Planar chip technology has strongly facilitated the progress towards fully automated electrophysiological systems that, in contrast to the traditional patch clamp technology, have the capability of parallel compound testing. The throughput has been increased from testing below 10 compounds per day to a realized capacity approaching high throughput levels. Many pharmaceutical companies have implemented automated planar chip electrophysiology in their drug discovery process, particularly at the levels of lead optimization, secondary screening and safety testing, whereas primary screening is generally not performed. In this review, we briefly discuss the technology and give examples from selected NeuroSearch ion channel programs, where one of the systems, the QPatch, has been evaluated for use in lead optimization and primary screening campaigns, where high information content was a requirement.
Keywords: SK channels, Nav channels, hERG channels, QPatch, planar electrophysiology, Ion channels
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