High Speed Pressure Clamp (HSPC-1)
To perform sophisticated pressure-clamp experimental protocols on mechanosensitive preparations, a sensitive and reliable high speed pressure-clamp system is essential.
The easy-to-use HSPC-1, manufactured by ALA Scientific Instruments Inc., is now available from MCI and offers improved response time, stability, as well as valve longevity with excised patch and whole-cell patch clamp configurations. This model is further compatible with all major patch clamp hardware and/or software.
HSPC-1 components and functions
The HSPC-1 device can generate arbitrary pressure waveforms, controlled externally by any major electrophysiology control system through a command voltage waveform, or manually by way of dialled in pressure/voltage commands. The included HSPC controller has a built-in set point knob specifically for precise manual control. This controller further offers a moisture-sensitive optical sensor that triggers an alarm when it detects moisture leaks into the headstage, preventing damage to the piezoelectric valve. This piezoelectric valve partitions the pressure and vacuum from a source such as the PV-PUMP (see below). The moisture-sensitive sensor therefore ensures longevity of the valve and precision in your experiments.
The HSPC headstage also contains a pressor sensor which displays the internal pressure or vacuum, enabling meticulous feedback control during your patch clamp recording. The headstage is mounted on your microscope near the patch clamp headstage, ensuring that manual manipulations of your microscope are still possible. A distensible tube, no longer than 10cm, should be used to fit the pipette holder to the headstage, to eliminate distortion or delays in pressure waveforms.
Included in this system: controller, piezoelectric valve headstage, power supply, filters (20 micron), cables, tubing and fittings.
This pump was specifically designed for use with the HSPC-1, to provide stable pressure and vacuum to the inlets. It consists of two respective oil-free pumps responsible for the equal positive and negative pressures required for optimal performance of the HSPC-1.
If house air is used, it is recommended that the pressure source be filtered for moisture and oils.
During patch-clamp recording, we endorse the use of a Faraday cage and an anti-vibration table to minimise electrical noise and damage to seals, respectively.