1 Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark2 Nano Bio Integrated Systems, Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark3 Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark4 Copenhagen Center for Health Technology, Center, Technical University of Denmark
This article presents a novel membrane-based sensor for real-time electrochemical investigations of cellular- or tissue cultures. The membrane sensor enables recording of electrical signals from a cell culture without any signal dilution, thus avoiding loss of sensitivity. Moreover, the porosity of the membrane provides optimal culturing conditions similar to existing culturing techniques allowing more efficient nutrient uptake and molecule release. The patterned sensor electrodes were fabricated on a porous membrane by electron-beam evaporation. The electrochemical performance of the membrane electrodes was characterized by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry, and the detection of synthetic dopamine was demonstrated down to a concentration of 3.1 pM. Furthermore, to present the membrane-sensor functionality the dopamine release from cultured PC12 cells was successfully measured. The PC12 cells culturing experiments showed that the membrane-sensor was suitable as a cell culturing substrate for bio-applications. Real-time measurements of dopamine exocytosis in cell cultures were performed, where the transmitter release was recorded at the point of release. The developed membrane-sensor provides a new functionality to the standard culturing methods, enabling sensitive continuous in vitro monitoring and closely mimicking the in vivo conditions.