A novel way to go whole cell in patch-clamp experiments

Samsoon Inayat, Yan Zhao, Donald R. Cantrell, Dmitriy A. Dikin, Lawrence H. Pinto, John B. Troy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


With a conventional patch-clamp electrode, an Ag/AgCl wire sits stationary inside the pipette. To move from the gigaseal cell-attached configuration to whole-cell recording, suction is applied inside the pipette. We have designed and developed a novel Pushpen patch-clamp electrode, in which a W wire insulated and wound with Ag/AgCl wire can move linearly inside the pipette. The W wire has a conical tip, which can protrude from the pipette tip like a push pen, a procedure we call the Pushpen Operation. We use the Pushpen operation to impale the cell membrane in cell-attached configuration to go whole cell without disruption of the gigaseal. We successfully recorded whole-cell currents from Chinese hamster ovarian cells expressing influenza A virus protein A/M2, after obtaining whole-cell configuration with the Pushpen operation. This novel method of achieving whole-cell configuration may have a higher success rate than the conventional patch-clamp technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5497104
Pages (from-to)2764-2770
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Electrophysiology
  • gigaseal
  • patch clamp
  • whole cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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