Improving Carbon Fiber Microelectrode Performance for Measuring Serotonin by Voltammetry

Open Access
Author:
Sawarynski, Lauren Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Bioengineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Anne Milasincic Andrews, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr Anne Milasincic Andrews, Thesis Supervisor
  • William O Hancock, Honors Advisor
  • Peter J Butler, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • serotonin
  • carbon fiber microelectrodes
  • voltammetry
Abstract:
The serotonin neurotransmitter system is known to modulate many physiological and psychological functions, including the regulation of sleep, mood, anxiety, and cognition. The overarching goals of the Andrews’ research group are to investigate and to understand how the serotonergic system affects brain chemistry and how imbalances in the serotonin system may contribute to the etiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders, particularly anxiety and depression. In vivo and ex vivo measurements of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, are performed using electrochemical techniques such as voltammetry. For the present research, serotonin release and reuptake were monitored in the mouse brain in real time using carbon fiber microelectrodes in conjunction with voltammetric techniques and a custom built instrument and analysis software. Here, we sought to develop methods for enhancing the performance of carbon fiber microelectrodes to obtain in vivo and ex vivo serotonin measurements. These improved techniques to detect small but significant changes in the serotonin system will be valuable in advancing our understanding of how serotonin neurotransmission is altered in mood and anxiety disorders.