Optimized, automated assays for HCS

This automated assay enables quantitation and correlation of neuron and neurite morphology. Analysis can range from simple neurite outgrowth measurement to complex analysis of extended neurite outgrowth and branching. This can be combined with correlative studies on synaptic function as determined by the co-localization of pre- and postsynaptic markers (see Synaptogenesis Assay). Neurons are selected using a nuclear stain to locate the cell and a choice of neuron-specific stains or immunofluorescent labels to detect the cell body and neurite.

Featured application note

Monitoring Neurite Morphology and Synapse Formation in Primary Neurons for Neurotoxicity Assessments and Drug Screening

See how multiple neuronal cell measurements were made simultaneously with HCA. Thermo Scientific HCS Studio Cell Analysis Software has over 30 built-in applications for neurite detection, neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis assays, viability, and more. When combined with the speed and ease of Thermo Scientific HCA platforms, you can get your results fast.

 Download the application note

Typical neurite outgrowth assay

Can be assayed in a fixed-cell or live-cell format with appropriate labels.

Imaging mode

  • Widefield or confocal
  • 10x magnification

Automatically measured properties

  • Cell count
  • Cell size
  • Neurite count
  • Neurite length
  • Neurite branching

Since analysis is performed during image acquisition, it is possible to acquire an optimized data set to ensure the number of selected neurons to satisfy your statistical needs.

Neurite outgrowth assay images

Primary neuron outgrowth assay. (Right) A hippocampal primary neuron preparation was labeled using Invitrogen Hoechst 33342 (blue) and an Alexa Fluor 647 immunoconjugate. (Right) Neurite outgrowth features were automatically identified using Thermo Scientific HCS Studio Software. Cell bodies are identified in blue, and neurons are identified in green.


Sample experimental data

Dose-response plots showing the effect of glutamate and kainite concentration on rat hippocampal neurons using automated measurements of neuron number, neurite count, neurite length, and neurite intensity.