Detection of dopamine in the presence of excess ascorbic acid at physiological concentrations through redox cycling at an unmodified microelectrode array

by Aggarwal, A.; Hu, M. J.; Fritsch, I.

The electrochemical behavior of dopamine was examined under redox cycling conditions in the presence and absence of a high concentration of the interferent ascorbic acid at a coplanar, microelectrode array where the area of the generator electrodes was larger than that of the collector electrodes. Redox cycling converts a redox species between its oxidized and reduced forms by application of suitable potentials on a set of closely located generator and collector electrodes. It allows signal amplification and discrimination between species that undergo reversible and irreversible electron transfer. Microfabrication was used to produce 18 individually addressable, 4-mu m-wide gold band electrodes, 2 mm long, contained in an array having an interelectrode spacing of 4 mu m. Because the array electrodes are individually addressable, each can be selectively biased to produce an overall optimal electrochemical response. Four adjacent microbands were shorted together to serve as the collector, and were flanked on each side by seven microbands shorted as the generator (a ratio of 1:3.5 of electroactive area, respectively). This configuration achieved a detection limit of 0.454 +/- 0.026 mu M dopamine at the collector in the presence of 100 mu M ascorbic acid in artificial cerebrospinal fluid buffer, concentrations that are consistent with physiological levels. Enhancement by surface modification of the microelectrode array to achieve this detection limit was unnecessary. The results suggest that the redox cycling method may be suitable for in vivo quantification of transients and basal levels of dopamine in the brain without background subtraction.

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
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1618-2650; 1618-2642