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Biotechnol J. 2012 Jun;7(6):768-78. doi: 10.1002/biot.201200117.

Systematic approaches to dissect biological processes in stem cells by image-based screening.

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  • 1German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics, and Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine Mannheim, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Heidelberg, Germany.


High-throughput RNAi or small molecule screens have proven to be powerful methodologies for the systematic dissection of cellular processes. In model organisms and cell lines, large-scale screens have identified key components of many cellular pathways and helped to identify novel targets in disease-relevant pathways. Image-based high-content screening has become an increasingly important tool in high-throughput screening, enabling changes in phenotype characteristics, such as cell morphology and cell differentiation, to be monitored. In this review, we discuss the use of image-based screening approaches to explore the behavior of adult, embryonic, and induced pluripotent stem cells. First, we review how current pluripotency and differentiation assays can be adapted to high-throughput formats. We then describe general aspects of image-based screening of cells and present an outlook on challenges for screening stem cells.

Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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