Patch Clamp Manipulation

Manipulators for Biology


Fig.1: Patch pipette moved by a Nanomotor

Fig. 2: A patch clamp head including an additional D.O.F.

Fig. 3: Sketch of the patch clamp head

Patch Clamp Manipulators, Small, cartesian, robust and in closed loop:
For Patch Clamp Manipulation a microscope is combined with manipulators. Since these manipulators are quite big the mechanical path from patch pipette to a cell can be about one meter, causing drift and oscillations. A clever setup is necessary when you like to have more than one or two manipulators pointing at the same position:

Conventional bulky patch clamp manipulator setup (gray) and a Nanorobotics manipulator in the center, scaled 1:1 into the image.

A normal microscope with four manipulators for cell manipulation is shown in the background of the upper picture. An area of about two square meter is filled with this equipment. The manipulators are fixed on the ground, not at the sample stage. So sample and manipulator cam move relative to each other. The small picture on top of it shows one NMT xyz-manipulator, scaled into this setup. This very compact device can replace one of the four big ones completely - with a much higher precision. And some of these manipulators can be fixed directly at the sample stage with a very short mechanical path to the sample. This manipulator is by far not the samllest we can deliver. It includes position sensors for repeatable operation and a preamplifier is also assembled at the top end.

A Nanomotor inside of a Patch Clamp Head:
Even inside of a Patch Clamp Head there is space enough for a Nanomotor, see Fig. 2 and 3 and the following image:

A "Small" Nanomotor inside the patch pipette

This additional degree of freedom allows to measure the mobility of molecules that leave a single cell: High resolution patch capacitance measurements of membrane fusion in combination with amperometric detection of released molecules. The amperometric detector is placed inside of the patch pipette. Details are described in the paper Electrochemical methods for Neuroscience.


Manipulators of the Nanorobotics series are ideal for patch clamping. They are much smaller, more precise and show less drift and oscillation than bigger systems.
Products in this application:

Liquid handling, Paper

Electrochemical methods for Neuroscience

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