Electrical release of dopamine and levodopa mediated by amphiphilic β-cyclodextrins immobilized on polycrystalline gold†
Vesicles of cationic amphiphilic β-cyclodextrins have been immobilized on polycrystalline gold by exploiting the chemical affinity between their amino groups and Au atoms. The presence of cyclodextrins has been widely investigated by means of AFM, XPS, kelvin probe and electrochemical measurements. This multi-functional coating confers distinct electrochemical features such as pH-dependent behavior and partial/total blocking properties towards electro-active species. The host–guest properties of β-cyclodextrins have been successfully exploited in order to trap drugs, like dopamine and levodopa. The further release of these drugs was successfully achieved by providing specific electrical stimuli. This proof-of-concept led us to fabricate an electronic device (i.e. an organic transistor) capable of dispensing both dopamine and levodopa in aqueous solution.