Port-a-Patch: World's smallest patch clamp rig
The Port-a-Patch is a miniaturized patch clamp system supporting giga-seal recordings from one cell at a time. It offers fast and easy access to high quality patch clamp data with only minimal training. Not only a powerful research tool but also ideal for educational purposes and quick tests of cells and ion channels. The benefits the Port-a-Patch offers include:
- External & internal perfusion
- Temperature control
- Voltage & current clamp
- Whole-cell & perforated patch clamp
- Chips produced in-house, various resistances available (customizable on request)
- Rseries compensation
- Unlimited compound applications
- Voltage and ligand-gated ion channels
- High success rates with cell lines; use of primary cells and stem cells also possible
- Easy to use, minimal training required
- Adjustment of parameters during experiments for fast and efficient assay development
Using the Port-a-Patch is straightforward and easy – the user simply adds solutions and cells onto the disposable recording chip, where a cell is automatically captured and sealed by suction using a computer controlled pump. A microscope or micro-manipulator are not required.
Add-Ons such as the Internal and External Perfusion and Temperature Control, as well as the ability to conduct current clamp and bilayer experiments, broaden the range of possible experiments for scientific research immensely.
The Port-a-Patch system is comprised of the Port-a-Patch recording unit, a Suction Control unit, a HEKA amplifier and a computer. If an amplifier is already available, this can be integrated with the Port-a-Patch system in most cases. Further add-ons are available for specific assays as e.g. temperature control, microscope slides or automated perfusion systems.
For detailed information:
Add-Ons and Features
External Perfusion System
The External Perfusion System for the Port-a-Patch is comprised of a computer controlled magnetic pinch valve panel and a dedicated flow chamber. Up to eight different solutions can be handled by the perfusion panel. Solutions can either be switched manually or via the software. The latter allows synchronization of data acquisition with solution exchange, as well as tagging of the collected traces with relevant information such as compound and concentration applied. Temperature Control is also available in combination with the External Perfusion System enabling a stable maintenance of elevated temperatures.
The Laminar Flow Chamber which is provided with the External Perfusion System has a solution exchange time of <150 ms making it ideal for studies of both ligand and voltage gated channels.
Internal Perfusion System
Nanion’s planar patch clamp chips offer the unique possibility to perfuse the intracellular side of the membrane. This aspect is exploited with the Internal Perfusion System for the Port-a-Patch. Up to eight different solutions can be perfused inside the cell, allowing dose response analysis of compounds acting on the cytosolic portion of the ion channel. Second messengers and metabolites can also be added internally to investigate how ion channel function is affected. Solutions are exchanged within seconds, and the ion channel modulation can be continuously monitored during the solution exchange.
The Internal Perfusion System is an Add-On for the Port- a-Patch. Combined with Nanion’s Perfusion System it can be operated either manually, or fully computer controlled. In this way, data acquisition can be synchronized with solution exchange and traces automatically tagged with the compound information.
The Temperature Control for the Port-a-Patch allows experiments at elevated temperatures or application of short temperature pulses. Two components are used to heat the solutions: a canulla for heating the solution during continuous perfusion, and a resistive heating element integrated in the Faraday cage. This results in stable temperature maintenance whether or not the cell is perfused. A computer interface is used to monitor and control the temperature, allowing temperature changes with the click of a button.Temperatures can be set up to 60 °C (± 0.5 °C) and are typically reached within two minutes. Cooling is passive. The Temperature Control is an Add-On for the Port-a-Patch and is a useful tool for studies of ion channels at physiological temperature and temperature gated channels, such as TRP channels.
Port-a-Patch Microscope Slide
Nanion offers the Port-a-Patch Microscope Slide developed for the simultaneous visualization and patch clamp recording of the cell. Fluorescence measurements using an upright microscope can therefore be combined with current recordings.
Suction Control Pro
The Suction Control Pro contains an interface for communication with the analog in- and outputs of the patch clamp amplifier. Via this communication route, pressure application can be synchronized with voltage protocols and they can be simultaneously recorded.
The Suction Control Pro is ideally suited for studies of mechanosensitive ion channels and for studying the effect of pressure on artificial and cellular membranes. The add-on is available in conjunction with the Port-a-Patch. It is compatible with all existing Port-a-Patch systems.
