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Developing tools that are able to monitor transient neurochemical dynamics is important to decipher brain chemistry and function. Multifunctional polymer-based fibers have been recently applied to monitor and modulate neural activity. Here, we explore the potential of polymer fibers comprising six graphite-doped electrodes and two microfluidic channels within a flexible polycarbonate body as a platform for sensing pH and neurometabolic lactate. Electrodes were made into potentiometric sensors (responsive to pH) or amperometric sensors (lactate biosensors). The growth of an iridium oxide layer made the fiber electrodes responsive to pH in a physiologically relevant range. Lactate biosensors were fabricated via platinum black growth on the fiber electrode, followed by an enzyme layer, making them responsive to lactate concentration. Lactate fiber biosensors detected transient neurometabolic lactate changes in an in vivo mouse model. Lactate concentration changes were associated with spreading depolarizations, known to be detrimental to the injured brain. Induced waves were identified by a signature lactate concentration change profile and measured as having a speed of ∼2.7 mm/min (n = 4 waves). Our work highlights the potential applications of fiber-based biosensors for direct monitoring of brain metabolites in the context of injury.

Original publication




Journal article


Anal Chem

Publication Date





6646 - 6655


Animals, Biosensing Techniques, Electrodes, Graphite, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Lactic Acid, Mice