LemnaTec Scanalyzer HTS systems are mainly used in those parts of medical and drug screening programmes where the objects or areas to be screened per sample are too large for microscopes or too inhomogeneous for the measurement of spectra in specific points. In theses cases LemnaTec provides its expertise of whole organism assessment, which in this case includes screening of cell colony grown on agar or are immobilised on membrane surfaces. The high depth of field for the specialised optics provides excellent images without or only with a minimised need to refocus, for example in single well imaging of 96-well plates. The meniscus in such samples or cells in different agar layers can be much better kept in focus than it would ever be possible with microscopes optimised for far higher resolutions. Tests with fungal cultures, bacteria, fish eggs or any kind of human or animal parasites such as fleas, mosquito larvae, intestinal parasites or nematodes are preferred in such cases where full organism testing provides more promising results than the less complex target screens.
The LemnaCount software package provides the framework – a reliable quantification of high-throughput screening tests for non-mobile organisms. Depending on the type of test a broad set of parameters, e. g. number, size, colour or covered area/size is measured. These parameters provide a comprehensive quantitative response pattern against toxicants, more than meeting the requirements of conventional yes/no- or classifying schemes.
In many cases screening tests require quantitative assessment of organism movement, which is quite difficult to perform by eye and leads to inaccurate results, particularly if the assessment is carried out by more than one person. The LemnaTrack software package offers several options, either to differentiate between moving and non-moving organisms and/or to quantify movement, even in very confined vessels. Furthermore, size or colour parameters might be measured.
In addition to image analysis, LemnaTec provides positioning inlays for the specific test vessels. Consultancy for result interpretation can also be supplied, if desired. Data is stored consistently, in accordance with quality insurance protocols, in the LemnaBase database. Raw data can be further transformed mathematically into e. g. growth rates and inhibition values by using the LemnaMiner. The results can then be reorganised into exportable files for further processing with specific statistical programmes. Alternatively, data can be directly transferred to other databases by customised data exchange protocols.
The use of the LemnaTec Scanalyzer HTS allows testing in a wide range of vessels, from petri dishes to multiwell plates up to 96 wells, in some cases even larger well numbers per plate. In all cases backlight, top light, dark field illumination or customised light sources may be implemented. If necessary, movement can be induced in mobilised organisms by using UV-light or heat sources.
The immense flexibility of the LemnaTec hard- and software systems represents an investment targeted at the future, even under changing requirements.