ABSTRACT We have developed and tested transparent microelectrode arrays capable of simultaneous amperometric measurement of oxidizable molecules and fluorescence imaging through the electrodes. Surface patterned microelectrodes were fabricated from three different conducting materials: Indium-tin-oxide (ITO), nitrogen-doped diamond-like carbon (DLC) deposited on top of ITO, or very thin (12 - 17 nm) gold films on glass substrates. Chromaffin cells loaded with lysotracker green or acridine orange dye were placed atop the electrodes and vesicle fluorescence imaged with total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy while catecholamine release from single vesicles was measured as amperometric spikes with the surface patterned electrodes. Electrodes fabricated from all three materials were capable of detecting amperometric signals with high resolution. Unexpectedly, amperometric spikes recorded with ITO electrodes had only about half the amplitude and about half as much charge as those detected with DLC or gold electrodes, indicating that the ITO electrodes are not as sensitive as gold or DLC electrodes for measurement of quantal catecholamine release. The lower sensitivity of ITO electrodes was confirmed by chronoamperometry measurements comparing the currents in the presence of different analytes with the different electrode materials.
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