Metabolic enzyme microarray coupled with miniaturized cell-culture array technology for high-throughput toxicity screening

Methods Mol Biol. 2010;632:221-37. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-663-4_14.


Due to poor drug candidate safety profiles that are often identified late in the drug development process, the clinical progression of new chemical entities to pharmaceuticals remains hindered, thus resulting in the high cost of drug discovery. To accelerate the identification of safer drug candidates and improve the clinical progression of drug candidates to pharmaceuticals, it is important to develop high-throughput tools that can provide early-stage predictive toxicology data. In particular, in vitro cell-based systems that can accurately mimic the human in vivo response and predict the impact of drug candidates on human toxicology are needed to accelerate the assessment of drug candidate toxicity and human metabolism earlier in the drug development process. The in vitro techniques that provide a high degree of human toxicity prediction will be perhaps more important in cosmetic and chemical industries in Europe, as animal toxicity testing is being phased out entirely in the immediate future.We have developed a metabolic enzyme microarray (the Metabolizing Enzyme Toxicology Assay Chip, or MetaChip) and a miniaturized three-dimensional (3D) cell-culture array (the Data Analysis Toxicology Assay Chip, or DataChip) for high-throughput toxicity screening of target compounds and their metabolic enzyme-generated products. The human or rat MetaChip contains an array of encapsulated metabolic enzymes that is designed to emulate the metabolic reactions in the human or rat liver. The human or rat DataChip contains an array of 3D human or rat cells encapsulated in alginate gels for cell-based toxicity screening. By combining the DataChip with the complementary MetaChip, in vitro toxicity results are obtained that correlate well with in vivo rat data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Glass / chemistry
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / methods*
  • Humans
  • Maleic Anhydrides / chemistry
  • Miniaturization*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polystyrenes / chemistry
  • Printing
  • Rats
  • Silanes / chemistry
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Tissue Array Analysis / methods*
  • Toxicity Tests / economics
  • Toxicity Tests / methods*


  • Enzymes
  • Maleic Anhydrides
  • Polymers
  • Polystyrenes
  • Silanes
  • methyltrimethoxysilane
  • polymaleic anhydride