Scientific Systems Design (SSD) manufacture acrylic chambers for a range of applications, including submerged and interface recording from brain slices. Their current range includes stage mounted brain slice chambers (MS series) and submerged (BSC, Oslo type) or interface (BSC, Haas type) chambers for recording modes from brain or tissue slices in either temperature controlled or ambient conditions. Their systems have been developed for neuroscientific research, with wider applications in related areas such as pharmacology, biochemistry and biophysics.
Chamber heating is made possible with the dedicated PTC03 & PTC04 Proportional Temperature Controllers or MH02 inline heater. Cooling is possible when the PTC03 or PTC04 is used with the PC01 units. We also offer pre-chambers (Brain Slice Incubators) which are useful for viably storing or pre-incubating slices prior to experimental use. A range of stage mounted brain slice chambers is also available, suitable for upright and inverted microscopy and imaging applications. The latest addition to the range is a Tissue Chamber which is suitable for a variety of tissue preparations including isolated nerves arranged for grease-gap recording.
If you need spare parts for any of the chambers, such as replacement netting, plastic fittings, ceramic bubblers or U-shaped slice holders, otherwise known as slice harps, please get in contact with the expert Digitimer team by calling us on 01707 328347 for an SSD price list and for further information on our brain slice chambers.
Detailed specifications and larger images are available in the PDF datasheets which can be downloaded using the links below.
Chambers & Temperature Controllers
BSC1 Brain Slice Heated Chamber (Interface & Submerged)
This Brain Slice Chamber was designed to maintain isolated, living tissues in vitro and allow stable electrophysiological recordings to be made from the preparation. Both “interface” and “submerged” methods of maintaining slices can be achieved with the same Chamber without any additions, simply by altering the fluid level by means of a screw adjustment device on the chamber. Temperature is maintained by the PTC03 temperature controller.
BSC1-2 Two Channel Brain Slice Heated Chamber (Interface & Submerged)
A two channel equivalent of the BSC1 Brain Slice Chamber, which was designed to maintain isolated, living tissues in vitro and allow stable electrophysiological recordings to be made from the preparation. Both channels are completely separated from each other, with independent tubing and inflow/outflow ports. Temperature is maintained by the PTC03 temperature controller.
BSC2 Brain Slice Heated Chamber (Interface)
This Brain Slice Chamber was designed to maintain isolated, living tissues in vitro and allow stable electrophysiological recordings to be made from the preparation using the “Interface” method of slice maintenance. The BSC2 features dual feed channels for perfusion solution. You can use the entire surface for multiple slices or templates. Single and dual well templates are supplied with other designs available upon request. Single well template has provision for temperature probe and ground wire. Temperature is maintained by the PTC03 temperature controller.
BSC3 Brain Slice Heated Chamber (4 or 6 Channel Interface & Submerged)
The BSC3 can be supplied with two (BSC3-2), three (BSC3-3), four (BSC3-4) or six (BSC3-6) channel slice chambers. Slices are supported on removable insert with nylon net. Submerged and interface modes are possible by adjusting fluid level. Proportional Temperature Controller (PTC03) with low noise performance used for heating.
BSC2-2 Dual Channel Interface Chamber
This dual chamber equivalent of the BSC2, incorporates two completely independent perfusion lines and channels for incubation of brain slices in interface mode. The base section is identical to the BSC2 and is compatible with the PTC03 Temperature Controller for electrical noise sensitive application, such as electrophysiology. However, the BSC2-2 can also be employed for purely pharmacological studies, where the lower cost PTC04 Temperature Controller is recommended.
MS1 Microscope Stage Chamber (Submerged)
The MS1 chamber has been designed for use with fixed-stage upright-type microscopes. The chamber is the profiled contour that allows the microscope objective to sweep across the preparation when changing magnification, without having to adjust the focusing. The design also allows for movement of objectives that swing from front to back.
MS3 Microscope Stage Chamber (Interface)
The MS3 chamber design is based on our BSC2 chamber and allows interface methods of slice maintenance at room temperature on a compound microscope stage. Slices are supported in removable template. Interchangeable templates allow single or dual channel operation. Template design with diamond shaped flow cell for perfusion of slices with a small dead-space.
