Novel reagentless electrodes for biosensing

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: Analytical chemical information is needed in all areas of human activity including health care, pharmacology, food control and environmental chemistry. Today one of the main challenges in analytical chemistry is the development of methods to perform accurate and sensitive rapid analysis and monitoring of analytes in ‘real’ samples. Electrochemical biosensors are ideally suited for these applications.Despite the wide application of electrochemical biosensors, they have some limitations. Thus, there is a demand on improvement of biosensor performance together with a necessity of simplification required for their mass production. In this thesis the work is focused on the development of electrochemical sensors with improved performance applicable for mass production, e.g. by screen printing.Biosensors using immobilized oxidases as the bio-recognition element are among the most widely used electrochemical devices. Electrical communication between redox enzymes and electrodes can be established by using natural or synthetic electron carriers as mediators. However, sensors based on soluble electronshuttling redox couples have low operational stability due to the leakage of water-soluble mediators to the solution. We have found a new hydrophobic mediator for oxidases – unsubstituted phenothiazine. Phenothiazine and glucose oxidase, lactate oxidase or cholesterol oxidase were successfully co-immobilized in a sol-gel membrane on a screen-printed electrode to construct glucose, lactate and cholesterol biosensors, respectively. All elaborated biosensors with phenothiazine as a mediator exhibited long-term operational stability. A kinetic study of the mediator has shown that phenothiazine is able to function as an efficient mediator in oxidase-based biosensors.To improve sensitivity of the biosensors and simplify their production we have developed a simple approach for production of graphite microelectrode arrays. Arrays of microband electrodes were produced by screen printing followed by scissor cutting, which enabled the realization of microband arrays at the cut edge. The analytical performance of the system is illustrated by the detection of ascorbic acid through direct oxidation and by detection of glucose using a phenothiazine mediated glucose biosensor. Both systems showed enhanced sensitivity due to improved mass transport. Moreover, the developed approach can be adapted to automated electrode recovery.Finally, two enzyme-based electrocatalytic systems with oxidation and reduction responses, respectively, have been combined into a fuel cell generating a current as an analytical output (a so-called self-powered biosensor). This was possible as a result of the development of the phenothiazine mediated enzyme electrodes, which enabled the  construction of a cholesterol biosensor with self-powered configuration. The biosensor generates a current when analyte (cholesterol) is added to the cell. The biosensor has been applied for whole plasma analysis.All developed concepts in the thesis are compatible with a wide range of applications and some of them may even be possible to realize in a fully integrated biosensor unit based on printed electronics.