Background: Adoption is accelerating for a new family of label-free optical biosensors incorporated into standard format microplates owing to their ability to enable highly sensitive detection of small molecules, proteins and cells for high-throughput drug discovery applications. Objective: Label-free approaches are displacing other detection technologies owing to their ability to provide simple assay procedures for hit finding/validation, accessing difficult target classes, screening the interaction of cells with drugs and analyzing the affinity of small molecule inhibitors to target proteins. Methods: This review describes several new drug discovery applications that are under development for microplate-based photonic crystal optical biosensors and the key issues that will drive adoption of the technology. Results/conclusions: Microplate-based optical biosensors are enabling a variety of cell-based assays, inhibition assays, protein-protein binding assays and protein-small molecule binding assays to be performed with high-throughput and high sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-901
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Cell-based assays
  • Label-free
  • Optical biosensors
  • Photonic crystal
  • Small molecule screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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