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Anal Chem. 2016 Feb 16;88(4):2113-8. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b03634. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Micro Electrochemical pH Sensor Applicable for Real-Time Ratiometric Monitoring of pH Values in Rat Brains.

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Department of Chemistry, Tongji University , Siping Road 1239, Shanghai 200092, P. R. China.
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Chemical Processes, Department of Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, East China Normal University , North Zhoangshan Road 3663, Shanghai 200062, China.


To develop in vivo monitoring meter for pH measurements is still the bottleneck for understanding the role of pH plays in the brain diseases. In this work, a selective and sensitive electrochemical pH meter was developed for real-time ratiometric monitoring of pH in different regions of rat brains upon ischemia. First, 1,2-naphthoquinone (1,2-NQ) was employed and optimized as a selective pH recognition element to establish a 2H(+)/2e(-) approach over a wide range of pH from 5.8 to 8.0. The pH meter demonstrated remarkable selectivity toward pH detection against metal ions, amino acids, reactive oxygen species, and other biological species in the brain. Meanwhile, an inner reference, 6-(ferrocenyl)hexanethiol (FcHT), was selected as a built-in correction to avoid the environmental effect through coimmobilization with 1,2-NQ. In addition, three-dimensional gold nanoleaves were electrodeposited onto the electrode surface to amplify the signal by ∼4.0-fold and the measurement was achieved down to 0.07 pH. Finally, combined with the microelectrode technique, the microelectrochemical pH meter was directly implanted into brain regions including the striatum, hippocampus, and cortex and successfully applied in real-time monitoring of pH values in these regions of brain followed by global cerebral ischemia. The results demonstrated that pH values were estimated to 7.21 ± 0.05, 7.13 ± 0.09, and 7.27 ± 0.06 in the striatum, hippocampus, and cortex in the rat brains, respectively, in normal conditions. However, pH decreased to 6.75 ± 0.07 and 6.52 ± 0.03 in the striatum and hippocampus, upon global cerebral ischemia, while a negligible pH change was obtained in the cortex.

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