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    Articles

    Axoclamp 900A Microelectrode Amplifier

    A Computer-Controlled Amplifier for Current Clamp and Voltage-Clamp applications

    Axoclamp 900A Microelectrode Amplifier

    The Axoclamp 900A is the newest microelectrode amplifier from Molecular Devices. Like the Axoclamp-2B amplifier, Axoclamp 900A offers several modes of operation that measure signals from single cells, tissue slices, and whole animal preparations. The advanced signal conditioning included in the Axoclamp900A amplifier saves the expense of buying additional hardware and frees up valuable space in an electrophysiology setup.

    By making Axoclamp 900A computer- controlled, several powerful new features have been added to make it simpler to set up and run experiments. This exciting new instrument is designed to meet researchers’ needs today, as well as offer flexibility for future experiments.

    SEVERAL MODES OF OPERATION

    This versatile amplifier offers several modes of operation. Current clamp (I-Clamp), for measuring voltage responses, is available in two channels with independent Bridge Balance and I=0 options.

    Discontinuous current clamp (DCC) is especially useful when small changes in electrode resistance occur during an experiment. Two-electrode voltage clamp (TEVC) uses two microelectrodes, one for continuous recording of electrode voltage and the other for injection of current.,

    The high-output compliance of TEVC makes it possible to voltage clamp large rapid currents. Discontinuous single-electrode voltage clamp (dSEVC) is used to voltage clamp small cells that cannot tolerate impalement by a second electrode and eliminates problems due to the large series resistance inherent with many preparations. Highvoltage current clamp (HVIC) is used primarily for extracellular iontophoresis applications.

    Computer and conventional controls

    ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTER CONTROL

    Through computer control, the traditional knobs, dials, and buttons are no longer needed and are replaced by an intuitive software interface. Computer control provides several advantages over conventional amplifiers. It enables automation of several standard tasks such as adjustment of Pipette Offset, Bridge Balance, and Pipette Capacitance Neutralization.

    Other added benefits include automatic oscillation detection and correction (in less than 2 ms), automatic mode-switching between I- Clamp and voltage clamp modes (TEVC, dSEVC), computer display of monitor signals used for tuning

    DCC and dSEVC modes, slow current injection in I-Clamp mode to prevent small, slow drifts in the membrane voltage, the ability to save personalized settings, multiple signal selections for output from the two channels, and automated resistance measurement.

    Full communication between third party software and the Axoclamp 900A amplifier is possible through the Axoclamp DLL. For those who prefer more conventional amplifier control, the optional SoftPanel can be used as a hardware extension of the Axoclamp 900A amplifier, without the loss of the benefits of computer control.

    EXCELLENT AMPLIFIER PERFORMANCE

    The ±180 V output compliance used for TEVC and HVIC modes makes it possible to pass larger currents and ensures faster clamp speeds. TEVC and dSEVC modes both have wide AC Voltage-clamp gain ranges for excellent voltage control. When DC Restore is enabled, the DC Voltage-clamp gain is greater than 1,000,000, ensuring optimal voltage control for constant-voltage measurements. The new dSEVC design is more stable and twice as fast as Axoclamp-2B, providing an excellent alternative to standard continuous single-electrode voltage clamping.

    General Specifications
    Dimensions (in.): 4.3 (H) x 19 (W) x 14.3 (D)
    Dimensions (cm): 10.9 (H) x 48.3 (W) x 36.3 (D)
    Weight (lbs.): 9.5 (4.3 kg)
    Headstage (in.): 0.75 (H) x 0.70 (W) x 2.25 (D)
    Headstage (cm): 1.9 (H) x 1.8 (W) x 5.7 (D)
    Communications: (3) USB 2.0 Type B female ports
    ⇨ One for amplifier control
    ⇨ One for monitor signal computer
    display for discontinuous modes
    ⇨ One for optional SoftPanel control
    Rack use: Standard 19" rack-mount (2U) with handles
    Benchtop use: Bayonet feet
    Power: 100–240 Vac 50–60 Hz, 30 watts (max.)
    Safety: CE marking (Conformité Européan)
    Computer: 1 GHz or better processor,
    Windows ®
    2000/XP, CD-ROM
    drive 512 MB RAM, 500 MB HD space
    Software: Axoclamp 900A Commander (included)