The new Ependorf
Micromanipulator for electro-physiology,
PatchMan, was tested under practical conditions at the Max-Planck-Institute
(MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Gttingen (Germany).
Eppendorf received the following report:
The Micromanipulator PatchMan was used at MPI for a variety of patch clamp
We performed whole cell experiments on chromaffine cells and RBL cells.
Chromaffine cells have a diameter of 510 m. Exact, fine positioning
is thus absolutely necessary to produce a giga seal. Measurements were performed
over 530 minutes. It is very important that the measurements were
Patch clamp experiment on a chromaffine cell from the suprarenal
We performed 2030 single experiments per day. Each of these experiments
included the mounting of a pipette into the pipette holder, subsequent lowering
into the experimenting chamber with the HOME function and the positioning
of the pipette (diameter of opening: 1 m) on the cell using the joystick.
On the whole, the pipette was positioned in the SLOW mode. However, we
also tested the STEP mode. At the end of measurement, the pipette was
returned to the HOME position to facilitate its exchange for the next
- The PatchMan works well. Its range of
functions, two variable speeds, and CLEAN/HOME function are
completely sufficient for at least 90% of all standard patch
clamp experiments. The STEP mode is only interesting fo
beginners as even very fine movements can be performed with
the joystick in the SLOW mode after only a little practice.
Axial movement was not used in the experiments
- Operation is very easy and the
functional controls are good. Users of the Micromanipulator
5171 found that operation with 4 buttons was easier.
- Travel behavior is excellent.
Movements are smooth and easy to control. The joystick works
well and has just the right spring-loading (almost better
than for MM 5171). The resistance is a little larger and the
user has the impression that he has better control.
- No electrical interference was
determined in the range checked (up to 5 kHz).
- No drift was determined during the
period measured (* 30 minutes). Therefore, PatchMan can be
considered to be absolutely drift-free for patch clamp
- The optional CLEAN function is only
useful for specific patch clamp users. It should not be
activated at the factory.
On the whole, PatchMan made
a very good impression on the scientists at the MPI for
Biophysical Chemistry. It provides a very good alternative
to the Micromanipulator 5171 for general patch clamp
This concludes the report from the MPI
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