Label-Free GPCRs Cell-Based Assays

Label-Free GPCRs Cell-Based Assays

For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.

CD BioSciences provides label-free cell-based assays for GPCR screening to provide different strategies for analyzing comprehensive effect of multiple signaling pathways.

Introduction of Label-Free Cell-Based Assays

As the largest family of druggable targets, G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), are still be the frequent targets of drug discovery projects. The most commonly used assays, such as second messenger assays, focus on the activation of individual signal pathways rather than the overall view of cell response. With the development of label-free technologies and instruments, label-free cell-based assays, which can capture the integrated cell response, has become a very active area for GPCR screening.

Biosensors are generally employed in label-free cell-based assays to monitor cell response. Transducers are typically utilized to convert a ligand-induced change or a molecular recognition event in a cell layer into quantifiable signals. Biosensor-based cell assays can monitor the activity of different classes of GPCRs simultaneously. These assays can further strengthen the role of GPCRs in drug development. Moreover, high throughput screening techniques will further accelerate the application of label-free cell-based assays in drug discovery.

Figure 1. Principles of the biosensors for label-free, whole-cell detection. (Zhang R. et al., 2012)Figure 1. Principles of the biosensors for label-free, whole-cell detection. (Zhang R. et al., 2012)

Our Services

We provide both resonant waveguide grating (RWG) biosensor systems and electrical biosensor systems for label-free cell-based assays available for GPCR screening.

RWG Biosensor Systems

The main components of RWG biosensor systems include a cell layer, a substrate, and a waveguide thin film. Only the mass redistribution within the bottom portion of cells cultured on the surface of the biosensor with an embedded grating structure is directly measured. This system can be used to study cell morphological changes and GPCR signaling.

Electrical Biosensor Systems

The main components of electrical biosensor systems or impedance-based biosensor systems are an electrode, a cell layer in close contact with the electrode, and a substrate. Both the extracellular current and transcellular current can be measured when a low AC voltage at variable frequencies is applied to the cell layer. This system can be used to study various cellular events, such as cell morphological changes, cell death, cell adhesion and cell spreading.

Features & Benefits

  • Capture the integrated cell response.
  • Simultaneously monitor the activity of different classes of GPCRs.
  • Pathway-independent analysis.
  • Reliable results providing more physiologically relevant information.
  • Simplified protocols to deliver fast results.

If you are interested in label-free cell-based assays or have any specific needs, please feel free to contact us for more details.


  1. Zhang R. et al. Tools for GPCR drug discovery. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 2012, 33(3): 372-384.
  2. Scott C. W. et al. Label-free whole-cell assays: expanding the scope of GPCR screening. Drug Discovery Today, 2010,15(17-18): 704-716.