Giovanni Valenti, Sabina Scarabino, Bertrand Goudeau, Andreas Lesch, Milica Jovic, Elena Villani, Milica Sentic, Stefania Rapino, Stephane Arbault, Francesco Paolucci, and Neso Sojic

J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017,DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b09260

We report here the development of coreactant-based electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) as a surface-confined microscopy to image single cells and their membrane proteins. Labeling the entire cell membrane allows to demon-strate that, by contrast with fluorescence, ECL emission is only detected from fluorophores located in the immediate vicinity of the electrode surface (i.e. 1-2 µm). Then, to present the potential diagnostic applications of our approach, we selected carbon nanotubes (CNT)-based inkjet-printed disposable electrodes for the direct ECL imaging of a labeled plasma receptor over-expressed on tumor cells. The ECL fluorophore was linked to an antibody and enabled to localize the ECL generation on the cancer cell membrane in close proximity to the electrode surface. Such a result is intrinsically associated to the unique ECL mechanism and is rationalized by considering the limited lifetimes of the electrogenerated coreactant radicals. The electrochemi-cal stimulus used for luminescence generation does not suffer from background signals, such as the typical auto-fluorescence of biological samples. The presented surface-confined ECL microscopy should find promising applications in ultrasensitive single cell imaging assays.JACS TOC ECL cell