This review introduces new developments in a technique for measuring the movement of ions across the plasma membrane. With the use of a self-referencing ion-selective (Seris) probe, transport mechanisms can be studied on a variety of preparations ranging from tissues to single cells. In this paper we illustrate this versatility with examples from the vas deferens and inner ear epithelium to large and small single cells represented by mouse single-cell embryos and rat microglia. Potassium and hydrogen ion fluxes are studied and pharmacological manipulation of the signals are reported. The strengths of the self-referencing technique are reviewed with regard to biological applications, and the expansion of self-referencing probes to include electrochemical and enzyme-based sensors is discussed.