Electrochemiluminescence imaging of respiratory activity of cellular spheroids using sequential potential steps

Kaoru Hiramoto, Kosuke Ino, Keika Komatsu, Yuji Nashimoto, Hitoshi Shiku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The respiratory activity of cultured cells can be electrochemically monitored using scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) with high spatial resolution. However, in SECM, the electrode takes a long time to scan, limiting simultaneous measurements with large biological samples such as cell spheroids. Therefore, for rapid electrochemical imaging, a novel strategy is needed. Herein, we report electrochemiluminescence (ECL) imaging of spheroid respiratory activity for the first time using sequential potential steps. L-012, a luminol analog, was used as an ECL luminophore, and H2O2, a sensitizer for ECL of L-012, was generated by the electrochemical reduction of dissolved O2. The ECL imaging visualized spheroid respiratory activity—evidenced by ECL suppression—corresponding to O2 distribution around the spheroids. This method enabled the time-lapse imaging of respiratory activity in multiple spheroids with good spatial resolution comparable to that of SECM. Our work provides a promising high-throughput imaging strategy for elucidating spheroid cellular dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113123
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 1


  • Electrochemiluminescence
  • Live-cell imaging
  • Luminol
  • Mesenchymal stem cell spheroid
  • Oxygen consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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