PATCH-CLAMP: THE MICROSCOPIC VIEW OF SINGLE NEURON
This technology provides the highest resolution for electrophysiological recordings from single neuron down to single channel thanks to the different recording configurations (whole-cell, perforated-patch, cell-attached, outside-out). Very precise physiological and pharmacological questions could be addressed with this technique, clearly dedicated to the understanding of mechanisms of action.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Patch-Clamp recording is performed with borosilicate electrodes of 1-2 μm tip diameter. A pipette containing electrolyte solution is tightly sealed onto the neuronal membrane and isolates a part of the membrane (patch) electrically. Currents fluxing through the channels in this patch hence flow into the pipette and can be recorded by an electrode that is connected to a highly sensitive differential amplifier. The pipette tip makes a giga-ohm seal contact with the neuronal membrane. Recording this current allows conclusions about the membrane conductance.