Probing the PEDOT:PSS/cell interface with conductive colloidal probe AFM-SECM†
Conductive colloidal probe Atomic Force-Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (AFM-SECM) is a new approach, which employs electrically insulated AFM probes except for a gold-coated colloid located at the end of the cantilever. Hence, force measurements can be performed while biasing the conductive colloid under physiological conditions. Moreover, such colloids can be modified by electrochemical polymerization resulting, e.g. in conductive polymer-coated spheres, which in addition may be loaded with specific dopants. In contrast to other AFM-based single cell force spectroscopy measurements, these probes allow adhesion measurements at the cell–biomaterial interface on multiple cells in a rapid manner while the properties of the polymer can be changed by applying a bias. In addition, spatially resolved electrochemical information e.g., oxygen reduction can be obtained simultaneously. Conductive colloid AFM-SECM probes modified with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) are used for single cell force measurements in mouse fibroblasts and single cell interactions are investigated as a function of the applied potential.