Ion channel function in electrically active cells, such as cardiomyocytes and neurons, can be analyzed by electrophysiology assays such as patch clamp and microelectrode arrays (MEAs). Since ion channel malfunction has been linked to multipl diseases, they are promising targets for drug discovery. We provide expertise in a range of instrumentation enabling relevant assays in a broad range of throughput.


Microelectrode arrays (MEA)

The recordings of extracellular “field” potentials with MEAs offers the capability to capture the electrical activity of cells without the disruption of their membrane or the need for voltage dyes. This enables long-term MEA recordings over time on the same monolayer culture.

MEAs provide a highly relevant in vitro assay platform to study the functional behavior of a network of cardiac or neural cells in disease modeling, drug efficacy screening and safety assessment.

Patch Clamp

Single cell patch clamp electrophysiology is considered the “gold standard” approach when it comes to in depth characterization of the electrophysiological phenotype of cardiomyocytes and neurons. Using the current clamp configuration, the action potential profile of electrically active cells can be recorded and analyzed.

Addition of compounds that exert action to the ion channels present on a cardiomyocyte’s membrane, will have an impact on action potential parameters which can be assessed in a quantifiable manner.

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Epilepsy is a chronic disorder with characteristic recurrent seizures. Seizures are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain and may be related to a brain injury or a genetic mutation. Many of the patients suffering from seizures do not react positively to known treatments. At Ncardia we apply hiPSC-derived neurons, that can be either patient derived or genetically modified, in a MEA assays as a tool to study the disease phenotype and its response to compounds.

MEA recording of hiPSC-derived CNS neurons show baseline activity (left) and picrotoxin induced (right) increasement of network burst frequency.



Malfunctioning of ion channels has been linked to many diseases including. Therefore, ion channels are interesting targets to study in drug discovery. Patch clamp provides an interesting technology to analyze specific ion channel functioning.

For example, the cardiac action potential (AP) forms the basis for conduction of electricity throughout the heart and is crucial for normal heart function. Various forms of cardiac diseases and arrhythmia lead to changes in ion channels and transporters. Performing patch clamp on cardiomyocytes can identify these mechanisms in heart failure.

Action potential recordings of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes derived from Ncardia’s Manufacturing Platform showing a ventricular like action potential phenotype. Pacing of cells was feasible for 1 Hz, 2 Hz and 3 Hz frequencies (data not shown).


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Ready-to-use Pluricyte® Cardiomyocytes on a Maestro MEA 96 plate