Application Areas

Nanionの技術: Application Areas

It all began in 2003 with the launch of the Port-a-Patch to meet the market request on a patch clamp device faster and easier to use as a conventional patch clamp rig. Since then we have expanded our product portfolio, building on the success and experience of the Port-a-Patch to increase throughput and assay flexibility. Nowadays, we offer medium and high throughput automated patch clamp devices, instruments for automated bilayer recordings, SSM-based electrophysiology, impedance and EFP recordings which are used for a broader range of applications: the investigation of ion channels, transporters and pores as well as screening studies as HTS, SAR, safety and toxicology studies. We continue to listen to our customers and develop our technology to meet their needs in research and drug development. 


Accelerating Drug Discovery

Nanion's products are used in all aspects of drug screening and safety testing because of the unprecedented experimental flexibility coupled with increased throughput.

The whole portfolio from the smallest patch clamp rig in the world "Port-a-Patch" to the automated patch clamp instrument with the highest throughput "SyncroPatch 384/768PE" are valuable for applications in target identification, efficacy, safety, SAR studies and HTS:



Universities and Institutes:
Together we Create New Ideas and Forge New Paths

As a spin-off from the Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich, and with a workforce composed of 20% with PhD, we understand the needs of academic researchers. Over the years, we have been involved in more than twenty collaborative grant applications and EU projects including dynamic clamp, temperature sensitivity, mechanosensitivity, optogenetics and zero gravity, amongst others.

Through collaborations with academic groups, we are inspired to pursue new discoveries and ideas. Many collaborations have paved the way for technical solutions. We highly value our academic network and contacts at Universities and Research Institutes.

Contact us for expert advice on which Nanion products could accelerate your research projects.

The Port-a-Patch "in space"

Porty in space



Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: A New Area has Begun

Induced pluripotent stem cells (also known as iPS cells or iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult human cells (e.g. blood cells or fibroblasts). The iPSC technology was pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka’s lab in Kyoto, Japan, who showed in 2006 that the introduction of four specific genes encoding transcription factors could convert adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. He was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Sir John Gurdon "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent." Pluripotent stem cells hold great promise in the field of drug discovery and regenerative medicine. Because they give rise to every other cell type in the body (such as neurons, heart, pancreatic, and liver cells), they represent a source of human cells previously not available to the pharmaceutical industry. These differentiated cells derived from iPS cells, also called iPSC-derived cells are nowadays used for cardiac safety assays (iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes), hepatotox assays (iPSC-derived hepatocytes), neurotox and drug discovery for neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson disease (iPSC-derived neurons).


Cor.4U: Microscopical image of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (image was kindly provided by NCardia)

iPSC-derived Cell Assays on Nanion's Devices

We have long-lasting collaborations with well-known iPSC-derived cell providers and together, we have developed new features and new instruments to provide our customers with solutions for human iPSC-derived cell assays.

Icon CE   CardioExcyte 96: A device which records action potentials (EFR) and contraction motility (impedance) of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes in parallel. It is used for cardiac safety studies. The CardioExcyte 96 SOL was developed to pace channelrhodopsin-transfected iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes with light.

icon pl   Patchliner: The automated patch clamp instrument measures the action postentials of iPSC-derived neurons and cardiomyocytes in current clamp mode. A specific feature was implemented, the "Minimized Cell Consumption", specifically for the usage of iPSC-derived cells and primary cells.

icon sp96   SyncroPatch 384/768PE: The automated patch clamp instrument measures the action postentials of iPSC-derived neurons and cardiomyocytes in current clamp mode.


