Patch clamp electrophysiology

Patch clamp electrophysiology is a technique to measure electrical properties of cells using fine glass electrode and sensitive amplifiers.  You can measure properties such as resting membrane potential (RMP) and examine action potentials using a current clamp configuration, or you can measure the activity of ion channels in the cell membrane using a voltage clamp configuration.

Here is a great description of patch clamp electrophysiology from the microscope supplier Leica

Patch clamp electrophysiology tells us about electrical properties of individual neurons, as well as the properties of the synaptic connections between neurons.  Properties of neurons can be altered as part or normal physiological processed such as learning and memory, and properties can be altered in disease states.  Unravelling the normal electrical properties of neurons in homeostatic circuits, and determining how neuronal circuits are altered in disease states such as obesity and diabetes will allow us to develop better prevention and treatment strategies.

Recipes for patch clamp solutions

Culturing live neurons

We grow rodent neurons in culture dishes for electrophysiology experiments.  The procedures are based on the work of Greg Brewer (Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL 62794-9626, USA).  We rely on HIBERNATE culture media, sold and distributed by Brain Bits LLC to produce the cultures we use for patch clamp.

Here are some pictures of neurons we've cultured (submitted for publication).  Click here for a description of our protocol

Measuring gene expression

We use several techniques to measure gene expression, qPCR, microarray and RNA sequencing

gene expression

qPCR, microarrays, deep sequencing.....

Cell culture

Yeah, we grow cells.


Patch Clamp

Mark Fry

Obesity Research

Ghrelin Receptor