Microscopy-Based High-Content Screening

Cell. 2015 Dec 3;163(6):1314-25. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.007.


Image-based screening is used to measure a variety of phenotypes in cells and whole organisms. Combined with perturbations such as RNA interference, small molecules, and mutations, such screens are a powerful method for gaining systematic insights into biological processes. Screens have been applied to study diverse processes, such as protein-localization changes, cancer cell vulnerabilities, and complex organismal phenotypes. Recently, advances in imaging and image-analysis methodologies have accelerated large-scale perturbation screens. Here, we describe the state of the art for image-based screening experiments and delineate experimental approaches and image-analysis approaches as well as discussing challenges and future directions, including leveraging CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Cells / chemistry*
  • Cells / cytology
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Microscopy
  • Proteins / analysis
  • RNA Interference


  • Proteins