MS4 Microscope Stage Chamber (Submerged)
The MS-4 chamber has been designed for use with all inverted microscope stages. The simple design consists of an input and output channel arranged so that the glass coverslip area remains filled with perfusion solution. The slices rest on the glass coverslip arranged to be at the focal plane of microscope objective and access for condenser optics from above. Adaptor plates are available for various microscope stages.
MS5 Coverslip Microscope Stage Chamber (Submerged)
The MS5 Microscope Stage Chamber has been designed for use on microscope stages to view glass cover slips containing cultured cells. Cover slips smaller than 25mm with cell cultures are placed directly on top of a fixed glass cover slip glass at the base of the MS5. The chamber can be used with inverted microscope stages but the glass cover slip at the base of MS5 will add 200µm to the existing cultured cover slip thickness.
TCKG Tissue Chamber
This chamber consists of two main cells, one is a large diamond-shape for containing the preparation and the other is a smaller oval-shaped cell where nerve ends are arranged for making electrical recordings. These two cells are separated by a removable acrylic partition. The bottom edge of this partition can be fashioned to leave a small arch through which nerve bundles can pass through for grease gap recording methods. The larger cell is normally pre-filled with an inert self-curing silicone rubber substrate to allow various types of preparations to be pinned in place.
MC Membrane Chamber
The SSD Membrane Chamber is a novel in vitro brain slice chamber which uses a semi permeable membrane to support the brain slice during submerged recording. The high molecular weight cut-off membrane allows oxygen and nutrients to enter the underneath of the slice, enhancing viability for recordings in excess of 16 hours. The Membrane Chamber is compatible with upright or inverted microscopes.
PTC03 Proportional Temperature Controller
The PTC03 is a temperature control unit for use in conjunction with our brain slice chambers, perfusion solution heaters and an increasing range of other systems currently under development . The required temperature is set using the front control panel. Provision is also made to display the temperature from a monitor sensor if this is being used.
PTC04 Proportional Temperature Controller
The PTC04 is a proportional temperature control unit for use with incubators and temperature controlled solutions located away from sensitive recording instruments since it is powered by an external switch-mode power supply, which can produce undesirable electrical interference. Due to a lack of consideration for noise issues and a lower cost, the PTC04 is the recommended choice for applications where sensitive electrophysiological recordings are not being made.
PC01 Brain Slice Chamber Peltier Controller
The PC01 is used in conjunction with a Brain Slice Chamber and the Proportional Temperature Controller PTC03. Its function is to provide a constant feed of coolant to an immersed tube which spirals in the the distilled water reservoir forming the base of the slice chamber.
MH02 Mini Heating Module
This module is designed to heat any perfusion fluid during its passage through a stainless steel tube heat exchanger and intended for use on the microscope stage chambers. The heating element is controlled by the Proportional Temperature Controller, PTC03.
MC01 Mini Heating/Cooling Module
Similar in construction to the MH02, this module is able to heat or cool perfusion fluid. Temperature can be controlled over the range 15 to 55 deg. C for any perfusion fluid during its passage through a stainless steel tube heat exchanger sandwiched between a heating element and a Peltier effect heat pump element. The heating element is controlled by the Proportional Temperature Controller PTC03 and the Peltier element is powered by the Peltier Controller, PC02. A connection to a water supply is required for operation of the heat pump.
Brain Slice Keepers
BSK1 Brain Slice Keeper
The Brain Slice Keeper has been designed to pre-incubate brain slices prior to transfer into recording chambers. It consists of a pair of closely fitting acrylic rings, upper and lower, between which is wedged a sheet of nylon netting. In operation, the BSK1 is totally immersed in an ACSF-filled purpose designed holding vessel (BSKH) into which a 95% O2, 5% CO2 gas mixture is supplied with a ceramic bubbler.
