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Optopatcher—An electrode holder for simultaneous intracellular patch-clamp recording and optical manipulation

Optopatcher—An electrode holder for simultaneous intracellular patch-clamp recording and optical manipulation | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it
Highlights
  • The optopatcher: a new holder for simultaneous patch-clamp recording and light stimulation.
  • We used the optopatcher for in vivo cortical patch-clamp recording and optogenetic activation.
  • The holder can be used in multiple platforms whenever a glass pipette is used.


by Katz Y. et al., Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 28 January 2013 (In Press)

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[Protocol] Monitoring local synaptic activity with astrocytic patch pipettes

[Protocol] Monitoring local synaptic activity with astrocytic patch pipettes | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it
by Henneberger C Rusakov DA, Nature Protocols 7, 2171–2179 (2012)
Julien Hering, PhD's insight:

[Abstract] Rapid signal exchange between astroglia and neurons has emerged as a key player in neural communication in the brain. To understand the mechanisms involved, it is often important to have access to individual astrocytes while monitoring the activity of nearby synapses. Achieving this with standard electrophysiological tools is not always feasible. The protocol presented here enables the monitoring of synaptic activity using whole-cell current-clamp recordings from a local astrocyte. This approach takes advantage of the fact that the low input resistance of electrically passive astroglia allows extracellular currents to pass through the astrocytic membrane with relatively little attenuation. Once the slice preparation is ready, it takes ∼30 min to several hours to implement this protocol, depending on the experimental design, which is similar to other patch-clamp techniques. The technique presented here can be used to directly access the intracellular medium of individual astrocytes while examining synapses functioning in their immediate proximity.

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Novel "Push-Pen" Design for Patch-Clamp Electrode

Novel "Push-Pen" Design for Patch-Clamp Electrode | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it
Northwestern researchers have developed a novel push-pen patch clamp electrode system that integrates a linear hydraulic actuator in the pipette holder. The actuator moves the metal Ag/AgCl electrode within the pipette to a position where it protrudes from the pipette orifice. This mechanism has multiple benefits in conventional whole-cell experiments. For example, it lowers the series resistance since the resistivity of the electrode is less than that of the pipette solution. The reduced series resistance permits the recording of higher bandwidth signals. Further, the push-pen operation serves as a physical structure to help remove the commonly found cellular debris clog in the pipette tip by pushing it out and clearing it. Lastly, the push-pen operation also reduces the leakage of cytosol into the pipette which results in the ability to conduct longer experiments. (...) - flintbox , Dec 14, 2012
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A calibration-free electrode compensation method

A calibration-free electrode compensation method | Neuroscience_technics | Scoop.it

[Abstract] In a single-electrode current-clamp recording, the measured potential includes both the response of the membrane and that of the measuring electrode. The electrode response is traditionally removed using bridge balance, where the response of an ideal resistor representing the electrode is subtracted from the measurement. Because the electrode is not an ideal resistor, this procedure produces capacitive transients in response to fast or discontinuous currents. More sophisticated methods exist, but they all require a preliminary calibration phase, to estimate the properties of the electrode. If these properties change after calibration, the measurements are corrupted. We propose a compensation method that does not require preliminary calibration. Measurements are compensated offline by fitting a model of the neuron and electrode to the trace and subtracting the predicted electrode response. The error criterion is designed to avoid the distortion of compensated traces by spikes. The technique allows electrode properties to be tracked over time and can be extended to arbitrary models of electrode and neuron. We demonstrate the method using biophysical models and whole cell recordings in cortical and brain-stem neurons. - by Rossant C et al., Journal of Neurophysiology, November 1, 2012 vol. 108 no. 9 2629-2639

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