Author(s): Stett A, Burkhardt C, Weber U, van Stiphout P, Knott T
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Abstract Automats for patch clamping suspended cells in whole-cell configuration must (1) bring isolated cells in contact with patch contacts, (2) form gigaseals, and (3) establish stable intracellular access that allows for high quality recording of ionic currents. Single openings in planar substrates seem to be intriguing simple solutions for these problems, but due to the low rate of formation of whole-cell configurations we discarded this approach. Single openings are not suited for both attracting cells to the opening by suction and forming gigaseals with subsequent membrane rupture. To settle the three tasks with a mechanical microstructure we developed the socalled CYTOCENTERING technique to apply to suspended cells the same operation sequence as in conventional patch clamping. With this method we immobilized selected cells from a flowing suspension on the tip of a patch pipette by suction with a success rate of 97\% and formed gigaseals with a success rate of 68\%. Subsequent whole-cell recordings and intracellular staining with Lucifer yellow proved the stable access to the cytoplasm. Currently, a chip with an embedded suction opening in glass surrounding the microstructured contact pipette is under development. The processing of this CYTOPATCH chip is compatible to large-volume production. The CYTOPATCH automat will allow for fully automated, parallel, and asynchronous whole-cell recordings.
This article was published in Receptors Channels
and referenced in Journal of Physical Chemistry & Biophysics