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A new wide field-of-view confocal imaging system and its applications in drug discovery and pathology

drug target is a biological entity, usually a gene, mRNA or protein molecule, with which a pharmaceutical interacts. Advances in drug delivery require an understanding of drug design, drug stability and metabolism together with the complexities imposed by the biological system such as cell/tissue penetration, drug-target interaction, and the pharmacodynamic consequences. Fluorescence microscopy provides a comprehensive tool for investigating many of these aspects of drug delivery in single cells and whole tissue.31

Microarray techniques, especially DNA microarray and tissue microarray technologies developed recently have made a great contribution to drug discovery and pathology. Fluorescence microscopy is the key technical tool in such applications. A high throughput optical microscopy system that can perform fast, large field-of-view, and high resolution fluorecence and brightfield imaging will be valuable for both pathology and drug discovery, to match the high throughput of the microarray technologies.

1.2.1. DNA microarray

Microarray analysis is based on standard molecular biology, with a principal advantage being higher throughput and greater precision than traditional filter and blotting techniques.32 DNA microarray technology provides a global analysis of gene expression at the level of transcription. It combines standard molecular techniques with high throughout screening. Through the use of microarrays, a single experiment can assay gene expression (transcriptional profiles) across thousands of genes or even the entire genome under experimental or clinical conditions.33, 34 DNA microarrays are comprised of a library of genes immobilized in a grid on a glass microscope slide. The relative intensities of the two colored signals on individual spots are proportional to the amount of specific mRNA tra
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