2001 Volume 17 Issue 1 Pages 27-35
The scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM) is used to image the activity of enzymes immobilized on the surfaces of disk-shaped carbon-fiber electrodes. SECM was used to map the concentration of enzymatically produced hydroquinone or hydrogen peroxide at the surface of a 33-µm diameter disk-shaped carbon-fiber electrode modified by an immobilized glucose-oxidase layer. Sub-monolayer coverage of the enzyme at the electrode surface could be detected with micrometer resolution. The SECM was also employed as a surface modification tool to produce microscopic regions of enzyme activity by using a variety of methods. One method is a gold-masking process in which microscopic gold patterns act as mask for producing patterns of chemical modification. The gold masks allow operation in both a positive or negative process for patterning enzyme activity. A second method uses the direct mode of the SECM to produce covalently attached amine groups on the carbon surface. The amine groups are anchors for attachment of glucose oxidase by use of a biotin/avidin process. The effect of non-uniform enzyme activity was investigated by using the SECM tip to temporarily damage an immobilized enzyme surface. SECM imaging can observe the spatial extent and time-course of the enzyme recovery process.