Concluding Remarks Secondary Screening for Safety and Cost Effective Drug Testing and Discovery

During the past few decades, an amazing number of innovative cell-based sensors has been developed, and it has not been possible to consider all of these in this chapter. The common focus here is the combination of living cells with inanimate matter to produce an electronic and noninvasive data read-out of cellular parameters under real-time conditions. The appropriate adaptation of these manifold biosensors to automated fluid-handling and application systems opens new possibilities for feasible and reliable HTS or HCS approaches. A hallmark of chip-based sensors is that they combine the properties of both primary and secondary screening tools; in other words, biosensor arrays are ultra-fast-working systems that may produce several thousand data points each day. In this way, not only the activity of compounds is identified, but information is also provided about functional cellular changes that are normally obtained via cost-intensive secondary screening processes. Thus, it is clear that cell-based sensors are suited to reducing costs during the early and late phases of drug discovery and screening processes. Moreover, they can be used in the preclinical phase for improved drug safety screening, especially with regard to drug-induced side effects, as recently claimed by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States (FDA) and the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medical Products (EMEA) in the

European Union.

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