Calcium Assay Kits

Over the last 30 years, Ca²⁺-sensitive indicators have found numerous uses ranging from high-spatial resolution imaging of synaptic activity to high-throughput measurements of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation-evoked increases in intracellular Ca²⁺ for drug discovery. 

ION Biosciences’ Calcium Assay kits are a total assay solution for multi-well plate-based, high-throughput measurements of dynamic changes in intracellular Ca²⁺. Each assay kit is designed to be a simple, fast, and reliable fluorescence-based assay.  

Whether your platform is a FLIPR,  FlexStation®, or FDSS, ION’s assay kits will provide a smooth process for your assay development.

There are no intermediate wash-steps required with these kits. In each version, you will find all the reagents necessary for preparation to use as no-wash or washed assays for adherent and non-adherent cells.  

Brilliant Calcium Flex

Our Flex kit provides all necessary reagents in a format to maximize flexibility for your assay design and customization challenges. All of these reagents are packaged in separate bottles,  which allows you to choose what reagents to use and in what proportion in order to achieve the desired result. Brilliant Calcium Flex (EX 490 nm, EM 515 nm) is a high-throughput, no-wash calcium (Ca²⁺) assay. The most flexible solution for measuring the activity of GPCRs coupled to intracellular Ca²⁺ release. 10 plates 

Brilliant Calcium Express

Our Express kit is custom-tailored to customers’ needs, providing only the reagents you need in the amounts you need them. Less waste, higher reproducibility, and more convenience. Brilliant Calcium Express (EX 490 nm, EM 515 nm) is a high-throughput, no-wash calcium (Ca²⁺) assay. The most streamlined solution for measuring the activity of GPCRs. 100 plates

Brilliant Calcium Gold

Brilliant Calcium Gold is a calcium flux assay for multi-well plate-based, high-throughput measurements of calcium mobilization mediated through a wide-variety of plasma membrane and intracellular calcium channels. The kit includes our Fluo-Gold dye (Ex/Em: 524/552 nm), which is red-shifted for compatibility with GFP and other green fluorescent indicators. 10 plates

Ratiometric Calcium Essentials

ION’s Ratiometric Calcium Essentials kit provides the necessary reagents for conducting no wash, ratiometric calcium flux assays compatible with plate reader and fluorescence microscopy applications. Individual components are provided to give the user the flexibility needed to customize your assay. Ex/Em: 340/505 nm can be used to measure Ca²⁺-bound Fura-2, and Ex/Em: 380/505 nm can be used to detect Ca²⁺-free Fura-2. 10 plates

Brilliant Thallium Assay Kits

ION Biosciences Brilliant Thallium Assays offer complete assay solutions for monovalent ion channel screening. Designed to measure Tl⁺ flux through potassium (K⁺), sodium (Na⁺), non-selective cation channels, and some Na⁺ or K⁺ transporters in plate-based, high-throughput formats. Brilliant Thallium Assays are also useful to measure the activity of a wide range of effectors of ion channels and transporters, including G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In multi-well, plate-based formats, Brilliant Thallium Assays can be used to discover and characterize the effects of tens to many tens-of-thousands of compounds and environmental factors on potassium channels, sodium channels, and more.

Brilliant Thallium Express 

Customizable high-throughput, no wash thallium (Tl⁺) flux assay kit designed for you. It includes custom packed reagents to suit your specific assay, throughput, and instrumentation demands, while also minimizing waste. 100 plates

Brilliant Thallium Flex

High-throughput, no wash thallium (Tl⁺) assay for measuring the flux of Tl⁺ through potassium (K⁺), sodium (Na⁺), and non-selective cation channels. Flex kits include all of the reagents needed to run your thallium flux assay, packaged individually so you can mix and match components to get optimal results for your ion channel screen. The assay can be conducted as a wash or no-wash assay for adherent and non-adherent cells. 10 plates

Brilliant Thallium Gold

Brilliant Thallium Gold includes Thallos Gold – ION’s gold fluorescent (Ex/Em = 528/552 nm) thallium (Tl+) indicator. Red-shifted excitation and emission enable multiplexing with GFP-expressing cells or other green fluorescent indicators. Useful for fluorescence-based potassium (K+) channel assays and for studying a wide variety of monovalent cation channels (sodium channels), transporters, and GPCRs. 10 plates

Brilliant Thallium Snapshot

A thallium flux assay adaptation designed to work with standard plate readers, microscopes, flow cytometers, and more, for measuring flux through potassium (K⁺), sodium (Na⁺), and non-selective cation channels and their effectors including transporters and GCPRs. 10 plates

