Patch clamp techniques
The patch clamp is a laboratory technique used to observe the activity of ion movement in a single cell. It is particularly used to monitor ion channels in excitable cells such as neurons and muscle fibres. It requires the use of a micropipette which is held tightly onto an isolated patch of cell membrane and an electrode which is securely positioned onto the surface of the cell membrane. It is important to note that the interior if the pipette is filled with an equimolar solution to the bath. Suction is applied to create high resistance between the pipette and cell membrane. This is known as a "Gigaohm seal". This high resistance seal makes it possible to electronically isolate the currents measured across the patch of membrance.