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Anal Chem. 2015 Mar 3;87(5):2600-7. doi: 10.1021/ac502165f. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

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

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1306 East University Boulevard, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arizona , Tucson, Arizona 85721, United States.


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.


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.


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.

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