Soon after the glass micropipette was invented as a micro-tool for manipulation of single bacteria and the microinjection and microsurgery of living cells, it was seen to hold promise as a microelectrode to stimulate individual cells electrically and to study electrical potentials in them. Initial successes and accurate mechanistic explanations of the results were achieved in giant plant cells in the 1920s. Long known surface electrical activity in nerves and muscles was only resolved at a similar cellular level in the 1930s and 1940s after the discovery of giant nerve fibers and the development of finer tipped microelectrodes for normal-sized cells.
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