Ussing Systems Studying Epithelial Transport

Ussing chamber systems are critical tools for studying epithelial transport in diverse research areas including genetic disorders, drug discovery and testing, animal nutrition and physiology, the bacterial toxicology.

Genetic Disorders

Ussing systems are helpful tools in studying various genetic disorders. For example, cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder affecting the lungs, pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine.  Whether working with tissue explants or cultured cells, our Ussing systems allow quantitative measurement of regulation and dysregulation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane receptor (CFTR).

Another field of research is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), an inherited disorder characterized by fluid-filled cysts in the kidney leading to renal failure. Studies of cultured monolayers derived from kidney endothelial can be performed using our culture cups mounted in our Ussing system.

Drug Delivery and Testing

Drug delivery, either by oral administration or inhalation, dominates drug therapy as it is considered to be safe and readily accessible.  Epithelial transport systems are ideal tools for quantitatively measuring the absorption of drugs in a well-controlled, semi-isolated environment.

With our Ussing systems, drug absorption across the animal intestine, exposed airway epithelia or corneal endothelia and epithelia can be directly evaluated.

Animal Nutrition and Physiology

Nutrient uptake, water regulation, and waste secretion are the primary properties of the intestinal epithelial membrane. Ussing system measurements are a major tool used to study regulation and dysregulation of transport across this membrane. One example is the defense against bacterial invasion and bacterial toxins, which is an essential function of the epithelial barrier membrane. Among other tools, the Ussing system has been extensively used in the study of cholera toxin.

Planar Lipid Bilayer

Planar lipid bilayer experiments provide a useful tool for the study of membrane transport and complement information concerning ion channels that is available from patch-clamp studies. Researchers can perform single channel recordings, investigate artificial membranes and channels or study the mechanism of charge separation.

The Planar Lipid Bilayer Workstation from Warner Instruments is an ideal tool for measuring pico- or nano-scale charge currents across a membrane. This Workstation integrates every significant component required for the assembly of a working BLM rig and uniquely allows the user to quickly get up to speed in performing research using this powerful technology.


Within the Smart Ephys family, Warner Instruments is the expert for Ussing and planar lipid bilayer. Please either contact us or visit the Warner website for more details.