Ion Channel Technologies


Aurora Biomed’s automated ICRs (Ion Channel Readers) combine the precision and sensitivity of atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) with patented microsampling processes and liquid handling technologies. This creates a high-throughput screening solution for ion channel researchers that fills gaps which automated patch-clamp cannot. By detecting ion channel activity using atomic absorption spectroscopy and flux assays, the ICR series of automated Ion Channel Readers can analyze ion channels regardless of electrogenicity. Whereas non-electrogenic transporters, such as Cation-Chloride Cotransporters, are effectively invisible to patch clamp-based screens, Aurora’s automated ICR series analyzes their activity quickly, accurately, and easily.

ICR technology can be used with both voltage-gated (e.g., hERG, Kv1.1, Nav1.5) and ligand-gated (e.g., KATP, nAChR) channels, as well as with ion pumps and

transporters (e.g., Na+/K+-ATPase), allowing researchers to accelerate drug development for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with these key membrane transport proteins. Our ICR series of automated Ion Channel Readers obtain high throughput activity measurements for these and other channels and transporters by measuring the absolute concentrations of cytosolic and extracellular ions. This technique is independent of and complementary to methods that rely on voltage manipulation.

Aurora’s non-radioactive flux assays eliminate the need for radioisotopes, making your ion channel screens safer and more environmentally friendly while negating any work restrictions posed by Rb’s short half-life. The AAS-based screening technology means that there is no need to worry about quenching effects associated with fluorescence.


The ICR 8000 is a more affordable, mid-throughput, automated ion channel screening system which is compact enough for the benchtop while retaining broad utility.

  • Medium Throughput: Up to 5000 wells/day
  • Single Channel: Measures 1 sample at a time
  • Small Footprint: Just 55 cm wide by 37 cm deep

Frequently Asked Questions


The ICR 12000 is designed for ultra-high throughput and automated ion channel screening of compound libraries, incorporating multi-channel sampling and enhanced automation features.

  • Ultra-High Throughput: Up to 60,000 wells/day
  • Multi-Channel: Measures 12 samples at a time
  • Built for Automation: Includes plate stacker & bar code reader

Independently Validated

Researchers from Roche performed high-throughput screening campaigns for modulators of a cation-chloride co-transporter using the ICR 12000.

Download their poster from the 2016 Ion Channel Summit to see how Roche developed a high throughput rubidium (Rb+) uptake assay for measuring NKCC1 function and subsequently screened 1.2 million compounds using Aurora’s ICR 12000.

View Validation ›

Publications & Application Notes

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