Microelectrochemical sensors for in vivo brain analysis: an investigation of procedures for modifying Pt electrodes using Nafion®
Various Nafion® coating procedures were examined in order to design a simple and reproducible coating method to maximise permselective characteristics, and thus eliminate signals from electroactive interferents, in sensors designed for direct in vivo measurements in the brain. Interferents investigated included ascorbic acid (AA), the principal endogenous electroactive interferent present in the brain, and uric acid. Application of the Nafion® (5% commercial solution) using a thermally annealing procedure involving 5 pre-coats, and 2 subsequent dip-bake layers resulted in elimination of interferent signals. It also produced complete blocking of the signal for the neurotransmitter dopamine. The optimum time and temperature for annealing was found to be 5 min at 210 °C. An examination of shelf life over two weeks indicated negligible AA interference over this period. Preliminary investigations with respect to the potential use of these Nafion®-modified Pt electrodes in the design of implantable, first generation, peroxide detecting biosensors indicated that the modified electrode had no effect on O2 permeability but did produce a significant decrease in H2O2 sensitivity. While this may preclude their use in biosensor development they may be more suitable for detection of gaseous neurochemicals such as nitric oxide.