Microelectrode Technique

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Microelectrode Technique


in physiology, the technology used for measuring the electrc, concentration, and oxidation potentials of cells and their parts and for influencing them with electric current and various substances (strictly localized).

Microelectrodes were introduced in 1946 by the American scientists R. Gerard and G. Ling to obtain the electric potential of a neural fiber (mouse) and, later, of a single cell. In laboratory work metallic microelectrodes with tip diameters on the order of 1 micron (μ) and glass micropipettes filled with an electrolyte solution with tip diameters of less than 1 ju, are used; they are conveyed to the object of research with micromanipulators. Pericellular lead tapping of the current makes it possible to record action currents; intracellular lead tapping also makes it possible to record the levels of the membrane and postsynaptic potentials.

Recording biopotentials with microelectrodes requires a special boosting technique. The microelectrode technique has made it possible to investigate electric phenomena in nerve cells and has led to fundamental discoveries, including the mechanisms of synaptic transmission and the generation of action currents and data about the temporal and spatial distribution of the neural impulses that encode the transmission of information in the nervous system.


Kostiuk, P. G. Mikroelektrodnaia tekhnika. Kiev, 1960.
Glass Microelectrodes. New York, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, when the input resistance was measured in the trabecular area of the rabbit's right atrium using the double-barreled microelectrode technique, the obtained values ranged from 180 to 500 kOhms [22], but when the single-barreled microelectrode was used the average value of [R.sub.in] was 320 kOhms [23].
For clinical test stimulation, either a macroelectrode (i.e., a lesioning electrode or the one to implant) or microelectrode technique is used.
Recently, the development of microelectrode techniques and scanning electrode techniques has made it possible to measure electrochemical processes on a local scale, which has attracted lots of studied on the local electrochemical processes on corroding surfaces and investigations of localized corrosion [27].
Ogden, "Microelectrode techniques: the Plymouth Workshop handbook," Company of Biologists Limited, 1994.
The cholinergic nature of transmission in skate (Raja) electric organ was established by means of microelectrode techniques (Brock et al., 1958; Bennett, 1961) and enzyme histochemistry of AChE (Couteaux, 1963).