Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Patch Clamp Technique

  • Thomas NowotnyEmail author
  • Vincenzo Marra
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_133-3


The patch clamp technique is an electrophysiological technique used to measure the currents passing through ionic channels and the membrane potential of electrically active cells. This technique was first introduced by Neher and Sakmann (1976), and it is now widely used in neuroscience to characterize the electrical properties of neuronal membranes.

Detailed Description

Patch clamp recordings are obtained by electrically isolating a patch of membrane using an electrolyte-filled glass capillary in close proximity to the cell membrane. A silver or silver chloride electrode inserted at the other end of the capillary will provide electrical continuity with a reference electrode placed in the extracellular bath solution (Fig. 1). The lipid bilayer which constitutes the cell membrane will seal onto the glass capillary forming what is generally described as a gigaseal, to indicate that the resistance between the tip of the pipette and the reference electrode is on the order of...


Patch Clamp Patch Clamp Technique Patch Clamp Recording Patch Pipette Voltage Clamp Technique 
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Further Reading

  1. Hamill OP, Marty A, Neher E, Sakmann B, Sigworth FJ (1981) Improved patch-clamp techniques for high-resolution current recording from cells and cell-free membrane patches. Pflugers Arch 391(2):85–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ogden D (1994) Microelectrode techniques: the Plymouth workshop handbook, 2nd edn. The Company of Biologists, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. Sackmann B, Neher E (2009) Single channel recording, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, School of Engineering and InformaticsUniversity of SussexFalmer, BrightonUK
  2. 2.Department of Cell Physiology and PharmacologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK