Tecella Releases Pico -- Miniature USB-Powered Patch Clamp Amplifier

COSTA MESA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Jul 15, 2010 -- Tecella has released the Pico, a full-featured, low-noise patch clamp amplifier with an integrated digitizer and headstage. Pico is ideally suited for whole cell (Vclamp and Iclamp) and single-channel (patch, planar lipid bilayer, and synthetic nanopore) recording, as well as cellular electrochemistry. Pico measures just 5.6" x 2.5" x 0.7" (14.2cm x 6.3cm x 1.8cm) and consumes less than 1 watt of power.

Pico's Clean Head Switching technology allows software controlled switching between voltage clamp and current clamp, or between the five available feedback gain resistors ranging from 10M ohms to 10G ohms, without introducing unwanted artifacts. This enables a single Pico to support a wide range of applications without the need to purchase additional headstages or alter the experiment setup.

"We focused on ease-of-setup and ease-of-use by placing all the features of a rack-mount amplifier into the palm of your hand and powering it via USB," states Gary Anderson, Hardware Design Engineer.

Pico's standard compensation circuits include series resistance, fast capacitance, three slow capacitances, and junction potential offset. The patented spread frequency compensation can automatically compensate any arbitrary capacitance profile in approximately 3 seconds.

The optional Active Leak Compensation circuit dynamically subtracts the leak current prior to the headstage, resulting in improved signal-to-noise ratio for loose patches.

Pipette holder may be mounted directly on Pico or on Pico's pipette holder platform held by a mounting rod.

One USB connection serves as the Pico's communications and power link. A second cable connects to a small breakout box for digital I/O and analog out.

Software support includes TecellaLab acquisition software with export to ATF and tab formats, WinWCP from the University of Strathclyde, LabView VI, and C++ SDK/API for custom development and integration.

The Pico is available for sale August 1st, and will be shown November 14th through 17th at the Society for Neuroscience conference, Booth 2931 in San Diego.

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Dianne Yamamoto

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