Associating Living Cells and Computational Models: an Introduction to Dynamic Clamp Principles and its Applications

Part of the Springer Series in Computational Neuroscience book series (NEUROSCI, volume 1)


The dynamic-clamp electrophysiological technique allows the mimicking of the electrical effects of arbitrary ion channels, controlled by the experimentalist, activating and inactivating into the membrane of an intracellularly recorded biological cell. Dynamic clamp relies on the establishing of a loop between the injected current and the recorded membrane potential. In this introductory chapter, we first present the principles of the technique, starting by recalling the basis of the equivalent electrical circuit representation of a cellular membrane. We then briefly list some of the issues encountered in the practical implementation of the dynamic-clamp loop. Finally, we overview the numerous applications of the method to the study of neurons, other excitable cells and networks of cells: these include the manipulation of intrinsic ion channels and of single or multiple synaptic inputs to a cell, as well as the construction of whole hybrid networks in which the biological cell interacts with model cells simulated in real time using a digital or analog system. Many of the applications briefly presented here are the subject of the following chapters.


Synaptic Input Equivalent Electrical Circuit Hybrid Network Synaptic Conductance Biological Neuron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Jose Gomez and Charlotte Deleuze for comments on an earlier version of this chapter. Research supported by CNRS, ANR, ACI, HFSP, and the European Community (FACETS grant FP6 15879). Z.P. gratefully acknowledges the support of the FRM.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unité de Neurosciences Intégratives et Computationnelles (UNIC), CNRSFrance

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