Alterations in neurotransmission have been implicated in numerous neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, few techniques support the measurement of real-time changes in neurotransmitter levels over multiple days, as is essential for ethologic and pharmacodynamic testing. Microdialysis is commonly used for these research paradigms, but its poor temporal and spatial resolution make this technique inadequate for measuring the rapid dynamics (milliseconds to seconds) of fast signaling neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and acetylcholine. Enzymatic microelectrode arrays (biosensors) coupled with electrochemical recording techniques have demonstrated fast temporal resolution (less than 1 s), excellent spatial resolution (micron-scale), low detection limits (≤200 nM), and minimal damage (50 to 100 μm) to surrounding brain tissue. Here we discuss the benefits, methods, and animal welfare considerations of using platinum microelectrodes on a ceramic substrate for enzyme-based electrochemical recording techniques for real-time in vivo neurotransmitter recordings in both anesthetized and awake, freely moving rodents.
Hascup, Kevin N and Hascup, Erin R. "Electrochemical techniques for subsecond neurotransmitter detection in live rodents.." Comparative medicine 64, No. 4 (Aug 2014): 249-255.