Dynamic Clamp: Synthetic Conductances and Their Influence on Membrane Potential
Dynamic clamp refers to the use of a computer to stimulate neurons or other excitable cells with a signal (usually an electrical current) which is calculated in real-time using feedback of the membrane potential. Most often, this is done to inject conductance which mimics the electrical behavior of membrane ion channels, for example, synaptic or voltage-gated channels.
The earliest use of an artificial membrane conductance as an experimental tool for studying excitable cells is probably the simulation of a gap-junctional connection between cardiac muscle cells by an analog resistor, described by Tan & Joyner in 1990, an idea which also appears in the Ph.D. thesis by Scott in 1979 (see Goaillard and Marder 2006). Dynamic clamp, in its usual sense of using a freely programmable digital computer, in a feedback loop comprising analog-to-digital conversion, a...
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