Bilayer Clamp Amplifier (BC-535)

Bilayer Clamp Amplifier (BC-535)

The BC-535 is the newest version of our popular bilayer clamp amplifier. Warner Instruments is the manufacturer dedicated to supplying an instrument specifically designed for research using planar lipid bilayer technology, and this device forms an integral component of the BLM Workstation.

  • Resistive feedback headstage - no reset glitch!
  • Reduced noise and wider bandwidth
  • Improved stability with gains to 1000 mV/pA
  • Digital hold potential
  • AutoZero function
  • Digital readout of membrane capacitance
  • Multi-step 4-pole Bessel filter
  • Hold potentials to 1400 mV; currents to 20 nA

Item# Description U.S. List Price Quantity
64-0432 (BC-535) Bilayer clamp amplifier with resistive headstage
64-1327 WA10-5 1 mm Pin with 10 cm L, .25 mm D Bare Silver Wire, pkg. of 2
64-1644 (BMC-1) Bilayer model membrane
64-0435 (HST-1) Headstage holder system for bilayer
460-7032 (BNC-2) BNC to BNC cable, 2 feet (Pomona)
460-7013 (BNC-6) BNC to BNC cable, 6 feet (Pomona)
64-0433 Replacement headstage for BC-535 bilayer clamp amplifier
460-8090 (2U) Rack handle
64-0023 5250A Integrating Headstage
64-0024 CM-1/10 Single Channel Simulator with 10 pF Membrane
64-0025 CM-1/100 Single Channel Simulator with 100 pF Membrane
64-0026 CM-3/10 Single Channel Variable Simulator with 10 pF Membrane
64-0027 CM-3/100 Single Channel Variable Simulator with 100 pF Membrane
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Resistive Feedback Headstage
BC-535 has an advanced, dual-resistive feedback headstage which provides high bandwidth and low noise recording. The switchable headstage resistance is automatically selected based on the gain setting. A low current mode provides up to 100 pA of current carrying capability, while the high current mode provides up to 20 nA of current capacity!

Hold Control
The hold control for the BC-535 has been redesigned to function entirely within the digital domain. This unique approach allows the user to make holding potential adjustments in highly reproducible and discrete steps of 1 and 10 mV, up to ±400 mV. Hold potentials up to ±1000 mV or step sizes greater than 10 mV can be applied at the Command Input BNC.s located on the front and rear panels of the instrument.

AutoZero  Autozero 
The large currents flowing through the low resistance aperture prior to membrane formation saturates the amplifier input. Under these conditions, junction potential offsets can be easily nullified by using the AutoZero function. Once armed, the AutoZero cycle measures and compensates for any offset potentials in the conducting pathway. Traditional manual controls remain for making small corrections or for resetting the offset potential without reactivating the AutoZero cycle.

Audio Output
The BC-535 sports a VCO circuit providing auditory feedback during membrane formation. An internal speaker is included and an external speaker output is provided on the instrument rear panel.

Capacitance Test
This test circuit has been completely redesigned and is used to monitor the formation of the bilayer membrane. A triangle waveform is applied to the command input and the amplitude of the resulting square wave is proportional to the membrane capacitance. When selected, the membrane capacitance is read directly from the meter.

4-Pole Bessel Filter
The filtering capacity if the instrument has been expanded to include a low pass, 4-pole Bessel filter ranging from 0.05 to 20 kHz in 1-2-5 steps. The internal filter can be bypassed for use with external filtering apparatus and allows realization of the instrument.s full 75 kHz bandwidth.

Capacitance Compensation
Large capacitance transients are cancelled using both fast (0.-10 ¼s) and slow (0.2 ms) controls. Each control provides separate adjustment of both amplitude and time constant. Maximum capacitance compensation is 500 pF.

Input and output BNC.s have been duplicated or moved to the instrument rear panel except for those requiring user interaction. Front panel BNC.s include Command Input, Vc x 10 and Im Output. Rear panel BNC.s include the headstage connecter, Im Output, Cap Sync, Cap Out, Command In, and Gain and Filter telegraphs. A speaker output is also available on the rear panel.

Noise Measured with 8 pole Bessel filter at specified cutoff frequency
Frequency RangeOpen Input100 pF at Input
DC to 1 kHz 0.060 pA RMS 0.82 pA RMS
DC to 100 Hz 0.009 pA RMS 0.28 pA RMS
Bandwidth 75 kHz
Input Commands Hold Digital; 1 or 10 mV steps to ±400 mV maximum
Command In Front and rear external input, 10 V/V (applied voltage is attenuated by 10/100/1000 at the command electrode)
Junction Zero AutoZero or manual adjust. AutoZero lockout feature. Cycle time 1.5 s, correction to ±120 mV
Audio VCO with off switch and volume control, Internal speaker and external speaker output
Capacitance Test Triangle wave applied to command electrode; derived membrane capacitance read from meter up to 1000 pF; calibrated (1 mV/pF) square wave available at Im output; Cap Sync (rear panel) synchronized with input triangle wave
Gain Membrane current gain selectable from 0.5 to 1000 mV/pA in 1-2-5 steps
Filter 4-pole Bessel selectable from 0.05 to 20 kHz in 1-2-5 steps, or bypassed for full amplifier bandwidth
Capacity Compensation Fast (0-10 µs) and slow (0-2 ms) with adjustment of amplitude and time constant for each range. Maximum compensation 500 pF
Headstage Switching
Low Current Mode 50 gigohm feedback, 100 pA maximum current
High Current Mode 500 megohm feedback, 20 nA maximum current
Front panel
Command Input BNC input up to 10V. Attenuated by 10, 100 or 1000
Im Output Membrane current scaled by amplifier gain setting
Vc x 10 Output Applied command voltage x10
Rear panel
Im Output Membrane current scaled by amplifier gain setting.
Cap Sync TTL compatible
Capacitance output Reports calculated membrane capacitance scaled to 1 mV/pF
Command Input BNC input up to 10V. Attenuated by 10, 100 or 1000.
Gain Telegraph Stepped DC voltage 0.5 to 5.5 V in 0.5 V steps for gain settings of 0.5 to 1000 mV/pA. Telegraph value of 0 V for bypass mode.
Filter Telegraph Stepped DC voltage 0.5 to 4.5 V in 0.5 V steps for filter settings of 0.05 to 20 kHz. Telegraph value of 5.0 V for full bandwidth (bypass) mode.
External speaker Standard RCA jack
Digital Meter 3.5 digit LED ±1999 mV full scale
Junction offset ±120 mV full scale
Cap Test 0 to 1999 pF
Vc ±1999 mV full scale
Im ± 1999 pA full scale
Warranty 3 years parts and labor
Power 100-125 or 220-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 20 VA
H x W x D
Case 9 x 42 x 25 cm (3.5 x 16.5 x 10 in)
Headstage 2.3 x 2.8 x 5.8 cm (0.9 x 1.1 x 2.25 in)
1.8 m connecting cable

Rear View

Rear view bilayer clamp amp

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Warner Bilayer Workstation brochure (rev 060601).pdfWarner Bilayer Workstation Brochure
BC-535 prelim (060126)..pdfBC-535 Manual
Connecting the BC-535 to pClamp.pdfConnecting the BC-535 to pClamp