A reservoir type of capillary microsensor for pCO(2) measurements is presented. The sensor is based on the measurement of the fluorescence intensity of the anionic form of the pH indicator 1-hydroxy-3,6,8-pyrenetrisulfonate in the form of its ion pair with a quaternary ammonium base in an ethyl cellulose matrix. The glass capillary containing the reservoir sensor was prepared by immersing the tip of the optical fiber into the sensing agent very close to the sensor tip thus providing a very small volume for the sensing reaction. The purpose of the sensing approach is to regenerate the dye/buffer system by diffusion, which may be poisoned by interfering acids, or bleach by photolysis. The fresh cocktail from the reservoir takes the place of protonated form of the dye. The internal buffer system also makes the protonation-deprotonation equilibria reversible. The distal tip of the internal buffer containing reservoir is coated with a gas-permeable but ion-impermeable teflon membrane. The dynamic range for the detection of PCO2 is between 1 and 20 hPa, which corresponds to the range of dissolved CO2 in water. The response time is 15 s and the detection limit is 1 hPa of PCO2. The recovery performance of this sensor can be improved by means of mechanical adjustment of the sensor tip in a micrometric scale. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.