Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)

Determination of ammonium ion using a reagentless amperometric biosensor based on immobilized alanine dehydrogenase.

PMID 22163699


The use of the enzyme alanine dehydrogenase (AlaDH) for the determination of ammonium ion (NH(4)(+)) usually requires the addition of pyruvate substrate and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) simultaneously to effect the reaction. This addition of reagents is inconvenient when an enzyme biosensor based on AlaDH is used. To resolve the problem, a novel reagentless amperometric biosensor using a stacked methacrylic membrane system coated onto a screen-printed carbon paste electrode (SPE) for NH(4)(+) ion determination is described. A mixture of pyruvate and NADH was immobilized in low molecular weight poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA) membrane, which was then deposited over a photocured pHEMA membrane (photoHEMA) containing alanine dehydrogenase (AlaDH) enzyme. Due to the enzymatic reaction of AlaDH and the pyruvate substrate, NH(4)(+) was consumed in the process and thus the signal from the electrocatalytic oxidation of NADH at an applied potential of +0.55 V was proportional to the NH(4)(+) ion concentration under optimal conditions. The stacked methacrylate membranes responded rapidly and linearly to changes in NH(4)(+) ion concentrations between 10-100 mM, with a detection limit of 0.18 mM NH(4)(+) ion. The reproducibility of the amperometrical NH(4)(+) biosensor yielded low relative standard deviations between 1.4-4.9%. The stacked membrane biosensor has been successfully applied to the determination of NH(4)(+) ion in spiked river water samples without pretreatment. A good correlation was found between the analytical results for NH(4)(+) obtained from the biosensor and the Nessler spectrophotometric method.