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Specialized Tools for Electrophysiology and Cell Biology Research

(VCS-77CSP, VCS-77CSP8) Perfusion Fast-Step System

Product Summary

This perfusion system is the combination of a Warner Mini-perfusion Valve Control System and the SF-77C Fast Step Perfusion System


  • Millisecond solution changes between tubes
  • Solution change within individual ports within 5 seconds
  • New solutions can be added into any port with a waiting time of no more than 30 seconds
  • The cell is never required to pass through an intervening solution to get from control to test solution

The VCS-77 is a unique system that enables a user to rapidly select between several perfusion reservoirs, saving time and effort. These systems are comprised of a Perfusion Fast Stepper and a Mini Valve Control System.

How it works

The SF-77C Perfusion Fast Step rapidly delivers solutions to a sample and the VCS-6M/ VCS-8M Valve Control System provides the ability to change the solution flowing out of any one of the stepper outflow tubes. Combining these two systems together into the VCS-77 Perfusion Fast-Step System enables the user to rapidly select between several perfusion reservoirs, saving time and effort.

The SF-77C is designed around the 'sewer pipe' concept which requires that all solutions flow simultaneously and at the same relative velocity out of all the tubes within the stepper mechanism. The matched-velocity flow prevents mixing between adjacent outflows despite all of the solutions being simultaneously introduced into the bath. This approach permits the sample to see a 'pure' solution emitting specifically from the desired outflow tube.

Stepper solution flows

It's important to note that in addition to managing solution flow out of the SF-77C perfusion tubes, the flow within the larger chamber bath also needs to be managed since the flow velocities need to be the same.

A properly configured system will have a standard valve control system (such as the VCS-8P) directed towards controlling the main bath flow, and a separate, smaller valve control system (such as the VCS-6M) directed towards managing solution flow within the SF-77C perfusion tubes.

Using separate valve control systems for these two paths is critical for proper operation since the relative volumes and flow rates between the two are dramatically different, and one controller cannot service both demands simultaneously.

Fortunately, most users already have a general solution delivery system in place directed towards servicing the larger chamber bath, and the VCS-77C package provides the needed mini valve control system for the SF-77C.

System components


The most common use of the SF-77C is to provide rapid solution changes on an adherent single cell, or to a membrane patch attached to a patch electrode. This is typically achieved using the three square barrel piping system. However, up to five single barrels, or a two barrel Theta glass tube can be easily accommodated.

As is described on the SF-77C page, the Fast-Step rapidly changes the solution appearing on the sample by mechanically performing a side-to-side shift of the position of the associated delivery tubes. Control and test solutions flow continuously through adjacent delivery tubes, and the stepper mechanism selects which tube is directed at the preparation.

The rapid response and nominal hysteresis of the stepper allows for very short switching times and solution changes can be achieved in as little as 20-50 ms (or even as fast as ~1 ms when using a two-barrel Theta tubing). Once changed, the new solution with its specific concentration of salts or pharmacological reagents will remain stable until changed.

VCS-6M or VCS-8M

The VCS-6M or VCS-8M valve control system lies at the heart of a multi-valve perfusion system designed to automate and control the delivery of small quantities of fluids to the SF-77C.

The controller can independently regulate the function of up to six valves. Individual valves can be controlled via a manual switch or an external digital (TTL) signal. Valve transitions (opened or closed) occur at full power to insure rapid response times and are then held in place at less than half power to prevent heat transfer to solutions. An event-marker pulse, generated each time a valve is switched on, is provided at the rear of the controller for recording into your acquisition system.

VCS Software can be downloaded here.



VCS-77CSP - with 6 channel valve control system

System includes

  • SF-77C - Perfusion Fast Step
  • VCS-66MCS - Complete 6 channel mini-valve perfusion system
  • MM-33R - Right handed Micromanipulator
  • MBB - Magnetic Base


VCS-77CSP8 - with 8 channel valve control system

System includes

  • SF-77C - Perfusion Fast Step
  • VC-8M - Complete 8 channel mini-valve perfusion system
  • MM-33R - Right handed Micromanipulator
  • MBB - Magnetic Base



6 or 8-Channel Mini-Valve systems
VCS Software - Download here
Valves 12 VDC /0.046 A, solenoid type
Valve manifold PTFE material, mounts on a 3/8" or 1/2" ring stand
Tubing PE-50
Connection Cable 2.4 meter (8 ft.) connecting cable terminated with quick disconnects on valve end and 15 pin male "D" type connector on controller end.
Reservoirs 10 cc capacity syringes
Reservoir Holder Delrin. Holds eight syringes with thumb screws for each reservoir.
Valve Controller Typical response times for valves is 2.5 ms
Switch Selection Manual, Off or External
External Input +5 V TTL-compatible (BNC Connector)
Event Marker Logic level pulse 500 ms nominal (rear panel BNC connector)
Manifold 2/1, 4/1 or 6/1 nominal dead space
Software compatibility Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10; 64 bit only
Power 110-130 or 200-250 VAC, single-phase, 50/60 Hz, 20 watt
Operating Temperature 10 to 40° C (50 to104° F)
Dimensions (H x W x D) 89 x 203 x 305 mm (3.5 x 8.0 x 12 in.)



