Electrophysiology setup

Patch-clamp and Two-Electrode Voltage Clamp (TEVC).

Electrophysiology measures the activity of ion channels in real time. Ion channels are present in the cell membranes. They allow the passage of ions in a selective manner. Because ion channels create a flux of charged particles, a current is generated and quantified by electrophysiology measurements.

Electrophysiology allows characterization of ion channel activity in different contexts. It can be measured in its native tissue (i.e. brain slices), heterologously expressed in systems like, for instance, mammalian cells, Xenopus (frog) oocytes or can be characterized after purification and reconstituted in a membrane-like environment (lipid planar bilayer, giant vesicles…).

Electrophysiology recordings give information about the ion channel properties, such as the open probability (“time” an ion channel stays open), rectification (preferential orientation of the ion flow), ion selectivity, permeability and stimuli that influence ion channel gating (voltage, mechanical stimulus, ligand, drugs, toxins…).

Equipment

  • Sutter Pipette puller: Used to pull glass pipettes for patch-clamp, two-electrode voltage clamp and microinjections.
  • Microforge: Cut glass pipettes at a defined diameter.
  • Patch-clamp and Two-Electrode Voltage Clamp (TEVC): It consists of a Faraday cage, an anti-vibration table, a stereomicroscope (for TEVC), an inverted fluorescence microscope (for patch-clamp), amplifiers, a data acquisition system, a perfusion system and micromanipulators.
  • Planar Lipid Bilayer workstation: It is comprised of an amplifier, a low-pass Bessel filter, an anti-vibration table, a single perfusion system and a magnetic stirrer.

Location

Medical Sciences Building, Rooms 5252 and 1204

Coordinator and Contact

Oliver P. Ernst

Oliver P. Ernst

MSB, Room 5259
1 King's College Circle
416-978-3849
oliver.ernst@utoronto.ca