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What can I do with the sarissaprobe® biosensors?

Our biosensors measure the concentration of neurotransmitters, modulators and metabolites in the extracellular space of tissue in real time. The complete list of biosensors that we offer and the analytes they can detect are given on the Product pages. They have been used successfully with tissues from brain, kidney, pancrease, and gut. They can be used in vitro, in vivo and with freely moving animals.  Examples of recordings are available here. Please also consult the Publications pages to see many different papers describing the use of our biosensors.

Can I use sarissaprobe® biosensors with cultured cells?

Yes our sensors can be used to measure release from cultured cells. See these papers:

Which is the best dimension of biosensor for me?

Your choice of biosensor type depends on your application. We sell sarissaprobes® in two lengths and three diameters.

We generally recommend using sensors of 0.5mm length unless you have a good reason to use the 2 mm sensors (e.g. you want to record from a large structure, or you want to lay the sensor along the length of a piece of tissue). In general 0.5 mm sensors give excellent sensitivity and are about the correct size to record from brain slices (when inserted through the thickness of the slice), and are a suitable length for many in vivo applications.

We provide Pt/Ir sensors in 50 and 25 μm diameters and carbon fibre sensors with 7 μm diameter. We recommend the larger sensors for those new to biosensing; they are easier to handle and give bigger signals. However for applications where you wish to do as little damage to the tissue as possible, or to record from very tiny structures or even single cells then the smaller sensors have obvious advantages. Newcomers to our sensors may wish to start with larger sensors and migrate to smaller ones as they become more expert.

Which potentiostat can I use?

In principle any potentiostat capable of low noise measurements in the pA to nA range and capable of polarizing the sensor to +600mV with respect to Ag/AgCl can be used. We recommend using the new dual channel potentiostat that we have had designed specifically for use with our biosensors.

We have  also tested our sensors with potentiostats from:

  • WPI (MicroC). Note that the socket of the biosensor holder of the MicroC does not fit the pins of sarissaprobe biosensors and an adaptor or modification of the holder is needed. Contact us for advice.
  • Pinnacle Technology Inc (8100-K4)

And we know of customers who have used Axon Instruments patch clamp amplifiers.


Can I bend the biosensors to lay them flat on tissue?

Yes, this has been done many times and is a very useful attribute of our sensors (they can even be straightened back). See technical tips on how to do this.

Note that only the Pt/Ir sensors are flexible and can be bent. The carbon fibre sensors cannot be bent.

Can I use the biosensors in freely moving animals?

Yes -the easiest way to do this is to use the kit provided by Pinnacle Tecnology. We have a collaboration agreement with Pinnacle so that we can coat their sensor assemblies to provide our range of biosensors in a format suitable for implantation in the brain through a guide cannula. If you are interested in this, please contact us or Pinnacle to explain your requirements.

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