Flexible Nanopipettes for Minimally Invasive Intracellular Electrophysiology In Vivo. Academic Article uri icon


  • Intracellular recordings in vivo remains the best technique to link single-neuron electrical properties to network function. Yet existing methods are limited in accuracy, throughput, and duration, primarily via washout, membrane damage, and movement-induced failure. Here, we introduce flexible quartz nanopipettes (inner diameters of 10-25 nm and spring constant of ?0.08 N/m) as nanoscale analogs of traditional glass microelectrodes. Nanopipettes enable stable intracellular recordings (seal resistances of 500 to ?800 M?, 5 to ?10 cells/nanopipette, and duration of ?1 hr) in anaesthetized and awake head-restrained mice, exhibit minimal diffusional flux, and facilitate precise recording and stimulation. When combined with quantum-dot labels and microprisms, nanopipettes enable two-photon targeted electrophysiology from both somata and dendrites, and even paired recordings from neighboring neurons, while permitting simultaneous population imaging across cortical layers. We demonstrate the versatility of this method by recording from parvalbumin-positive (Pv) interneurons while imaging seizure propagation, and we find that Pv depolarization block coincides with epileptic spread. Flexible nanopipettes present a simple method to procure stable intracellular recordings in vivo.

publication date

  • January 2, 2019