The Electrophysiology Setup

Alan Finkel1, Richard Bookman2

1 Axon Instruments, Foster City, California, 2 University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Unit Number:  Unit 6.1
DOI:  10.1002/0471142301.ns0601s00
Online Posting Date:  May, 2001
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Abstract

This unit describes components and considerations that are common to all electrophysiology setups dedicated to measurement of electrical activity in cells. First, the basic concerns of setting up the equipment in a functional and accessible manner are described. Then two typical setups are briefly described: one for in vitro extracellular recording, the other for single‐channel patch‐clamping. An electrophysiological setup has four main requirements: (1) environment: the means of keeping the preparation healthy; (2) optics: the means of visualizing the preparation; (3) mechanics: the means of stably positioning the microelectrode; and (4) electronics: the means of amplifying and recording the signal. This unit addresses primarily the mechanics and electronics of the electrophysiological laboratory setup.

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • The Electrophysiology Setup
  • Equipment Placement
  • In Vitro Extracellular Recording
  • Single‐Channel Patch‐Clamp Recording
  • Vibration Isolation Methods
  • Electrical Isolation Methods
  • Key References
  • Tables
     
 
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Materials

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Literature Cited

General
   The Axon Guide for Electrophysiology and Biophysics Laboratory Techniques. Axon Instruments, Foster City, Calif.
Conventional Intra‐ and Extracellular Recording from Brain Slices
   Dingledine, R. (ed.) 1983. Brain Slices. Plenum, New York.
   Geddes, L.A. 1972. Electrodes and the Measurement of Bioelectric Events. Wiley‐Interscience, New York.
   Purves, R.D. 1981. Microelectrode Methods for Intracellular Recording and Ionophoresis. Academic Press, San Diego.
   Smith, T.G., Lecar, H., Redman, S.J., and Gage, P.W. (eds.) 1985. Voltage and Patch Clamping with Microelectrodes. American Physiological Society, Bethesda, Md.
   Standen, N.B., Gray, P.T.A., Whitaker, M.J. (eds.) 1987. Microelectrode Techniques. The Company of Biologists Limited, Cambridge.
General Patch‐Clamp Recording
   Hamill, O.P., Marty, A., Neher, E., Sakmann, B., and Sigworth, F.J. 1981. Improved patch‐clamp techniques for high‐resolution current from cells and cell‐free membrane patches. Pflügers Arch. Eur. J. Physiol. 391:85‐100.
   Sakmann, B. and Neher, E. (eds.) 1983. Single‐Channel Recording. Plenum, New York.
   Smith et al., See above.
   Standen et al., See above.
Patch‐Slice Recording
   Blanton, M.G., Lo Turco, J.J., and Kriegstein, A.R. 1989. Whole cell recording from neurons in slices of reptilian and mammalian cerebral cortex. J. Neurosci. Methods 30:203‐210.
   Edwards, F.A., Konnerth, A., Sakmann, B., and Takahashi, T. 1989. A thin slice preparation for patch clamp recordings from neurons of the mammalian central nervous system. Pflügers Arch. Eur. J. Physiol. 414:600‐612.
Vibration Isolation Methods
   Newport Catalog. 1990. Newport Corporation, Red Bluff, Calif.
Electrical Isolation Methods
   Horowitz, P. and Hill, W. 1988. The Art of Electronics. Cambridge University Press, New York.
   Morrison, R. 1967. Grounding and Shielding Techniques in Instrumentation. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
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