High-content screening (HCS) was introduced in 1997 based on light microscope imaging technologies to address the need for an automated platform that could analyze large numbers of individual cells with subcellular resolution using standard microplates. Molecular specificity based on fluorescence was a central element of the platform taking advantage of the growing list of reagent classes and the ability to multiplex. In addition, image analysis coupled to data management, data mining, and data visualization created a tool that focused on biological information and knowledge to begin exploring the functions of genes identified in the genomics revolution. This overview looks at the development of HCS, the evolution of the technologies, and the market up to the present day. In addition, the options for adopting uniform definitions is suggested along with a perspective on what advances are needed to continue building the value of HCS in biomedical research, drug discovery, and development and diagnostics.
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