Ion current recordings (patch clamp)
We analyse the role and regulation of potassium channels in the pulmonary vasculature by recording potassium current in isolated pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell (excitable cells) using the whole-cell configuration of patch clamp technique. Whole-cell recordings involve recording potassium currents through multiple channels simultaneously, over the membrane of the entire cell. Once the micropipette is attached to the cell membrane, suction is applied to rupture the membrane patch thus providing access from the interior of the pipette to the intracellular space of the cell. This provides a means to administer and study how treatments (ex. drugs) can affect cells in real time.