In situ electrochemical generation of nitric oxide for neuronal modulation

Jimin Park, Kyoungsuk Jin, Atharva Sahasrabudhe, Po Han Chiang, Joseph H. Maalouf, Florian Koehler, Dekel Rosenfeld, Siyuan Rao, Tomo Tanaka, Tural Khudiyev, Zachary J. Schiffer, Yoel Fink, Ofer Yizhar, Karthish Manthiram*, Polina Anikeeva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Understanding the function of nitric oxide, a lipophilic messenger in physiological processes across nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems, is currently impeded by the dearth of tools to deliver this gaseous molecule in situ to specific cells. To address this need, we have developed iron sulfide nanoclusters that catalyse nitric oxide generation from benign sodium nitrite in the presence of modest electric fields. Locally generated nitric oxide activates the nitric oxide-sensitive cation channel, transient receptor potential vanilloid family member 1 (TRPV1), and the latency of TRPV1-mediated Ca2+ responses can be controlled by varying the applied voltage. Integrating these electrocatalytic nanoclusters with multimaterial fibres allows nitric oxide-mediated neuronal interrogation in vivo. The in situ generation of nitric oxide in the ventral tegmental area with the electrocatalytic fibres evoked neuronal excitation in the targeted brain region and its excitatory projections. This nitric oxide generation platform may advance mechanistic studies of the role of nitric oxide in the nervous system and other organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-697
Number of pages8
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation
National Institutes of HealthDMR-14-19807
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Mental HealthR01MH111872, 1K99MH120279-01
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke5R01NS086804
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Division of Materials Research
Simons Foundation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chemical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Kwanjeong Educational Foundation1122374
Kwanjeong Educational Foundation


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