Technology #ua17-017

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Michael Heien
Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Stephen Cowen
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Managed By
Lewis Humphreys
Licensing Manager (520) 626-2574

Title: DANA: An Integrated Platform for Simultaneous Measurement of Dopamine Release and Neural Network Activity


Invention: The invention is an integrated platform called DANA (Dopamine And Neural Activity) that allows for the combined measurement of dopamine release by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FCSV) and neural activity by electrophysiological electrode arrays. Combining these two measurements can help address questions regarding the role of dopamine release on the dynamics of neural networks, which have not been previously answered directly due to instrumentation limitations.


Background: A fundamental and unresolved question in neuroscience is how the activities of billions of interconnected neurons are coordinated during learning, decision-making, and sleep. Resolving this question is important because unregulated coordination between neurons contributes to disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Down syndrome, and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, the mechanisms by which the activities of ensembles of neurons and dopamine release are organized during learning and sleep is not completely understood because past instrumentation has been unable to simultaneously measure dopamine release and neural network activity. To address this limitation, inventors at the University of Arizona have developed an instrument that can measure dopamine release and neural activity at the same time.



  • A tool for the investigation of questions currently unaddressed in neuroscience
  • Exploration of whether specific temporal patterns of neural activity predict dopamine release
  • Exploration of whether dopamine enhances inter-neuron coordination and inter-region communication of the brain



  • Provides a combined measurement of neuromodulator release and neural network activity using two approaches
  • Allows for simultaneous measurements in various regions of the brain
  • Suitable for behavioral experiments (can be used in freely moving animals)


Licensing Manager:

Paul Eynott


(520) 471-3612