Patch Clamp Technique and Applications

  • Chao-Yin ChenEmail author
Part of the Handbook of Modern Biophysics book series (HBBT, volume 5)


There are two main modes in patch clamp recordings: voltage clamp and current clamp. In the voltage clamp mode, the membrane voltage is controlled by the amplifier through the recording pipette and the corresponding current through the pipette is measured. In the current clamp mode, the amplifier controls the amount of current passing through the pipette and the corresponding change in voltage is measured. A third less used mode involves applying no clamp (often designated as I = 0 on the amplifier). This mode is similar to intracellular recordings with a sharp electrode. This chapter will focus on the basic setup and concepts of the patch clamp technique, including considerations of noise and voltage errors in the measurement.


Patch Clamp Technique Membrane Voltage Membrane Patch Voltage Error Current Clamp Mode 
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I would like to acknowledge funding support from the National Institute of Health (ES012957, ES025229, and HL091763). I gratefully acknowledge Dr. Lauren Liets for her invaluable inputs and Ms. Emma Karey for editing the manuscript.

Supplementary material


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA

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