Assay Development

Automation and flexibility for accelerated assay development.


Assay development is used to establish specific procedures for assessing or quantifying the presence, amount or function of one or more target molecules. While sensitive diagnostic tests are frequently based on immunoassays and molecular assays, in drug discovery and development, it is the biochemical and cell-based assays that play a pivotal role.

Accelerating drug development

Biochemical and cell-based assays help researchers assess a compound or examine its effect on the identified cellular or biochemical target. By developing robust assays early in the process, researchers can eliminate the significant effort and costs associated with the clinical trials of ultimately nonviable candidates. Additionally, because tens of thousands of compounds need to be screened using uniquely designed assays, it is important to have a flexible platform for a wide range of biochemical or cell-based assays.

How the I.DOT facilitates assay development

Dispendix’s portfolio includes the I.DOT, which features the patented Immediate Drop-on-demand Technology (I.DOT), a non-contact approach to liquid handling. The I.DOT can dispense volumes as low as 8 nL, allowing for the development of more efficient, high-throughput assays, including the highly multiplexed low-volume liquid handling associated with drug discovery.

Accelerating drug development

In drug development, assay development aims on delivering specific procedures to assess a compound or examine a compound’s effects on the identified cellular or biochemical targets. Therefore, it is an integral step in the drug discovery process, where significant effort and cost savings are incurred when robust assay development can screen out non-viable candidates early in the process. Often tens of thousands of compounds need to be screened using specifically designed biochemical or cell-based assays. Thus, it is important to have a flexible platform for a large range of assays. CELLINK provides key instrumentation for efficient, high- throughput assay development, including solutions for highly multiplexed low-volume liquid handling, automated live cell imagers, and a variety of bioprinters to create 3D cell cultures, which have better representation of activity response than 2D.

Drug discovery assays vary widely in terms of the number of samples, concentration range, multiplexing, liquid properties among other parameters. The I.DOT offers broad flexibility and is empowered by intuitive software that allows the user to customize the device’s many features to accommodate an individual assay’s needs. In addition to its compatibility with nonplate formats, like microscope slides and microfluidic chips, the I.DOT allows for the easy setup of dilution series with backfill and other dispensing tasks, enabling variable experimental designs to support most assays.


The I.DOT readily dispenses into standard microwell plates (including 96-, 384-, 1536- and higher well formats), allowing assay miniaturization and high-throughput screening of different drugs and bio-compounds. A single I.DOT source well plate can contain up to 96 different compounds, and multiple permutations of drug concentrations and mixtures can be generated in each well. This flexibility enables faster screening.

extreme miniaturization of reaction volumes

The I.DOT can dispense volumes as low as 8 nL, allowing for extreme miniaturization of reaction volumes. Even the most complex liquid-handling tasks can be performed within minutes thanks to the I.DOT’s ability to run highly parallel, non-contact dispensing. Cost savings are often significant, especially since no pipette tips are required.

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