Patch clamp technique: Review of the current state of the art and potential contributions from nanoengineering

Y. Zhao, S. Inayat, D. A. Dikin, J. H. Singer, R. S. Ruoff, J. B. Troy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The patch clamp technique permits high-resolution recording of the ionic currents flowing through a cell's plasma membrane. In different configurations, this technique has allowed experimenters to record and manipulate the currents that flow either through single ion channels or those that flow across the whole plasma membrane. Unfortunately, the conventional patch clamp method is laborious, requiring the careful fabrication of electrodes, skillful manipulation of the patch pipette towards a cell, and the clever design of electronics and apparatus to allow low-noise recordings. Advances in microfabrication offer promising technologies for high-throughput patch clamp recordings, particularly suitable for drug screening. This paper provides a review of the advances that have been made in the patch clamp technique over the years and considers where application of nanotechnology might provide significant contributions in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part N: Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Automation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Microfabrication
  • Nanoactuation
  • Patch clamp technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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