CLAMP Patch Clamp Amplifier System

Intan CLAMP controller with headstages

The Intan CLAMP system allows users to perform single amplifier or multi-amplifier patch clamp electrophysiology experiments with small, affordable hardware and free, open-source software. This device connects to a host computer through a USB 2.0 cable. Intan digital CLAMP headstages using the revolutionary CLAMP chips (see below) connect to the CLAMP controller via thin, flexible all-digital interface cables.

The CLAMP controller comes in a version with two headstage ports (Part #H1202) and a version with eight headstage ports (Part #H1208). Each CLAMP headstage (Part #H1250) includes a 6-ft (1.8 m) interface cable. Voltage or current measurements are recorded at 50 kSamples/s, and saved data files may be loaded into MATLAB or Python for analysis.

Note: Intan CLAMP software and data formats are not compatible with Clampex or any other third-party patch clamp software.


  • Voltage clamp operation with low current noise floor: < 3 pA rms over 5 kHz bandwidth at highest sensitivity.
  • Current clamp operation with low voltage noise floor: < 20 μV rms over 10 kHz bandwidth.
  • Fast transient capacitance compensation: 0 – 20 pF range; bridge balance in current clamp mode.
    (Note: headstages do not have series resistance compensation in voltage 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.
  • 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.
  • May be mounted in standard 19" rack (1U) or operated from a bench top.

Intan CLAMP patch clamp headstages

More than just a headstage: The Intan CLAMP chips 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 support components form a complete patch clamp amplifier with a purely digital interface. The digital "headstage" is actually a complete, miniaturized patch clamp amplifier.

Intan 2ch CLAMP controller front panel

Intan CLAMP controller back panel

                   Intan CLAMP controller software        Intan CLAMP controller software

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 or Python.

Current clamp demonstration

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

Voltage clamp demonstration

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