A compound library is a collection of small organic molecules, typically with molecular weights less than 500 Daltons, which are placed in a format that facilitates biomedical research. Compounds Australia contains a suite of small organic molecules and natural product extracts that have been solubilised in dimethyl sulfoxide. The liquid samples are then placed in microtubes and microplates. Once in solution, the molecules can be tested against biological systems to gain a greater understanding of the underlying functions and processes. In some cases, a compound may prove to be so efficient at inhibiting or accelerating a particular process, that it might, with further research, form the basis of a new drug.
Compound libraries go hand-in-hand with high throughput screening, the assaying of thousands to millions of compounds in a relatively short time frame that is typically measured in days and weeks rather than months. Due to of the sheer volume of compounds that can be screened in a single campaign, assays are miniaturised to maintain cost effectiveness.
Compound management entails proper curation of molecules in both pure (dry) and solution (liquid) forms. Solutions, in particular, must be maintained at tight environmentally controlled conditions to prevent moisture and oxygen entering the sample. Moisture is particularly problematic as dimethyl sulfoxide can absorb a significant volume of water over a 24 hour period. Water may react with the molecule or cause precipitation, thereby ruining the sample for testing. Compound management also involves reformatting the samples from microtubes into screen-friendly microplates or replicating microplates under the same tightly controlled environment used to curate the stock solution.
Reformatting is where an aliquot is taken from a particular storage format, such as microtubes, and transferred to another format, like a 384 well microplate. Microplates can also be reformatted in a process known as quadranting. Here, 96 or 384 well plates may be reformatted into higher density 384 (4 x 96) or 1536 (4 x 384) well plates respectively.
Replication, as the name suggests, is a direct transfer of an aliquot held in one format to a destination in the same format, e.g. the preparation of daughter plates from mother plates where both would be the same plate density and layout.