Innovative in vitro assays with enhanced translational value

To improve disease relevance, many of our assays are based on native neuronal cultures from sensory ganglia, spinal cord or brain. The assays can also be designed to include supporting cells such as microglia and macrophages, to more accurately reflect the effects of neuroinflammation in vitro.

Our discovery platform enables the development of assays for high capacity testing of changes in excitability and synaptic communication in a wide range of in vitro models. This can be used not only for screening large number of compounds, but also to efficiently identify optimal assay parameters and thereby maximize translatability.

Our primary cell assays fill the gap between less complex model systems, such as high throughput screening in over-expressing cell lines, and in vivo animal models, and are enabling our Clients to prioritize moving the most effective molecules into the clinical phase.

All aspects of the company’s collective experience, from engineering and product development to drug discovery, are integrated when devising and creating new and innovative assays for our Clients.

Accelerated decision-making through customized services

We offer customer-specific solutions that provide valuable interpretations and answers to your complex biological questions. Our aim is to accelerate your drug discovery program and facilitate the identification and prioritization of drug candidates to advance further through the Drug Discovery process.

Model systems

We offer a broad range of physiologically relevant model systems for chronic pain research. This includes human iPSC-derived neuronal cultures, cell lines and native neuronal cultures, such as peripheral sensory neurons, spinal cord neurons or neurons derived from different brain regions.

Disease modelling

Our in vitro disease models for central and peripheral pain advance the understanding of pain pathophysiology. Disease phenotypes are chemically induced in vitro, or by using a transgenic animal source or patient-derived human iPSCs.

Stimuli and read-outs

Using our high capacity platform, we provide functional readouts based on optical electrophysiology. We also employ ligand stimulation assays where compound effects are measured using fluorescent probes or peptide release. High content imaging assays are conducted as a stand-alone, or combined with functional assays for increased sensitivity and for analysing specific cell subpopulations.


We work exclusively in 384- and 96-well formats. Using these formats, we have sufficient throughput to support medium throughput screening campaigns. The high capacity also enables efficient concept- and assay development.
Susanne Lardell
Senior scientist & External collaborations manager

“At Cellectricon we work collaboratively with our Clients to support their chronic pain research. We explore novel in vitro concepts which we can develop into robust, high precision assays that can be accessed for screening, lead optimization and target discovery.”
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In vitro models for central and peripheral pain

We apply our native neuronal models to explore mechanisms relevant to neuropathic pain and neuroinflammation.

Our models for peripheral pain identify compound effects on nociceptor excitability and morphology in neuronal cultures. They are based on in vitro sensitization of sensory neuronal cultures from either rodent dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, trigeminal ganglia neurons, or human iPSC-derived peripheral neurons. The models are responsive to many pain-relevant mechanisms, as assessed by the pharmacological action of clinically relevant compounds (e.g. raloxifene, duloxetine, sertraline and gabapentin), and enable identification of novel targets and compounds using both target-based and phenotypic approaches.

For central pain, our models are based on neuronal cultures from either brain regions or spinal cord with integrated neuronal circuits for functional and morphological screening. Engaging central and peripheral models in parallel may provide insight whether the compounds have a peripheral or central site of action.

The Cellectricon team is experienced in devising and creating new models, as well as adjusting established models to encompass new aspects. Since increasing amounts of literature support the understanding that inflammatory mediators play a part not only in inflammatory pain, but also in neuropathic pain, we are increasing our efforts in neuroinflammation research. We are, for example, exploring the role of anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines and their role in chronification of pain.

Disease modelling in a peripheral pain assay

Inflammatory mediators cause a hyperexcitable phenotype in vitro

Our native DRG assay is a disease-relevant model, produced by adding a combination of inflammatory mediators which cause an increase in the functional expression of the targets that are upregulated in inflammatory and neuropathic pain conditions. The model can be used to screen for compounds that “rescue” the hyperexcitability phenotype caused by the inflammatory mediators.
Disease modelling in a spinal cord assay

Our assays can identify both direct and indirect effects on neuronal function

By generating cultures where both astrocytes and microglia are present in the spinal cord assay, we create highly relevant disease models and assays where factors released from the non-neuronal cells affect neuronal function. To demonstrate this, we can add lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in vitro which causes an inflammatory response that manifests in the assay as a morphological “activation” of the microglia. This in turn causes an increase in neuronal excitability.
Senior scientist & External collaborations manager

Your partner for chronic pain research

“To support our Clients’ chronic pain projects, we have generated a broad range of in vitro models for peripheral and central pain. As these native neuronal models are proven and validated with industry clients, we are the ideal partner for conducting screening in native pain models. We are committed to offer our Clients long-term partnerships with the aim to devise models to better understand the role of inflammatory mediators in the chronification of pain.“
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