A potentiometric biosensing probe for glutamate has been evaluated as a possible tool to measure the release of glutamate from the isolated retina of Bufo marinus. This probe is based on carbon dioxide detection, following enzymatic conversion of glutamate to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) via glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). Probe response characteristics of dynamic range, limit of detection, pH dependency, and selectivity are described. Probe modifications were required for sensor operation in an upside down configuration which was demanded by the need to mount and perfuse the retinal tissue directly at the sensor tip. Overall, these results indicate that this particular potentiometric biosensor is not well suited for direct glutamate measurements in retinal tissue because of pH incompatibility between the sensor and the tissue, and because of high background carbon dioxide levels released from the retina at the pH optimum of the probe. Despite this drawback, the sensor could be utilized to provide a continuous "downstream" monitor of glutamate levels during the course of an experiment, after pH buffering of tissue perfusate. Alternative approaches to probes more compatible with direct tissue measurements are discussed.
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We appreciate the assistance and support of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Iowa and the Department of Ophthalmology at Washington University School of Medicine. Acknowledgement is also made to the donors of The Petroleum Research Fund, administered by' the American Chemical Society, for partial support of this research. R.F.M. was supported by NEI Grant EY03014.
- Membrane electrode