Thoughts on Electronic controlled perfusion system suppliers

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Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
Thoughts on Electronic controlled perfusion system suppliers

I'm trying to decide on a new automated perfusion system for my whole-cell patch rig. I have a couple that I'm seriously considering.

Has anyone got much experience with AutoMate scientific or ALA scentific equipment?

Any thoughts/comments of reliablility, customer service and integration with pClamp9.2 would be great.

Elisa's picture
We use the Eppendorf FemtoJet

We use the Eppendorf FemtoJet fast perfusion system in our lab. Works just fine. I am not sure about its integration with pClamp 9.2, but we use it with pClamp 8 and it hasn't given us any problems.

Doctor_D's picture
I use the (old) ALA DAD-VM

I use the (old) ALA DAD-VM together with pClamp 8. The software has to be run on two different computers, and the only way of integration is a trigger signal that can be sent from the pClamp software to the DAD hardware which allows for synchronization of the superfusion with the recording. Although the handling is not great, it does all the tricks it has to do (with a little creativity on the experimentator's side).

CNSdiscoverGT's picture
I have'nt used the AutoMate,

I have'nt used the AutoMate, but have some experience with the voltage-controlled ALA-DAD system. I found it to be very awkward/time-consuming to set up, clean, with slow drug wash-out (large dead volume), basically incompatible with anything but the most simple experimental designs (certainly not useful for most ligand gated channel work).

I would recommend the Dynaflow system from Cellectricon. Beautifully reliable, precise, consisitent, programmable, zero dead volume, and its software can be master or slave to pCLAMP.

Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
Well since my original post

Well since my original post we did actually invest in a Dynaflow system from Cellectricon.

We're happy with it for work on the hERG potassium channels (using the DF8-pro chips). However we are having to make some modifications to the pump that drives the perfusion to make it useful for work with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The 2 minutes it takes for the laminar flow to be fully established after each stoppage of the syringe pump driver is too long for nicotinics which desensitize before you start recording due to drug in the holding chamber.

Instead of the syringe driver, we are trying to add a positive pressure pump that has two set pressures. One which holds the flow stopped without any suck back into the chip while you are acquiring a patch and another which immediate established the laminar flow when you switch to it. We have made a teflon insert of the holding chamber that separates the area in which the cells are patched and lifted from the rest of the chip so that they the patch can be formed in an drug-free environment. Once the patch is made we knock down the teflon wall and move the cell to the first channel with the laminar flow running.

Does anyone else have comments on this design plan and experience working with nicotinic receptors on the dynalflow? I'd greatly appreciate your feedback.