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Real-time Detection of Neurochemical Changes in Response to Alcohol Drinking


Many pharmacological mechanisms of ethanol action in the brain are mediated by time-dependent neurochemical events in multiple brain regions. Despite great progress in identifying ethanol?s neurochemical actions, we do not fully know how neurochemicals change in real time following ethanol administration and drinking (acute and chronic). Multidimensional measurement of neurochemical change (i.e., concentration, time, region) are needed to reveal kinetics underlying alcohol effects to guide future medication development and promote mechanistic understanding of alcohol drinking.

With this SBIR/STTR grant solicitation, NIAAA seeks development of biosensors enabling monitoring of regional neurochemical changes in the brains of rats and/or mice in real time as they drink alcohol. Recent studies report the plausibility of using microsensors coupled with wireless detection methods to instantaneously monitor multiple neurochemical changes in animals. NIAAA seeks development of microsensors with sufficient resolution to provide neuroanatomical regional specificity. In addition to brain ethanol concentration, neurochemicals of interest include, but are not limited to, glutamate, dopamine, GABA, acetylcholine, and signaling molecules. Work under this solicitation should be directed toward the development of commercial strategies for the real-time measurement of extracellular neurochemical and brain ethanol concentrations in behaving animals.

Changhai Cui, Ph.D.



Mark Egli, Ph.D.



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