SUNNYVALE, CA, Apr 16, 2007 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) - Molecular Devices, a division of MDS Analytical Technologies and a leader in innovative solutions for drug discovery and life sciences research, today announced a breakthrough with the launch of a live cell Neurotransmitter Transporter Uptake Assay Kit. With the introduction of this novel assay, researchers will now have a single tool to screen for live cell kinetic uptake of the three key neurotransmitters - dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin - in a homogeneous, fluorescence-based, high-throughput screening procedure that eliminates the use of radioactive tags or labels. Molecular Devices' Neurotransmitter Transporter Uptake Assay Kit significantly improves upon current procedures that use radiolabeled neurotransmitter or transporter inhibitors, both of which require specialized instrumentation, detect only the assay endpoints, and are encumbered by the disposal of radioactive materials. This assay can be used in both kinetic and endpoint modes and is a simple, mix-and-read protocol performed in 96- or 384-well formatted microplates - ideal for use in research, including applications in high-throughput screening and lead optimization.
"Neurotransmitter transporters have become important pharmaceutical targets, as they play a key role in depression and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The ability to monitor live cell uptake of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin neurotransmitters is critical to better understanding these diseases," said Andy Boorn, President of MDS Analytical Technologies. "With this assay, researchers now have kinetic and end-point capability that will reduce their reliance upon radioactive labels."
This new assay, like all Molecular Devices' cell-based assays, utilizes a masking dye to extinguish extracellular fluorescence. This masking dye technology has been exclusively licensed by Molecular Devices from Bayer AG (patent nos. US 6,420,183, US 7,063,952, US 7,138,280 and EP 0906572). The assay kit also includes a novel proprietary fluorescent dye that mimics the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.