Electrophysiology   1 comment

Our tissue cultures, after becoming differentiated, form an electric circuit. We measure the voltage, the resistance, and the current to determine if the cells have responded to the forces we apply. It is very similar to the membrane potential, but the voltages and currents are much lower (about 10 mV and 10 uA/cm^2) than what they talk about in the Wiki article. The technique we use is similar to patch clamping.

We use a special culture chamber to measure the voltage and resistance in conjuction with force experiments. The current in our cultures is primarily due to the flow of sodium, but it is hypothesized that calcium may also be involved. We block the sodium flow by using amiloride, and calcium with cilnidipine.

In this lab, electrophysiology is tool to understand how the cells function as a tissue, rather than as individual cells. This then provides insight into certain diseases at the level of organs, rather than the component cells.

Another important consideration is that electrophysiology, like flow chambers, measure an average of all the individual cells, while imaging and laser tweezers allow experimental control at the level of individual cells.

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Posted August 27, 2010 by resnicklab

One response to “Electrophysiology

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  1. I really enjoy the material you include on your site it truly has helped me out a great deal thanks

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