate fixation and a Thermo Cytomat online incubator for short in-assay incubation.

The Scottish Bioscreening facility was set-up as a joint SULSA and Wellcome Trust funded initiative to stimulate collaborations and enabling larger siRNA and compound library screens. We welcome any interested party to put forward ideas for projects and are always willing to discuss the feasibility of proposed screens.

What we can do for you

‌‌• We can consult on the practicalities and challenges faced with taking a lab bench-top experiment to a high throughput screen

• We can assist in developing both plate reader screens or a microscopy-based phenotypic (HCS) screens

• We collaborate with researchers to automate their assay where possible and take you through the development from bench top to full-scale automated screen

• We can perform both siRNA and compound library screens

• We are able to work with a wide range of pathogens (as our liquid handling platform is housed in a Class II safety cabinet) 

• Our set-up can manage screens of up to tens of thousands of compounds and facilitate focused screens for known targets or work on target development to create an opportunity for even larger scale screen

available through e.g. the European Lead Factory project

• High Content Screens can be used alongside established routes of scientific exploration, e.g. functional genomics to give a more visual and quantitative measure of the effect of gene knockdown within a living cell or organism

• Microplate-based assays make the screens more amenable to automated liquid handling and automated microscopy and thereby increasing throughput


SBF projects completed to date

  • A  small molecule screen (10,000 compounds) to identify inhibitors and promotors of viral invasion of human SKOV3 cells
  • A kinome-focussed siRNA screen to identify host genes involved in Toxoplasma gondii invasion of HeLa cells
  • An industry-collaborative kinase-focused screen using a Roche-supplied small molecule library
  • An industry-collaborative kinase-focused screen using the GSK Published Kinase Inhibitor Set
  • Development of a FACS assay to screen for stimulators of procyclin expression by Trypanosoma brucei 
  • Development of a MS assay
  • Development of a live-cell interaction assay to explore T cell and dendritic cell behaviour
  • Screening the Strathclyde Natural Products Library of over 5000 plant extracts for activity against yeast or Drosophila NHAs w
  • Development of an assay investigating cell proliferation in primary human cells
  • High Throughput Screen of a small molecule library (20,000 compounds) to find hit candidates to inhibit the protein-protein interaction between PDE4A4 and the p75NTR intracellular domain
  • Development and adapting of a microaerophilic/anaerobic Trichomonas assay suitable for High Throughput Screening
  • A proof-of-concept microaerophilic small molecule screen (5,000 compounds)