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J Neurosci Methods. 2013 Mar 30;214(1):113-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2013.01.017. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

Optopatcher--an electrode holder for simultaneous intracellular patch-clamp recording and optical manipulation.

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Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Optogenetics has rapidly become a standard method in neuroscience research. Although significant progress has been made in the development of molecular tools, refined techniques for combined light delivery and recording in vivo are still lacking. For example, simultaneous intracellular recording and light stimulation have only been possible by using two separate positioning systems. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a glass pipette holder which contains an additional port for the insertion of an optical fiber into the pipette. This device, which we called "optopatcher" allows whole cell patch-clamp recording simultaneously with direct projection of light from the recording pipette. The holder spares the use of an additional manipulator and, importantly, enables accurate, stable and reproducible illumination. In addition, replacement of standard pipettes is done as easily as with the available commercial holders. Here we used the optopatcher in vivo to record the membrane potential of neurons from different cortical layers in the motor cortex of transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2 under the Thy1 promoter. We demonstrate the utility of the optopatcher by recording LFP and intracellular responses to light stimulation.

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