Preclinical CRO, short for Preclinical Contract Research Organizations, are companies that provide the necessary logistics such as research, personnel, skills, and equipment for drug discovery.

Drug discovery is a significant part of Preclinical health research, and technological advancements have made it possible for health researchers to increase productivity and breakthroughs.

Today, a lot of CRO companies are beginning to use ION Channel Screening to streamline the process of drug discovery. What is ION Channel screening, and how does it work?

What Is Ion Channel Screening?

Ion channels are protein membranes found in the cells of living organisms that allow ions to pass through cell openings. Because of their potential therapeutic properties, ion channels have been a subject study for health researchers.

Ion channels are also in charge of electrical signals among cells, a process that is necessary for physiological processes such as generating electrical impulses in the nerves and hormone secretion.

Other functions of ion channels include controlling the movement of ions across cells, controlling cell volume, and forming a resting membrane potential.

Ion channels are usually classified according to their functional features and the type of ions that passes through the channel. The channel pores provide the pathway through which ions travel the cell membrane following specific electrical signals.

A typical cell has about 100-1000 different ion channels. In most cases, ion channels only permit only one ion to pass through them. Researchers are yet to study all ion channels present in the human body; so far, about 100 has been reviewed and experimented.

A defect or defects in the ion channels can cause a lot of diseases especially those relating to neural and muscular conditions. Defective Ion channels have also been identified as part causes of conditions severe pain, cystic fibrosis, and epilepsy.

Due to the significant roles, Ion channels perform in maintaining physiological processes and causing numerous diseases; Preclinical CROs are interested in using Ion channels as targets for new drug discovery. A percentage of up to 20% of today’s drugs are designed to target ion channels in the body, thereby triggering a modified cellular behavior.

Drug discovery starts by targeting a specific ion channel or selecting a particular disease and then looking for targets that can be altered. After validating targets, a test system called assays is developed to evaluate interactions between the target and the condition and also predict the effects of compounds on tissues and cells.

Typically, Pre-clinical CROS makes use of a combination of assays to achieve higher predictive results. However, before choosing or developing an assay format, there is a need first to validate such assays to ensure that it provides direct and reliable results and appropriately evaluate the effects of the compound on tissues and cells.

A positive hit is when one or several compounds produce a desired effect on the target. From there on, tests and more modifications are made to improve the impact and possibly turn the molecular compound into a drug. After this, the drug is put up for clinical trials and then FDA Review.

Although ion channels are becoming a vital part of health research, it is still a difficult topic to study. This is because science still has limited knowledge of the relationship between ion channels and specific conditions. There are also challenges in terms of the type of technologies available to study ion channel research.

Targeting ion channels for specific diseases is like looking for a needle in the hay. This is where Ion Channel Screening comes in to optimize the process as fast and as efficiently as possible.

Ion channels screening refers to the process of streamlining the use of ion channels towards to processes of drug discovery and development as efficiently as possible. Screening in healthcare research is the process where different chemical compounds are tested for their ability to either inhibit or stimulate a target.

Screening is a very significant part of drug discovery and development, and the process involves checking the millions of compound libraries to search for new leads and viable probes. At the end of a screening exercise, the researcher should have been able to separate the chaff from the wheat and come up with leads that can result in drug discovery.

Ion channel screening is used by CRO health research to easily and quickly identify the target and also test how responsive selected compounds are for related targets. It allows health researchers to rapidly conduct millions of tests to identify active compounds, genes, and antibodies that can pave a pathway for drug discovery and development. The findings of these experiments are what form the basis of drug development.

Ion Channels Screening can help drug discovery by reducing activity against irrelevant targets, intensifying activity against targeted compounds, and improving the drug properties of the target molecules.

Modern Technology and the use of AI have created broader opportunities for Ion channel Screening. Today, using technologically aided ion channel screening can facilitate high throughput, a more detailed view of interactions between compounds and targeted ion channels, and increase access to new ion channels targets.

Other advantages include the ability to customize ion channels assays, faster results, and increased predictive capability.


Ion Channel screening is one of the most critical parts of drug discovery and development. Although health researchers are yet to maximize the potentials there in full, there is no doubt that the recent technological advancements have primarily improved the understanding and use of Ion Channel Screening. It is hoped that as technology and research progress, faster and more accurate predictive assays can be developed, thereby increasing the role of ion channel screening in drug discovery and development.

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