Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a class of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels involved in a wide variety of complex brain functions (memory, cognition, etc.) and neuromuscular transmission and play a role in pathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and nicotine addiction. Additionally, nicotinic receptor agonists have potential as analgesics, anxiolytics and cognitive enhancers. The search for modulators of nAChR channels has been hampered by the lack of suitable high throughput electrophysiology platforms with the ability to interrogate fast desensitizing ligand gated channels.

IonFlux Mercury was designed from the start with the needs of fast desensitizing nicotinic receptor assays in mind. The system’s precise fluidic control, fast liquid exchange, and continuous flow allow for repetitive serial application of acetylcholine or other ligands. 

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Cell nAChR Receptor
Stable serial current activation of various nAChR cell ines
Controlled recovery from desensitization of alpha1 nAChR

Features include:

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nachr pam 2
Featured Poster

Enhanced Control for Liquid Displacement Facilitates Assays for Positive Modulation

Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) enhance channel activity by binding to the protein’s allosteric site.  IonFlux is a microfluidic based automated patch clamp system that simplify otherwise complex nicotinic receptor assays simplifying high throughput in an affordable way. Continuous flow and fast liquid exchange provide the means to study even the most demanding nicotinic receptors. In this poster we present data from various nicotinic acetylcholine receptors showing stability and reproducibility in physiological and pharmacological recordings.