Electrochemical detection of catecholamine release using planar iridium oxide electrodes in nanoliter microfluidic cell culture volumes.
ABSTRACT Release of neurotransmitters and hormones by calcium regulated exocytosis is a fundamental cellular/molecular process that is disrupted in a variety of psychiatric, neurological, and endocrine disorders. Therefore, this area represents a relevant target for drug and therapeutic development, efforts that will be aided by novel analytical tools and devices that provide mechanistically rich data with increased throughput. Toward this goal, we have electrochemically deposited iridium oxide (IrOx) films onto planar thin film platinum electrodes (20 μm×300 μm) and utilized these for quantitative detection of catecholamine release from adrenal chromaffin cells trapped in a microfluidic network. The IrOx electrodes show a linear response to norepinephrine in the range of 0-400 μM, with a sensitivity of 23.1±0.5 mA/M mm(2). The sensitivity of the IrOx electrodes does not change in the presence of ascorbic acid, a substance commonly found in biological samples. A replica molded polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic device with nanoliter sensing volumes was aligned and sealed to a glass substrate with the sensing electrodes. Small populations of chromaffin cells were trapped in the microfluidic device and stimulated by rapid perfusion with high potassium (50mM) containing Tyrode's solution at a flow rate of 1 nL/s. Stimulation of the cells produced a rapid increase in current due to oxidation of the released catecholamines, with an estimated maximum concentration in the cell culture volume of ~52 μM. Thus, we demonstrate the utility of an integrated microfluidic network with IrOx electrodes for real-time quantitative detection of catecholamines released from small populations of chromaffin cells.
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ABSTRACT: The sophistication and success of recently reported microfabricated organs-on-chips (OoCs) and human organ constructs (HoCs) have made it possible to design scaled and interconnected organ systems that may significantly augment the current drug development pipeline and lead to advances in systems biology. Physiologically realistic live microHuman (ìHu) and milliHuman (mHu) systems operating for weeks to months present exciting and important engineering challenges such as determining the appropriate size for each organ to ensure appropriate relative organ functional activity, achieving appropriate cell density, providing the requisite universal perfusion media, sensing the breadth of physiological responses, and maintaining stable control of the entire system, while maintaining fluid scaling that consists of ~5 mL for the mHu and ~5 ìL for the ìHu. We believe that successful mHu and ìHu systems for drug development and systems biology will require low-volume microdevices that support chemical signaling, microfabricated pumps, valves and microformulators, automated optical microscopy, electrochemical sensors for rapid metabolic assessment, ion mobility-mass spectrometry for real-time molecular analysis, advanced bioinformatics, and machine learning algorithms for automated model inference and integrated electronic control. Toward this goal we are building functional prototype components and are working toward topdown system integration.IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering 02/2013; · 2.15 Impact Factor