Monitoring the electrochemical responses of neurotransmitters through localized surface plasmon resonance using nanohole array

Nantao Li, Yanli Lu, Shuang Li, Qian Zhang, Jiajia Wu, Jing Jiang, Gang Logan Liu, Qingjun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, a novel spectroelectrochemical method was proposed for neurotransmitters detection. The central sensing device was a hybrid structure of nanohole array and gold nanoparticles, which demonstrated good conductivity and high localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensitivity. By utilizing such specially-designed nanoplasmonic sensor as working electrode, both electrical and spectral responses on the surface of the sensor could be simultaneously detected during the electrochemical process. Cyclic voltammetry was implemented to activate the oxidation and recovery of dopamine and serotonin, while transmission spectrum measurement was carried out to synchronously record to LSPR responses of the nanoplasmonic sensor. Coupling with electrochemistry, LSPR results indicated good integrity and linearity, along with promising accuracy in qualitative and quantitative detection even for mixed solution and in brain tissue homogenates. Also, the detection results of other negatively-charged neurotransmitters like acetylcholine demonstrated the selectivity of our detection method for transmitters with positive charge. When compared with traditional electrochemical signals, LSPR signals provided better signal-to-noise ratio and lower detection limits, along with immunity against interference factors like ascorbic acid. Taking the advantages of such robustness, the coupled detection method was proved to be a promising platform for point-of-care testing for neurotransmitters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - Jul 15 2017


  • Coupled detection
  • Cyclic voltammetry (CV)
  • Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Spectroelectrochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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