CometChip enables parallel analysis of multiple DNA repair activities.


DNA damage can be cytotoxic and mutagenic, and it is directly linked to aging, cancer, and other diseases. To counteract the deleterious effects of DNA damage, cells have evolved highly conserved DNA repair pathways. Many commonly used DNA repair assays are relatively low throughput and are limited to analysis of one protein or one pathway. Here, we have explored the capacity of the CometChip platform for parallel analysis of multiple DNA repair activities. Taking advantage of the versatility of the traditional comet assay and leveraging micropatterning techniques, the CometChip platform offers increased throughput and sensitivity compared to the traditional comet assay. By exposing cells to DNA damaging agents that create substrates of Base Excision Repair, Nucleotide Excision Repair, and Non-Homologous End Joining, we show that the CometChip is an effective method for assessing repair deficiencies in all three pathways. With these applications of the CometChip platform, we expand the utility of the comet assay for precise, high-throughput, parallel analysis of multiple DNA repair activities.





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Publication Info

Ge, Jing, Le P Ngo, Simran Kaushal, Ian J Tay, Elina Thadhani, Jennifer E Kay, Patrizia Mazzucato, Danielle N Chow, et al. (2021). CometChip enables parallel analysis of multiple DNA repair activities. DNA repair, 106. p. 103176. 10.1016/j.dnarep.2021.103176 Retrieved from

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Scott Richard Floyd

Gary Hock and Lyn Proctor Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology

Diseases of the brain carry particular morbidity and mortality, given the fundamental function of the brain for human life and quality of life. Disease of the brain are also particularly difficult to study, given the complexity of the brain. Model systems that capture this complexity, but still allow for experiments to test therapies and mechanisms of disease are badly needed.  We have developed an experimental model system that uses slices made from rat and mouse brains to create a test platform to research new treatments for brain diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and brain tumors. This model system reduces the number of experimental animals used, and streamlines experiments so that final testing in laboratory animals is more efficient. We use this brainslice system and limited numbers of experimental animals to test drugs and genetic pathways to treat stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and brain tumors. As many brain tumors are treated with radiation therapy, we have a particular interest in the cellular response to DNA damage caused by radiation. DNA damage signaling and repair are fundamental processes necessary for cells to maintain genomic integrity. Problems with these processes can lead to cancer. As many cancer cells have altered DNA damage and repair pathways, we can apply DNA damage as cancer therapy. Our knowledge of how normal and neoplastic cells handle DNA damage is still incomplete. A deeper understanding can lead to improved cancer treatment, and to better protection from the harmful effects of DNA damaging agents like radiation. To this end, we plan experiments that test the effects of radiation on normal animal tissues and animal models of cancer, as well as molecular pathways in brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and stroke.

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