Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Parastoo Hashemi


ABSTRACTSerotonin’s involvement in many physiological processes including anxiety, stress, compulsivity, and mood has been speculated for decades. Insufficient progress in our understanding of serotonin chemistry is due to the lack of effective tools to selectively measure this neurotransmitter on a neurotransmission-relevant time scale in vivo. An analytical technique for serotonin measurements, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV), was pioneered in the last decade in anesthetized rodents and is beginning to shed light on the complexity of serotonergic activity on a sub-second timescale. Complementary, more recent technological innovations have enabled ambient neurotransmitter levels to be determined every few seconds using a method called fast-scan controlled-adsorption voltammetry (FSCAV). Chapter 1 of this thesis is an introduction to the work. In Chapter 2, the traditional experimental challenges that have thus far limited serotonin measurements are discussed and FSCV is highlighted as a technology that overcomes these difficulties. In Chapter 3, a simplified FSCAV module, which can be easily constructed by non-experts in electronics, is presented. This component is composed of two light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Together, this thesis showcases the design and application of improved electrochemical tools for in vivo analysis of neurotransmitters in the context of psychiatric disorders.


© 2018, Rhiannon Robke

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