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New Multi-functional Sensing Tool To Investigate Cystic Fibrosis

A research team from Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a new multi-functional sensing system to investigate adenosine triposphate (ATP) release and its role in cystic fibrosis. //

This patented technology adds recessed micro- and nano-electrodes to the tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM), creating a single tool that can simultaneously monitor topography along with electrochemical activity at the cell surface.

Researchers will present information on the research on March 26 at the American Chemical Society’s 231st meeting in Atlanta during a session on new approaches in analytical chemistry.

The new multi-functional imaging technique will advance the study of biological samples, said Boris Mizaikoff, an associate professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and director of its Applied Sensors Lab.

“Conventional AFM can image surfaces, but usually provides limited chemical information,” he explained. “And though scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), another probing technique, provides laterally resolved electrochemical data, it has limited spatial resolution. By combining AFM and SECM functionality into a single scanning probe, our tool provides researchers with a more holistic view of activities at the cell surface.”

In addition to Mizaikoff and Kranz, the team also includes post-doctoral scholar Jean-Francois Masson and graduate student Justyna Wiedemair.

In the ATP study, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and done in collaboration with Douglas Eaton at Emory University’s School of Physiology, the Georgia Tech team used the multi-scanning biosensors to study ATP release at the surface of live epithelial cells (cells that cover most glands and organs in the body). ATP, a chemical involved in energy transport, is of interest to medical researchers because elevated levels have been linked with cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects
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