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Development of a Quality Control and Analysis Application for the ThermoFluor® High-Throughput Screening Assay

Robert Nachbar
Organization: Merck Research Laboratories

2007 Wolfram Technology Conference
Conference location

Champaign, IL


Today's high-throughput screening technologies can generate millions of measurements from biological and chemical assays in a very short time. These measurements are not all of the same quality, however, and quickly identifying and removing the undesirable observations is a two-fold challenging task. First, there are too many observations to do this by hand, and second, automation is difficult because of the variety of abnormalities and there is often not a sharp boundary between acceptable and unacceptable results. Our approach used a combination of automation and user inspection, the former to identify suspicious measurements and the latter to accept or reject them. Thus automation handles the vast majority of the data and the user has to examine only a small fraction of the observations. The outcome was an eight-fold reduction in analysis time and an improved level of analysis consistency across 384-well plates in a ThermoFluor HTS campaign.

This talk describes how we developed many of the quality control filters and interactive tools for the user, the first notebook-based prototype, design of a GUI based on GUIKit, and the outsourcing of the GUI development. We will also highlight the benefit of close developer-user interaction; Mathematica as a development, prototyping, and deployment platform; and some of the business aspects of outsourcing.

*Wolfram Technology
*Wolfram Technology > Application Packages > Wolfram Research Applications > GUIKit


ThermoFluorApplication.pdf (618.2 KB) - PDF Document