Patch clamping by numbers
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Many ion channels are recognized as amenable targets for a range of disease states and conditions. However, the process of discovering drugs is highly influenced by the chemical doability, the biological confidence in rationale of the approach and the ‘screenability’. To date, the absence of informative high throughput technologies for ion channel screening has resulted in ion channels remaining a largely unexplored class of drug targets. This, however, is about to change – a large increase in the number of data points per day should be achieved by the introduction of automated ‘high throughput’ patch clamp machines.