Autopatching: Interneurons, Synapses, and Dendrites

autopatcher-illustration-300 x 300

Image courtesy of Boyden Lab

In vivo patch-clamp is the gold standard for intracellular recordings, but it is a very manual and highly skilled technique. We have created the most automated in vivo patch-clamp robot to date, by enabling production of multiple, serial intracellular recordings without human intervention. Our robot automates pipette filling, Ag/AgCl wire threading, pipette positioning, neuron hunting, break-in, delivering sensory stimulus, and recording quality control, enabling in vivo cell-type characterization.

Related Publications

M.C. Yip, C.F. Lewallen, C.R. Landry, I. Kolb, W.A. Stoy, C.R. Forest, Patch-walking: Coordinated multi-pipette patch clamping to efficiently discover synaptic connections, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), Chicago, IL, October 19-23 2019.

G.L. Holst, W. Stoy, B. Yang, I. Kolb, S.B. Kodandaramaiah, L. Li, U. Knoblich, H. Zeng, B. Haider, E.S. Boyden, C.R. Forest, Autonomous patch clamp robot for functional characterization of neurons in vivo: development and application to mouse visual cortex, J. Neurophysiology 121:2341- 2357, 2019.


I. Kolb, G.T. Franzesi, M. Wang, S.B. Kodandaramaiah, C.R. Forest, E.S. Boyden, A.C. Singer, Evidence for long-timescale patterns of synaptic inputs in CA1 of awake behaving mice, Journal of Neuroscience 26 December 2017, 1519-17; DOI:


S.B Kodandaramaiah, F. Flores, G. Holst , A. Singer , X. Han , E. Brown , E. Boyden, C.R. Forest, Multi-neuron intracellular recording in vivo via interacting autopatching robots, eLife 2018;7:e24656 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.24656


H.-J. Suk, I. vanWelie, S.B. Kodandaramaiah, B. Allen, C.R. Forest, E.S. Boyden, Closed-loop, real-time imaging enables fully automated cell-targeted patch-clamp neural recording in vivo, Neuron, V. 95(5), 30 August 2017, Pages 1037-1047.e11 DOI: PMCID: PMC5586501


W.A. Stoy, I. Kolb, G.L. Holst, Y. Liew, A. Pala, B. Yang, S.B. Kodandaramaiah, E.S. Boyden, G.B. Stanley, C.R. Forest, Robotic navigation to sub-cortical neural tissue for single cell electrophysiology in vivo, J. Neurophysiology, 7 June 2017, doi: 10.1152/jn.00117.2017


H.-J. Suk, I. vanWelie, S.B. Kodandaramaiah, B. Allen, C.R. Forest, E.S. Boyden, Fully automated, closed-loop, two-photon image-guided patch clamp neural recording in vivo, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2016), San Diego, CA, Nov 12-16, 2016.

S.B. Kodandaramaiah, G.B. Holst, I.R. Wickersham, A.C. Singer, G.T. Franzesi, M. McKinnon, C.R. Forest, E.S. Boyden, Assembly and operation of an autopatcher: a robot for automated intracellular neural recording in vivo, Nature Protocols, 11, 634-654 (2016). doi:10.1038/nprot.2016.007

S. Kodandaramaiah, G. Franzesi, B. Chow, E. Boyden, C.R. Forest, Automated whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology of neurons in vivo, Nature Methods. Vol 9, p. 585–587, May 2012.