Associate Professor Michael A. Johnson named June 2022 Sutton Family Research Impact Award recipient
The Department of Chemistry congratulates Associate Professor Michael A. Johnson on receiving the June 2022 Sutton Family Research Impact Award!
The Sutton Award is a monthly competition among chemistry faculty. Every month, the Chemistry Department Chair and Associate Chairs review the peer-reviewed papers published by chemistry faculty from the three previous months to select a winner. The recipient receives a $500 cash prize and is featured on the departmental website.
For a full list of winners, visit our Sutton Family Research Impact Award webpage.
Improved Serotonin Measurement with Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry: Mitigating Fouling by SSRIs
By Chase Stucky and Michael A. Johnson
Published in: J. Electrochem. Soc. 2022, 169, 4, 045501
Anxiety and depression have been associated with the dysfunction of serotonin signaling in the brain. These conditions are often treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – more commonly known as anti-depressants. To investigate the effects of SSRI treatment on serotonin signaling in the brain, a technique called fast-scan cyclic voltammetry at carbon-fiber microelectrodes has been applied in various animal models. To measure serotonin accurately and selectively, a modified waveform must be used in addition to a cation-exchange polymer coating of Nafion onto the carbon-fiber microelectrodes. Over the last 25 years, these methods have become the “gold standard” for measuring the effects of SSRIs on serotonin signaling in the brain.
However, in their recently published paper (Stucky et al. J. Electrochem. Soc. 2022, 169, 4, 045501), the Johnson group tested the potential confounding effects of SSRIs on serotonin detection using this method. They found that common SSRIs significantly foul electrodes, which prevents accurate measurements of serotonin over short time periods. To mitigate these fouling effects, a newly developed waveform called the Extended Serotonin Waveform (ESW) was employed. This waveform generates a more positive charge on the microelectrode which causes the electrode surface to be continuously cleaned. Ultimately, the ESW prevented the fouling effects of all the tested SSRIs, allowing accurate serotonin detection over long time periods. This work highlights the potential for the ESW method to overcome the limitations that other electrochemical methods suffer from when measuring serotonin.