Monday, 8 July 2013

New Micro-array's Allow Us to Test 1200 Fungal Cultures at a Time

Not that long ago multiwell plates were used to assay large numbers of fungal cultures. The maximum usual numbers of wells was 96 and each had to be inoculated and allowed to grow so as to get enough cells to test in each well. This was a process that could take several days.

A new type of microarray has now been developed that allows 1200 tiny (30nl) cultures to be used to test for antifungal activity, 28 antifungal drugs at a time. The reduction in size of each culture is 2000 fold thus processing time can be much faster and throughput can be hugely increased.

This paper demonstrates that this technology is equivalent to the 'full sized' cultures for this purpose. In this example they tested drugs against the ability of the fungal pathogen Candida to form a biofilm, but it also claimed to work well for filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus.

The benefits of this technology is that it allows us the quickly, cheaply and accurately carry out testing of thousands for new drugs at a much faster rate than was possible before. New targets and new drugs stand a much better chance of being discovered more quickly.

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