The IonWorks family of instruments targets the unmet need for a low cost, high throughput, direct electrophysiological assay for ion channel targets. Unlike indirect assays, such as fluorescent or ion flux assays, that are surrogate measure of ion channel activity, IonWorks instrumentation measures ionic currents directly and controls the membrane voltage inside a cell. The IonWorks® Barracuda™ System builds on the capabilities demonstrated by the IonWorks Quattro system while adding the capability to measure rapidly desensitizing ligand-gated channels. With the IonWorks Barracuda System a throughput of over 10,000 data points per day can be achieved with both voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels (VGICs and LGICs). The system features Population Patch Clamp (PPC) technology which improves data consistency and success rates by mitigating the biological variability seen when measuring from single cells. PPC has enabled the primary screening of large directed libraries as well as novel assays including channel opener assays and multiplexing multiple ion channel targets in a single assay. The IonWorks Barracuda System supports both PPC and single hole (SH) recording modes. SH recording mode is important where information must be obtained from individual cells during ion channel assay optimization and in applications such as the selection of individual clones for cell line optimization.
The IonWorks Barracuda System features a 384-well assay plate (our PatchPlate™ consumable) with a uniquely designed recording chamber that is optimized for rapid fluid exchange. This is especially important when measuring fast LGICs in order to resolve the rapid activation and desensitization kinetics of their ionic currents. The system combines 384 discreet amplifiers and a 384-channel pipettor head for the recording of ionic currents in all wells simultaneously. The parallel recording and fluidics configuration allow for the generation of over 10,000 data points per day. A typical ion channel assay with one compound addition per well can be completed in as little as 20 minutes. The system also allows up to eight compound additions per well further increasing the throughput and reducing the cost per data point. The IonWorks Barracuda System is ideal for primary screening of large directed compound libraries. Further, with the capability to add multiple compound additions per well, for example increasing concentrations on a dose response curve, the system is also well suited for compound profiling and safety assessment.