Why Study Ion Channels?
Ion channels allow cells to interact with their environment, controlling contraction, secretion, division. etc. Most ion channels produce a measurable ionic current with unique profiles. Pharmaceutical intervention can modulate various diseases related to ion channels (“Channelopathies”).
Although ion channels represent >300 genes (25% of the human genome), they are underrepresented in the present pharmacopeia because their measurement by conventional methods is cumbersome. The Sealchip product line is targeted at the pharmaceutical industry, improving the throughput and ease of drug screening against these targets.
About Sealchip Technology
The Sealchip is a planar voltage clamp tool on a microchip that enables high-throughput study of ion channels. The Sealchip16, employed in a PatchXpress series instrument enables a screening throughput of 100 to 600 cells per day, about 40 faster than manual screens. Sealchip 16 is ideal for assay development, target validation, late secondary screening, and safety screening. It is a preferred method for safety screening and has become a popular tool for screening for unwanted inhibition of hERG ion channels by candidate pharmaceutical agents.
Sealchip employs a plastic cartridge coated with a transparent substrate that engineers a surface that is specifically designed to interact maximally with chemical species present on a cell membrane. This results in very quick gigaohm seals. Sealchip enjoys the fame of having the highest success rate at forming gigaohm seals, usually within 10 seconds of contact with a cell.