FLIPR Penta High-Throughput Cellular Screening System

High-throughput kinetic screening for toxicology and lead compound identification

Powered by a new, optional high-speed EMCCD camera and the new Peak Pro 2 software module, the new FLIPR® Penta High-Throughput Cellular Screening System allows you to measure and analyze peaks of human-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), differentiated into cardiomyocytes and neurons, up to 100 times per second and quickly cherry pick events such as Early Afterdepolarization-like events (EAD-like events), fibrillation, and irregular beating.

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Assess toxicity effects

The HS-EMCCD camera option allows for up to 100 measurements per second, providing detailed information about cardiomyocyte and/or neuronal oscillation. Combined with the ScreenWorks® Peak Pro 2 software analysis module, compound-induced pro-arrhythmic effects such as EAD-like events can be easily identified and flagged.

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Identify lead compounds

With seven LED sets, many filter options, and fluorescence or luminescence detection, the FLIPR system supports many assays, including calcium flux, potassium, and membrane potential.

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Configure to your throughput

The FLIPR Penta system can be configured to match user needs. From manual assays to automated solutions, to measuring 96-, 384-, or 1536-well samples at a time, to using wash or no-wash assay kits in adherent mode, the system can be upgraded as needs change in the future.


ScreenWorks Software with customizable protocols and data analysis for high-throughput kinetic assays

The FLIPR Penta system utilizes our ScreenWorks Software to define and run experimental protocols. Using a drag-and-drop interface, protocols can be easily set up to include:

  • Standard fluorescent or luminescent read modes or optional aequorin luminescence detection
  • Complex quadrant, multiple aspirations or multiple dispensing liquid handling
  • Single or ratiometric kinetic cell-based reading
  • Tip washing with up to two solvents
  • Simple-to-create automation protocols
  • Optional Peak Pro software module with easy signal oscillation anomaly detection

Safer and faster drug development with cell-based toxicity assessment methods

The study of toxic substances and their effects on living organisms is essential for developing safe medications and understanding the health consequences of exposure to toxic chemicals. Toxicologists work at the cutting edge of science, searching for new ways to identify and assess the risks posed by potentially harmful substances. In many cases, their work leads directly to improved public health and safety.

Toxicity assessment plays a critical role in the development of new drugs, as many potential treatments are found to be toxic in early clinical trials. In fact, over one-third of developing drugs fail due to toxicity, making early detection essential to bringing safe and effective treatments to market.

While toxicity testing on mice and rats is the standard method for assessing the safety of a new drug, there are limitations to this approach. Animal studies are slow as only a few compounds can be tested at a time. In addition, the physiology of humans is quite different from animals, so the results obtained are often not representative.

Shifting to cell-based testing allows for multiple chemicals to be tested rapidly and better represents human biology. 3D organoids are especially useful due to their high complexity and better resemblance to human tissue structure and function. Consequently, moving away from animal testing and towards cell-based methods could provide more accurate results, saving time, money, and most importantly, lives.

Cell-based toxicity assays

  • Cell health assays
    These can be performed in traditional cell culture format using cell lines or primary cells or by using more sophisticated iPSC stem cells. Cells are exposed to chemical substances in multiwell plates, and cell health and death can be evaluated using MTT assays, cell titer glow assays, plate reader assays, imaging methods, live-dead assays, and apoptosis assays.
  • Cell viability and morphology assays
    Cells are assessed by imaging methods, where cell count, cell area, or nuclear shape can be used for the evaluation of potential toxic effects.
  • Neurite outgrowth
    High content analysis can be used to detect cell death as well as measure neuronal growth and sprouting to evaluate and determine more complex toxic effects on neuronal cells.
  • Changes in cell organelles
    Changes in nuclear shape, micronuclei, and disruption of mitochondria can be quantitated by using automated imaging and advanced imaging tools. These are sophisticated studies but provide excellent results.
  • E-Phys, CA2+ imaging and other functional assays
    It’s important to detect impact of chemical substances on cell functionality. Many toxicants are ion channel blockers, therefore potential toxic effects can be detected by means of electrophysiology and calcium imaging

Integrative in vitro assessment of cardiotoxicity

This workflow helps illustrate an integrative in vitro assay using human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes for the high-throughput screening of several diverse classes of environmental chemicals and drugs (i.e. NTP screening library). Chemical effects on cardiomyocyte contractility were determined by Ca2+ flux measurements in combination with high-content imaging to evaluate concentration-dependent effects on cardiomyocyte physiology, mitochondrial membrane potential, and cell viability. Phenotypic descriptors were used for quantitative toxicity profiling. And for data evaluation, concentration values can be utilized for bioactivity grouping and ranking of the chemicals and visualized with data interpretation software.

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