Drug and cosmetics screening

The pharmacology and bioassay facility designs, develops and validates pharmacological assays for drug benefit and risk assessment, which are applied in biomolecular screening campaigns of small to medium sized chemical and extract libraries.


  • State-of-the-art liquid handling and high-throughput robotic assay facilities
  • High-end spectrophometry for absorbance/fluorescence measurements
  • Realtime PCR
  • Agilent Bioanalyzer analysis for RNA, DNA and protein integrity


In vitro models for drug benefit and risk assessment include:

Pathogens and infectious disease

    • Antiviral screens including HIV pseudovirus
    • Malaria (conventional and transmission blocking screens)
    • Antimicrobial screens
    • Antifungal screens
    • Drug signature profiling


Mammalian cell tissue culture

    • Cancer and oncology screens
    • Drug permeability
    • Drug cytotoxicity screening
    • Drug signature profiling

The facility also develops and applies assays for cosmeceuticals testing. In vitro models include:

Enzyme and cell-based assays

  • Elastase, collagenase, hyaluronidase screening for activity inhibition
  • Elastin and collagen screening for protein production

Targeted and whole genome assays

  • Cell-based TaqMan and microarray expression profiling of molecular biomarkers specific to youthful skin and ageing

Ms Natasha Kolesnikova / Dr Malefa Tselanyane
Biomedical Technologies
Tel: 012 841 4735 / 012 841 4045
Email: /

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