Are label-free investigations the best approach to drug discovery?
With the rise of combinatorial chemistry, molecular biology, genomics and pharmacology in the past decades, labeling techniques have become dominating in early drug discovery process. However, labeling techniques have caveats associated with label interference, cell engineering and target/mechanism of action constrain. The past decade has witnessed the great expansion of label-free platforms and methods with enhanced and/or totally new capabilities. Nowadays, new-generation label-free techniques have been implemented in various stages of drug discovery process including hit identification, lead optimization, target engagement determination, drug safety assessment and clinical diagnostics.