Shown: TRIO-245 with Sutter IPA headstage (not included)

3-Axis Micromanipulator System

The new TRIO™-245 from Sutter Instrument is a highly stable 3-axis manipulator with 25mm of travel on each axis. The TRIO's synthetic 4th axis can be set in software as any angle between 0 and 90 degrees for diagonal movement. Based on a lead-screw design with a smaller overall size and footprint than most manipulators, the TRIO-245 is ideal for applications that require 2 pipettes in one setup or for setups where space is limited.

From our first micromanipulator, Sutter Instrument has always used linear drives in our stepper motor controller designs. Linear drives are costlier to build but emit the least amount of electrical noise, which is essential when doing noise-sensitive recordings. Our latest TRIO micromanipulators use a combination of new mechanical designs and software algorithms to allow the motors to power down completely during recording. This has the benefits of reducing the electrical noise in the system to unmeasurable levels and keeping the motors cool, which eliminates thermal drift. The stability and low noise characteristics of the TRIO manipulators will save you time and effort by being one of the most robust components in your setup.

Sutter Pioneered the use of linear drives for low noise patch clamp recording. Our next-generation TRIO manipulators use a combination of state-of-the-art software and mechanical design that eliminates the need for the motor to remain powered on during recording, thus eliminating the heating effects of the motors and giving us the quietest manipulators in the industry. This inherent stability ensures that Sutter manipulators are ready to work when you are - saving you valuable hours of research time.

The compact design of the integrated Rotary Optical Encoder (ROE) controller requires minimal bench space; provides quiet, fan-free operation; and is easy to use. No rack mounted controller is required. Position coordinates, in relative or absolute values, are displayed directly on the ROE. The TRIO manipulators use a logarithmic acceleration algorithm that eliminates the need for speed selection. As the knobs on the ROE are turned faster, acceleration ramps up. This allows for smooth and intuitive motion control of electrode position without the need to stop and change speeds or lift your hand from the knobs. A Y-axis lockout function (accessible by DIP switch) is also available, allowing X/Z-only axial movement during HOME and WORK repositioning.

An alternate configuration, the TRIO-235, removes the Z axis and replaces it with an adjustable diagonal axis. This configuration pairs a traditional X and Y axis with a diagonal axis that can be adjusted in angle with a set screw. The diagonal features 50mm of travel with X and Y axes that have 25mm of travel. On this model, we have added software to create a synthetic "Z-axis" by combining the diagonal and X axes in reverse of how we create a synthetic diagonal axis on our other manipulators. The TRIO-235 and TRIO-245 both feature the same precision bearing and lead-screw design.

Five conveniently located buttons control all the functions you will need in normal operation. Press and hold the [WORK] button to quickly store a work position; pressing [WORK] after this will return the manipulator to the same location. [HOME] sends the manipulator to a second position, often set for a point furthest from the microscope, which is useful for rapid pipette exchange. Press [WORK] and [HOME] simultaneously to easily set or modify the 4th axis angle. When you are ready to begin recording data, the motor drive electronics can be put in a super-quiet mode by pressing [LOCK]. Display coordinates can toggle between relative and absolute by pressing the [RELATIVE] button; holding the button down will zero the relative coordinates. Finally, [PULSE] activates a pulse movement mode that produces small, rapid bursts of motion that can be advantageous for cell penetration with sharp electrodes.

Designed with maximum flexibility in mind, a DIP switch on the controller changes the directional movement of the ROE knobs to accommodate the preference of the user. The TRIO comes standard with a universal mounting system suitable for the most popular headstages or pipette holders.

  • NEW: Now available in thermally stable stainless steel
  • Three independent axes - 25mm orthogonal travel in X, Y and Z
  • Sub-micron (less than 100nm) resolution
  • User selectable angle from 0 - 90 degrees via ROE input
  • Fast movement with a top speed of 3mm/sec (while homing)
  • Mechanically robust construction for high stability
  • Compact, fanless, user-friendly ROE controller preserves bench and rack space
  • Carries up to a kilogram
  • Push button control of multiple functions - WORK, HOME, LOCK, PULSE and RELATIVE
  • Suited for in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological recording
  • Universal mounting system for headstage or pipette holder
  • DIP switches on ROE select direction of movement produced by turn of ROE knob
  • USB interface for computer control

The TRIO™-245 is now also available in stainless steel! The standard version of the TRIO has virtually no drift in its motor and bearing assemblies. The last remaining hurdle is that of thermal drift caused by the expansion and contraction of the aluminum body of the manipulator. By utilizing a stainless steel with very low coefficient of expansion, the TRIO-245S is simply the lowest drift manipulator available on the market. The added mass of the stainless steel body has the additional benefit of dampening out vibration, giving the stainless TRIO-245S the silkiest movement of any manipulator.

Because low expansion stainless steels do have some ferric content, the stainless TRIO-245S is PVD coated in titanium nitride, giving it its distinctive gold color. This coating will ensure that the stainless trio will resist corrosion caused by exposure to salt solutions in a lab environment.


TRIO-235: 25 mm on X and Y, 50mm on diagonal
TRIO-245: 25 mm on X, Y and Z axes

Control Box
5.5in x 7.5in x 4in | 14cm x 19cm x 10.2cm

2.2 lbs | 1.0 kg

115/230 Volts
50/60 Hertz power line

US Prices > TRIO™
International prices vary by country due to associated importation costs. Please contact your local distributor or Sutter Instrument for a quotation. Prices subject to change without notice.

Basic systems include the manipulator, controller, rod holder, 4 inch dovetail extension, mounting adapter plate, Z-axis vertical extension, cables, and power supply

Catalog Number Description Price
TRIO-235 3-axis manipulator (X, Y and diagonal) $ 6,835
TRIO-245-L 3-axis manipulator (X, Y and Z) - left-handed setup $ 6,835
TRIO-245-R 3-axis manipulator (X, Y and Z) - right-handed setup $ 6,835

TRIO-245S-L 3-axis manipulator (X, Y and Z) - left-handed setup $ 9,340
TRIO-245S-R 3-axis manipulator (X, Y and Z) - right-handed setup $ 9,340

MT-78-FS Fixed platform stage plate with imperial/standard holes, chamber insert and gantry supports $ 3,860
MT-78-FS/M6 Same as MT-78-FS with M6 tapped holes $ 3,860

MT-75 Standard gantry stand 8.7 to 13.4 in (22.1 to 33.9 cm) $ 835
MT-75S Short gantry stand 6.7 to 9.6 in (16.9 to 24.4 cm) $ 835

285204 4" dovetail extension $ 64
285210 Mounting adapter plate $ 70
225RBI Rotating base $ 480
221165 Z-axis vertical extension $ 105
BR-AW Rod holding clamp for XenoWorks® injectors (for rod OD 2-4mm) $ 100
MP-ROD Rod holder (for rod OD 6.25mm or larger) $ 100
MP-RISER-0.51 1/2 inch riser $ 135
MP-RISER-1.01 1 inch riser $ 185

1 Risers can be combined to achieve desired height

For detailed information on mounting our micromanipulators, refer to the Mounting Systems section or phone for assistance.

MT-1078 / MT-2078
MT-1000 / MT-2000
MD Series