Case Studies

Pooling and plating 85,000 compounds for a drug discovery customer

BioAscent’s customer is a growing UK-based biotech company. In-house project teams work closely with both internal laboratory-based scientists and a number of external partners.

The customer performs regular screening using mass spectrometry and was looking for a solution to enable the pooling of their custom in-house compound collection, and subsequent production of assay ready plates. This would allow them to move from screening a single compound per well to multiple compounds per well, improving assay throughput and efficiency. The delivery plates needed to be formatted for several different assay types, all produced from the same library collection.

Compounds can either be pooled randomly or in a structured fashion based on their properties. In this case, the customer opted to use random plate-based pooling, which is the most time and cost effective method of compound pooling.


There are several challenges which require consideration when it comes to pooling compounds.

Layout of the final assay-ready plates for delivery:

Data management:

Size of the collection:


Compounds were delivered to BioAscent as DMSO solutions in 384-well plates from several different suppliers.   Although the customer had requested 10 mM solutions to be shipped, some compounds were received as 20 mM DMSO solutions.  Our capabilities and automation meant that the team was able to dilute these down to 10 mM without issue.  The plates were then aggregated and registered into BioAscent’s Mosaic database.

Working with our customer, a custom workflow was designed to accommodate the creation of both 384-well and 96-well delivery plates.  Several of BioAscent’s liquid handlers were used in this workflow:

Compound pooling was carried out using traditional liquid handling techniques.  Compounds were firstly pooled in larger volumes in an intermediate plate and then transferred to the required assay-ready plate in smaller volume using the Echo 650 acoustic dispenser.  By using traditional liquid handling techniques rather than acoustic dispensing for the pooling stage, the process was more efficient, reducing the time taken and keeping costs within the customer’s budget.  If required, BioAscent can also pool compounds using our Echo 650 acoustic dispenser.

Our in-house data management experts ensured that throughout the process all individual compounds and plates were tracked using industry-standard Titian Mosaic software in addition to internally developed data management tools.

Impact and Benefits:

Working with BioAscent to manage the pooling of their library afforded several benefits for our customer:

By collaborating with BioAscent, our customer was able to benefit from our expertise in compound management to efficiently pool a large compound collection.  To find out more about BioAscent’s compound management services, click here.

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