A Tool for Electrophysiology
The PatchMaster system (prototype pictured at right) provides easy and obvious control and monitoring of micropipette pressures.
Whereas in the past these pressures were controlled with an improvised collection of manual valves, syringes, manometers, etc. the Patchmaster packages precision pressure regulators and gauges, electronically controlled valves, lighted pushbuttons, pressure sensors, quality connectors and a pulse generator - all under microprocessor control - into one reliable unit. To the physiologist, the resulting simple interface reduces errors & hassles while increasing repeatability and productivity.
Parts of PatchMaster system:
Inputs (rear, not visible in photo) -
House compressed air & house vacuum via pair of 1/4" push-to-connect fittings.
Pressure Source Section (upper panel) -
Control and monitor the 4 source pressures, 2 positive and 2 negative (suction). Buffer reservoirs are present to improve response.
Selector Modules (middle 2 panels) -
User selects pipette pressure mode with lighted pushbuttons
NEU = "neutral", open to atmosphere
POS = low positive, to keep pipette clear while moving
NEG = low suction, to "cling" to cell and make seal
BRK = higher suction for "break-in" pulses
PUF = higher positive for "puffing" drug from pipette
Pulse Generator (bottom panel) -
Allows user to quickly set pulse duration (1 to 999mS) and fire off pulses to any module set to BRK or PUF. 2 memories provided. Pulses may also originate from external device.
Outputs (rear, not visible in photo) -
Air lines to pipettes via 1/8" OD push-to-connect fittings; Analog pressure monitor BNC jacks.
PatchMaster 2 channel Prototype, Jan. 2021. Now working at Makinson Lab, Columbia University Dept. of Neurological Sciences