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Roche’s new RTCA Cardio Instrument for Label-Free Functional Cardiomyocyte Toxicity Testing

Published: Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2010
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New medium-throughput cell analyzer utilizes impedance readings to monitor cardiac beating and cellular events in real time.

Roche announced that it had launched the RTCA Cardio Instrument, the latest member of the xCELLigence product family. The RTCA Cardio Instrument is a medium-throughput cell analyzer that utilizes impedance readings to monitor cardiac beating and cellular events in real time.

The instrument features detection rate and frequency measurement concept as well as dedicated software features. Unlike synergistic techniques such as patch clamp, the new system can be used in a fully controlled environment for continuous short-term and long-term experiments, thus increasing the applicable experimental time as well as reproducibility and data quality.

Cardiotoxicity is one of the most relevant parameters tested in drug development. The RTCA Cardio Instrument is the only 96 well, cardiotoxicity screening system on the market for continuous, real-time, label-free cardiomyocyte beating analysis. The instrument can be used in conjunction with cardiomyocytes derived from human or mouse stem cells for assessing the cardiac safety profile of lead compounds or drug candidates during drug development.

“There is a clear need and technology gap for cell-based analysis platforms and real-time, label-free technologies,” says Ruedi Stoffel, Life Cycle Leader Cellular Analysis at Roche Diagnostics. “The patch clamp techniques currently in use offer only a small glimpse at certain ion channels over the course of a few hours preceding cell death. The RTCA Cardio Instrument provides online beating pattern analysis for Quality Control and standardized conditions, as well as for short-term and long-term experiments.”


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