Biocompatible PEDOT:Nafion composite electrode coatings for selective detection of neurotransmitters in vivo

Richard F. Vreeland, Christopher W. Atcherley, Wilfred S. Russell, Jennifer Y. Xie, Dong Lu, Nicholas D. Laude, Frank Porreca, Michael L. Heien

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163 Scopus citations


A Nafion and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) containing composite polymer has been electropolymerized on carbon-fiber microelectrodes with the goal of creating a mechanically stable, robust, and controllable electrode coating that increases the selectivity and sensitivity of in vivo electrochemical measurements. The coating is deposited on carbon-fiber microelectrodes by applying a triangle waveform from +1.5 V to -0.8 V and back in a dilute solution of ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) and Nafion in acetonitrile. Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that the coating is uniform and ∼100 nm thick. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy demonstrated that both sulfur and fluorine are present in the coating, indicating the incorporation of PEDOT (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and Nafion. Two types of PEDOT:Nafion coated electrodes were then analyzed electrochemically. PEDOT:Nafion-coated electrodes made using 200 μM EDOT exhibit a 10-90 response time of 0.46 ± 0.09 s versus 0.45 ± 0.11 s for an uncoated fiber in response to a 1.0 μM bolus of dopamine. The electrodes coated using a higher EDOT concentration (400 μM) are slower with a 10-90 response time of 0.84 ± 0.19 s, but display increased sensitivity to dopamine, at 46 ± 13 nA/μM, compared to 26 ± 6 nA/μM for the electrodes coated in 200 μM EDOT and 13 ± 2 nA/μM for an uncoated fiber. PEDOT:Nafion-coated electrodes were lowered into the nucleus accumbens of a rat, and both spontaneous and electrically evoked dopamine release were measured. In addition to improvements in sensitivity and selectivity, the coating dramatically reduces acute in vivo biofouling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2600-2607
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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