Physiologic Instruments
Physiologic Instruments

Ussing Chamber Systems

An Ussing chamber is used to study solute transport across a confluent layer of cells. This layer is typically a monolayer of epithelial cells which form a barrier between the external and internal environments of the body such as those that line the airways, intestinal tract and bladder, but could also be a multilayered structure such as skin or 3D cell culture or a confluent layer of endothelial cells such as blood brain barrier in culture or corneal endothelium. Solute transport may be determined by measuring the flux of the solute or sometimes, in the case of charged solutes such as ions, by measuring the current across the tissue. These electrical parameters, together with tissue resistance, serve to assess ion transport and tissue integrity.

In order to accomplish these measurements Ussing systems have been designed to have three main components; namely, Ussing chamber, voltage/current clamp and data acquisition system.

1) The Ussing chamber is simply a device that enables one to place the tissue between two solution-filled compartments. The chamber may be fitted with electrodes for measuring voltage and passing current across the tissue.

2) The voltage current clamp is used to control either the voltage or the current across the epithelium and thereby determine bioelectrics such as transepithelial voltage, short-circuit current and resistance or conductance.

3) Results of the electrical measurements may be recorded using something as simple as a chart recorder or newer electronic versions of a chart recorder. Alternatively, it can be collected by an intelligent data acquisition system that acts as a chart recorder but also measures and plots tissue resistance or conductance in real time such as Acquire & Analyze.

Full featured Ussing systems that are comprised of our EasyMount Ussing Chamber system, multi-channel voltage current clamp instruments and Acquire & Analyze data acquisition package along with accessories to establish a nearly complete, working system. These systems are available in 2, 4, 6 and 8 channel versions based on one of three different Ussing chambers.