Centre for Bioassay Development and Screening (c-BIOS)



Watch a clear 2-minute video on c-BIOS via this Vimeo link




The VIB Screening Core is a centralized VIB facility that is associated with the Ghent University expertise centre for Bioassay Development and Screening (C-BIOS). The Screening Core/C-BIOS was established thanks to funding from VIB, FWO, the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG) and Ghent University.
The facility provides support in the discovery of bioactive small molecules and functional genomics screening. The support of the Screening Core/C-BIOS creates opportunities to generate chemical tools for the study of biological processes and to validate targets/modes-of-action for a range of disease areas. These activities can be positioned in the early stages of drug discovery.




  • High-content imaging: converting microscopic observations into high-content quantitative parameters
  • Miniaturizing and automating in vitro biochemical assays and microscopic/functional cellular assays
  • Identifying hit compounds/genes via primary screenings in high-throughput mode
  • Profiling and characterizing hit compounds/genes via secondary screenings 

Screening collections

Compound collections

  • Drug-like structural diversity set (Enamine): 20,160 compounds
  • Pharmacological diversity set (Enamine): 10,240 compounds
  • Agro-like structural diversity set (Enamine): 15,000 compounds
  • Drug repurposing set (MicroSource Discovery Systems): 2,400 compounds

Functional genomics collections

  • Human siGENOME/ON-TARGETplus SMARTpool siRNA library (Horizon Discovery): druggable genome, 7,592 genes
  • Coming in 2020: Human genome-wide CRISPR KO library, ± 20,000 genes


Standalone devices

  • Freedom EVO200 (Tecan) working station for versatile liquid handling applications in a broad range of microtiter plates and labware.
  • Operetta CLS (PerkinElmer) high-content screening microscope for assay development and low-throughput imaging of fixed or live cells based on fluorescence, brightfield and digital phase contrast. The device is equipped with environmental control for live cell imaging, laser-based autofocus, high power LED excitation and a highly sensitive 4.7 MP sCMOS camera.

Integrated high-throughput high-content screening (HT-HCS) platform
The platform at the Screening Core/C-BIOS integrates microscopy-based high-content imaging and multilabel reader-based detection technologies with a range of plate/liquid handling devices to enable full automation and high-throughput applications. Two different detection devices are integrated in the platform: the Opera Phenix (PerkinElmer) high-content screening microscope and the EnVision Xcite (PerkinElmer) multilabel reader. The Opera Phenix enables medium- to high-throughput acquisition of fluorescence, brightfield and digital phase contrast images. The device is equipped with environmental control for live cell imaging, laser-based autofocus, five excitation lasers and four highly sensitive 4.7 MP sCMOS cameras. The EnVision is used to read-out absorbance, fluorescence or luminescence in homogenous assays. The platform is compatible with in vitro biochemical assays and with microscopic/functional assays in a range of cellular model systems (2D cell cultures, 3D cell cultures, co-cultures, induced pluripotent stem cells, primary cells…), unicellular model organisms and small model organisms (Arabidopsis thaliana, zebrafish…).


Software solutions

  • CDD Vault (Collaborative Drug Discovery) for compound registry and data management
  • Columbus and Harmony (PerkinElmer) for image analysis and data storage
  • Spotfire (TIBCO) for data visualization
  • Canvas (Schrödinger) for cheminformatic analysis


  • Dominique Audenaert, head of facility
  • Andrzej Drozdzecki,  expert high-throughput screening
  • Le Son Long Nguyen, expert automation and liquid handling
  • Vera Goossens, expert high-content imaging