Specialized Tools for Electrophysiology and Cell Biology Research

(BSC) The Brain/Tissue Slice Chamber System

Product Summary

This unique and versatile Brain/Tissue Slice Chamber System offers the investigator two in vitro methods for studying a thin slice of tissue.


  • Maintains brain slices for 10 hours or more on the bench-top
  • Modular design accommodates submersible or interface chambers
  • 20 years of use in leading labs
  • Sensitive recordings without electrical interference

This versatile Brain/Tissue Slice Chamber System offers the investigator two in vitro methods of studying perfused thin tissue slices.

The Brain/Tissue Slice Chamber System contains the flowing components:

  • The BSC-BUW Base Units act as a support and warming stand for either the Haas or Zbicz tops listed below.
  • The BSC-HT (Haas Top) chamber is an interface-type chamber in which one slice face is maintained wet by a perfusing solution while the other face is maintained moist by a humidified gas mixture.
  • The BSC-ZT (Zbicz Top) is a submersion-type chamber in which solutions flow transverse to the fully submerged slices.
  • Each top allows for rapid changeover of fluids and both provide excellent access to the slices for electrophysiological recording or other observations.

Slices can be stored ready-to-go with the BSC-PC pre-chamber which allows up to 12 brain slices to be safely stored in vitro while maintaining slice viability. (Available separately.)

BSC-BUW Base Unit

The BSC-BUW is a new, Warner designed version of the legacy BSC-BU base unit. The BSC-BUW is fully compatible with the Warner TC-324C and TC-344C Temperature controllers.

Both temperature controllers are low noise and provide well-filtered DC heating current. This allows even sensitive electrophysiologic recordings, such as single channel patch clamping, to be made without electrical interference.


Temperature regulated perfusion lines are built in to the base unit for rapid changeover of superfusing fluids without the need for an external, temperature regulated, perfusate supply tank.

Designed by Experts

Over twenty years ago two leading electrophysiologists, Drs. Haas and Zbicz, designed these chambers for use in their own research. Design improvements employed over the ensuing decades have been enjoyed by electrophysiologists worldwide.

The function of the Base Unit is to warm the superfusing solution in systems using either the Zbicz or Haas tops to study brain/tissue slices.

  • Maintains brain slices for 10 hours or more on the bench-top
  • Modular design accommodates submersible or interface chambers
  • 20 years of use in leading labs
  • Sensitive recordings without electrical interference
  • Models available for Warner or Med Systems temperature controllers

The BSC_BUW Base Unit consists of a double walled cylinder which  filled with distilled water that encloses a nichrome heating element. The cavity also contains two separate sets of PVC tubing which can transport one or two superfusing solutions up to the slice chamber. The base unit also holds an aerator used to humidify the Haas Top .

The base unit is mounted on legs which suspend the heating cylinder. This prevents thermal expansion artifiacts due to heating. This stabilizes the top unit and slice during temperature changes. The base unit is specifically designed to accept both the BSC-HT and the BSC-ZT top units; this makes for both economy and versatility.

The Haas Top is an interface-type chamber utilizing semi-submersion principles for the study of brain/tissue slices.

  • Maintains a stable intracellular membrane potential of more than 60 mV
  • Facilitates action potentials with overshoots close to 100 mV in amplitude, duration of less than 2 msec at 32°C, when used with hippocampal pyramidal and granular cells
  • Maintenance of the above potentials is possible for more than 1 hour undisturbed by changes in perfusion fluids
  • Preparation slices remain viable for up to 12 hours
  • Using flow rates of 1 ml/min, will completely exchange the chamber fluid in less than 1 minute

The Haas Top (BSC-HT) provides for rapid exchange of superfusing fluids, and excellent stability for intracellular recording. Normally used in conjunction with the BSC-BUW or BSC-BU base units and a temperature controller. Slices rest on nylon mesh below which a thin sheet of the perfusate of interest flows. The bottom side of the slice is wet as capillary action saturates the mesh. Slices are oxygenated by a warmed and humidified mixture of 95/5% O2/CO2 which flows across the top surface of the slice. The BSC-HT has been designed so that the effects of two drugs can be studied simultaneously. One drug flows down the left portion of the chamber and the second down the right.

The Zbicz Top is a submersion-type chamber in which tissue slices are supported on a stiff nylon mesh. Slices are perfused both from below and above.

