Sucrose-gap technique: Advantages and limitations
The sucrose-gap technique has been widely used as a convenient tool for recording of the membrane activities from myelinated or unmyelinated nerves and muscle preparations (such as smooth and cardiac muscles). The quantitative measurements of membrane and action potentials in preparations with electrical coupling between their compartments are made much easier by this technique; the recorded potentials are rather similar to those recorded with a microelectrode. Recording of the membrane activities is of great value to experimenters studying the nervous system due to the simplicity and ease of use of this technique and the broad spectrum of sensitivity to agents influencing the electrical activity. This paper is focused on the set-up procedure and operation of the sucrose-gap technique, which provides an inexpensive, practical, and effective method for the investigation of the effects of drugs on the membrane activities of nerves and muscles in vitro.