Patchserver

Project Image:
Title of the project:

Patchserver

Teasertext:
Development of a device for increasing the efficiency of substance tests on fast-switching ion channels
Summary:
Development of a device for increasing the efficiency of substance tests on fast-switching ion channels
Start:
01.09.2012
End:
31.07.2014
Project leader:
Allgemeine Adresse Info
Project funding:
  • Zweirad Industrie Verband (ZIV)
Project management:
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen (AIF)
Funding reference number:
KF 2053906KJ2
Text:

The patch server is a system for parallel patch clamp measurements using patch pipette arrays and contains a new method for micrometer accurate electrode positioning. An outstanding feature of the system is the possibility of targeted selection and optical control of suitable cells. An integrated microfluidic system will enable the addition and removal of active substances according to the "laminar flow" principle with exchange times in the single-digit microsecond range.

Description:

Ion channels are integral proteins of the cell membrane and play a central role in many physiological processes and diseases. The gold standard for the electrophysiological analysis of ion channels is the manual patch-clamp technique, which is time-consuming and expensive for larger studies. Although chip-based automated variants of the patch-clamp technique are available for high throughputs, they cannot cover all applications. This applies in particular to studies in which relevant cells have to be specifically selected and applications in which solution change times in the single-digit microsecond range are required. The solution is an integrated microsystem that promises to drastically increase the efficiency of such manual patch clamp measurements. The development of such a system will be realized in the present project and can later be used by users from academia as well as the pharmaceutical industry.      
The goal of the project is the realization of a microsystem, with which patch clamp analyses with several patch pipettes can be carried out parallel and under fastest active substance application as far as possible automatically. The advantage over chip-based "patch machines" is that the main strengths of the manual patch clamp technique are retained. Thus it will remain possible to select the cells to be measured and to manipulate them experimentally.
To this end, the system to be developed must be able, with the aid of microfluidics and automated micropositioning, to specifically isolate and spatially fix individual living cells with certain properties from a cell suspension, to position them with micrometer precision against the electrode tips of a pipette array and thus carry out the electrophysiological analysis multichannel parallel and automatically. An integrated microfluidic system will enable the addition and removal of active substances with exchange times in the single-digit microsecond range. Later users are electrophysiologically working groups in the academic field as well as users or customers from the pharmaceutical industry in the fields of preclinical substance testing and safety pharmacology.

The patch server is a system for parallel patch clamp measurements using patch pipette arrays and contains a new method for micrometer accurate electrode positioning. An outstanding feature of the system is the possibility of targeted selection and optical control of suitable cells. An integrated microfluidic system will enable the addition and removal of active substances according to the "laminar flow" principle with exchange times in the single-digit microsecond range.

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Project partners:
  • Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH