A Caltech Library Service

The membrane chamber: A new type of in vitro recording chamber

Hill, M. R. H. and Greenfield, S. A. (2011) The membrane chamber: A new type of in vitro recording chamber. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 195 (1). pp. 15-23. ISSN 0165-0270.

Image (JPEG) (Fig. S1 - Explosion drawing of the membrane chamber ) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

Image (JPEG) (Fig. S2 - Details of membranes and the chamber) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


In vitro brain slice electrophysiology is a powerful and highly successful technique where a thin slice is cut from the brain and kept alive artificially in a recording chamber. The design of this recording chamber is pivotal to the success and the quality of such experiments. Most often one of two types of chambers is used today, the interface chamber or the submerged chamber. These chambers, however, have the disadvantage that they are limited in either their experimental or their physiological properties respectively. Here we present a new working principle for an in vitro chamber design which aims at combining the advantages of the classical designs whilst overcoming their disadvantages. This is achieved by using a semipermeable membrane on which the slice is placed. The membrane allows for a fast flow of artificial cerebrospinal fluid of up to at least 17 ml/min. Due to a Bernoulli effect, this high speed flow also causes a 64% increase in flow of solution across the membrane on which the slice rests. The fact that the membrane is transparent introduces the possibility of wide field inverted optical imaging to brain slice electrophysiology. The utility of this setup was demonstrated in the recording of local field potential, single cell and voltage sensitive dye imaging data simultaneously from an area smaller then 1/8mm^2. The combination of all these features in the membrane chamber make it a versatile and promising device for many current and future in vitro applications, especially in the regard to optical imaging.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
Additional Information:© 2010 Elsevier B.V. Received 17 August 2010; revised 11 October 2010; accepted 24 October 2010. Available online 12 November 2010. The authors would like to thank Matthias Furler for providing the CAD drawings, Dr. Ole Paulsen, Dr. Carl Petersen and Dr. Maria Carroll for valuable feedback as well as Dr. Christof Koch for his support. The research was financially supported by the Swiss Life Foundation, the Swiss Study Foundation and the Daniel Falkner Research Grant.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss Life FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Swiss Study FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Daniel Falkner Research GrantUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:In vitro; Brain slice; Recording chamber; Optical imaging; Voltage sensitive dye imaging; Perfusion
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110308-123056606
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:M.R.H. Hill, S.A. Greenfield, The membrane chamber: A new type of in vitro recording chamber, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Volume 195, Issue 1, 30 January 2011, Pages 15-23, ISSN 0165-0270, DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2010.10.024. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22714
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:10 Mar 2011 17:21
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:39

Repository Staff Only: item control page