IonOptix has expanded the functionality of its IonWizard core acquisition software to include increased hardware control as well as a new software module that improves the breadth of the MyoStretcher myocyte stretch and force measurement system, an integrated, full featured system that enables scientists to investigate muscle mechanics at the single cell level while synchronously recording quantitative fluorescence and sarcomere length. The MyoStretcher has been engineered to attach single myocytes and detect the nanoscopic forces generated during contractile events, thanks to the development of our OptiForce, an exquisitely fast and sensitive force transducer. The next step in the evolution of this system is our Advanced Signal Generator, a full suite of programmable mechanical protocols that allow users to drive fast cell length changes when coupled to the MyoStretcher’s piezo-driven length controller, the first to bring this level of sophisticated experimentation to single cell studies. Basic signals will be available in IonWizard’s core functionality, while more complex protocols are available in our Advanced Signal Generator add-on module.

Investigations into the mechanical properties of myocytes require a system that enables scientists to perform a number of mechanical perturbations to the physical length of the myocyte while simultaneously recording other important parameters (calcium and sarcomere length, in particular).  The IonOptix Advanced Signal Generator is the ideal tool for programmed length control.


  • General hardware control. The signal generator will drive any external hardware device that accepts voltages from +/-5V through our FSI or DSI D/A port. In addition to a number of multisided waveforms, such as triangle, sawtooth, trapezoidal and even sine waves, the software will allow users to deliver fixed voltages and pulses. Hardware, such as our own MyoPacer field stimulator, that can receive a TTL input to gate its operation can be driven through software using the pulse waveform (more below). The following summarizes the features of the new software:
    1. endlessly varying wave forms,
    2. levels, triangle, sawtooth, and sine waves, as well as “staircases” or steps,
    3. and infinite variability in duration, frequency, repetitions, etc.
  • MyoPacer control. For users seeking the functionality of driving their MyoPacer within IonWizard by offering the ability to preprogram frequency changes and synchronize stimulation with external hardware. This is especially significant as it permits determination of refractory period, mechanical restitution and post-rest potentiation, measures of the muscle’s ability to recover after a stimulation event, all of which are significant to the characterization of contractile behavior. Even those users not interested in pursuing these particular aspects of muscle physiology may be interested in having the convenience of altering the stimulation frequency through IonWizard’s interface rather than the MyoPacer itself.
  • Muscle mechanics. The main impetus for the development of the Advanced Signal Generator is to permit the following, all of which are relevant to the characterization of muscle behavior and physiology:
    1. stretch release protocols,
    2. ktr protocols,
    3. dynamic stiffness measurements,
    4. combined pacing and mechanical perturbations,
    5. and absolute (microns) or relative changes (%) in (muscle) length.

Note: This product is intended for research purposes only. It is not certified for clinical applications (including diagnostic purposes). Use of this product in uncertified applications is in violation of FDA regulations.

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