Product News: Expression of Functional Ion Channels Using the MaxCyte STX Demonstrated in Automated Electrophysiology Assays

09 Mar 2011

Increased attention is being paid to voltage and ligand-gated ion channels as therapeutic targets as higher throughput, functional assays of channel activity become available. MaxCyte flow electroporation provides a means to co-transfect multiple expression constructs in defined stoichiometric ratios to express highly specific functional ion channel complexes.

The MaxCyte® STX™ Transfection System enables the rapid production of a large number of cells expressing ion channels, while maintaining cell health and performance in downstream ion channel assays such as FLIPR and automated electrophysiology assays. The unique scalability (transfect 1010 cells in <30 minutes) and flexibility of the MaxCyte STX eliminates the need for stable cell lines and helps researchers develop assays faster, in biologically relevant cell types.

Current ion channel assays rely heavily on the use of stable cell lines, which are time, labor and cost-intensive to create. Stable cell line creation can be particularly challenging due to the multi-subunit nature of many ion channel targets. The use of multiple selection agents required during their creation can impair cell health and proliferation altering their performance in functional assays. Ion channels can also be toxic when expressed at high levels, creating the need for inducible promoters, which adds an additional layer of complexity.

The MaxCyte STX system has proven to produce high quality transiently transfected cells expressing a variety of calcium and potassium voltage-gated ion channels as an alternative to using stable cell lines. These cells have exceptional performance in functional assays including IonWorks®, PatchXpress® and FLIPR®. MaxCyte has proven experience working with companies like BioFocus and Chantest that have large ion channel programs, as well as working with providers of automated electrophysiology systems such as Molecular Devices. This allows us to key in on researcher needs and the most up-to-date ion channel developments.

Join Maxcyte as Dr. James Brady, the Director of Technical Applications, will take part in a pre-conference Ion Channel workshop on Monday, March 21, 2011 as part of the Drug Discovery Tools & Targets conference in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Brady’s Presentation is Entitled:

Expression of Functional Calcium & Potassium-gated Ion Channels for Streamlined High Throughput Screening: Automated Electrophysiology Case Studies

Participants will learn about:

• Elimination of Stable Cell Lines using Transient Transfection
• Flow Electroporation Capabilities Focusing on Expression of Calcium & Potassium Ion Channels
• Electroporation Assay Development & Seamless Scalability to an HTS Format
• Performance of Transiently Transfected Cells in FLIPR®, IonWorks® & PatchXpress® Assays

DDTT Pre-Conference Workshop Summary: Automated Electrophysiology in Drug Discovery
Monday, March 21, 2011

A fully interactive and engaging workshop that covers the area of Automated Electrophysiology. Topics to be addressed include:
• Automated Electrophysiology in Industrial Drug Research
• Screening Ion Channels for Therapeutic Research
• Expression of Functional Calcium & Potassium-gated Ion Channels via Flow Electroporation
• Application of IonWorks Quattro
• BacMam Technology