IonFlux

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IonFlux is the first automated patch clamp system which offers simplicity, affordability, and throughput in a single instrument.



The IonFlux System delivers a high throughput solution for ion channel drug discovery and research. The system offers outstanding patch clamp performance in a complete, easy to use system with “plate reader simplicity”. Fluxion’s proprietary Well Plate Microfluidic™ technology eliminates pipetting steps, and allows continuous recording of cell ensembles. The fast compound addition and continual washing enables both ligand-gated and voltage-gated studies.

A system for every application IonFlux comes in two configurations to meet the widest variety of application needs. The IonFlux HT, featuring 64 independent amplifier channels, is designed for high throughput screening of ion channel targets. The IonFlux 16 is ideally suited for ion channel research and assay development. Both systems offer cell ensemble recording to improve reliability and variability.

IonFlux is the first instrument of its kind to offer a scalable solution for automated electrophysiology. With a low cost per data point, experimental flexibility, and space-saving footprint, the IonFlux System is ready to meet all of your ion channel research and drug discovery needs.

Ion channels research is critical to understanding critical biological processes occurring throughout the cardiovascular, metabolic, and nervous systems. The manual patch clamp technique is often employed to record currents from individual cells, but these experiments are limited to smaller data sets. The IonFlux 16 System is the first instrument of its kind to offer the convenience and throughput of automated patch clamping, at a price that fits the individual research lab budget. IonFlux can be used for a wide variety of ion channel investigations, including:

  • Functional expression of ion channels
  • Compound profiling
  • Mutant and cell line screening
  • Recording from primary cells
  • Transient transfection

Ion channels represent a major classification of targets for drug discovery. They play critical roles in many disease conditions including pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular conditions. Patch clamp measurements are essential to ion channel drug discovery, but the manual technique and first generation automated instruments do not provide the throughput and flexibility required to meet the needs of screening workflows and cost targets. The IonFlux HT System offers the highest throughput at the lowest running cost of any automated patch clamp instrument.

System performance IonfnFlux Classic 16 IonFlux Mercury 16 IonFlux Mercury HT
Number of simultaneous amplifier channels 16 16 64
Daily throughput 2 000 2 000 8 000
Regulators accuracy Up to 85% of main channel Up to 98% of main channel Up to 98% of main channel
Amplifier configuration Sampling rate adjustable to 20 khz; Capacitance, leak, series resistance compensation
Maximal sweep length (@0.5 Khz) 12 seconds 300 seconds 300 seconds
Temperature control Not Available Ambient to 40ºC Ambient to 40ºC
Plate format 96-well, SBS format 96-well, SBS format 384-well, SBS format
Recording format 20 cells per ensemble recording, 2X redundancy
Total data points per plate 128 128 512
Compounds tested per plate 64 64 256
Number of experimental patterns per plate 8 8 32
Liquid handling automation Compatible with most liquid handlers, SDK available
Current clamp No Yes Yes
Design Bench top
Dimensions 50 cm x 50 cm x 25 cm

Features

  • High throughput design with 16 or 64 channels of amplification run in parallel
  • Simple to use with “plate reader simplicity”
  • Small, bench top footprint
  • Compatible with lab automation equipment
  • Addresses both ligand- and voltage-gated ion channels
  • Continuous recording capability with full wash-out

Benefits

  • Reduces time to publication
  • Accelerates drug discovery and development
  • Eliminates need for manual patch clamp technique
  • Ensures quick setup of experiments
  • Reduces lab space needed
  • Facilitates integration with existing HTS workflows
  • Ensures flexibility to address a wide variety of ion channel investigations and screening campaigns

1. Cells and compounds are added to the well plate.

Each IonFlux Plate contains an array of experimental patterns. Each experimental pattern comprises 12 wells: 8 for compounds, for cell trapping, and 2 for cell inlet and outlet. Cells are loaded in the inlet well, buffer is loaded into the trapping wells, and 8 unique compounds or concentrations series are loaded into the remaining wells of the experimental pattern.

b2c6fbc62fe412bf3b513930f2fdddd5.gifExperimental Pattern

2. Cells are trapped in an ensemble array.
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Cells are pushed through the main flow channel using pressure from the instrument. An ensemble of 20 cells is trapped in small channels which resemble patch pipettes. There are two ensembles of 20 cells per experimental pattern each of which gets exposed to the same group of 8 compounds. This provides 8 data points in duplicate for enhanced data fidelity.

3. Current is recorded from each ensemble.

Electrodes from the instrument are placed in fluidic contact with each 20 cell ensemble. Current is measured from the group of 20 cells using a discrete patch clamp amplifier. This approach produces high success rates since the recording averages the current across all 20 cells.

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Compounds can be applied across the cells with full washout in between . The system uses continuous recording to facilitate recording from fast-acting ion channels.