Low Capacitance Holder
The Low Capacitance Holder for the Port-a-Patch has been developed to reduce the capacitance of the recording system, thereby increasing the temporal resolution and the signal-to-noise ratio. This reduction in capacitance is critical for experiments requiring increased resolution, e.g. recordings of small conductance ion channels with fast gating properties in a planar lipid bilayer or in the cell attached mode. The capacitance of the whole system including a bilayer on the chip is approximatey 2.5 pF, compared to 6.5 pF for the standard Port-a-Patch. This corresponds to Irms values of 400 fA compared to 1.1 pA (gain: 1000 mV/pA, bandwidth: 3 kHz) for the Low Capacitance Holder and the standard Port-a-Patch.
PatchContol: the intuitive Software of the Port-a-Patch
PatchControl is a software programme written with the user in mind. Pre-written protocols can be loaded and altered, allowing the entire procedure for cell capture, sealing and obtaining the whole cell configuration to be completely automated. However, because we know that sometimes you just want to control things yourself, the protocols can be interrupted at any time and the suction controlled manually.
Through innovative communication with electrophysiology software, PatchControl can read important parameters such as membrane resistance, whole cell capacitance and series resistance and moves through the pre-programmed steps accordingly. Parameters such as suction strength and duration, voltage and membrane criteria can be set and altered to obtain the optimum parameters for cells routinely used in your lab. Not only that, complex macros can be easily implemented, allowing everything from simple changes in gain to complex perfusion routines to be programmed and automatically performed.
The PatchControl software is there to make your patch clamp life easier, from automated cell capture to automated pressure control, the PatchControl software can do it all!
The NPC-1 chip is a proprietary innovative product by Nanion Technologies, developed for the Port-a-Patch. It is produced and quality-assured in-house at Nanion headquarters and shipped from Munich to our international customers. Different types of NPC-1 chips are available which should be chosen depending on cell size and application.
MaterialThe core structure of the NPC-1 chip is a planar borosilicate glass slide with its micron-sized patch aperture. This structure is incorporated into a screw cap for easy handling and minimal cycle times between experiments. Additionally, the unique design of the NPC-1 chip gives similar access to the external and internal solution. Continuous perfusion of the internal solution has finally become possible.
Available chip types
- "NPC-1, 1-2 MOhm": (Order # 061101)
- "NPC-1, 2-3.5 MOhm": (Order # 061102)
- "NPC-1, 3-5 MOhm": (Order # 061103)
- "NPC-1, 5-10 MOhm": (Order # 061104)
- "NPC-1, 8-12 MOhm": (Order # 061105)
- "NPC-1, 10-15 MOhm": (Order # 061106)
Other sizes are available upon request!
Buffers and Solutions
Buffers and Solutions for the Port-a-Patch
The buffers and solutions for the Port-a-Patch are produced by Nanion and an external partner, quality-assured in-house at Nanion headquarters and shipped from Munich to our international customers.
Available buffers and solutions
- "Reagent Kit Perfusion System standard; external": 12x 50 mL external standard (Order # 081002)
- "Reagent Kit Perfusion System standard; internal": 10x 50 mL internal (Cs), 10x 50 mL internal (K) (Order # 081019)
- "Reagent Kit Perfusion System to be specified by the customer": 1x rack (20x 50 mL) (Order # 081015)
- "Reagent Kit Port-a-Patch standard": 27x 1 mL external standard, 18x 1 mL internal standard (Cs), 18x 1 mL internal standard (K) (Order # 081001)
- "Reagent Kit Port-a-Patch to be specified by the customer": rack with 81 x 1 mL vials (K) (Order # 081016)
- "Reagent Kit Vesicles for Port-a-Patch": 18x 200 mM KCl (pH 7.0), 18x 200 mM KCl (pH 4.0), 18x 200 mM NaCl (pH 7.0), 18x 200 mM NaCl (pH 4.0), 7x 1M Sorbitol, 1 mM EGTA (pH 7.0), 1x GUVs, 1x 100 mM HCl (Order # 081006)
Data and Applications
Testimonials & Case Studies