Jennifer A. Bauer, Katherine M. Lambert, and John A. White, Brain Institute, University of Utah
Volume 61, Issue 5, Page:1448-1456
For over 60 years, real-time control has been important for the study of excitable cells. Two such control-based technologies are reviewed here. Voltage-clamp methods revolutionized the study of excitable cells. In these techniques, membrane potential is controlled, allowing one to parameterize a powerful class of models that describe the voltage-current relationship of cell membranes. Dynamic-clamp methods allow the addition of new, ‘virtual’ membrane mechanisms to living cells. Dynamic clamp allows researchers unprecedented ways of testing computationally based hypotheses in biological preparations. Future improvements and uses of control-based technologies are also discussed.