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J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Jun 5;141(22):8816-8824. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b01003. Epub 2019 May 24.

Construction of Dopamine-Releasing Gold Surfaces Mimicking Presynaptic Membrane by On-Chip Electrochemistry.

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MOE Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics and Chemistry, Joint Lab of Nanofluidics and Interfaces (LONI), School of Natural and Applied Sciences , Northwestern Polytechnical University , Xi'an , Shanxi 710072 , P. R. China.
State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry (SKLAOC), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , Lanzhou University , Lanzhou , Gansu 730000 , P. R. China.
CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, CAS Key Lab for Biological Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety , National Center for NanoScience and Technology , Beijing 100190 , P. R. China.
Department of Biomedical Engineering , Southern University of Science and Technology , No. 1088 Xueyuan Rd, Nanshan District , Shenzhen , Guangdong 518055 , P. R. China.


We report a strategy to construct a dopamine-releasing gold surface mimicking a presynaptic membrane on a microfluidic chip to simulate in vivo neural signaling. We constructed dopamine self-assembled monolayers (DA SAMs) by electrochemical deprotection of methyl group-protected DA SAMs on a gold surface. Electrochemically controllable release of DA SAMs can be realized by applying nonhydrolytic negative potential on the gold surface. Our method in constructing DA SAMs avoids the polymerization and protonation of DA molecules which may lead to the failure of the DA SAM formation. By combining microfluidics, we realized spatial and temporal controllable release of DA by electrochemistry from the gold surface. Furthermore, by culturing neurons on the patterned DA SAMs, the interface between the DA SAMs and the neurons could serve as a presynaptic membrane, and the spatiotemporal release of DA could modulate the neuron activity with high precision. Our study holds great promise in the fields of neurobiology research and drug screening.


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