Nanoelectrochemistry for Detection of Neurotransmitters in Dopaminergic Neuron Differentiation


Stem-cell-based therapy has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy for regenerative medicine due the ability of stem cells to differentiation into any given cell type. As such, stem-cells hold the key to potential treatment of neurological diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and spinal cord injury. In stem cell transplantation, it is crucial to be able to identify and characterize differentiated cells before transplantation.

Addressing this challenge, scientists from Prof. KiBum Lee’s Lab (Tae-Hyung Kim, Cheol-Heon Yea, and Dean Chueng) have recently designed a large-scale homogeneous nanocup-electrode array (LHONA) capable of noninvasive real-time monitoring of dopamine generation from human neural-stem-cell-derived midbrain neurons. LHONA, fabricated through sequential laser interference lithography (LIL), is a conductive cell-culture platform that is extremely useful for detection of electrochemically active biomolecules. Through cyclic-voltammetry technique, only completely matured neurons secreting dopamine (DAergic neurons) would produce distinct redox peaks as opposed to other types of neuronal counterparts. The realization of LOHNA could be critical for making decisions on the transplantation of DAergic neurons generated ex vivo as it is a reliable platform capable of detecting dopamine produced from cells in a quantitative manner.

This work was recently published in Advanced Materials (Kim, T.-H. et al. 2015, 27 (41): 6356-6362) and was selected to appear on the Inside Front Cover.


Group Members: 

Prof. KiBum Lee
Tae-Hyung Kim
Cheol-Heon Yea
Dean Chueng
Year of Research Highlight: