4M Knowledge base - papers

Automated Patch Clamping Systems Design using Novel Materials

S. Wilson(a)(b), A. Welle(c), E.Gottwald(c), A. Molleman(d), P.B.Kirby(b), W.Pfleging(e), J.J.Ramsden(b), M. Heckele(a)
a: Institute for Microstructure Technology, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, 76344 Eggenstein-Leo., Germany
b: School of Applied Sciences., Cranfield University, Cranfield, Beds. MK43 0AL, UK
c: Institute for Biological Interfaces, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, 76344 Eggenstein-Leo., Germany
d: School of Life Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts.AL10 9AB, UK
e: Institute for Materials Research 1, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, 76344 Eggenstein-Leo., Germany
A. Herrero(a), J. Esmoris(a), S. Azcarate(a), S. Geissdoerfer(b), U. Engel(b)
a: Department of Micro & Nano Technologies, Tekniker, Avda. Otaola 20, 20600 Eibar, Spain
b: Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Egerlandstrasse 11, 91058 Erlangen, Germany


The mass production of micro and meso scale products made of polymers or metals is intimately related to the production of high quality microtooling in stable materials capable to provide an accurate and repetitive performance throughout the whole demanded production. As it is widely known, the WEDM process provides high accuracy but is conceptually limited to the production of ruled features. The SEDM process can be a complement to this aspect but the electrodes must be manufactured by other technologies like WEDM, micromilling, turning, etc. Given the importance of several parameters like dimensional accuracy, tooling material for the different replication processes or tooling production technology, the present paper introduces some tests performed by the 4M Metals Workgroup. The analysis of some components manufactured by members of the group is presented discussing the influence of the EDM process on the machined tooling components and the consequent influence on the replication process.

Patch clamping is a highly sensitive technique used to measure the electrical activity of a cell. It is presently a low throughput cumbersome method which requires highly trained and skilled operators to obtain results of value. Patch Clamping is used in applications which include drug screening where there is demand for high throughput systems (HTS). While there are a few commercially available HTS patch clamping systems on the market using traditional patch clamping materials, there are no systems on the market using novel materials, or for dealing with cell networks – a physiologically important consideration for the developing fields of tissue engineering and understanding cell to cell interactions. This paper presents a summary of traditional patch clamping, mentions some commercially available high throughput patch clamping systems based on traditional materials then, using 4M technologies, introduces some novel materials and potential design approaches and processes for producing a polymer based automated patch clamping system.

Submitted on November 12, 2007 - 16:23.

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