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Drug screening is a step in the modern drug development process to test and obtain compounds with specific physiological activity. It refers to the process of selecting compounds with high activity for a specific target from a large number of compounds or new compounds by standardized experimental means. The purpose of drug screening is to identify and optimize potential drugs before selecting candidates to enter clinical trials, which may involve screening large pools of chemicals for specific biological activities in high-throughput screening assays.
Drug screening can be divided into biochemical screening and cellular-level screening. The former operation is simple and the cost is low, however, on account of many uncertain factors, the error screening rate is very high; The latter is closer to physiological conditions and has high screening accuracy, but it is more expensive and complicated to operate.
Biochemical drug screening uses the target for drug development to design experiments. Generally speaking, the target is the protein with specific physiological functions, such as enzymes and receptors, etc. In addition, some DNA with clear coding functions is increasingly becoming the target of drug action. After the candidate compound is mixed with the target, the interaction between the compound and the target can be quantitatively determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay, fluorescence chromogenic assay, nuclear magnetic resonance, and other methods, thus becoming the basis for compound screening.
The cellular level of drug screening is a drug screening model that is closer to the physiological condition, the model is proposed to design drug target cells, and the application of cell culture technology to obtain the required cells, these cells interact with candidate compounds, by screening and biochemical levels similar detection technology was developed for the determination of compound action ability, filtered by the compound.
With the development of combinatorial chemistry and computational chemistry, high throughput screening and virtual drug screening have gradually evolved.
A high-throughput drug screening system includes trace and semi-trace pharmacological experimental models, a sample library management system, an automated experimental operating system, a high-sensitivity detection system, and a data acquisition and processing system. The operation of these systems ensures that the screening system can search for a large number of candidate compounds in parallel. The advanced knowledge and technology in the cross field make it the main way of drug development today.
Virtual screening is another direction in the development of drug screening technology, as a result of the entity drug screening libraries need to build large-scale compounds, extraction or target enzyme or target cells must cultivate a large number of experiments, and the need to complicated equipment support, drug screening and the entity to invest a huge sum of money, virtual drug screening is the process of drug screening on the computer simulation. Drug development costs can be greatly reduced by predicting the likely activity of compounds and then conducting targeted entity screening of compounds that are more likely to become drugs.
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