Subsecond adsorption and desorption of dopamine at carbon-fiber microelectrodes

Anal Chem. 2000 Dec 15;72(24):5994-6002. doi: 10.1021/ac000849y.


High-repetition fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry were used to quantify and characterize the kinetics of dopamine and dopamine-o-quinone adsorption and desorption at carbon-fiber microelectrodes. A flow injection analysis system was used for the precise introduction and removal of a bolus of electroactive substance on a sub-second time scale to the disk-shaped surface of a microelectrode that was fabricated from a single carbon fiber (Thornel type T650 or P55). Pretreatment of the electrode surfaces consisted of soaking them in purified isopropyl alcohol for a minimum of 10 min, which resulted in S/N increasing by 200-400% for dopamine above that for those that were soaked in reagent grade solvent. Because of adsorption, high scan rates (2,000 V/s) are shown to exhibit equivalent S/N ratios as compared to slower, more traditional scan rates. In addition, the steady-state response to a concentration bolus is shown to occur more rapidly when cyclic voltammetric scans are repeated at short intervals (4 ms). The new methodologies allow for more accurate determinations of the kinetics of neurotransmitter release events (10-500 ms) in biological systems. Brain slice and in vivo experiments using T650 cylinder microelectrodes show that voltammetrically measured uptake kinetics in the caudate are faster using 2,000 V/s and 240 Hz measurements, as compared to 300 V/s and 10 Hz.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Carbon / chemistry
  • Dopamine / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning


  • Carbon
  • Dopamine