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Ion channels in small cells and subcellular structures can be studied with a smart patch-clamp system

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Chris Edwards, Emeritus Professor Michael Whitaker


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We have developed a scanning patch-clamp technique that facilitates single-channel recording from small cells and submicron cellular structures that are inaccessible by conventional methods. The scanning patch-clamp technique combines scanning ion conductance microscopy and patch-clamp recording through a single glass nanopipette probe. In this method the nanopipette is first scanned over a cell surface, using current feedback, to obtain a high-resolution topographic image. This same pipette is then used to make the patch-clamp recording. Because image information is obtained via the patch electrode it can be used to position the pipette onto a cell with nanometer precision. The utility of this technique is demonstrated by obtaining ion channel recordings from the top of epithelial microvilli and openings of cardiomyocyte T-tubules. Furthermore, for the first time we have demonstrated that it is possible to record ion channels from very small cells, such as sperm cells, under physiological conditions as well as record from cellular microstructures such as submicron neuronal processes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gorelik J, Gu YC, Spohr HA, Shevchuk AI, Lab MJ, Harding SE, Edwards CRW, Whitaker M, Moss GWJ, Benton DCH, Sanchez D, Darszon A, Vodyanoy I, Klenerman D, Korchev YE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biophysical Journal

Year: 2002

Volume: 83

Issue: 6

Pages: 3296-3303

ISSN (print): 0006-3495

ISSN (electronic): 1542-0086

Publisher: Cell Press


DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3495(02)75330-7


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