Automated Comet assay

The comet assay is a sensitive, well established technique for quantifying DNA damage in eukaryotic cells. Compatible with the detection of a wide range of DNA damaging agents, its principle consists in migration of fragmented DNA in an electrophoresis gel (damaged DNA forming the tail of the comet), while intact DNA moves at a slower rate (head of the comet). The percentage of fragmented DNA in the comet tail is a direct measure of DNA damage.

Micronucleus and H2AX assay

In response to clastogen DNA double strand breaks, H2AX is phosphorylated within minutes at Ser 139, and is then referred as γH2AX. Contrary to γH2AX, micronuclei are a late marker of damages either to DNA and be related to aneugens nor clastogens effect. By detecting both H2AX and micronuclei on our high content screening plateform, our assay provide a efficient tool to assess the genotoxicity properties of your compounds.

Cell biology is part of the R&D activity in dermocosmetology. At HCS Pharma, we are developing new democosmetology assays on human primary keratinocytes using our automation plateform and high content analysis suite.

Assessment of compounds activity/safety can be performed on several parameters (wound healing, hydration, inflammation, toxicity, genotoxicity). Further parameters could be analyzed on demand using probes and immunocytochemistry.

Thought the use of high content analysis technologies, we can provide a wide range of results from phenotypes quantification cell by cell to live cells imaging movies.

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HCS Pharma is pleased to participate to the Cosm’ing meeting about technological developments in the cosmetic industry. Come and discover our services in Saint-Malo from the 29th June to the first of July 2016. We will present our expertise in cellomic (an imaging approach of cells), giving early results on the effectiveness and the toxicity of active ingredients.

Bannière cosm'ing

On the program: seminar, roundtables and posters on innovation upon different subjects:

  • Vegetal and marine cell cultures,
  • Enzymatic and fermentation processes,
  • Cutaneous Microbiology,
  • The contribution of “omics” in cosmetics

In this last session, Julian Bursztyka from HCS Pharma will give a talk on: «Cellomic»: Automation, cellular imaging and High Content analysis as an integrated tool to serve innovation in dermo-cosmetic”. He will also present a poster on a genotoxicity assay in High Content Screening developed in collaboration with the “toxicology in vitro team” of Galderma R&D.


As shown by AstraZeneca in nature reviews, one third of the safety failures is linked to CNS toxicity during the clinical trials of drugs . To avoid this attrition, the potential neurotoxicity  of any drug going through the blood brain barrier (BBB) needs to be checked and if possible at the early stage of  the research process for new chemical entites (NCE). This assay can be performed by cell imaging in HCA/HCS.

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