The journey to cure human disease frequently involves re-creating the hallmarks of that disease in an animal or an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) model. Disease models enable understanding of how the disease develops and the discovery of potential treatment approaches.
Explore life’s circuitry with Axion Biosystems.
Whether heart or brain activity, the sensation of pain or the wonder of sight, Axion’s products make electrophysiological data accessible to all researchers. Explore the sections below to discover how MEA technology can advance your goals of modeling disease, drug discovery, safety and toxicology and more.
Axion's patent-pending Local Extracellular Action Potential (LEAP) assay enables you to record extracellular action potential waveforms which are stable on the time scale of 10-20+ minutes.
The new LEAP assay signal allows quantification of action potential morphology and characterization of complex repolarization irregularities such as early afterdepolarizations (EADs). LEAP is label-free and doesn't disrupt the underlying biology, meaning you can focus on the pharmacology and not on dye-drug or dye-biology interactions.
Developing advanced electrically active cell models is challenging. Are gene expression, FACS, or Western blots enough to capture the complexity of your stem-cell derived neurons and cardiomyocytes? The cells may have the proper characteristics,but how do they function in a network?
Enter Maestro microelectrode array (MEA), the multiwell in vitro platform that provides you with the cell activity information you've been missing. Now you can track the differentiation of electroactive cells (e.g. neurons, cardiomyocytes, and muscle cells) label-free in real-time with the Maestro multiwell activity map. Over minutes or months, gain unprecedented access to electrical network function from cultured cell populations. Straightforward and easy to use, the Maestro can measure activity from electroactive cells in 12-, 48-, or 96-well plates.
The inability to predict a drug’s cardiovascular liability prior to clinical trials or launch has resulted in numerous costly late stage drug development failures and market withdrawals. The aim of the Comprehensive in vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) initiative is to update the existing cardiac safety testing paradigm to better evaluate arrhythmia risk . One proposed test of the CiPA panel is a microelectrode array (MEA) assay that tracks drug-induced changes to beating heart cells in a dish.
The Maestro MEA system played a pivotal role in the CiPA Myocyte studies. Learn more here about how the CiPA Myocyte Team are using the Maestro MEA system to predict a drug’s cardiovascular liability.
Improved methods to determine drug safety and toxicity are urgently needed. The recent emergence of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology has created a source of reproducible, biologically relevant, human cells. Coupled with high-throughput, functional platforms like the Maestro MEA system, new predictive in vitro models are being developed.
These new models hold the promise of altering the current safety paradigm, improving predictivity, lowering cost, animal usage, and creating safer new drugs.
Phenotypic drug screening has recently produced more first-in-class drugs than any other method, including target-based approaches. With the Maestro, high-throughput electrophysiology assessment of a functioning cell network provides a innovative approach to drug discovery. Information on how drugs affect electrically active cells can be generated rapidly and directly on the benchtop without advanced training in electrophysiology.
Discovery screening requires high-throughput and high volume for both experiments and data analysis. To facilitate high volume, Axion has introduced Maestro APEX, a benchtop workstation that automates every facet of Maestro experiments from cell culture through dosing, allowing you to screen more plates and more compounds faster than ever.
Recreating physiologically relevant cell activity in your assay increases the power of your research. Now you can control cell excitability with light. Optogenetics techniques use genetic targeting to express light-sensitive ion channels (e.g. channelrhodopsin-2, ChR2) in targeted cell populations. When optically stimulated with the opsin-specific activation wavelength, those ion channels are activated, causing depolarization or hyperpolarization of the cell membrane.
Stimulating cell cultures with specific wavelengths of light allows you to activate or silence cell activity in targeted cell populations.
Zebrafish have emerged as a valuable animal model for studying developmental and drug effects. Zebrafish are advantageous because they can be easily genetically altered and bath applied compounds can readily penetrate the fish.
With Maestro MEA you can non-invasively study neural activity in both zebrafish head and spine. The high-density grid of recording electrodes in each well of a Maestro MEA plate provides neural data with high spatial and temporal resolution. The non-invasive nature of MEA also has the advantage of fish survival for future experiments.
Use Maestro technology to better understand your electrically active cellular system. Additional investigations with the Maestro platform include studying signaling at neuromuscular junctions, hormonal signaling in hypothalamic neurons, the influence of glucose on pancreatic cells and optical stimulation of retinal cells. Contact our Applications Scientist Support Team to discuss your vision for applying MEA to your research.