Dynamic clamping

The Signal for Windows application is well known for its extensive Patch and Voltage clamp recording and analysis capabilities. From Signal version 5 we implement extensive dynamic clamp support to augment this flexible program. Used in conjunction with the CED Power1401-3 or mk II and your existing current-clamp amplifier, no special hardware is required.

Signal includes a fully integrated, easily configurable, high-performance dynamic clamping system. This advanced feature makes the technique readily available to researchers who do not have access to complex customised hardware and software, by providing a professionally designed, maintained and supported package that is usable by all, at a low cost.

In the dynamic clamp technique¹, a typically nonlinear feedback system delivers current to a cell to represent the actions of virtual ion channels, allowing ion channels or synapses to be simulated or the actions of existing channels to be cancelled².

¹ Sharp AA, O'Neil MB, Abbott LF, Marder E (1993) Dynamic Clamp: Computer-Generated Conductances in Real Neurons. J Neurophysiol 69: 992-995 †

² Prinz AA, Abbot LF and Marder E. The dynamic clamp comes of age. Trends Neurosci. 2004 Apr;27(4):218-24 †

† These references to published papers are provided for information purposes only and in no way imply any endorsement of CED products by the authors. Windows® is a registered trademark.

Dynamic clamp simulating action potentials with
model parameter access during sampling

During testing we have found that, with older amplifier designs, current clamp performance is not good enough for effective dynamic clamping.

So far the following amplifiers have been tested at CED and seen to work correctly with Signal dynamic clamping:

  • Molecular Devices Multiclamp 700A and 700B
  • NPI BA-03X
  • A-M Systems 2400
  • HEKA EPC 800

Other amplifiers will be tested and added to this list in due course.

However, many other amplifiers, including the BA-01X, BA-01M, ELC-01X, ELC01M, ELC03XS, SEC03M, SEC05X and SEC01X from NPI Electronics, are known to work well with current clamping and are therefore suitable for dynamic clamping, but of course this is not to say that other amplifiers are unsuitable. ×

Cambridge Electronic Design Limited

Registered in England: 972132

Registered office:

  • Cambridge Electronic Design Limited,
  • Technical Centre,
  • 139 Cambridge Road,
  • Milton,
  • Cambridge CB24 6AZ

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For our US customers, we can provide tax form W-8BEN, that identifies us as a UK company.

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Hardware: 84716070
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By email:


By post:
  • Cambridge Electronic Design Limited,
  • Technical Centre,
  • 139 Cambridge Road,
  • Milton,
  • Cambridge CB24 6AZ
By telephone:

(Int.+44) (0)1223 420186

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1 800 345 7794


Privacy policy

CED, through this site, does two things that relate to privacy. We would like to explain them.

Emails from down-loads

We offer free down-loads of many files on our site, from test programs to complete install files for updated versions of major packages like Spike2 and Signal.

When customers wish to take a down-load of a major package, we ask a few questions, including their name, email address, the serial number of the software for which they seek an upgrade and whether they would like an automatic email whenever we update the product. This information is emailed back to CED when they access the final down-load screen. Within this email, your browser transmits the type and version of browser you are using, and the screen resolution you are running.

The reasons why we take and keep this information are that it is useful for our software development team to know who has taken the latest versions, and it is useful for our web site development team to know which browsers people are using to view our site, and what resolution they have their screens set to.


When people down-load a major package, we try to write a cookie, a small file in your computer, that records your name, serial number of the software package, and the version you are down-loading. These files have a lifetime of one year.

The reasons for storing this information are firstly that if you ask for another down-load some other time, your details are read from the cookie and are pre-written into the form, to save you looking them up again. The other reason is that next time you access our site, your browser looks through your CED cookies and compares the versions down-loaded with the latest version numbers read from our site. If there is a later version of a product you have already down-loaded, we tell you on the home page screen, so you know that it is worth going to the down-load page again.

None of this information is ever given to anyone outside CED. ×