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High-Content Screening Automation for Confocal and Widefield Microscopy - Leica HCS A – the Platform for Primary and Secondary Screening

Leica HCS ALeica Microsystems has extended its automated high-content screening solution to cover applications on widefield fluorescence systems. The Leica HCS A package enables fast and efficient multi-position experiments - from automated image recording routines to complex multi-dimensional high-content screening experiments with simultaneous image export for immediate analysis by external analysis software. 

Intelligent automation

Thanks to the specially developed CAM (Computer Aided Microscopy) interface, the screening experiment can be remote controlled from other software packages. Intelligent algorithms can analyze images on the fly and send the new target coordinates and recording parameters via the CAM interface to the screening system, depending on the result of the analysis. The Leica widefield or confocal system switches immediately from the primary scan to a predefined high-resolution secondary scan. The CAM interface therefore makes the Leica HCS A system a highly efficient and extremely flexible tool for a number of applications including rare event detection. 

Flexibility - for imaging without limits

Based on the LAS AF Matrix M3 software, the Leica HCS A package also offers top-level flexibility for defining screening patterns. It can be used for microtiter plates, chambered coverslips, spotted arrays, tissue micro arrays, petri dishes and lab-on-a-chip applications. The single positions can be combined with different recording parameters. The complete parameter settings can also be transferred by LAN for use by all other HCS A screening systems. The software platform offers a number of modules and functions that greatly enhance the efficiency of the imaging system. The starter packages contain simple processes such as automatic composition of separate images (mosaicing) or multi-well plate screening in 2D or 3D. More sophisticated requirements are served by software-supported autofoci for drift compensation for each individual position, single-object tracking using a motorized stage to follow the sample or automated immersion medium feed for water objectives to take just a few examples. 

The perfect match

High-content screening experiments usually generate several thousands of single images that have to be saved and analyzed. The Leica HCS A image formats are compatible with the Open Microscopy Environment format and therefore totally platform-independent. 

The Leica HCS A was designed for the main confocal and widefield system platforms of Leica Microsystems. Users can choose between the Leica TCS SP5 broadband confocal system, the Leica TCS LSI for the visualization of samples from micro to macro scale or the Leica TCS SPE, which is known for its stability and ease of use, the Leica AF7000 and Leica AF6500 high-speed systems for widefield fluorescence and the flexible widefield system Leica AF6000.

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