U.S. Geological Survey - Environmental Health

High-Content Screening Laboratory — Columbia, Missouri

About the Laboratory

Toxicologists at the High-Content Screening Laboratory develop alternative toxicity testing to efficiently provide specific toxicity data to managers and regulators and prioritize compounds for further testing. Our high-content imaging capability provides a highly adaptable platform for early life stage fish toxicity testing at stages considered an animal alternative. Endpoints are directly relevant to adverse population-level effects.

Computer imaging system with two monitors
Molecular Devices ImageXpress High-Content Imaging System that can generate more than 25,000 images in less than 5 hours of automated image acquisition. Photo Credit: Jessica K. Leet, USGS.
384 well plate
The zebrafish developmental cardiovascular toxicity high-content screening assay uses a 384-well plate format to maximize number of treatments and replicates possible on each plate. Photo Credit: Jessica K. Leet, USGS.

Key Capabilities

  • Developmental cardiovascular toxicity assay
    • Pericardial edema/heart malformations, effects on angiogenesis, effects on heart rate and blood flow
    • Capable of screening pesticides, pharmaceuticals, mixtures, etc.
  • Establishment of additional endpoints/assays
    • The high-content imaging system is easily adjusted to add new endpoints to the current assay or develop new assays to meet needs for rapid toxicity testing and prioritizing of chemicals.
FITC image of zebrafish embryo
Using the 384-well plate format, a single zebrafish embryo is tested in each well. This is an example of a 72 hour post fertilization fli1:egfp zebrafish (3 millimeters long) imaged under a fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) filter. Photo Credit: Jessica K. Leet, USGS.
Transmitted light image of zebrafish embryo
This is an example of a 72 hour post fertilization fli1:egfp zebrafish (3 millimeters long) imaged under transmitted light. The same imaging system with was used. Photo Credit: Jessica K. Leet, USGS.

Key Instrumentation

High-content imaging system that allows for automated imaging of 384-well or 96-well plates, and semi-automated data extraction and analysis.


  Get More Information on Our Capabilities

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Page Last Modified: 17-Apr-2018 @ 02:36:29 PM EDT