Cardiac Safety: The Major Hurdle for New Drugs in Development

The first appearance of the term ‘safety pharmacology’ in the published literature dates back to 1980. The term was certainly in common usage in the 1980s within the pharmaceutical industry to describe nonclinical pharmacological evaluation of unintended effects of candidate drugs for regulatory submissions. Back then it was part of a wider ‘general pharmacology’ assessment, which addressed actions of a drug candidate beyond the therapeutically-intended effects. The only detailed guidelines indicating the requirements from drug regulatory authorities for general pharmacology studies were from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Nowadays, the term ‘general pharmacology’ is no longer used, and the ICH S7A guidelines distinguish between primary pharmacodynamics (“studies on the mode of action and/or effects of a substance in relation to its desired therapeutic target”), secondary pharmacodynamics (“studies on the mode of action and/or effects of a substance not related to its desired therapeutic target”) and safety pharmacology (“studies that investigate the potential undesirable pharmacodynamic effects of a substance on physiological functions in relation to exposure in the therapeutic range and above.”)

Preclinical safety pharmacology integrates in silico, in vitro and in vivo approaches. In vitro safety pharmacology studies are focused on early hazard identification and subsequent compound profiling in order to guide preclinical in vivo safety and toxicity studies. Early compound profiling can flag for receptor-, enzyme-, transporter-, and ion channel-related liabilities of NCEs (e.g., inhibition of the human ether-a-go-go related gene protein (hERG)). The ICH7B gregulatory guidance document defines the nonclinical evaluation of the potential for delayed ventricular repolarization (QT interval prolongation) by human pharmaceuticals.

CiPA: Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (2013): In the coming years, the FDA plans to update the current regulatory documents for preclinical and clinical safety evaluation of proarrhythmic risk in humans (i.e. ICH-S7B and ICH-E14). The Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) is a novel safety pharmacology paradigm intending to provide a more accurate assessment of cardiac safety testing for potential proarrhythmic events in humans. This initiative is driven by a steering team including partners from US FDA, HESI, CSRC, SPS, EMA, Health Canada, Japan NIHS and PMDA. The CiPA initiative includes in vitro assays coupled with in silico reconstructions of cellular cardiac electrophysiological activity with verification of relevance through comparison of drug effects in human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. If these evaluation efforts succeed, CiPA will become a Safety Pharmacology screening tool for drug research and development purposes. The CiPA Steering Committee and the ICH-S7B and ICH-E14 Working Groups will position the CiPA paradigm within the upcoming revisions of the aforementioned regulatory documents

(Source: Wikipedia "Safety Pharmacology")

Cardiac Ion Channels

Cardiac Ion Channels(Image Source: "The Cardiac Ion Channels" by Thomas Jespersen, 2012.)

Data, Applications and Publications on Cardiac Ion Channels


Ion Channels: Besides GPCRs and Kinases the most important Target for Drug Discovery


Pain is a complex disease which can progress into a debilitating condition. One therapeutic avenue, the modulation of ion channel signaling by small molecules, has shown the potential to treat pain. In the following section please find a selection of ion channels which are important drug targets for pain:

Autoimmune Diseases

Pharmacological targeting of ion channels has long been recognized as an attractive strategy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. A severe autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system is Multiple sclerosis (MS). A multitude of different cell types are involved in the complex pathophysiology of this inflammation disorder, including cells of the immune system (e.g. T and B lymphocytes and microglia), the neurovascular unit (e.g. endothelial cells and astrocytes) and the central nervous system (e.g. astrocytes and neurons). In the following section please find a selection of ion channels which are important drug targets for autoimmune diseases as MS:


Channelopathies: Disturbed Ion Channel Functions

Long QT Syndrome

Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a rare congenital and inherited or acquired heart condition in which delayed repolarization of the heart following a heartbeat increases the risk of episodes of Torsades de Pointes (TdP, a form of irregular heartbeat that originates from the ventricles). These episodes may lead to fainting and sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation. Episodes may be provoked by various stimuli, depending on the subtype of the condition. Several channelopathies cause different QT-Syndromes. In the following section please find a selection of ion channels which are involved:

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. CF is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. It is caused by the presence of mutations in both copies of the gene for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. A number of small molecules that aim at compensating various mutations of the CFTR gene are under development. Go to the CFTR page here:

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