Brilliant Thallium Gold Snapshot

Multi-instrument compatible assay solution for well plate-based, high-throughput measurements of thallium flux through potassium, sodium, and non-selective cation channels, as well as some Na⁺ or K⁺ transporters. Our patent-pending Snapshot technology generates a long-lasting signal so you can easily detect and quantify changes in ion channel or transporter activity on most fluorescence-capable instruments. The inclusion of Thallos Gold AM, our red-shifted thallium indicator, makes this kit the ideal option when using GFP-expressing cells to run potassium channel assays. 10 plates

Flow Cytometric Potassium Channel Assay

The first assay solution for single-cell, high-throughput measurements of potassium (K) channel activity. Powered by our patent-pending Snapshot assay technology, ion channel modulation generates a long-lasting signal so you can easily detect and quantify changes in ion channel or transporter activity using Flow Cytometry. This kit may also work for sodium (Na) channels, non-selective cation channels, and some Na or K transporters. 200 assays

Brilliant Sodium

Assay Kits

The only commercially available high-throughput, FLIPR sodium assay for measuring changes in intracellular Na⁺ mediated through a wide-variety of sodium channels and transporters. Designed as an intracellular, no wash, sodium flux assay with peak excitation at 525 nm and peak emission of 545 nm.

ION’s Brilliant Sodium Assay is compatible with fluorescence microscopes, flow cytometers, and plate readers capable of detecting FITC, GFP, or more optimally, yellow fluorescent protein (YFP).

Brilliant Sodium Flex

Our Flex kit provides all necessary reagents in a format to maximize flexibility for your assay design and customization challenges. 10 plates 

Brilliant Sodium Express

Our custom-tailored kit for your specific needs. What you want and how you want it.  The most streamlined solution for measuring the activity of sodium channels and transporters. 100 plates


Assay Kits

ION Vital kits are designed to help you easily capture important markers of cell health, whether your preferred instrument is a plate reader, fluorescence microscope, or flow cytometer, using a collection of criteria that are indicative metrics of cell viability or death. These criteria include intracellular esterase activity as a marker of cell viability, plasma membrane integrity as a marker of cell death, and mitochondrial membrane potential as an early-stage marker of apoptosis. When used in combination, these assays can provide an informative snapshot of cell health.

ION VITAL – Viability Kit

ION VITAL Viability Kit is a rapid and simple two-color assay to discriminate between live and dead cells within eukaryotic cell suspensions or adherent cultures. Calcein AM measures intracellular esterase activity and ethidium homodimer is a marker of plasma membrane integrity. The kit can be used with flow cytometers, fluorescence microscopes, and fluorescence plate readers.

ION VITAL – MitoVolt 

ION VITAL – MitoVolt is a ratiometric, fluorescence-based assay to assess mitochondrial membrane potential in cells. Our mitochondrial membrane potential assay kit uses JC-10, a membrane potential sensitive dye that is more soluble than JC-1. The cationic, lipophilic JC-10 dye concentrates in polarized mitochondrial matrices, producing red fluorescent J-aggregates. On the other hand, JC-10 diffuses out of depolarized mitochondria in apoptotic and necrotic cells, where it converts back into a monomeric form that emits green fluorescence.

Multidrug Resistance Activity Kit

ION’s Multidrug Resistance (MDR) Activity kit is an effective solution for detecting MDR1 and MRP1 activity and compounds susceptible to MDR-mediated efflux. ION’s MDR activity kit is compatible with fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, and fluorescence plate readers using FITC/GFP settings.


Calcein AM is a membrane-permeant, non-fluorescent dye that enters cells passively. Once inside the cytosol of cells, intracellular esterases convert it to fluorescent Calcein (Ex/Em: 495 nm/515 nm), resulting in uniform cytosolic fluorescence. Drug efflux transporters, such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp, MDP1) and multidrug-resistance-associated protein (MRP1), actively extrude Calcein AM from inside the cell before esterases can convert it to Calcein. The presence of additional MDR substrates or inhibitors of MDR expression results in decreased Calcein AM efflux, causing a measurable increase in intracellular fluorescence. In addition to identifying MDR substrates and inhibitors, this kit can also be used to evaluate the activity of MDR transporters in cells. 

When following our protocol, ION’s MDR Activity kit provides enough reagents to make 100 mL of working solution, enough for ten 96- or 384-well plates or 80 flow cytometry samples. The actual number of assays will vary according to optimal dye concentrations for your application.