An improved method for constructing and selectively silanizing double-barreled, neutral liquid-carrier, ion-selective microelectrodes
© Springer 2005
Received: 27 October 2004
Accepted: 14 March 2005
We describe an improved, efficient and reliable method for the vapour-phase silanization of multi-barreled, ion-selective microelectrodes of which the silanized barrel(s) are to be filled with neutral liquid ion-exchanger (LIX). The technique employs a metal manifold to exclusively and simultaneously deliver dimethyldichlorosilane to only the ion-selective barrels of several multi-barreled microelectrodes. Compared to previously published methods the technique requires fewer procedural steps, less handling of individual microelectrodes, improved reproducibility of silanization of the selected microelectrode barrels and employs standard borosilicate tubing rather than the less-conventional theta-type glass. The electrodes remain stable for up to 3 weeks after the silanization procedure. The efficacy of a double-barreled electrode containing a proton ionophore in the ion-selective barrel is demonstrated in situ in the leaf apoplasm of pea (Pisum) and sunflower (Helianthus). Individual leaves were penetrated to depth of ∼150 µm through the abaxial surface. Microelectrode readings remained stable after multiple impalements without the need for a stabilizing PVC matrix.