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J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Mar 15;151(2):178-85. Epub 2005 Aug 29.

Improved superfusion technique for rapid cooling or heating of cultured cells under patch-clamp conditions.

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Department of Cellular Neurophysiology, Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic.


We have developed an improved technique for fast cooling and heating of solutions superfusing isolated cells under patch-clamp or calcium imaging conditions. The system meets the requirements for studying temperature dependency of all kinds of ion channels, in particular temperature-gated ion channels. It allows the application of temperature changes within a range of 5-60 degrees C at maximum rates of -40 degrees C/s to 60 degrees C/s. Barrels filled with different solutions are connected to a manifold consisting of seven silica capillaries (320 microm inner diameter, i.d.). A common outlet consists of a glass capillary through which the solutions are applied onto the cell surface. The upper part of this capillary is embedded in a temperature exchanger driven by a miniature Peltier device which preconditions the temperature of the passing solution. The lower part of the capillary carries an insulated copper wire, densely coiled over a length of 7 mm, and connected to a dc current source for resistive heating. The Peltier device and the heating element are electrically connected to the headstage probe which is fixed on to a micromanipulator for positioning of the manifold. The temperature of the flowing solution is measured by a miniature thermocouple inserted into the common outlet capillary near to its orifice which is placed at a distance of less than 100 microm from the surface of the examined cell. The temperature is either manually controlled by voltage commands or adjusted via the digital-to-analog converter of a conventional data acquisition interface. Examples are given of using the device in patch-clamp studies on heterologously expressed TRPV1, TRPM8, and on cultured rat sensory neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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