A Fluorescent Carbon Nanomaterial Probe for Visualizing Dopamine Release at Synapses

A.G. Beyene
Howard Hughes Medical Institute,
United States

Keywords: biosensor, dopamine, single wall carbon nanotubes, imaging, fluorescence, brain, neurons


Single-strand DNA (ssDNA) functionalized single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) demonstrate remarkable optical sensitivity to monoamine molecules, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, all of which are crucial signaling molecules in the brain. In this presentation, I will introduce an optical assay called DopaFilm. DopaFilm is a composite nanofilm created by drop-casting ssDNA-functionalized SWCNT dopamine nanosensors onto glass coverslips. By culturing primary neurons on DopaFilm, we can visualize dopamine release from synapses with high spatial and temporal resolutions, enabling innovative physiological studies that are otherwise not feasible with conventional methods. I will delve into the fabrication and application of this optical probe, exploring its potential for multiplexing with innovative techniques such as immunofluorescence and electron microscopy to investigate dopaminergic neurochemistry. Finally, I will discuss how dopamine nanosensors can be utilized to study neurochemistry in ex vivo acute brain slices and in in vivo settings.