Seahorse Bioscience has provided update on its XF96 Extracellular Flux Analyzer, used for measuring cellular bioenergetics. The company said that a panel of scientific experts assembled by ‘TheScientist’ selected the XF Analyzer as the first instrument to measure the two energy pathways of the cell in a microplate, enabling scientists to generate a comprehensive picture of cellular bioenergetics in real-time.

The company claims that XF Analyzer measures oxygen consumption, an indicator of mitochondrial respiration, as well as extracellular acidification, a product of glycolysis (sugar burning), in minutes. With just a small number of cells, investigators can measure the effects of up to four compounds on cellular metabolism, determining the basal oxygen consumption and glycolysis rates.

Also, it determines respiratory capacity, mitochondrial dysfunction, fatty acid oxidation, glucose, fatty acid, and amino acid metabolism, uncoupling, ATP turnover, and cell signaling in primary, adherent, tumor and suspension cells, islets, and isolated mitochondria.

The XF Analyzer has a role in the resurgence of interest in the Warburg effect, an 80-year-old discovery about the way cancer cells prefer to burn sugar over fat. Blocking sugar metabolism can cause cancer cells to die, a phenomenon that is fueling a new wave of research into how cancers proliferate and ways to stop them, said the company.

John Lemasters, director of the Center for Cell Death, Injury and Regeneration at the Medical University of South Carolina, said: “The XF Analyzers are revealing unexpected information about cellular respiration of cells that was not possible to attain before. Insights from these findings are suggesting new strategies to rescue cells and tissues from irreversible toxic and ischemic injury.”

Min Wu, manager of Assay Development at Seahorse, said: “The XF Analyzer allows a scientist to see cancer cell metabolism in real time. Studies utilizing the XF are revealing the metabolic dependencies of cancer cells on sugar and potential therapies. Scientists can determine whether a cancer is addicted to glucose (sugar) or glutamine, and establish which pathway to target for intervention.”