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An enzyme-based electrochemical biosensor probe with sensitivity to detect astrocytic versus glioma uptake of glutamate in real time in vitro

Scoggin, Jessica L., Tan, Chao, Nguyen, Nam H., Kansakar, Urna, Madadi, Mahboubeh, Siddiqui, Shabnam, Arumugam, Prabhu U., DeCoster, Mark A., Murray, Teresa A.
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2019 v.126 pp. 751-757
astrocytes, biosensors, brain, brain neoplasms, carbon fibers, drugs, epilepsy, glioma, memory, monitoring, neurotransmitters, platinum, therapeutics
Glutamate, a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, is essential for regulation of thought, movement, memory, and other higher functions controlled by the brain. Dysregulation of glutamate signaling is associated with severe neuropathological conditions, such as epilepsy, and glioma, a form of brain cancer. Glutamate signals are currently detected by several types of neurochemical probes ranging from microdialysis-based to enzyme-based carbon fiber microsensors. However, an important technology gap exists in the ability to measure glutamate dynamics continuously, and in real time, and from multiple locations in the brain, which limits our ability to further understand the involved spatiotemporal mechanisms of underlying neuropathologies. To overcome this limitation, we developed an enzymatic glutamate microbiosensor, in the form of a ceramic-substrate enabled platinum microelectrode array, that continuously, in real time, measures changes in glutamate concentration from multiple recording sites. In addition, the developed microbiosensor is almost four-fold more sensitive to glutamate than enzymatic sensors previously reported in the literature. Further analysis of glutamate dynamics recorded by our microbiosensor in cultured astrocytes (control condition) and glioma cells (pathological condition) clearly distinguished normal versus impaired glutamate uptake, respectively. These results confirm that the developed glutamate microbiosensor array can become a useful tool in monitoring and understanding glutamate signaling and its regulation in normal and pathological conditions. Furthermore, the developed microbiosensor can be used to measure the effects of potential therapeutic drugs to treat a range of neurological diseases.