A commercially available thin-layer flow-through amperometric detector, with the sensing block customized in an original design, was applied to the screening of drug compounds known as acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors. AChE from electric eel was covalently immobilized onto a cysteamine modified gold disk adjacent to a silver disk working electrode. On-line studies were performed by flow injection analysis (FIA) in PBS buffer pH 7.4. Seven commercially available AChE inhibitors used in the medical field, namely neostigmine, eserine, tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine, pyridostigmine and galantamine as well as two natural compounds, quercetin and berberine, were investigated. The same trend of inhibitory potency as described in the literature was observed. Of particular interest and in addition to the determination of the IC50 values, this flow-through system allowed the study of both, the stability of the enzyme-inhibitor complex and the kinetic of the enzyme activity recovery.
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