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Heating brain slice chambers - Suggestions??

Penny Wung Burgoon pburgoon at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Thu Jul 13 18:04:01 EST 1995

> We have a problem with large fluctuations in room temperature.
> This means that we have to constantly monitor the temperature
> of our brain slice chambers.
> We currently maintain the temperature in our chamber by heating
> an outer bath which warms the superfusant before it enters the
> chamber. The outer bath is heated by warm water, in a heat-exchange
> coil, from a water bath/circulator.
> Does anyone have any alternative suggestions?
> We have so far considered either heating the whole chamber -
> possibly by a dry block heater; or by the use of a Peltier
> pump (with feedback from a thermocouple). The latter seems
> feasible, but we do not know whether this is commercially
> available or whether we would need to get one made up.


Our lab studies temperature regulation in brain slices, and I can refer
you to 2 papers which were published a few years ago which outlines how we
control bath temperature (inner and outer) of our chambers. The first
paper is by Kelso et al. (Brain Res. Bull. 10:853-857, 1983) which
discusses the chamber for intracellular and extracellular recordings. The
second paper by Dean and Boulant (J. Neurosci. Methods 23:225-232, 1988)
describes a slice chamber with additional thermodes added for applying
thermal challenge to the slices.

Essentially, the outer bath is maintained at a constant temperature to
keep the slice environment warm and moist. The innerbath temperature is
more carefully controlled with the use of a peltier assembly which warm
the perfusate prior to its entry into the chamber. Thermocouples inside
both the inner and outer bath monitor chamber environment. We've been able
to hold desired temperatures for hours, with only an occasional minor

Penny Burgoon

Penny Wung Burgoon
pburgoon at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu

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