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Nanotechnology: new opportunities for the development of patch‐clamps


The patch-clamp technique is one of the best approaches to investigate neural excitability. Impressive improvements towards the automation of the patch-clamp technique have been made, but obvious limitations and hurdles still exist, such as parallelization, volume displacement in vivo, and long-term recording. Nanotechnologies have provided opportunities to overcome these hurdles by applying electrical devices on the nanoscale. Electrodes based on nanowires, nanotubes, and nanoscale field-effect transistors (FETs) are confirmed to be robust and less invasive tools for intracellular electrophysiological recording. Research on the interface between the nanoelectrode and cell membrane aims to reduce the seal conductance and further improve the recording quality. Many novel recording approaches advance the parallelization, and precision with reduced invasiveness, thus improving the overall intracellular recording system. The combination of nanotechnology and the present intracellular recording framework is a revolutionary and promising orientation, potentially becoming the next generation electrophysiological recording technique and replacing the conventional patch-clamp technique. Here, this paper reviews the recent advances in intracellular electrophysiological recording techniques using nanotechnology, focusing on the design of noninvasive and greatly parallelized recording systems based on nanoelectronics.

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