Nanoelectrochemistry in the study of single-cell signaling

Ran Chen, Kristen Alanis, Theresa M. Welle, Mei Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Label-free biosensing has been the dream of scientists and biotechnologists as reported by Vollmer and Arnold (Nat Methods 5:591–596, 2008). The ability of examining living cells is crucial to cell biology as noted by Fang (Int J Electrochem 2011:460850, 2011). Chemical measurement with electrodes is label-free and has demonstrated capability of studying living cells. In recent years, nanoelectrodes of different functionality have been developed. These nanometer-sized electrodes, coupled with scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), have further enabled nanometer spatial resolution study in aqueous environments. Developments in the field of nanoelectrochemistry have allowed measurement of signaling species at single cells, contributing to better understanding of cell biology. Leading studies using nanoelectrochemistry of a variety of cellular signaling molecules, including redox-active neurotransmitter (e.g., dopamine), non-redox-active neurotransmitter (e.g., acetylcholine), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), are reviewed here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6121–6132
Number of pages12
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Nanoelectrochemistry
  • Nanoelectrode
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Single cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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