Inspired By Innovation & Discovery

As a company of scientists, IonOptix is passionate about providing our colleagues with innovative research solutions for high speed quantitative fluorescence, muscle mechanics, and tissue engineering.

About Us – From our international headquarters in Massachusetts, IonOptix produces a range of systems for fluorescent ion quantitation and muscle mechanics measurements. Our goal is to produce the best possible systems priced within reach of the individual researcher.

IonOptix Corporation was formed in 1990 by Dr. Douglas Tillotson, with the goal of developing, manufacturing and selling complete systems for quantifying cellular ion levels using fluorescence indicators. These initial systems were video-rate chopper systems with only a single pair of excitation filters. They were the forerunners of our HyperSwitch light source. In 1992, Doug began a professional collaboration with a leading Boston cardiology lab whose heart research efforts principally involved whole organ studies. Through this collaboration, a system was developed to simultaneously record the calcium level and the cell length of a single cardiac myocyte (obtained by digitizing the output of an analog edge detector). Development of the software-based edge detection system was begun in 1995 and sales to the heart research community now account for over 3/4 of the IonOptix business.

In 1998 IonOptix Corporation received grant support from the NIH SBIR program for developing new instrumentation for cardiac contractility recording. Real-time sarcomere length recording was born from this effort and numerous other advances resulted including the development of the MyoPacer, a stand-alone field stimulator for myocytes in a microscope-mounted cell chamber. Further developments in recent years include faster CCD cameras, the C-Pace system for preventing de-differentiation in cultured cells and advances in software control and analysis.

In 2008 IonOptix Corporation, with Red Box Direct Ltd., formed IonOptix LLC in the US and IonOptix Limited in Europe as part of an expansion plan to grow our business and provide better local support to our customers. In 2015, Doug stepped down as CEO and Tom Udale took the reigns. Later that year, we moved to our new headquarters in Westwood, MA and expanded our staff to include additional Applications support staff. In late 2015, IonOptix CSO, Michiel Helmes, created CytoCypher BV in the Netherlands to begin development, in collaboration with IonOptix, of a higher throughput version of our core calcium and contractility system. CytoCypher later merged with IonOptix in late 2018. During this same time period, IonOptix was awarded NIH SBIR phase I and II grants for commercialization of this higher throughput system in April 2017 and April 2019, respectively.

As of 2019, we are now a company of over 30 employees, serving over 500 preclinical research labs worldwide from offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Our goal is to enable our customers to make significant scientific discoveries by developing innovative tools and providing world-class support.

View our full range of products here.

Professor Sian Harding

IonOptix continues to innovate in a way that helps to drive better science.  As well as this, I have always received excellent personal attention from them.

Prof. Sian Harding, Imperial College London, UK
Daniele Catalucci PhD

My experience with IonOptix started some years ago when I was a postdoc in US and used the system for measuring cardiomyocyte contractility and calcium transients. I quickly learned to use the system and the software was very user friendly. The results were robust and nicely supported our study. I now have the new system in my lab in Italy and have noticed the ease by which students and postdocs have learned to use it. An additional plus is the technical support people, who always manage, also at short notice, to solve any issue we run into.

Dr Catherine Makarewich

After struggling with several other systems over the past few years, our lab purchased an IonOptix Myocyte Calcium and Contractility system and we could not be happier with the equipment. The system and software are not only robust and dynamic, but also straightforward and easy to use. Beyond the system itself, the support staff at IonOptix is incredible. They worked hard with us up front to build the best system for our needs, spent several days on site installing the equipment and training us…

Dr Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira

We bought a calcium and contractility recording system a couple of years ago. The system is very robust and works pretty well. We have been doing several measurements in different cells such as adult cardiac myocytes, neonatal cardiac myocytes and human IPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

Jaya Krishnan

I have worked with the IonOptix system and analytical software since 2010. Both the system and software are intuitive to use and are easily picked up by graduate students and postdocs with little prior knowledge. Most importantly, IonOptix customer support is excellent, including on-site training and assistance with new assay development.

We acquired the complete single-cell IonOptix system for cardiomyocytes not so long ago. The system has given us support to collect data from contractility and calcium transient with great precision. Its usage is not complicated. Moreover, one thing as important as the easy handling and precision is the fast customer assistance given by the company representative. It makes all the difference!

Prof. Dr. Wellington Lunz, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil
Prof Dr Peter Kohl

When we originally approached Doug Tillotson in 1999 for help with design and implementation of the single cell stretch set-up, we couldn’t have imagined how much value IonOptix would add!  Beyond their off-the-shelve products, they are an enthusiastic and knowledgeable partner in custom-made solutions for problems others think of as ‘too hard to tackle’.


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