Biosensors & bioelectronics

Functionalized gold nanoparticles/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposites for ultrasensitive electrochemical sensing of mercury ions based on thymine-mercury-thymine structure.

PMID 26720921


A sensitive, selective and reusable electrochemical biosensor for the determination of mercury ions (Hg(2+)) has been developed based on thymine (T) modified gold nanoparticles/reduced graphene oxide (AuNPs/rGO) nanocomposites. Graphene oxide (GO) was electrochemically reduced on a glassy carbon substrate. Subsequently, AuNPs were deposited onto the surface of rGO by cyclic voltammetry. For functionalization of the electrode, the carboxylic group of the thymine-1-acetic acid was covalently coupled with the amine group of the cysteamine which self-assembled onto AuNPs. The structural features of the T bases functionalized AuNPs/rGO electrode were confirmed by attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) spectroscopy. Each step of the modification process was characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedence spectroscopy (EIS). The T bases modified AuNPs/rGO electrode was applied to detect various trace metal ions by differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). The proposed biosensor was found to be highly sensitive to Hg(2+) in the range of 10 ng/L-1.0 µg/L. The biosensor afforded excellent selectivity for Hg(2+) against other heavy metal ions such as Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Pb(2+), Cu(2+), Ni(2+), and Co(2+). Furthermore, the developed sensor exhibited a high reusability through a simple washing. In addition, the prepared biosensor was successfully applied to assay Hg(2+) in real environmental samples.

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Thymine-1-acetic acid, 98%