Previously, our group has utilized the luminol electrochemiluminescence to analyze the active cholesterol at the plasma membrane in single cells by the exposure of one cell to a photomultiplier tube (PMT) through a pinhole. In this paper, fast analysis of active cholesterol at the plasma membrane in single cells was achieved by a multimicroelectrode array without the pinhole. Single cells were directly located on the microelectrodes using cell-sized microwell traps. A cycle of voltage was applied on the microelectrodes sequentially to induce a peak of luminescence from each microelectrode for the serial measurement of active membrane cholesterol. A minimal time of 1.60 s was determined for the analysis of one cell. The simulation and the experimental data exhibited a semisteady-state distribution of hydrogen peroxide on the microelectrode after the reaction of cholesterol oxidase with the membrane cholesterol, which supported the relative accuracy of the serial analysis. An eight-microelectrode array was demonstrated to analyze eight single cells in 22 s serially, including the channel switching time. The results from 64 single cells either activated by low ion strength buffer or the inhibition of intracellular acyl-coA/cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) revealed that most of the cells analyzed had the similar active membrane cholesterol, while few cells had more active cholesterol resulting in the cellular heterogeneity. The fast single-cell analysis platform developed will be potentially useful for the analysis of more molecules in single cells using proper oxidases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry