Ion-selective potentiometric sensors with silicone sensing membranes: A review

Xin(Sean) Chen, Philippe Bühlmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) are used widely in mainframe analyzers for clinical chemistry, but there is also an increasing interest in the development of paper-based devices, wearable and implantable sensors, and other miniaturized ISEs. This trend is spurring much research in developing solid contact materials that enable miniaturization. The development of suitable polymeric matrixes for such sensors has only received less attention. In particular, in spite of lifetime limitations and toxicity concerns, polymeric matrixes comprising plasticizers are still commonly used. To that end, we note the benefits of silicone materials as alternative polymeric matrixes and, in particular, their promise for enhanced biocompatibility. While there has been steady progress in the development of ISEs with silicone membranes, this topic has not been reviewed for many years. This review critically discusses key fundamental characteristics of ISEs with silicone sensing and reference membranes, including their biocompatibility, adhesion to device substrates, water uptake, polarity, common impurities, and commercial availabilities. This is followed by a discussion of specific types of silicones and their use in ISEs, with the goal to inform and stimulate future research efforts into such devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100896
JournalCurrent Opinion in Electrochemistry
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by National Science Foundation Grant CHE-1748148 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biocompatibility
  • Implantable devices
  • Ion-selective electrodes
  • Potentiometric sensors
  • Reference electrodes
  • Silicone
  • Wearable sensors


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