Single cell patch-clamp electrophysiology

Whatever your therapeutic area – cognitive decline, schizophrenia, neuropathic pain, or epilepsy – chances are you are interested in the precise action of your compounds on neurotransmission. Manual patch-clamp electrophysiology allows for high resolution recordings from a single neuron. Detailed physiological and pharmacological inquiries can be addressed with this technique.

Patch-clamp electrophysiology is performed with a borosilicate electrode of 1-2 µm tip diameter within a pipette containing electrolyte solution. The pipette tip is tightly sealed onto the neuronal membrane and “patches” an isolated part of the membrane, electrically. Currents flow through the channels in this patch and can then be recorded by an electrode connected to a differential amplifier. The pipette tip makes a giga-ohm seal with the neuronal membrane, providing metrics related to membrane conductance from the electrical current flow.

Scientific Poster Resources

A patch pipette with a borosilicate electrode inserted onto the neuronal membrane of a primary hippocampal neuron culture.

Learn how patch-clamp electrophysiology can be used to characterize the functional activity of your stem cell-derived neurons.

Download the Poster

Manual patch-clamp electrophysiology is routinely used to characterize stem cell differentiations for mature phenotypes and it is used to assess pharmacological manipulations with ion channel activators or inhibitors in both primary neurons and brain tissue:

In vitro/In vivo/Ex vivo tissue:

  • iPSC/ hESC- derived neurons
  • Primary neurons (cortical, hippocampal & striatal)
  • Acute brain slices

Manual patch-clamp readouts:

  • Long-term potentiation
  • Cells pertrack
  • H-M reflex
  • Evoked and spontaneous postsynaptic potentials/ currents
    • EPSP/ IPSP
    • EPSC/ IPSC

Automated patch-clamp:

Ion channel portfolio with over 120 targets organized into Channel Panels guide early screening and selectivity profiling:

Talk to a patch-clamp expert

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology

  • What does single cell recording measure?

    Single cell recordings measure the electrophysiological responses of single neurons using a microelectrode system. The microelectrode is inserted into the brain slice or single neuron, where it can record the rate of change in voltage with respect to time. These voltage changes are the result of action potentials originating from the intracellular space.

  • How will patch-clamp electrophysiology enhance my studies?

    Patch-clamp is a powerful technique that has no alternative. There is no other way to measure the intracellular action potentials of neurons and obtain high resolution and detailed electrical activity, down to a single neuron. Many patch-clamp electrophysiologists use this technique to answer questions related to functional activity of differentiated stem cells, disease modeling of primary tissues from transgenic animal models, or pharmacological manipulations.

  • Can Charles River record action potentials from neuromuscular junctions?

    Yes. Neuromuscular measurements are frequently recorded in vivo using electromyography (EMG). Both compound muscle action potential (CMAP) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) provide valuable insights into neuromuscular functional activity. It is frequently used to study animal models of motor neuron degeneration such as in ALS.