Corresponding Author

Yu-qing LIN(linyuqing@cnu.edu.cn);
Kai LI(LK123LK@126.com)


In vivo monitoring neurochemicals with microelectrode is invasive and the damage to brain tissue may inevitably cause disturbance signals physiologically to the measurement. It is of great importance to reduce the electrode size and to decrease the damage. This study demonstrates a novel nanoelectrode preparation methodology for in vivo monitoring dopamine (DA) fluctuation in the living brain of rats with high dependability. The fabrication process of the gold nanoelectrode involving a few minutes consists of only two steps: 1) growing gold nanoseeds on surface of tip of glassy capillary by ion sputtering; 2) wet depositing a continuous conductive gold film composed of gold nanoparticles by dipping the capillary with gold nanoseeds into a freshly mixed chloroauric acid and hydroxylamine hydrochloride for one minute. The tip size of the well-prepared gold nanoelectrode was 300 ~ 400 nanometers. The gold nanoelectrode was able to detect DA and showed a good linearity with the concentration of DA ranging from 1.0 to 56.0 μmol·L-1 with a limit of detection as low as 0.14 μmol·L-1 (S/N=3). Benefiting from the excellent electrochemical performance, the gold nanoelectrode was successfully employed for catecholamine release in striatum of living rat brain.

Graphical Abstract


ion sputtering, wet deposition, gold nanoelectrode, in vivo, dopamine

Publication Date


Online Available Date


Revised Date


Received Date



[1] Liu X M, Xiao T F, Wu F, et al. Ultrathin cell-membrane-mimic phosphorylcholine polymer film coating enables large improvements for in vivo electrochemical detection[J]. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2017, 56(39): 11802-11806.
[2] Zhou D M(周道民), Greenber R. Electrochemistry in neural stimulation by biomedical implant[J]. Journal of Electrochemistry(电化学), 2011, 17(3): 249-262.
[3] Lin Y Q, Trouillon R, Svensson M I, et al. Carbon-ring microelectrode arrays for electrochemical imaging of single cell exocytosis: fabrication and characterization[J]. Analyti-
cal Chemistry, 2012, 84(6): 2949-2954.
[4] Lin C J(林昌健), Chen L J(陈丽江), Du R G(杜荣归), et al. Microelectrode studies on the pitting corrosion process of stainless steel[J]. Journal of Electrochemistry(电化学), 1998, 4(1): 12-17.
[5] Wei Y L(卫应亮), Shao C(邵晨), Feng H(冯辉). Study on the electrogeneration and properties of superoxide ion in aprotic media by using carbon nanotubes powder microelectrode[J]. Journal of Electrochemistry(电化学), 2007, 13(2): 207-211.
[6] Biran R, Martin D C, Tresco P A. Neuronal cell loss accompanies the brain tissue response to chronically implanted silicon microelectrode arrays[J]. Experimental Neurology, 2005, 195(1): 115-126.
[7] He R Q, Tang H F, Jiang D C, et al. Electrochemical visualization of intracellular hydrogen peroxide at single cells[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 2016, 88(4): 2006-2009.
[8] Li X C, Majdi S, Dunevall J, et al. Quantitative measurement of transmitters in individual vesicles in the cytoplasm of single cells with nanotip electrodes[J]. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2015, 54(41): 11978-11982.
[9] Li Y, Hu K K, Yu Y, et al. Direct electrochemical measurements of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in nontransformed and metastatic human breast cells[J]. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017, 139(37): 13055-13062.
[10] Zhang X W, Qiu Q F, Jiang H, et al. Real-time intracellular measurements of ROS and RNS in living cells with single core-shell nanowire electrodes[J]. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2017, 56(42): 12997-13000.
[11] Xiong L H(熊丽华), Shi C H(施财辉), Li X Q(李筱琴), et al. Gold electrodeposition on microelectrodes[J]. Journal of Electrochemistry(电化学), 1998, 4 (1): 25-29.
[12] Ding S S, Liu Y Z, Ma C R, et al. Development of glass-sealed gold nanoelectrodes for in vivo detection of dopamine in rat brain[J]. Electroanalysis, 2018, 30(6): 1041-1046.
[13] Ayata S, Ensinger W. Ion beam sputtering coating in combination with sol-gel dip coating of Al alloy tube inner walls for corrosion and biological protection[J]. Surface and Coatings Technology, 2018, 340: 121-125.
[14] Hasanzadeh M, Shadjou N, Guardia M D L. Current advancement in electrochemical analysis of neurotransmitters in biological fluids[J]. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 2017, 86: 107-121.
[15] Wightman R M, May L J, Michael A C. Detection of dopamine dynamics in the brain[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 1988, 60(13): 769A-793A.
[16] Nestler E J. Hard target: Understanding dopaminergic neurotransmission[J]. Cell, 1994, 79(6): 923-926.
[17] Hyman S E, Malenka R C. Addiction and the brain: The neurobiology of compulsion and its persistence[J]. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2001, 2(10): 695-703.
[18] Wang K Q, Zhao X, Li B, et al. Ultrasonic-aided fabrication of nanostructured Au-ring microelectrodes for monitoring transmitters released from single cells[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 2017, 89(17): 8683-8688.
[19] Wang K, Xiao T F, Yue Q W, et al. Selective amperometric recording of endogenous ascorbate secretion from a single rat adrenal chromaffin cell with pretreated carbon fiber microelectrodes[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 2017, 89(17): 9502-9507.
[20] Xiao T F, Jiang Y N, Ji W L, et al. Controllable and reproducible sheath of carbon fibers with single-walled carbon nanotubes through electrophoretic deposition for in vivo electrochemical measurements[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 2018, 90(7): 4840-4846.
[21] Zhao X, Wang K Q, Li B, et al. Fabrication of a flexible and stretchable nanostructured gold electrode using a facile ultraviolet-irradiation approach for the detection of nitric oxide released from cells[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 2018, 90(12): 7158-7163.
[22] Lin Y Q, Wang K Q, Xu Y A, et al. Facile development of Au-ring microelectrode for in vivo analysis using non-toxic polydopamine as multifunctional material[J]. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2016, 78: 274-280.
[23] Keithley R B, Takmakov P, Bucher E S, et al. Higher sensitivity dopamine measurements with faster-scan cyclic voltammetry[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 2011, 83(9): 3563-3571.
[24] Hu G Z, Liu Y C, Zhao J, et al. Selective response of dopamine in the presence of ascorbic acid on l-cysteine self-assembled gold electrode[J]. Bioelectrochemistry, 2006, 69(2): 254-257.
[25] Barlow S T, Louie M, Hao R, et al. Electrodeposited gold on carbon-fiber microelectrodes for enhancing amperometric detection of dopamine release from pheochromocytoma cells[J]. Analytical Chemistry, 2018, 90(16): 10049-10055.
[26] Phan N T N, Li X C, Ewing A G. Measuring synaptic vesicles using cellular electrochemistry and nanoscale molecular imaging[J]. Nature Reviews Chemistry, 2017, 1(6): UNSP 0048.
[27] Liu J T(刘俊桃), Liu Y L(刘艳玲), Cheng Z(程治), et al. Electrochemical monitoring of cell wall-regulated transient extracellular oxidative burst from single plant cells[J]. Journal of Electrochemistry(电化学), 2014, 21(1): 29-38.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.