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Cell Function &
Screening Facility

The Innovation Centre's Cell Function & Screening Facility provides researchers access to state-of-the-art high-throughput/high-content cell instruments capable of revolutionizing the way we phenotype cells and screen novel therapeutics.

These technologies, funded by the NSW Government, allow high-throughput quantification of electrical signals, contraction, and calcium handling in cells and tissue. These phenotyping platforms facilitate disease modelling, drug screening, identifying new therapies and answering fundamental biological questions.

Cell Function & Screening Facility Equipment

Based at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute's new Innovation Centre, the Cell Function & Screening Facility features a suite of cutting-edge technology which will enable scientists to understand the mechanistic basis of heart diseases, across the population, in their search to solve the unsolved.

Syncropatch 384PE (Nanion)

High-throughput giga-seal patch clamp platform capable of simultaneous recording from 384 cells for drug screening or functional characterisation.

See full specs & support

Syncropatch 384PE (Nanion) and Jeff | Innovation Centre

CardioExcyte 96 (Nanion)

An automated, hybrid system that records both contractility and electrophysiology from cardiomyocyte networks for applications including drug screening or disease modelling.

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CardioExcyte 96 (Nanion)

APEX Maestro Multielectrode Array (Axion)

A robotic multi-electrode array platform with capacity for automation of cell seeding, maintenance and recording of extracellular field potentials.

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APEX Maestro Multielectrode Array (Axion)

Opera Phenix (PerkinElmer)

The high content screening platform for imaging the structure and molecular contents of cells.


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Opera Phenix (PerkinElmer)

IC200 Kinetic Imaging Cytometer (Vala Sciences)

High throughput recording of cellular fluorescence signals from up to 100 cells per well in 96 well format. 

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IC200 Kinetic Imaging Cytometer (Vala Sciences)

Cell Function and Screening Publications

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2020

[1] Ballouz S, Mangala MM, Perry MD, Heitmann S, Gillis JA, Hill AP, Vandenberg JI. Co-expression of calcium and hERG potassium channels reduces the incidence of proarrhythmic events. Cardiovascular research 2020; doi:10.1093/cvr/cvaa280.

[2] Lei C, Fabbri A, Whittaker D, Clerx M, Windley M, Hill A, Mirams G, de Boer T. A nonlinear and time-dependent leak current in the presence of calcium fluoride patch-clamp seal enhancer. Wellcome Open Research 2020;5(152); doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15968.1.

[3] Ng CA, Perry MD, Liang W, Smith NJ, Foo B, Shrier A, Lukacs GL, Hill AP, Vandenberg JI. High-throughput phenotyping of heteromeric human ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium channel variants can discriminate pathogenic from rare benign variants. Heart rhythm 2020;17(3):492-500; doi:10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.09.020.

[4] Perry MD, Ng CA, Mangala MM, Ng TYM, Hines AD, Liang W, Xu MJO, Hill AP, Vandenberg JI. Pharmacological activation of IKr in models of long QT Type 2 risks overcorrection of repolarization. Cardiovascular research 2020;116(8):1434-1445; doi:10.1093/cvr/cvz247

Cell Function & Screening Facility Case Study

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During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Cell Function & Screening Facility was in full operation. Dr Adam Hill and his team were at the forefront of COVID-19 research, examining the effects of various proposed therapeutics on the heart.

The research was conducted in the Cell Function & Screening Facility between March and July of this year and was driven in the lab by Clifford TeBay and Facility Head, Dr. Jeffrey McArthur, right through the midst of lockdown and the hardships faced during these months. 

As you will be aware, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, alone or in combination with azithromycin, were proposed as therapies to treat COVID-19. However, there is currently only scant and inconsistent data regarding their proarrhythmic potential in these patients to guide clinical decision making. 

The team was able to quickly examine the effects of these compounds alone and in combination and in conditions mimicking fever, electrolyte imbalances and other conditions implicated in the time course of COVID-19 infections. 

Using the Facility's high-throughput automated electrophysiology platforms, the SyncroPatch 384PE and Apex Maestro Multi Electrode Array systems, data collected during this study included over 3000 individual datapoints, which if collected using manual electrophysiological measurement would have taken years.

Read about the COVID-19 Research

Bookings, Enquiries & Brochure

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If you would like to learn more about the Cell Function & Screening Facility or enquire about booking any of the instruments, please contact:

Dr. Jeffrey McArthur
BSc, PhD Head, Cell Function & Screening Facility j.mcarthur@victorchang.edu.au


Download Facility Brochure