Quantitative Visualization of Nanoscale Ion Transport

Lushan Zhou, Yongfeng Gong, Jianghui Hou, Lane A. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Understanding ion transport properties at various interfaces, especially at small length scales, is critical in advancing our knowledge of membrane materials and cell biology. Recently, we described potentiometric-scanning ion conductance microscopy (P-SICM) for ion-conductance measurement in polymer membranes and epithelial cell monolayers at discrete points in a sample. Here, we combine hopping mode techniques with P-SICM to allow simultaneous nanometer-scale conductance and topography mapping. First validated with standard synthetic membranes and then demonstrated in living epithelial cell monolayers under physiological conditions, this new method allows direct visualization of heterogeneous ion transport of biological samples for the first time. These advances provide a noncontact local probe, require no labeling, and present a new tool for quantifying intrinsic transport properties of a variety of biological samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13603-13609
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 19 2017


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