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Engineering Creativity for Neuroscience



Iontophoresis by Microelectrodes



IonFlow Bipolar IBP-7c


Single-channel, high-voltage, general purpose iontophoretic equipment for microelectrode applications in the life science. IonFlow Bipolar is optimized to apply tracer solutions in tissues and tissue slices. Furthermore it is very effective for in-vivo and in-vitro situations and for single cell experiments. IonFlow Bipolar can be used efficiently to apply tracers, drugs and any other solutions from glass micropipettes.


        Click on the picture to get it in full size


IonFlow Bipolar electrophoretic equipment offers high accuracy due to its microprocessor-based, fully digital internal electronic design. Since we use state-of-the-art electronic components and extremely thorough quality checking during the manufacturing process, the reliability of our product is delicious. IonFlow Bipolar has got menu-driven internal software (firmware), so it is very easy to learn how to use it.


The synonyms of the name of iontophoretic equipment are electrophoretic or ionophoretic equipment. For the method itself the alternate names iontophoresis, electrophoresis and ionophoresis are used. There are slight differences between them in the aspect of chemistry, but there are no differences electrically. All of these methods can be carried out perfectly by the IonFlow Bipolar IBP-7c equipment. The electrophoresis (which collective word covers the effects of ionophoresis and electro-osmosis) offers a comfortable opportunity to pass medicines and/or other chemical substances into any conductive organs (e.g. the human body through the surface of the skin or directly into tissue cultures) by accurately measured small quantities with calibrated electric current. During ionophoresis the ions move due to an electric potential field. The non-ionic substances can be passed similarly with electro-osmosis. The substances, which are designed for electrophoretic purpose meet these requirements. The self-made solutions used in research labs should be designed according to these facts. The quantity of substances passed from the electrode can be controlled exactly by two parameters: the current and time of the electrophoresis.


IonFlow Bipolar can be ordered with one of the power supplies described below. You should consider, which type of power supply fits the best to your experiment:


Electronic floating power supply. The floating power supply avoids the hum noise, but generates some switching noise. If you plan to record electric signals simultaneously with another microelectrode from the living tissue during the iontophoretic process, we do not suggest to order IonFlow Bipolar built with floating power supply.


High voltage battery pack. Battery supplied IonFlow Bipolar avoids the hum noise and does not generate any electronic noise, artifact or disturbance. This kind of power supply is designed for such applications, where a signal recording task is running simultaneously with another microelectrode, which can even be located close to the electrophoretic electrode. The battery supplied IonFlow Bipolar is absolutely "quiet" electronically. The only disadvantage (it is just a financial drawback) is, that you should order a BioStim Battery Manager equipment, as well. Battery Manager is described in detail on the BioStim page.


Operating modes


• Positive External Control: free control capability from an external device (such as a computer) or from the Start button on the front panel. The switching on and switching off actions of the positive polarity output current follows the TTL control signal arriving to the Start input.


• Negative External Control: same as the Positive External Control function, but with negative polarity of output current.


• Positive Timer: programmable interval timer running in software in the range of 10 sec to 990 sec, with 10 sec of resolution. The polarity of the output current is positive.


• Negative Timer: same as the Positive Timer function, but with negative polarity of output current.


• Programmable Alternating: continuous, square wave alternating current appears at the output. The positive and the negative period in the cycle can be programmed in the range of 1 sec to 59 sec, with 1 sec of resolution. The positive and the negative current amplitudes can be set independently of each other.


Specifications / Technical Data


The selectable ranges of the output current:

    0 to 1 µA

    0 to 100 µA

    0 to 10 mA


Compliance voltage of the output constant current generator: 120 V


Worst-case error of the output constant current generator: < 5 %


The output current can be set independently for the positive and for the negative polarity by the scaled, 10-turn, precision helical potentiometers


Resolution of the helical potentiometers: 0.1 %


True output current indicator: there is a floating LCD digital panelmeter with backlight on the front plate. It shows the real output current in the percents of the actual range (full scale readout is 100.0 %).


Resolution of the true output current indicator: 0.1 %


Worst-case error of the true output current indicator: < 5 %


Worst-case error of the timing parameters generated by the built-in microcontrolle: < 0.2 %


Mains supply voltage: 115 VAC, or 230 VAC. The required mains voltage should be specified in the order. The actual supply voltage is indicated at the back side of the equipment.


Tolerance of the mains supply voltage referring to the nominal value: +/- 10 %


Mains frequency: 50 – 60 Hz


Internal power supplies: mains frequency power supply with isolation voltage security of 2.5 kV (guaranteed by the manufacturer of the mains transformer) and an additional internal floating power source with isolation capacitance < 10 pF


Display: 2 x 16 characters alphanumeric LCD with blue backlight


Programming: three function buttons and a Start button on the front plate, in intelligent menu system


Automatic internal diagnostic algorithm in the firmware


Flash program memory


Non-volatile EEPROM memory to store the parameters used last time


Dimensions of the instrument: 290 x 250 x 90 mm


Weight: 2.0 kg


The downloadable specification of the IonFlow Bipolar equipment is available.


The complete User Manual of the IonFlow Bipolar is available for download.





You can find the general warranty and shipping conditions in the beginning of the Services page.


IonFlow Bipolar IBP-7c with electronic floating power supply: 1488 EUR


IonFlow Bipolar IBP-7c-BAT with high voltage battery pack: 1488 EUR, This battery-supplied equipment version requires a BioStim Battery Manager as an accessory. Please include it in the order. You can see the actual price of the BioStim Battery Manager equipment on the BioStim page.




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