American Chemical Society
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Significant Elevation in Potassium Concentration Surrounding Stimulated Excitable Cells Revealed by an Aptamer-Modified Nanowire Transistor

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posted on 2021-08-27, 22:05 authored by Ankur Anand, Hui-Chiun Tseng, Hsu-Cheng Chiang, Wan-Hsuan Hsu, Yi-Fan Liao, Serena Huei-An Lu, Su-Yi Tsai, Chien-Yuan Pan, Yit-Tsong Chen
Recording ion fluctuations surrounding biological cells with a nanoelectronic device offers seamless integration of nanotechnology into living organisms and is essential for understanding cellular activities. The concentration of potassium ion in the extracellular fluid (CK+ex) is a critical determinant of cell membrane potential and must be maintained within an appropriate range. Alteration in CK+ex can affect neuronal excitability, induce heart arrhythmias, and even trigger seizure-like reactions in the brain. Therefore, monitoring local fluctuations in real time provides an early diagnosis of the occurrence of the K+-induced pathophysiological responses. Here, we modified the surface of a silicon nanowire field-effect transistor (SiNW-FET) with K+-specific DNA-aptamers (AptK+) to monitor the real-time variations of CK+ex in primary cultured rat embryonic cortical neurons or human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. The binding affinity of AptK+ to K+, determined by measuring the dissociation constant of the AptK+–K+ complex (Kd = 10.1 ± 0.9 mM), is at least 38-fold higher than other ions (e.g., Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+). By placing cultured cortical neurons over an AptK+/SiNW-FET device, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) stimulation raised the CK+ex dose-dependently to 16 mM when AMPA concentration was >10 μM; this elevation could be significantly suppressed by an AMPA receptor antagonist, 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione. Likewise, the stimulation of isoproterenol to cardiomyocytes raised the CK+ex to 6–8 mM, with a concomitant increase in the beating rate. This study utilizing a robust nanobiosensor to detect real-time ion fluctuations surrounding excitable cells underlies the importance of ion homeostasis and offers the feasibility of developing an implant device for real-time monitoring.