Versatile piezoelectric driver for cell puncture
A simple and versatile tool facilitating micropuncture of small cells is described which utilizes a commercial piezoelectric element made from a stacked column of monomorph ceramic discs. The device is able to advance complete input stage-electrode-assemblies with high speed and can be used in combination with conventional micromanipulators. Advancing characteristics as recorded optically at high magnification demonstrated less axial vibration, although faster action, than two other modern micropositioners driven by step motors. In biological experiments on selected tissues (Necturus gallbladder epithelium, Amphiuma renal distal tubule cells, rabbit and human corneal endothelium) the combined use of micromanipulator and piezo-stepper was, in all cases, superior to the use of a micromanipulator alone: the percentage of successful cell penetrations increased, cell potentials were stable for a longer time, and the durability of electrode-tips improved.
Key wordsMicropuncture technique Epithelial cells Intracellular impalement
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