Combining optical tweezers and patch clamp for studies of cell membrane electromechanics

Feng Qian; Ermilov, Sergey; Murdock, David; Brownell, William E.; Anvari, Bahman
September 2004
Review of Scientific Instruments;Sep2004, Vol. 75 Issue 9, p2937
Academic Journal
We have designed and implemented a novel experimental setup which combines optical tweezers with patch-clamp apparatus to investigate the electromechanical properties of cellular plasma membranes. In this system, optical tweezers provide measurement of forces at piconewton scale, and the patch-clamp technique allows control of the cell transmembrane potential. A micron-size bead trapped by the optical tweezers is brought in contact with the membrane of a voltage-clamped cell, and subsequently moved away to form a plasma membrane tether. Bead displacement from the trapping center is monitored by a quadrant photodetector for dynamic measurements of tether force. Fluorescent beads and the corresponding fluorescence imaging optics are used to eliminate the shadow of the cell projected on the quadrant photodetector. Salient information associated with the mechanical properties of the membrane tether can thus be obtained. A unique feature of this setup is that the patch-clamp headstage and the manipulator for the recording pipette are mounted on a piezoelectric stage, preventing relative movements between the cell and the patch pipette during the process of tether pulling. Tethers can be pulled from the cell membrane at different holding potentials, and the tether force response can be measured while changing transmembrane potential. Experimental results from mammalian cochlear outer hair cells and human embryonic kidney cells are presented.


Related Articles

  • Seeing stars.  // Teaching Science: The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers;Spring2005, Vol. 51 Issue 3, p51 

    Features cube corner, an Australian piece of precision scientific equipment. Description of the equipment; Steps in making cube corners; Performance of the equipment.

  • Construction of a Cantilever-Andreev-Tunneling rig and its applications to superconductors. Park, W. K.; Greene, L. H. // Review of Scientific Instruments;Feb2006, Vol. 77 Issue 2, p023905 

    A technique for point-contact spectroscopy, based on an electromechanical mechanism for the contact formation, has been developed. It is designed to be used in both 4He and 3He cryostats. The performance has been demonstrated by conductance measurements on various kinds of superconductors,...

  • Mimicking Mars: A vacuum simulation chamber for testing environmental instrumentation for Mars exploration. Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A. // Review of Scientific Instruments;2014, Vol. 85 Issue 3, p1 

    We have built a Mars environmental simulation chamber, designed to test new electromechanical devices and instruments that could be used in space missions. We have developed this environmental system aiming at validating the meteorological station Rover Environment Monitoring Station of NASA's...

  • In-situ comprehensive calibration of a tri-port nano-electro-mechanical device. Collin, E.; Defoort, M.; Lulla, K.; Moutonet, T.; Heron, J.-S.; Bourgeois, O.; Bunkov, Yu. M.; Godfrin, H. // Review of Scientific Instruments;Apr2012, Vol. 83 Issue 4, p045005 

    We report on experiments performed in vacuum and at cryogenic temperatures on a tri-port nano-electro-mechanical (NEMS) device. One port is a very nonlinear capacitive actuation, while the two others implement the magnetomotive scheme with a linear input force port and a (quasi-linear) output...

  • A hammer-action micropositioner for scanning probe microscopes. Blackford, B.L.; Jericho, M.H. // Review of Scientific Instruments;Jan1997, Vol. 68 Issue 1, p133 

    Reports on the use of the hammer-action effect produced by the closing of a miniature electromechanical relay to propel a rod along a track by the stick-slip inertial slider effect, with step sizes in the range of 30-500 nanometer and at frequencies up to 75 Hertz. Design and operation of the...

  • Split rheometer Couette attachment to enable sample extraction. Guthrie, Sarah E.; Idziak, Stefan H. J. // Review of Scientific Instruments;Feb2005, Vol. 76 Issue 2, p026110 

    We report on the development of a Couette attachment insert for a rheometer, which is designed to split in half, enabling intact sample extraction of cocoa butter crystallized from the melt under known dynamic stress conditions. This cell is capable of producing a sample 1 mm thick. At shear...

  • A Golgi-on-a-chip for glycan synthesis. Ding Xu; Esko, Jeffrey D. // Nature Chemical Biology;Sep2009, Vol. 5 Issue 9, p612 

    One of the primary functions of the Golgi apparatus is the assembly of glycans on macromolecules destined for secretion or the plasma membrane. A recent study describes the first step toward an artificial Golgi, based on a microfluidic chip and magnetic nanoparticles.

  • ATR accessory.  // Spectroscopy;Apr2006, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p54 

    The article evaluates the Accessory accessory designed by Harrick Scientific Products Inc. for ATR measurements of solid, liquid and paste samples.

  • Large scale image projection setup for observation of flocculation in heavy oil/water emulsions. Da Costa, Germán // Review of Scientific Instruments;Sep2005, Vol. 76 Issue 9, p096105 

    A heavy oil-in-water emulsion is heated by a continuous wave laser beam, thus producing an ascending thermoconvective liquid flow. Once at the open free surface the oil particles are directly heated by the incoming laser beam, which gives rise to flocculation and eventually to coalescence. A...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics