Expanding neurochemical investigations with multi-modal recording: simultaneous fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, iontophoresis, and patch clamp measurements

Analyst. 2016 Aug 2;141(16):4902-11. doi: 10.1039/c6an00933f.


Multi-modal recording describes the simultaneous collection of information across distinct domains. Compared to isolated measurements, such studies can more easily determine relationships between varieties of phenomena. This is useful for neurochemical investigations which examine cellular activity in response to changes in the local chemical environment. In this study, we demonstrate a method to perform simultaneous patch clamp measurements with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) using optically isolated instrumentation. A model circuit simulating concurrent measurements was used to predict the electrical interference between instruments. No significant impact was anticipated between methods, and predictions were largely confirmed experimentally. One exception was due to capacitive coupling of the FSCV potential waveform into the patch clamp amplifier. However, capacitive transients measured in whole-cell current clamp recordings were well below the level of biological signals, which allowed the activity of cells to be easily determined. Next, the activity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) was examined in the presence of an FSCV electrode to determine how the exogenous potential impacted nearby cells. The activities of both resting and active MSNs were unaffected by the FSCV waveform. Additionally, application of an iontophoretic current, used to locally deliver drugs and other neurochemicals, did not affect neighboring cells. Finally, MSN activity was monitored during iontophoretic delivery of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter. Membrane depolarization and cell firing were observed concurrently with chemical changes around the cell resulting from delivery. In all, we show how combined electrophysiological and electrochemical measurements can relate information between domains and increase the power of neurochemical investigations.