Dr. Amanda Aloia and Dr. Michael Michael, Cell Screening Laboratory, Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, South Australia

The Flinders University School of Medicine in South Australia is known for its world-class research facilities. Among them is the Cell Screen SA (CeSSA) laboratory, established in 2016 for drug discovery and functional genomics. The facility houses automated liquid handling, high-content imaging, and measurement of fluorescence- and luminescence-based assays.

CeSSA
CeSSA provides researchers with open-source access to high-end instrumentation, lab services, and research design assistance.

CeSSA is open for use by research scientists across South Australia and interstate, in academia and industry, and conducting medical or non-medical research. This open-source platform allows and encourages collaboration among researchers by providing access to high-end instrumentation, services, and research design assistance.

Dr. Amanda Aloia, Manager of CeSSA, credits the ability to integrate all of their instruments with the PerkinElmer plate::handler as a key component of the success and efficiency of the lab. "It allows the complete automation of plate movement between instruments," says Dr. Aloia.

CeSSA uses several other PerkinElmer instruments including the

  • JANUS Automated Workstation for liquid handling,
  • Operetta® High Content Imaging and Analysis System, and
  • EnSight Multimode Plate Reader for plate-based luminescent and fluorescent assays.

Integrating these instruments and others with the PerkinElmer plate::handler enables CeSSA to acquire images with the Operetta over long timeframes, allowing a large number of assays to be conducted over a longer period of time. It also allows researchers to use the JANUS workstation to prepare samples overnight so they are ready to run the following morning. "No more late-night lab work!" she is happy to report.

CeSSA instrument
CeSSA integrates their instruments around the PerkinElmer plate::handler to provide researchers with automated high-throughput capabilities.

Dr. Aloia and her colleagues at CeSSA are putting their integrated PerkinElmer system to good use on behalf of researchers in need of high-end capabilities. CeSSA is used by researchers from several South Australia institutes. A sampling of the work underway at CeSSA includes conducting automated imaging and analysis of neurons, development of automated methods for production and analysis of organoids, measurement of virus-induced cytokines, and many other investigations.

Dr. Michael Michael, Head of the Gene Expression Laboratory at the University, is using the PerkinElmer integrated system for functional genomics screening. "Our first screening project is investigating the role of microRNAs in a model of cancer," says Dr. Michael. "The rapid plate reading provided by the EnSight Multimode Plate Reader shortens the time it takes to screen libraries in plate-based assays." The EnSight also provides flexibility with Alpha technology, and conventional multimode detection technologies all on a single benchtop system.

Another benefit appreciated by the CeSSA researchers is the comprehensive capabilities of PerkinElmer’s Harmony® High Content Imaging and Analysis Software. Using Harmony, they can set up assays, automate experiments, analyse data, and store, retrieve, and present the results of their investigations. Best of all, they find Harmony "extremely easy to use and, together with the automated imaging from Operetta, detailed results—including statistics!—are realised in hours rather than days."

As CeSSA moves forward and becomes an important resource for more and more researchers, Dr. Aloia and her colleagues are confident in the quality and versatility of their PerkinElmer instruments and software, and also in the support provided by PerkinElmer. "The product support from PerkinElmer while we were establishing CeSSA was 'above and beyond'. From e-mails to text messages and more, the support was and is always there when needed."

"We have big plans for the instruments at CeSSA," they report, "and we look forward to bringing automated, high-throughput science to more researchers in and around South Australia."

Learn more about CeSSA.

For Research Use Only. Not for Use in Diagnostic Procedures.