Purinergic Signalling

, Volume 8, Supplement 1, pp 27–40 | Cite as

Measurement of purine release with microelectrode biosensors

  • Nicholas DaleEmail author
  • Bruno G. Frenguelli
Original Article


Purinergic signalling departs from traditional paradigms of neurotransmission in the variety of release mechanisms and routes of production of extracellular ATP and adenosine. Direct real-time measurements of these purinergic agents have been of great value in understanding the functional roles of this signalling system in a number of diverse contexts. Here, we review the methods for measuring purine release, introduce the concept of microelectrode biosensors for ATP and adenosine and explain how these have been used to provide new mechanistic insight in respiratory chemoreception, synaptic physiology, eye development and purine salvage. We finish by considering the association of purine release with pathological conditions and examine the possibilities that biosensors for purines may one day be a standard part of the clinical diagnostic tool chest.


Biosensor Real-time measurement Epilepsy Stroke Chemosensory mechanisms Development 



We thank the current and former staff at Sarissa Biomedical: Enrique Llaudet, Faming Tian, Sonja Hatz, Shakila Bibi, Jan Lopatar and Wenjue Wu, who have all contributed to the development and application of purine biosensors to a range of interesting problems. We also thank the Wellcome Trust and MRC for providing funding to make possible some of the work described in this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  2. 2.Sarissa Biomedical LtdCoventryUK

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