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Direct Electrochemiluminescence Imaging of a Single Cell on a Chitosan Film Modified Electrode

Liu, Gen, Ma, Cheng, Jin, Bao-Kang, Chen, Zixuan, Zhu, Jun-Jie
Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.7 pp. 4801-4806
chitosan, electrochemiluminescence, electrodes, glass, hydrogen peroxide, image analysis, insulating materials, light intensity, microscopy, quantitative analysis
Single-cell imaging is essential for elucidating the biological mechanism of cell function because it accurately reveals the heterogeneity among cells. The electrochemiluminescence (ECL) microscopy technique has been considered a powerful tool to study cells because of its high throughput and zero cellular background light. However, since cells are immobilized on the electrode surface, the steric hindrance and the insulation from the cells make it difficult to obtain a luminous cell ECL image. To solve this problem, direct ECL imaging of a single cell was investigated and achieved on chitosan and nano-TiO₂ modified fluoride-doped tin oxide conductive glass (FTO/TiO₂/CS). The permeable chitosan film is not only favorable for cell immobilization but also increases the space between the bottom of cells and the electrode; thus, more ECL reagent can exist below the cells compared with the cells on a bare electrode, which guarantees the high sensitivity of quantitative analysis. The modification of nano-TiO₂ strengthens the ECL visual signal in luminol solution and effectively improves the signal-to-noise ratio. The light intensity is correlated with the H₂O₂ concentration on FTO/TiO₂/CS, which can be applied to analyze the H₂O₂ released from cells at the single-cell level. As far as we know, this is the first work to achieve cell ECL imaging without the steric hindrance effect of the cell, and it expands the applications of a modified electrode in visualization study.