Drug Discovery: Chemical Library Screening

A critical early step in drug discovery is the screening of a chemical library. Typically, promising compounds are identified in a primary screen and then more fully characterized in a dose-response analysis with 7-10 data points per compound.

We developed a robust microfluidic approach that increases the number of data points in dose-response analysis to approximately 10,000 per compound. The system exploits Taylor-Aris dispersion to create concentration gradients, which are then segmented into picoliter microreactors by droplet-based microfluidics.

The large number of data points results in IC(50) values that are highly precise and highly reproducible.

In addition, the high resolution of the data reveals complex dose-response relationships unambiguously.