For a head fixed animal, how stable is the current state-of-the-art whole cell recording from a cortical neuron? The animal's breathing, and heart beat must move the neuron relative to the recording device quite a bit, and I was wondering how stable the seal would be. How long can one hold a cell, and what is the typical quality of such recording?
After talking to a few electrophysiologists, I found out that they have very diverse opinions.
It seems that a common way of stabilizing the movement of the brain with respect to heart beat is to press the brain with some softish-rigid material like agar. Also, draining the CSF could help but then this cannot be done without sacrificing the animal.
The quality of the patch degrades over time, and it could be held for an hour or more (anecdotal).