Number of Steps 1 to 7
Step Size Adjustable from 100 µm to 1.5 mm in 100 µm increments
Step Speed Typically 20 msec for 700 µm step
Step Control/th>
Manual 8 positions with POSITION selector
Analog Signal 8 positions with voltage levels 0-7 V, 1V per step
Digital Signal 8 positions with 3 bit TTL signal
Max. Stepped Range 12.0 mm
Mounting Handle 6.3 mm X 10 cm (D x L)
Stepper Weight 110.5 g (including handle)
Three manifolds supplied with each system:
MM series for SF-77C and SF-77CST
ML series with SF-77CLT
One 2-input and two 6-input manifolds are supplied
MM Series MM series manifolds use PE-50 tubing at input and PE-10 tubing at output
ML Series ML Series manifolds use PE-50 tubing at both input and output
Solution Flow Rates Rates measured with solution reservoir height of approx. 60 cm (24 in)
With MM Series 100 µL/min
With ML Series 1 mL/min
Control Box
Size, H x W x D 5.0 x 21.2 x 19 cm
Power 120-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 10 VA
Shipping Weight 2.7 kg
Warranty 2 years, parts and labor





  1. Measuring Near Plasma Membrane and Global Intracellular Calcium Dynamics in Astrocytes
    Shigetomi E, Khakh BS
    J Vis Exp. 2009 Apr 26;(26). pii: 1142. doi: 10.3791/1142
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    Granseth B, Lagnado L
    J Physiol. 2008 Dec 15;586(Pt 24):5969-82
  3. Voltage-dependent potassium currents of urethral afferent neurons in diabetes mellitus
    Yang Z, Nassar R, Dolber PC, Fraser MO
    Brain Res. 2008 Jun 27;1217:132-8
  4. Repetitive Reversible Labeling of Proteins at Polyhistidine Sequences for Single-Molecule Imaging in Live Cells
    Guignet EG, Segura JM, Hovius R, Vogel H
    Chemphyschem. 2007 Jun 4;8(8):1221-7
  5. SSR180711, a Novel Selective 7 Nicotinic Receptor Partial Agonist: (1) Binding and Functional Profile
    Biton B, Bergis OE, Galli F, Nedelec A, Lochead AW, Jegham S, Godet D, Lanneau C, Santamaria R, Chesney F, Léonardon J, Granger P, Debono MW, Bohme GA, Sgard F, Besnard F, Graham D, Coste A, Oblin A, Curet O, Vigé X, Voltz C, Rouquier L, Souilhac J, Santucci V, Gueudet C, Françon D, Steinberg R, Griebel G, Oury-Donat F, George P, Avenet P, Scatton B
    Neuropsychopharmacology. 2007 Jan;32(1):1-16
  6. Reconstitution of local Ca2+ signaling between cardiac L-type Ca2+ channels and ryanodine receptors: insights into regulation by FKBP12.6
    Goonasekera SA, Chen SR, Dirksen RT
    Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2005 Dec;289(6):C1476-84

Customers from Europe and Australia can use the Multi Channel Systems - Online Shop to order Warner products or create quotes.

Order No. Model No. Product Description USA Price Order
64-3109 VCS-77CSP Complete VCS-6 Fast Step Perfusion System with right-handed manipulator Login Login
64-3110 VCS-77CSPL Complete VCS-6 Fast Step Perfusion System with left-handed manipulator Login Login
64-3111 VCS-77CSP8 Complete VCS-8 Fast Step Perfusion System with right-handed manipulator Login Login
64-3112 VCS-77CSP8L Complete VCS-8 Fast Step Perfusion System with left-handed manipulator Login Login
Replacement Glass
64-0119 3SG700-5 3-Barrel square tubing for perfusion stepper system, 0.6 mm x, 5 cm (ID x L), 10 pack Login Login
64-0811 TG200-4 Premium theta glass, 2.0 mm x 10 cm (OD x L) Login Login
99-0630 Step System (VC-77CSP, VC-77CSP6ft Extension cable for SF-77B Login Login
64-3098 SH-8/60 8 Reservoir VCS syringe holder, includes 60 cc syringes Login Login
64-0163 SH-6/60 6 Reservoir VCS syringe holder, includes 60 cc syringes Login Login
64-0143 SH-8/10 8 Reservoir VCS syringe holder, includes 10 cc syringes Login Login
64-1490 SN-23 Blunt-ended syringe needles, 23G (0.64 mm OD), fits PE-50 tubing, 12 pack Login Login
64-0165 SL-6 Luer stopcock, 6 pack Login Login
64-1940 DWV Dedicated Workstation Vacuum Login Login
Replacement Parts
64-0139 PV-1 Replacement pinch valve Login Login
64-0140 TV-2 Replacement PTFE valve Login Login
64-0175 SV-1 Replacement mini valve Login Login
64-0125 GH-2T Holder for perfusion stepper system, theta glass Login Login
64-0119 3SG700-5 3-Barrel square tubing for perfusion stepper system, 0.6 mm x, 5 cm (ID x L), 10 pack Login Login
64-0752 PE-50/10 Polyethylene tubing, PE-50, 10 ft Login Login
64-0753 PE-50/100 Polyethylene tubing, PE-50, 100 ft Login Login
System items if purchased separately
64-3082 VCS-8-MINI Touch Screen Valve Control System, 8 channel, mini valves, 10 cc reservoirs Login Login
64-3086 VCS-6-MINI Touch Screen Valve Control System, 6 channel, mini valves, 10 cc reservoirs Login Login
64-3020 SF-77C Standard Fast-Step system with MM Series manifolds Login Login
64-0056 MM-33R Micromanipulator with clamp base, right handed Login Login

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