Action potentials recorded with patch-clamp amplifiers: are they genuine?

Trends Neurosci. 1996 Dec;19(12):530-4. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(96)40004-2.


A growing number of experimental studies have used patch-clamp amplifiers (PCAs) in the current-clamp (CC) mode to investigate classical excitability. In this paper we show that the measurements obtained in this way are affected by errors due to the electronic design of the PCA input section. We present experimental evidence of such errors, and demonstrate that they derive from PCA current absorption. Moreover, we propose a new PCA input-circuit configuration for the CC mode, which is suitable for accurately recording physiological voltage signals and is perfectly compatible with the standard voltage-clamp mode.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Artifacts
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / instrumentation
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / standards*