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Issue 1, 2014
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Redox-capacitor to connect electrochemistry to redox-biology

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It is well-established that redox-reactions are integral to biology for energy harvesting (oxidative phosphorylation), immune defense (oxidative burst) and drug metabolism (phase I reactions), yet there is emerging evidence that redox may play broader roles in biology (e.g., redox signaling). A critical challenge is the need for tools that can probe biologically-relevant redox interactions simply, rapidly and without the need for a comprehensive suite of analytical methods. We propose that electrochemistry may provide such a tool. In this tutorial review, we describe recent studies with a redox-capacitor film that can serve as a bio-electrode interface that can accept, store and donate electrons from mediators commonly used in electrochemistry and also in biology. Specifically, we (i) describe the fabrication of this redox-capacitor from catechols and the polysaccharide chitosan, (ii) discuss the mechanistic basis for electron exchange, (iii) illustrate the properties of this redox-capacitor and its capabilities for promoting redox-communication between biology and electrodes, and (iv) suggest the potential for enlisting signal processing strategies to “extract” redox information. We believe these initial studies indicate broad possibilities for enlisting electrochemistry and signal processing to acquire “systems level” redox information from biology.

Graphical abstract: Redox-capacitor to connect electrochemistry to redox-biology

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Aug 2013, accepted on 20 Oct 2013 and first published on 22 Oct 2013

Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01632C
Citation: Analyst, 2014,139, 32-43

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    Redox-capacitor to connect electrochemistry to redox-biology

    E. Kim, W. T. Leverage, Y. Liu, I. M. White, W. E. Bentley and G. F. Payne, Analyst, 2014, 139, 32
    DOI: 10.1039/C3AN01632C

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