Cytocentrics has launched a fully automated device that provides gigaseal patch clamp measurements in the whole-cell configuration.
The Cytopatch instrument features a true patch pipette that resembles a manual patch clamp and a perfusion system that enables measurements of very fast activating and desensitising ligand-gated ion channels.
The patch clamp process takes place inside a 3D quartz glass microchip with integrated microfluidic channels.
This chip technology, in combination with a perfusion system, makes the instrument suitable for measuring the inhibitory effect of slowly acting compounds (permanent application of 10 minutes possible) or the very fast activating and desensitising ligand-gated ion channels (compound application time of less than 10ms).
Dr Thomas Knott, chief executive officer of Cytocentrics, said: 'The Cytopatch instrument satisfies the demands for flexibility and throughput of academia, research labs, CROs and the pharmaceutical industry, while at the same time being cost effective.
'It delivers a very high data quality at manual patch clamp level and enhances the productivity through automation and long walk-away times,' he added.
For universities, Cytocentrics is offering an academic version of the semi-automated Cytopatch instrument.
Each instrument is equipped with its own patch clamp amplifier and advanced perfusion system along with its own cell, buffer and compound supply.
One Cytopatch can perform either as a standalone device or as a multiple-unit system in which up to 20 individual instruments can be connected on a network.
This modular build-up minimises delay times and even makes it possible to run different assays in parallel with different cell types.
The Cytopatch comes with ion channel assays such as hERG, NaV1.5, K V1.5 and KV1.3.
Essential for reliable data generation are electrophysiologically validated cell lines or quality-assured instant cells, which can also be obtained from Cytocentrics.
Training courses and instrument installation by the company's assay development and service team are also available.
With the fast compound application time of less than 10ms, measurements of very fast activating and desensitising ligand-gated ion channels such as the acetylcholine receptor alpha 7 are feasible.
In addition, thanks to its chip technology and the very low cell consumption, the Cytopatch is suitable for measuring primary cells including dorsal root ganglions or stem cells.
The instrument generates gigaseals without the need for seal-enhancing chemicals such as fluoride in the intracellular solution.