Glucose and Lactate Miniaturized Biosensors for SECM-Based High-Spatial Resolution Analysis: A Comparative Study

Alice Soldà, Giovanni Valenti, Massimo Marcaccio, Marco Giorgio, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Francesco Paolucci, Stefania Rapino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the aim of developing miniaturized enzymatic biosensors suitable for in vitro diagnostic applications, such as monitoring of metabolites at single cell level, glucose and lactate biosensors were fabricated by immobilizing enzymes (glucose oxidase and lactate oxidase, respectively) on 10 μm Pt ultramicroelectrodes. These electrodes are meant to be employed as probes for scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), which is a unique technique for high-spatial-resolution electrochemical-based analysis. The use of enzymatic moieties improves sensitivity, time scale response, and information content of the microprobes; however, protein immobilization is a key step in the biosensor preparation that greatly affects the overall performance. A crucial aspect is the miniaturization of the sensing, preserving their sensitivity. In this work, we investigated the most common enzyme immobilization techniques. Several fabrication routes are reported and the main figures of merit, such as sensitivity, detection limit, response time, reproducibility, spatial resolution, biosensor efficiency, permeability, selectivity, and the ability to block electro-active interfering species, are investigated and compared. With the intent of using the microprobes for in vitro functional imaging of single living cells, we carefully evaluate the spatial resolution achieved by our modified electrodes on 2D SECM imaging. Metabolic activity of single MCF10A cells were obtained by monitoring the glucose concentrations in close proximity of single living cell, using the UME-based biosensor probes prepared. A voltage-switch approach was implemented to disentangle the topographical contribution of the cells enabling quantitative measurements of cellular uptakes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1310-1318
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 22 2017


  • electrochemical modification
  • glucose sensor
  • high-spatial resolution
  • lactate sensor
  • microelectrodes
  • SECM
  • single cell analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Instrumentation


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