Microneedle-based nanoporous gold electrochemical sensor for real-time catecholamine detection
Tortolini C., Cass AEG., Pofi R., Lenzi A., Antiochia R.
Dopamine (DA), epinephrine (EP), and norepinephrine (NEP) are the main catecholamine of clinical interest, as they play crucial roles in the regulation of nervous and cardiovascular systems and are involved in some brain behaviors, such as stress, panic, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a reliable sensing device able to provide their continuous monitoring in a minimally invasive manner. In this work, the first highly nanoporous gold (h-nPG) microneedle-based sensor is presented for continuous monitoring of catecholamine in interstitial fluid (ISF). The h-nPG microneedle-based gold electrode was prepared by a simple electrochemical self-templating method that involves two steps, gold electrodeposition and hydrogen bubbling at the electrode surface, realized by sweeping the potential between + 0.8 V and 0 V vs Ag/AgCl for 25 scans in a 10 mM HAuCl4 solution containing 2.5 M NH4Cl, and successively applying a fixed potential of − 2 V vs Ag/AgCl for 60 s. The resulting microneedle-based h-nPG sensor displays an interference-free total catecholamine detection expressed as NEP concentration, with a very low LOD of 100 nM, excellent sensitivity and stability, and fast response time (< 4 s). The performance of the h-nPG microneedle array sensor was successively assessed in artificial ISF and in a hydrogel skin model at typical physiological concentrations. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].