  • Slices remain viable for 10 hours or more
  • Slices are mechanically stable
  • Low volume chamber cavity
  • Slices are wetted on both top and bottom and do not dry out
  • Semipermanent mesh slice support is easily cleaned
  • Low electrode capacitance assists single microelectrode voltage and patch clamping
  • Minimal bubble formation
  • Precise solution temperature regulation
  • Slice can be trans-illuminated

Slices remain viable for 10 hours or more

The Zbicz Top (BSC-ZT) is a submersion-type chamber in which tissue slices are supported on a nylon mesh. The perfusate flows transversely across both cut surfaces. The steady flow of warmed media across the slightly submerged slice surfaces is sufficient to keep many tissues alive and responsive for 10 or more hours.

The fluid level is set to 1 mm above the mesh by a dam at the end of the chamber. The chamber is 6 mm wide and the trough is 24 mm long; this provides adequate room for slices and instrumentation, yet minimizes the well volume to optimize drug change over times. Fluid overflowing the dam is drained via a vacuum line to waste.

Slices are mechanically stable

Slices are placed on a special ribbed nylon mesh and may be held in place by 3 to 4 stimulating electrodes or a plastic insert. This stability is attributed to the stiff nylon mesh which does not rise or sag with changes in fluid flow, therefore moderate changes in the transverse laminar flow can be well tolerated during intracellular and extracellular recordings. These features allow for switching of solutions with minimal risk of tissue movement and loss of neurons while recording.

Low volume chamber

The low volume of the chamber cavity and the relatively fast flow rate allows rapid exchange of solution (1 to 2 minutes) which facilitates drug application studies.

Slices remain moist

Slices remain moist and viable, because they are wetted on both sides and do not dry out due to surrounding air currents.

Semipermanent mesh

The mesh surface holding the slice is semipermanent and can be cleaned easily. The BSC-ZT comes with extra mesh which can be installed easily when necessary.

Low electrode capacitance

Because the fluid depth is shallow (400 to 600 microns), the electrode capacitance remains low; an important consideration in single microelectrode voltage and patch clamping.

Minimal bubble formation

Bubbles, which can form in the heating unit, escape by the path formed at the entrance of the trough. Movement of the slice will not result if bubbles inadvertently form under the mesh. The flow of solution over the slice top will maintain tissue viability.

The Pre-chamber allows multiple brain slices to be stored in vitro for hours while maintaining excellent viability prior to study using either the BSC-HT or BSC-ZT.

  • 10 to 12 brain slices can be stored in vitro
  • 95% O2 /5% CO2 mixture bubbled through normal saline
  • Cyclic flow of oxygen enriched perfusate
  • Continuous permeation of stored slices
  • Slices remain viable for hours
  • Includes insert

The Pre-chamber (BSC-PC) chamber allows up to 12 brain slices to be safely stored in vitrowhile maintaining excellent slice viability.

A mixture of 95% O2 /5% CO2 is bubbled through physiological saline within the chamber. This initiates a circular flow of oxygen enriched saline which continuously permeates the slices. Slices can remain viable for hours while awaiting transfer to an examining chamber. Gas flow pressure should not exceed 5 p.s.i.

Insert is included.

(L x W x H)
114.6 x 139.45 x 111.13 mm
(4.511 x 5.490 x 4.375 in)
111.13 x 85.41 x 23.80 mm
(4.375 x 3.365 x 0.937 in)
98.55 x 101.60 x 28.19 mm
(3.880 x 4.000 x 1.110 in)
11.27 x 4.89 x 9.54 cm
(4.435 x 1.928 x 3.757 in)
Weight 618 g (1 lb 5.8 oz) 130.41 g (4.60 oz) 124.74 g (4.40 oz) 362.87 g
Volume of cup       22.7 ml



