13.07.2020: Publication Alert - Automated Patch Clamp in Drug Discovery: major breakthroughs and innovation in the last decade
Automated patch clamp in drug discovery: major breakthroughs and innovation in the last decade
Patch-clamp electrophysiology remains an important technique in studying ion channels; indeed, it is still considered the gold standard since it was first described by Neher and Sakmann in the 1970s. Ion channels are integral membrane proteins which allow ion current flow across the cell membrane. They are involved in almost all physiological processes, and their malfunction underlies many disease states, making them important pharmacological targets. Conventional patch clamp is a very information-rich technique, but it requires skilled personnel to perform experiments, and typically, only one experiment can be performed at a time. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the field of ion-channel research was revolutionized by the development of the automated patch-clamp (APC) technique. The most successful approach involved replacing the patch-clamp pipette with a planar substrate (for review, see ), making the experiments easier to perform and offering the option for recording multiple cells in parallel. In the last two decades, much has changed in the field of ion-channel drug discovery and APC, with increased throughput and enhanced simplicity. We summarize the main changes in the last decade and attempt to look into the future of what’s to come.