Implementation of a Fast 16-Bit Dynamic Clamp Using LabVIEW-RT

  • Kullmann P
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Abstract

The dynamic-clamp method provides a powerful electrophysiological tool for creating virtual ionic conductances in living cells and studying their influence on membrane potential. Here we describe G-clamp, a new way to implement a dynamic clamp using the real-time version of the Lab-VIEW programming environment together with a Windows host, an embedded microprocessor that runs a real-time operating system and a multifunction data-acquisition board. The software includes descriptions of a fast voltage-dependent sodium conductance, delayed rectifier, M-type and A-type potassium conductances, and a leak conductance. The system can also read synaptic conductance waveforms from preassembled data files. These virtual conductances can be reliably implemented at speeds < or =43 kHz while simultaneously saving two channels of data with 16-bit precision. G-clamp also includes utilities for measuring current-voltage relations, synaptic strength, and synaptic gain. Taking an approach built on a commercially available software/hardware platform has resulted in a system that is easy to assemble and upgrade. In addition, the graphical programming structure of LabVIEW should make it relatively easy for others to adapt G-clamp for new experimental applications.

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Authors

  • P. H. M. Kullmann

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