Integrated Patch Clamp Amplifiers and Data Acquisition Systems (Sutter Instrument)


Science Products is featuring the IPA® family of Integrated Patch Amplifiers, which enables efficient, low-noise whole-cell recordings.  The IPA system, available with one (IPA) or two recording channels (Double IPA), combines state-of-the-art amplifier technology with fully integrated D/A and A/D conversion and a high speed USB interface.  Acquisition, data management, and streamlined analysis are performed using the bundled SutterPatch® Data Acquisition and Analysis Software, built on the foundation of Igor Pro (WaveMetrics, Inc.).

External Inputs & Outputs

External signals, such as environmental parameters or stimulus information, can be recorded using 4 auxiliary analog input channels.  The IPA system also supports the control of peripheral hardware, such as wavelength or solution switchers, with 2 analog and 8 digital (TTL) output channels. As an alternative to the standard breakout cable, an optional Patch Panel provides a tidy way of connecting auxiliary signals on the front of your rack.

Double IPA with two headstages


SutterPatch® Software

The IPA system, in combination with SutterPatch® software, has been engineered to automatically capture and store all amplifier settings, stimulus information and external experiment parameters and associate them in time with the raw data traces.  This includes all amplifier and acquisition settings, as well as timing and progress of the experiment.  Fully integrated computer control of the amplifier stages means that the acquisition software is aware of the internal state of the amplifier and digitizer at all times and can track any changes that may occur.  This is independent of whether a change is triggered automatically or initiated by the user.

Tracking of Other External Data

In addition to status changes in connected hardware that are automatically tracked, the experimenter can manually trigger tags to document events like stimulus application in instruments not connected to the IPA system.

Information about environmental parameters and a more detailed specification of sample properties, can be recorded and stored with the raw data.  A total of over 500 metadata attributes are supported.  Examples include: animal species, strain, date/time when a cell sample was prepared, recording solutions, pipette resistance, hardware properties, and detailed information about stimuli applied.

Data Visualization and Analysis

SutterPatch® software has been designed to simplify the navigation and analysis of complex datasets.  The scope window supports multiple view modes in both two-dimensional and an innovative three-dimensional display.  The 3D view is particularly useful during assay development.  Built on top of the latest version of the proven Igor Pro platform, the SutterPatch® program combines native Igor Pro functionality with a wealth of features that are tailored to electrophysiology applications. Both the newcomer and experienced user of patch clamp programs will feel comfortable using SutterPatch® software.

Application modules provide focused functionality for particular applications.

Currently available:

  • Event Detection Module: A deconvolution algorithm that excels at detecting miniature synaptic events even on a noisy background
  • Camera Module: An easy way to document the identity and condition of the recorded cell

Whole-cell recordings in both voltage and current clamp experiments can easily be performed on the IPA system.


  • Tissue slice recordings
  • Cultured cell experiments
  • Cell line studies from adherent or dispersed cells
  • In-vivo patch clamp
  • Network studies
  • Optogenetics


  • Fully integrated patch clamp amplifier and data acquisition system ensures quick and easy setup
  • Optimized for whole-cell patch clamp recordings in tissue slices, adherent or dissociated cells
  • Full computer control provides automated compensation of electrode and whole cell capacitance
  • Voltage and current clamp capability for complete characterization of cells' electrical activity
  • Bundled SutterPatch® software excels in comprehensive data management, intuitive navigation and streamlined data analysis
  • Line frequency reduction in SutterPatch®


The IPA® / Double IPA® Integrated Patch Clamp Amplifiers are computer-controlled single- or dual-headstage amplifiers optimized for whole-cell recording applications.


  • Open-Circuit (RMS) noise of 1.4 pA in a 0.1 - 10 kHz bandwidth
  • 500 MΩ headstage feedback resistor provides a max. range of ±20 nA
  • Fast and slow capacitance compensation and whole-cell compensation
  • Fast compensation up to 25 pF; Slow compensation to 2.5 pF
  • Whole-cell compensation: Cm from 1 - 100 pF ; Rs from 1 - 100 MΩ
  • Automatic compensation routines
  • Series resistance prediction and correction (0 - 100 MΩ)
  • Four-pole Bessel low-pass filter (cutoff = 0.5 - 20 kHz)
  • Output gain : 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100
  • Holding potential ±1000 mV
  • Current injection ±20 nA
  • Current clamp bridge compensation and capacitance neutralization
  • Slow holding potential tracking compensates for drift during current clamp recordings

Data Acquisition

  • Embedded data acquisition system eliminates the need for an external data acquisition board
  • Single high-speed USB connection controls data acquisition and amplifier
  • Up to 300 kHz aggregate sampling rate
  • Up to 6 input channels (1 - 50 kHz sampling rate per channel)
  • Holding potential command (1 - 10 kHz sampling rate per channel)
  • Auxiliary input / output for control of other instrumentation
    • 4 analog input channels (± 10 V)
    • 2 analog output channels (± 10 V)
    • 8 digital output channels (TTL)
  • Data acquisition can be initiated by an onboard microsecond clock or external (TTL) trigger

SutterPatch® Software

  • Built on the foundation of Igor Pro (WaveMetrics, Inc.)
  • Paradigms and Routines provide complete experimental control
  • Waveform Editor for easy creation of even the most complex stimulus patterns or user-defined templates
  • Associated metadata stores all relevant information regarding your experiment
  • Comprehensive data analysis routines and publication quality graphics
  • Requires Windows 7 (64-bit) or Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), or newer versions

Screenshot of SutterPatch Software


Optional IPA Patch Panel

The IPA and Double IPA Amplifiers come standard with an "octopus" breakout cable for auxiliary inputs and outputs, and digital outputs.  The optional IPA Patch Panel, machined from ½" thick billet aluminum stock like the IPA faceplate, brings the auxiliary I/O connections to the front of the rack in a tidy 2U rack mount panel with BNC connectors.  The IPA Patch Panel includes a 2.5 ft (76 cm) connector cable and replaces the standard cable that ships with the IPA system.

Patch Panel



IPA®:    48 cm × 30.5 cm × 4.5 cm
DOUBLE IPA®:   48 cm × 27 cm × 9 cm
Patch Panel:   48 cm × 5 cm × 9 cm

IPA: 4 kg
DOUBLE IPA: 3.7 kg
Patch Panel:  1.6 kg

110/240 V
50/60 Hz power line 




Polycarbonate pipette holder


Quartz pipette holder

Ground point GP-1
Ground point

for the electrophysiological setup


Well suited microscope
for the electrophysiological setup

Also See:

Sutter Instrument Flagship

Low-Noise Ultra-fast
Digital Patch Clamp Amplifier System


(Sutter Instrument)

Dynamic Clamping
Dynamic Clamp

for the
dPATCH® Patch Clamp Amplifier

Sutter Instrument Flagship
Dendrite ™

Data Acquisition,
Management and Analysis System

Experiments of Interest involving the IPA family of Integrated Patch Clamp Amplifier Systems
IPA Publications

(PDF file, external link)