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Anal Chim Acta. 2009 Oct 19;653(1):1-22. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2009.08.038. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Review of recent advances in analytical techniques for the determination of neurotransmitters.

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  • 1University of Michigan, Department of Chemistry, 930 N. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055, USA.


Methods and advances for monitoring neurotransmitters in vivo or for tissue analysis of neurotransmitters over the last five years are reviewed. The review is organized primarily by neurotransmitter type. Transmitter and related compounds may be monitored by either in vivo sampling coupled to analytical methods or implanted sensors. Sampling is primarily performed using microdialysis, but low-flow push-pull perfusion may offer advantages of spatial resolution while minimizing the tissue disruption associated with higher flow rates. Analytical techniques coupled to these sampling methods include liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, enzyme assays, sensors, and mass spectrometry. Methods for the detection of amino acid, monoamine, neuropeptide, acetylcholine, nucleoside, and soluble gas neurotransmitters have been developed and improved upon. Advances in the speed and sensitivity of these methods have enabled improvements in temporal resolution and increased the number of compounds detectable. Similar advances have enabled improved detection at tissue samples, with a substantial emphasis on single cell and other small samples. Sensors provide excellent temporal and spatial resolution for in vivo monitoring. Advances in application to catecholamines, indoleamines, and amino acids have been prominent. Improvements in stability, sensitivity, and selectivity of the sensors have been of paramount interest.

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