Light-addressable ion sensing for real time monitoring of extracellular potassium
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Visualization of ion distribution has broad applications. We report here on a light addressable potassium (K+) sensor where light illumination of a semiconducting silicon electrode substrate results in a localized activation of the faradaic electrochemistry at the illuminated spot. This allows one, by electrochemical control, to oxidize surface bound ferrocene moieties that in turn trigger K+ transfer from the overlaid K+-selective film to the solution phase. The resulting voltammetric response is shown to be K+-selective, where peak position is a direct function of K+ activity at the surface of electrode. This concept was used to measure extracellular K+ concentration changes by stimulating living breast cancer cells. The associated decrease of intracellular K+ level was confirmed with a fluorescent K+ indicator. In contrast to light addressable potentiometry, the approach introduced here relies on dynamic electrochemistry and may be performed in tandem with other electrochemical anal...