Electrophysiology Facility for Cell Phenotyping and Drug Discovery

IHMRI’s Electrophysiology Facility for Cell Phenotyping and Drug Discovery (E-Phys core) features the state-of-the-art patch-clamp robot, the Nanion SyncroPatch 384PE.

This high-throughput (HT) automated patch clamp system allows researchers to measure electrical activity in up to 384 single living cells at a time, and their responses to different drugs. This speeds up the process of cell analysis and significantly reduces laboratory times for researchers.

This facility represents a quantum leap in productivity for biosciences in this country, which will potentially give the Australian pharmaceutical industry a competitive global edge. It will also help bring together biophysicists, cell biologists, chemists, pharmacologists and physiologists in the Sydney region to augment and accelerate existing research projects.

The SyncroPatch 384PE was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Grant awarded in 2017 to a partnership of scientists from IHMRI, the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

Technical specifications


SyncroPatch 384PE

Average whole cell stability  > 30 minutes
Successful whole cell recordings
  •  ~ 85% (one-hole plates)
  • Up to 100% (multi-hole plates)
Throughput ~2500 data points per day
Seal resistance  > 1 GOhm
Series resistances  < 10 MOhm
Chip resistance  ~ 0.5-5 MOhm (depending on the chip type Ω: L, M, H; Hole: 1x, 4x, 8x)
Perfusion time constant  < 50 ms
Minimum exposure time  < 1 s
Compatible liquid handling robots  Biomek FX (Beckman-Coulter)
Number of pipettes  384 + optional 8-channel pipettor
Temperature control  Yes, enabling experiments under physiological temperatures
Current clamp  Yes
Multi-hole patch clamp  Yes, different one-hole and multi-hole chips are available
Automated dose-response curve generation  Yes
Average measurement duration of one plate  20 minutes

Hire the Syncropatch 384PE

The SyncroPatch 384PE housed at IHMRI’s E-Phys core is the only state-of-the-art HT electrophysiology robot available to all of the Australian scientific community.

Provide your sample and our expert electrophysiologist will customise and optimise the experimental details for the HT functional assays run in the 384PE.

IHMRI invites all researchers to utilise our facility, which is available for hire.

Watch the video of IHMRI’s SyncroPatch 384PE


Also available in IHMRI’s E-Phys core is the Nanion Patchliner, a fully automated planar patch clamp instrument recording from up to 8 cells simultaneously. 

This robust piece of equipment is useful for routine and sophisticated assays. It can be used to screen cells prior to use on the SyncroPatch to help minimise the cost of consumables. 

Read more about the Nanion Patchliner.


For more information, email Research Fellow and Lead Scientist Dr Rocio Finol-Urdaneta at rfinolu@uow.edu.au

“This technology is versatile. It could be applied to most neurological conditions.” 

Neural Stem Cell Expert, Associate Professor Mirella Dottori

Associate Professor Mirella Dottori. Photo by Trudy Simpkin.

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