Evaluation of throughput and data quality
The QPatch HTX is the newest member of the of the QPatch family of high-end fully automated patch clamp systems from Sophion Biosciences. The QPatch HTX builds on the proven technology from the QPatch 16 and QPatch HT, where cells are patched on a silicon chip with integrated microfluidic flow channels made in glass. The chip, called a QPlate, allows true gigaseals to be formed and high quality data to be recorded. For QPatch HTX modifications has been made to the QPlate and to the amplifier. To diminish problems with low-expressing cell lines, the QPlate HTX contains multiple holes per recording site and to accommodate the increased current amplitudes, the amplifier has been built with a broader current range.
In this study we present data obtained during the assay validation and optimization of a high throughput screening assay using a HEK293 cell line expressing the voltage gated sodium channel Nav1.2a. This stable cell line is characterized by a very low functional expression of the Nav1.2a channel with approximately 30% expressing cells in the population resulting in a relatively low success rate in data recording on QPatch HT. We found that with the QPlate HTX the success rate could be dramatically improved and upon assay optimization on QPatch HTX the effective success rate approaches 100%. We present data to compare throughput and assay quality between the QPatch HTX in multi-hole mode and traditional single cell patch clamp on QPatch HT.
Furthermore we have evaluated the compound profiling properties of the QPatch HTX by characterizing known blockers against the Nav1.2a channel – a challenging channel for electrophysiological recording due the extremely low time constants of the response elicited upon voltage stimulation of the channel. Surprisingly, our biophysical and pharmacological data suggest that the data quality obtained on the QPatch HTX system is overall comparable to equivalent data obtained on the QPatch HT system.