Series resistance in patch clamp experiments

For teaching electrophysiology, there’s still a lack of comprehensive references. In particular, it can be difficult to impart to students an intuitive feel for the quality or fidelity of electrophysiological recordings. How close to the truth are those traces you just recorded? This sort of practical discussion is often touched upon in electrophysiological texts, but it is rarely given the depth of discussion it deserves. Here are a couple of resources that can be used to help fill in the gaps.

#1: Boris Barbour wrote an article called Electronics for Electrophysiologists. The image above came from that work. It discusses a range of issues, covering both the theory and the practical implications.

#2: Bill Connolley’s post on series resistance includes a very practical discussion, many illustrations, and has a nice web app for helping to develop an intuitive feel for how different parameters of a recording can exacerbate or diminish the effects of series resistance.

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