Intan Technologies, LLC: low-noise amplifier microchips for electrophysiology, EKG, EMG, EEG, ECoG, and neural recording headstages and bio instrumentation

Intan CLAMP controller
The Intan CLAMP Controller shown with two Intan CLAMP headstages. The controller unit also has digital and analog I/O jacks. (Click for larger image and see detailed photos below.)

Main Documentation:

CLAMP System user guide

CLAMP chip webpage

I/O Expander webpage

Pricing information

Intan CLAMP headstage
More than just a headstage: The CLAMP chips from Intan Technologies combine all analog patch clamp circuitry and many digital control blocks on a single chip, permitting the construction of Intan-powered digital headstages. A small circuit board containing an Intan CLAMP chip and a small number of support components form a complete patch clamp amplifier with a purely digital interface. The Intan-powered digital “headstage” is actually a complete, miniaturized patch clamp amplifier. Thanks to the integration of nearly all patch clamp circuit elements onto a single silicon chip, the Intan-powered patch clamp amplifier can be smaller than many traditional analog headstages that perform only a small fraction of the total amplification task. (Click for larger image.)


CLAMP Controller front panel
CLAMP Controller front panel: (Click for larger image.)


CLAMP Controller rear panel
CLAMP Controller rear panel: (Click for larger image.)


Intan CLAMP chip current clamp demo

Current clamp demonstration: The intracellular potential of a neuron is monitored during the injection of constant-current pulses.


Intan CLAMP chip voltage clamp demo

Voltage clamp demonstration: A cell membrane test performed by applying a voltage step and measuring the resulting whole-cell current.

Intan CLAMP Patch Clamp Amplifier System

The Intan Technologies CLAMP system allows users to perform single amplifier or multi-amplifier patch clamp electrophysiology experiments with small, affordable hardware and free, open-source software.

Intan digital CLAMP headstages using the revolutionary CLAMP chips are interfaced to a USB-linked CLAMP Controller module which coordinates headstage operation while sampling auxiliary digital and analog signals in synchrony with measured electrophysiological signals at 50 kHz. Saved data may be loaded into MATLAB or Python for analysis.

The CLAMP Controller can support two CLAMP headstages. It has two analog input and output ports with +/-10V range and two digital input and output ports. Analog inputs may be used to provide real time clamp commands in addition to the software commands from the host computer; analog outputs may be configured to monitor measured signals or clamp commands. Digital outputs can provide triggers synchronized with clamp commands.

An optional I/O Expander may be added to the CLAMP Controller to increase the total number of auxiliary ports to 8 analog inputs, 8 analog outputs, 16 digital inputs, and 16 digital outputs.

The Intan CLAMP system has the following features:

  • Complete, miniaturized patch clamp amplifier system with small digital headstages using revolutionary CLAMP microchips from Intan Technologies
  • Voltage clamp operation with low current noise floor: < 3 pA rms over 5 kHz bandwidth with highest sensitivity (see example data below)
  • Current clamp operation with low voltage noise floor: < 20 microvolts rms over 10 kHz bandwidth (see example data below)
  • Fast transient capacitance compensation: 0-20 pF range; bridge balance in current clamp mode
  • Automated measurement of pipette/seal resistance and cell membrane parameters
  • Buzz and zap capability for cell membrane penetration
  • Clamp operation controlled by software and/or external analog voltage command signals
  • Small size: 6.1 cm x 2.8 cm x 2.0 cm (not including pipette holder)
  • Standard threaded Teflon pipette electrode connector is compatible with the 1-HL-U pipette holder from Molecular Devices or the Q Series pipette holders from Warner Instruments.
  • Standard dovetail for mounting to micromanipulator
  • All-digital interface cable is immune to noise pickup
  • Standard USB interface to host computer
  • Free, open-source, multi-platform GUI software with Windows and Mac executables provided

Note: Intan CLAMP headstages support bridge balance in current clamp mode, but not series resistance compensation in voltage clamp mode. Fast transient capacitance compensation is supported, but not slow transient compensation.

The CLAMP Controller may be mounted in a standard 19" rack (1U) or operated from a bench top.

See the Intan CLAMP User Guide for more information on the hardware and software. Please sign up for our email newsletter to receive updates on this and other products.


CLAMP software screenshot

Free open-source software: Voltage clamp controls are shown above. A separate Data Display Window shows clamp waveforms and measured voltages and currents in real time. Data may be saved to disk and loaded into MATLAB.

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