Multiplexed Flow Cytometric Sensing of Blood Electrolytes in Physiological Samples Using Fluorescent Bulk Optode Microspheres
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Polymeric bulk optode microsphere ion sensors in combination with suspension array technologies such as analytical flow cytometry may become a power tool for measuring electrolytes in physiological samples. In this work, the methodology for the direct measurement of common blood electrolytes in physiological samples using bulk optode microsphere sensors was explored. The simultaneous determination of Na+, K+, and Ca2+ in diluted sheep blood plasma was demonstrated for the firsttime, using a random suspension array containing three types of mixed microsphere bulk optodes of similar size, fabricated from the same chromoionophore without additional labeling. Sodium ionophore X, potassium ionophore III, and grafted AU-1 in poly(butyl acrylate) were the ionophores used in the bulk optode microsphere ion sensors for Na+, K+, and Ca2+, respectively, in combination with the cation-exchanger NaTFPB (sodium tetrakis-[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]borate) and the same concentration of the chromoionophore ETH 5294 (9-(diethylamino)-5-octadecanoylimino-5H-benzo[a]phenoxazine) in plasticized poly(vinyl chloride). Excellent reproducibility was achieved for the sensing of potassium ions. The effect of sample pH was relatively small at nearphysiological pH and followed theoretical predictions, yet the sample temperature was found to influence the sensor response to a larger extent. Multiplexed ion sensing was achieved by taking advantage of the chemical tunability of the sensor response, adjusting the sensor compositions so that the three types of ion sensors responded with distinct levels of protonation of the chromoionophore. Consequently, three well-resolved peaks were simultaneously observed in the single-channel histogram during the multiplexed calibration as well as in the subsequent measurement of the three cations in 10-fold-diluted sheep plasma. The assigned peak positions corresponded very well to the physiological range of the measured ions.
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