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Pure Appl. Chem., 2001, Vol. 73, No. 1, pp. 17-22

A glance into the bulk of solvent polymeric pH membranes

Ernö Lindner1*, Robert E. Gyurcsányi1,2 and Bradford D. Pendley3

1 Joint Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering, The University of Memphis and University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Herff College of Engineering, Memphis, TN 38152-6582, USA
2 Research Group of Technical Analytical Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, 1111 Budapest, Gellért tér 4, Hungary
3 Department of Chemistry, Rhodes College, 2000 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112, USA

Abstract: The pH-sensitive chromoionophores brought the dream of the ion-selective membrane scientist close to realization. With the help of these molecules, one can build pH-sensitive, ion-selective electrodes and look into the bulk of solvent polymeric membranes during potentiometric measurements (spectropotentiometry) and image concentration profiles in situ with high spatial and temporal resolution. The combination of electrochemical and optical information helped to interpret non-idealities in the potentiometric responses, suppress or tailor the undesirable transport across sensor membranes, and estimate the residual lifetime of chronically implanted sensors. These novel opportunities provide feedback in membrane optimizations and are expected to lead to sensor systems with picomolar detection limits and superb selectivities.