Temperature control

With our temperature control modules, we allow for accurate and rapid temperature regulation ranging from 10-42°C with high precision and accuracy of ±0.5°C.

Temperature measurement and feedback are taken directly from the bed-of-nails (BON) beneath the measurement sites. The temperature regulation is performed using circulating water in the BON. It is not a straightforward engineering task to integrate liquid flow in the BON. However, temperature control must be performed very close to the measurement sites to ensure precise control with minimum fluctuations. If not, laboratory and cabinet temperature will influence the accuracy significantly.

For QPatch, the manifold base plate is also thermostated with water from the same reservoir, ensuring that the manifold has the same temperature as the BON decrease time to equilibrium.

QPatch II temperature control specifications

QPatch II temperature control specifications

QPatch II temperature control schematics

Schematics of QPatch II temperature control. Both BON and manifold landing plate are temperature controlled to allow for fast equilibrium. Temperature sensors are embedded in the BON, directly below the measurement sites, with feedback to circulating unit and internal PC. Data are logged on the Oracle database with timestamps together with rest of the patch-clamp data.

Temperature data storage

With a temperature control module, we ensure all data is registered and stored in the database together with your electrophysiology data. Temperature data is thus readily available for analysis after an experiment run.

Water is an efficient heat conductor

We often get the question: “Why use water”? Water is an excellent heat conductor and the liquid flow gives us the best possible and most efficient solution to regulate temperature close to the measurement sites. Our solution is ISO-certified for electrical safety.

Target temperature accuracy and precision

Our systems design allows for a stable BON temperature independent of room temperature. For QPatch, the temperature span is as little as ±0.1°C and uniformity across the QPlate of  ±0.2°C (at 10-30°C) and ±0.4°C at temperatures above 30°C. Accuracy is ±0.5°C from the target temperature for all sites. This is due to an excellent heat coupling between BON and QPlate, with a coupling efficiency of 0.93.

Thermal measurements of BON temperature for QPatch II 48.

Thermal measurements of BON temperature for QPatch II 48.

Low temporal variation in temperature

Using Sophion’s systems and with temperature control, the measurement plates stabilize the temperature within 2 min and are thus well equilibrated after priming has taken place. When the plates have equilibrated, the variation in temperature over time is low. Temperature fluctuations over time are ±0.2°C and thus negligible.

Minimal disparities in instrument temperature fluctuations

Instrument-to-instrument variation can be critical when having multiple instruments on the same or more sites. The most significant difference found during validation (QPatch II 16 and QPatch II 48) was ±0.25°C, which is within user requirement specifications, and does not affect pharmacology data.

Temperature control QP301 vs QP313

No significant difference was observed between the two systems' pharmacological data. Group Hill fits on QPatch 301 vs QPatch 313. Dose-response curve recorded on a QPatch II 16 and a QPatch II 48 with temperature control. 15°C (left), 25°C (middle) and 35°C (right).

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