While automated electrophysiology systems have been developed to record from individual cells and groups of cells, both approaches have limitations. Platforms that record from individual cells suffer from relatively low recording success rates, which typically hover around 50%. Coupled with the need to get a sufficient number of data points for statistically relevant results, the resulting experimental throughput is compromised. Systems that record from groups of cells provide an inherent averaging mechanism that increases recording success. However, available systems for recording from groups of cells do not allow continuous recording during compound application, preventing the system’s use with fast-acting ligand-gated ion channels.
To address these limitations, Fluxion Biosciences has developed the IonFlux microfluidic electrophysiology system. The IonFlux system integrates microfluidic flow channels and cell trapping sites into SBS-standard 384-well plates, allowing for cell/compound dispensing using standard liquid handlers. Because each compound channel is individually controlled via pneumatic pressure, the plate-reader like instrument can apply any compound to any number of cell groups simultaneously, with an ‘on’ time below 100ms.