Electroenzymatic glutamate sensing at near the theoretical performance limit
The sensitivity and response time of glutamate sensors based on glutamate oxidase immobilized on planar platinum microelectrodes have been improved to near the theoretical performance limits predicted by a detailed mathematical model. Microprobes with an array of electroenzymatic sensing sites have emerged as useful tools for the monitoring of glutamate and other neurotransmitters in vivo; and implemented as such, they can be used to study many complex neurological diseases and disorders including Parkinson's disease and drug addiction. However, less than optimal sensitivity and response time has limited the spatiotemporal resolution of these promising research tools. A mathematical model has guided systematic improvement of an electroenzymatic glutamate microsensor constructed with a 1–2 μm-thick crosslinked glutamate oxidase layer and underlying permselective coating of polyphenylenediamine and Nafion reduced to less than 200 nm thick. These design modifications led to a nearly 6-fold improvement in sensitivity to 320 ± 20 nA μM−1 cm−2 at 37 °C and a ∼10-fold reduction in response time to 80 ± 10 ms. Importantly, the sensitivity and response times were attained while maintaining a low detection limit and excellent selectivity. Direct measurement of the transport properties of the enzyme and polymer layers used to create the biosensors enabled improvement of the mathematical model as well. Subsequent model simulations indicated that the performance characteristics achieved with the optimized biosensors approach the theoretical limits predicted for devices of this construction. Such high-performance glutamate biosensors will be more effective in vivo at a size closer to cellular dimension and will enable better correlation of glutamate signaling events with electrical recordings.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Analytical Science in Neurochemistry