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Sensors 2012, 12(11), 14983-15008; doi:10.3390/s121114983

Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy for Studying Biological Samples

1
Central Unit for Ionbeams and Radionuclides (RUBION), Ruhr-University of Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, D-44780 Bochum, Bochum, Germany
2
Department of Molecular Neurobiochemistry, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150,D-44780 Bochum, Bochum, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2012 / Revised: 19 October 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 6 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Germany 2012)
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Abstract

Scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) is a scanning probe technique that utilizes the increase in access resistance that occurs if an electrolyte filled glass micro-pipette is approached towards a poorly conducting surface. Since an increase in resistance can be monitored before the physical contact between scanning probe tip and sample, this technique is particularly useful to investigate the topography of delicate samples such as living cells. SICM has shown its potential in various applications such as high resolution and long-time imaging of living cells or the determination of local changes in cellular volume. Furthermore, SICM has been combined with various techniques such as fluorescence microscopy or patch clamping to reveal localized information about proteins or protein functions. This review details the various advantages and pitfalls of SICM and provides an overview of the recent developments and applications of SICM in biological imaging. Furthermore, we show that in principle, a combination of SICM and ion selective micro-electrodes enables one to monitor the local ion activity surrounding a living cell.
Keywords: scanning ion conductance microscopy; live cell imaging; ion selectivemicro-electrodes scanning ion conductance microscopy; live cell imaging; ion selectivemicro-electrodes
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Happel, P.; Thatenhorst, D.; Dietzel, I.D. Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy for Studying Biological Samples. Sensors 2012, 12, 14983-15008.

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