BSKH Brain Slice Keeper Holder
The BSKH is a purpose designed holding vessel for the BSK Brain Slice Keeper. This cylindrical vessel incorporates a ceramic bubbler (with flow controller) in the base and is specifically designed to hold the BSK during pre-incubation of brain slices. For temperature control, the BSKH can be placed in a water bath.
BSK2 Low Volume Brain Slice Keeper
The BSK2 Brain Slice Keeper has been designed to pre-incubate one or two brain slices in solution volumes of 5ml prior to transfer into recording chambers. This enables slices to be pre-loaded with experimental dyes or test solutions that are too expensive for large volume dilutions. It consists of a cylindrical chamber into which is placed a separate slice holding insert.
BSK4 Multi-well Brain Slice Keeper
The BSK4 Brain Slice Keeper has been designed to pre-incubate a large number brain slices prior to transfer into recording chambers or for the incubation of preparations in experimental test media. Based on the BSK1, it consists of four closely fitting acrylic rings, located in a circular manifold, between which is wedged a removable sheet of nylon netting. In operation, the four rings located on a manifold with netting are totally immersed in an ACSF-filled purpose designed holding vessel into which a 95% O2, 5% CO2 gas mixture is supplied through a ceramic bubbler.
BSK5 Multi-well Brain Slice Keeper (Interface Mode)
The BSK5-2 Brain Slice Keeper has been designed to pre-incubate a large number of brain slices prior to transfer into recording chambers. Based on the BSK4, it consists of two closely fitting acrylic rings, located in a half cylinder manifold. The close fitting rings allow a removable sheet of nylon netting to be wedged and held in place. In this slice keeper, the slices are maintained at an interface between the incubation medium and a humidified, high oxygen atmosphere within the holding vessel. Furthermore the slices can be maintained on a flat porous membrane attached to the nylon netting in order to maintain the underside of slices perfectly flat for subsequent experiments utilizing microscope techniques. Note that the BSK5-4 which featured four wells is no longer available.
NEW BSK6 Multi-channel Low Volume Slice Keeper
The BSK6-6 Brain Slice Keeper has been designed to pre-incubate six separate sets of brain slices in solution volumes of 4ml prior to transfer into recording chambers. This enables slices to be pre-loaded with experimental test solutions that are too expensive for large volume dilutions. It consists of a large acrylic disc into which is machined six completely independent wells. Each well has a closely fitting acrylic ring between which is wedged a removable sheet of nylon netting. The design of each well is such that when bubbled by an attached needle, a stream of oxygen bubbles introduced from the side are made to circulate the solution from the top downwards on to the net whilst also saturating the solution with oxygen. A channel below the net re-circulates the solution and exerts a downward force on the slices holding them down on the net.
NEW BSK12 Multi-well Slice Keeper (Submerged Mode)
The BSK12 Brain Slice Keeper has been designed to pre-incubate a large number of brain slices prior to transfer into recording chambers or for the incubation of preparations in experimental test media. This keeper consists of twelve closely fitting acrylic ‘C’ rings that fit into their own through-hole, located in a circular manifold. Removable netting is wedged between the ‘C’ ring and it’s hole.
BSK-AM Temperature Controlled Brain Slice Keeper
The Brain Slice Keeper AM has been designed to pre-incubate brain slices prior to transfer into recording chambers. The main body of the BSK-AM comprises a chamber fitted with stainless steel heater and sensor probes to maintain the desired incubating temperature, regulated by our temperature controller PTC03. Within the body of the chamber is a holder for resting the slices, it consists of a pair of closely fitting acrylic rings, upper and lower, between which is wedged a removable sheet of nylon netting.
Slice Holders (Slice Harps) and Other Accessories
Slice Holders – NO LONGER AVAILABLE
We supply three difference sizes of slice harps (13mm, 18mm and 20mm), which are all manufactured from a stainless steel 316 frame and feature a low profile 800µm thickness. Each frame has nine or more 20-25µm nylon threads and excess threads can be cut as required.
SH13 (13mm), SH18 (18mm) and SH20 (20mm) Slice Holders
We supply a range of replacement and consumable parts for the SSD product range, including netting and acrylic quadrant dividers for keepers and chambers. Please contact us for further details.