Perforated Whole-Cell Recordings in Automated Patch Clamp Electrophysiology
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The automated patch clamp (APC) technology is used for increasing the data throughput of electrophysiological measurements, especially in safety pharmacology and drug discovery. Typically, electrical access to the cells is obtained using standard whole-cell formation by rupturing the membrane, thereby causing a rapid washout of cytosolic components. In contrast, the perforated whole-cell configuration provides electrical access to the cell interior while limiting intracellular wash-out. This method allows for recordings of ion channels that are gated by intracellular modulators (e.g., ATP, cyclic nucleotides, or Ca2+), prevents channel current “run down,” and maintains a physiological membrane potential for action potential recordings. Here we present some practical approaches to the use of perforated patch-clamp for APC recordings. Our findings from these high-throughput, data-rich measurements (e.g., defining optimized concentrations and practical recommendations for four different perforating agents) can be more broadly applied to perforated patch-clamp experiments in general (automated and manual), improving success rates, experimental conditions, and applications.