Project Details


The objective of this proposal is to enhance the capability of a diverse group of biomedical scientists at Northwestern University to perform electrophysiological assays on living cells for the purposes of drug discovery, targeted pharmacological studies, determining the functional consequences of human ion channel variants associated with genetic diseases, and investigating the electrophysiological properties of human neurons and cardiomyoctyes. This objective will be achieved by the purchase and installation of a 384-well automated planar patch clamp instrument (SyncroPatch 384) manufactured by Nanion Technologies. This instrument will replace an 8-year old legacy instrument (SyncroPatch 384/768 PE) this is approaching obsolescence and lacks critically important features (e.g., ability to perform current clamp recording, temperature control) that are needed by researchers. The Nanion SyncroPatch 384 is capable of performing electrophysiological recordings from single cells in a 384-well format. The instrument consists of a patch clamp module (measurement chamber) integrated with a state-of-the-art robotic liquid handler with a 384-pipetting head (Biomek i5), 384 individual patch clamp amplifiers that can operate in either voltage-clamp or current-clamp mode, advanced temperature control with range 10°C to 37°C, and powerful user-friendly software for instrument control and data analysis that runs under a supported operating system. The instrument allows for formation of giga-Ohm resistance seals with a variety of cell types and produces electrophysiological recordings with high fidelity that are comparable to the traditional manual patch clamp technique but at two orders of magnitude greater throughput. The SyncroPatch 384 can be used for low/medium throughput drug screens, and a physiological and pharmacological experiments. The instrument will be managed by the Northwestern University High Throughput Analysis Laboratory (NU-HTA) in collaboration with scientists in the Department of Pharmacology who have extensive experience using this technology. Strong institutional support for the instrument and its deployment will be provided, and effective oversight will be achieved by an internal advisory committee. The instrument is expected to enhance the success of several NIH-funded research projects and provide a new platform for active and future research.
Effective start/end date3/1/232/29/24


  • Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (1S10OD034362-01)


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