In vivo patch-clamp is the gold standard for intracellular recordings, but it is a very manual and highly skilled technique. We have created the most automated in vivo patch-clamp robot to date, by enabling production of multiple, serial intracellular recordings without human intervention. Our robot automates pipette filling, Ag/AgCl wire threading, pipette positioning, neuron hunting, break-in, delivering sensory stimulus, and recording quality control, enabling in vivo cell-type characterization.
Whole-cell patch clamp is one of the most sensitive techniques in all of neuroscience. This technology has enabled wide ranging discoveries, such as measurements of single ion channels in neurons and the recording of electrically active cells in the living brain. However, it takes a lot of skill and time to perform – neuroscientists can train for months to get proficient at it. One of the goals of the Precision Biosystems lab is to automate this important technique, and to that end, we have discovered that cleaning the sensitive glass pipettes is possible, enabling fully automated neuroscience. Check out the video below to see our robot in action, patching away on some HEK 293 cells.
We describe this technique in a recent article in Scientific Reports.
A unique tradition of the Precision Biosystems Laboratory is decorating a graduation cap and wagon geared towards the research and hobbies of each graduate. Immediatley after sucessfully defending their thesis, the recent graduate is given their decorated graduation gown, and told to sit in their graduation wagon so that Craig can pull them around campus to celebrate Georgia Tech’s latest PhD. Each graduate’s hat is perched on a wall near the graduate offices to celebrate their succes in the lab. Some hat examples include Dr. Caitlin Austin’s bacterial communication hat, Dr. William Stoy’s neuron motion compenstaion hat, and Dr. Suhasa Kodandaramiah’s in vivo patch clamp hat. Soon, a new wall needs to be reserved as the current wall is filling up!