  1. Characterizing molecular probes for diffusion measurements in the brain
    Kaur G, Hrabetova S, Guilfoyle DN, Nicholson C, Hrabe J
    J Neurosci Methods. 2008 Jun 30;171(2):218-25. Epub 2008 Mar 28
  2. Development of chloride homeostasis in albino and pigmented rat visual cortex neurons
    Diykov D, Barmashenko G, Hoffmann KP
    Neuroreport. 2008 Mar 26;19(5):595-8
  3. Geniculocortical relay of blue-off signals in the primate visual system
    Brett A Szmajda
    Submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy 9/1/2006 The National Vision Research Institute of Australia and Department of Optometry & Vision Sciences The University of Melbourne
  4. Random Wiring in the Midget Pathway of Primate Retina
    Patricia R. Jusuf, Paul R. Martin, and Ulrike Grunert
    The Journal of Neuroscience, April 12, 2006 • 26(15):3908 –3917
  5. Olfactoretinal centrifugal input modulates zebrafish retinal ganglion cell activity: a possible role for dopamine-mediated Ca2+ signalling pathways
    Luoxiu Huang, Hans Maaswinke, Lei Li,
    The Journal of Physiology Volume 569 Issue 3 Page 939-948, December 2005
  6. Dopamine release is severely compromised in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease
    Michael A. Johnson, Vignesh Rajan, Charles E. Miller, R. Mark Wightman
    Journal of Neurochemistry Volume 94 Issue 3 Page 659Issue 3 - 671 - August 2005
  7. Naive CD4 T Cells from Lupus-Prone Fas-Intact MRL Mice Display TCR-Mediated Hyperproliferation Due to Intrinsic Threshold Defects in Activation
    Christina E. Zielinski, Simon N. Jacob, Farida Bouzahzah, Barbara E. Ehrlich, and Joe Craft
    The Journal of Immunology, 2005, 174: 5100-5109
  8. Temporal binding via cortical coincidence detection of specific and nonspecific thalamocortical inputs: A voltage-dependent dye-imaging study in mouse brain slices
    Llinas RR, Leznik E, Urbano FJ
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jan 8;99(1):449-54. Epub 2002 Jan 2

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
Warner Based System
64-1525 BSC-BUW BSC-BU base unit compatible with Warner temperature controllers, includes connecting cable Login Login
65-0074 BSC-ZT Zbicz Top including nylon mesh Login Login
65-0075 BSC-HT Haas top including 2 slice holders Login Login
65-0076 BSC-PC Prechamber for holding slices Login Login
64-2400 TC-324C Heater controller, single channel, 110-230 VAC, 50/60Hz Login Login
64-2401 TC-344C Heater controller, dual channel, 110-230 VAC, 50/60Hz Login Login
Med Systems Based System
65-0074 BSC-ZT Zbicz Top including nylon mesh Login Login
65-0075 BSC-HT Haas top including 2 slice holders Login Login
65-0076 BSC-PC Prechamber for holding slices Login Login
Accessories and Replacement Parts (General)
65-0078 BSC-AIR Aeration Element Replacement, Set of 2 Login Login
65-0081 BSC-TUBE Base Unit (BSC-BU) tubing set replacement, Tygon 0.031 x 0.093 (ID x OD) Login Login
65-0079 BSC-ORING Base Unit (BSC-BU) replacement gasket set Login Login
65-0082 BSC-G10 Haas top (BSC-HT) tissue insert replacement, Set of 2 Login Login
65-0083 BSC-HTC Haas top (BSC-HT) plastic cover replacement Login Login
65-0084 BSC-HT-AG Haas top (BSC-HT) ground wire replacement Login Login
65-0086 BSC-ZTC Zbicz Top (BSC-ZT) plastic insert replacement Login Login
65-0087 BSC-PC-VAL Prechamber (BSC-PC) valve replacement Login Login
65-0608 BSC-PC Insert Insert for BSC-PC Prechamber Tissue Slice Chamber Login Login
65-0090 BSC-MESH Replacement mesh for Haas and Zbicz tops, and for prechamber cup bottom, 4 x 4 in Login Login
65-0088 BSC-ACC-KIT Base Unit, Haas and Zbicz tops accessory kit (replacement screws, fittings and mesh) Login Login
Accessories and Replacement Parts (Warner)
64-1697 BSC-HEW Replacement heating wire for BSC-BUW Login Login
64-1591 BSC-CABLE-W BSC-BUW connecting cable for Warner temperature controllers Login Login
Accessories and Replacement Parts (Med Systems)
65-0080 BSC-HE Replacement heating wire for BSC-BU Login Login
65-0091 BSC-CABLE BSC-BU connecting cable for Med Systems temperature controllers Login Login
65-0104 Output cable, 6 pin to banana for TC-202A or BSC-BU Login Login

Need support?

Want to know more about our quality products or need assistance in technical support?