Carbon Nanotube Yarn Microelectrodes Promote High Temporal Measurements of Serotonin Using Fast Scan Cyclic Voltammetry

Alexander Mendoza, Thomas Asrat, Favian Liu, Pauline Wonnenberg, Alexander G Zestos
Sensors 2020 February 20, 20 (4)
Carbon fiber-microelectrodes (CFMEs) have been the standard for neurotransmitter detection for over forty years. However, in recent years, there have been many advances of utilizing alternative nanomaterials for neurotransmitter detection with fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV). Recently, carbon nanotube (CNT) yarns have been developed as the working electrode materials for neurotransmitter sensing capabilities with fast scan cyclic voltammetry. Carbon nanotubes are ideal for neurotransmitter detection because they have higher aspect ratios enabling monoamine adsorption and lower limits of detection, faster electron transfer kinetics, and a resistance to surface fouling. Several methods to modify CFMEs with CNTs have resulted in increases in sensitivity, but have also increased noise and led to irreproducible results. In this study, we utilize commercially available CNT-yarns to make microelectrodes as enhanced neurotransmitter sensors for neurotransmitters such as serotonin. CNT-yarn microelectrodes have significantly higher sensitivities (peak oxidative currents of the cyclic voltammograms) than CFMEs and faster electron transfer kinetics as measured by peak separation (ΔEP ) values. Moreover, both serotonin and dopamine are adsorption controlled to the surface of the electrode as measured by scan rate and concentration experiments. CNT yarn microelectrodes also resisted surface fouling of serotonin onto the surface of the electrode over thirty minutes and had a wave application frequency independent response to sensitivity at the surface of the electrode.

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