how do extracellular and instracellular electrodes work?

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connie_2006's picture
how do extracellular and instracellular electrodes work?

Could somebody introduce the mechanism of current clamp? What is the difference between voltage clamp and current clamp? What is the difference when using extracellular or intracellular electrodes?


Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture


I recommend that you do the following reading. These books are essential reading if you are to understand electrophysiology well. It would take a very long post to explain it all here and do it justice. I dont quite have time to do that right now, but I can give you references.

Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes (3rd Edition)
by Bertil Hille
# Publisher: Sinauer Associates; 3rd edition (July 1, 2001)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0878933212

Patch Clamping : An Introductory Guide to Patch Clamp Electrophysiology
by Areles Molleman
# Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (December 11, 2002)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 047148685X

Electrophysiology of the Neuron : An Interactive Tutorial/Book and Disk (IMB)
by John Huguenard, David A. McCormick, Gordon M. Shepherd
# Publisher: Oxford University Press; Bk&Disk edition (May 1994)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0195091116

Ion Channels : A Practical Approach (The Practical Approach Series)
by R. H. Ashley
# Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (January 11, 1996)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0199634742

Also download the axon guide.

The manuals for the amplifiers sold by Axon Instruments (now part of molecular devices) are often very informative about basic principals too. They are all downloadable at the molecular devices web site.

Also See:
Voltage Clamp