Mechanistic Elucidation of Nanomaterial-Enhanced First-Generation Biosensors Using Probe Voltammetry of an Enzymatic Reaction




The incorporation of nanomaterials (NMs) into biosensing schemes is a well-established strategy for gaining signal enhancement. With electrochemical biosensors, the enhanced performance achieved from using NMs is often attributed to the specific physical properties of the chosen nanocomponents, such as their high electronic conductivity, size-dependent functionality, and/or higher effective surface-to-volume ratios. First generation amperometric biosensing schemes, typically utilizing NMs in conjunction with immobilized enzyme and semi-permeable membranes, can possess complex sensing mechanisms that are difficult to study and challenging to understand beyond the observable signal enhancement. This study shows the use of an enzymatic reaction between xanthine (XAN) and xanthine oxidase (XOx), involving multiple electroactive species, as an electrochemical redox probe tool for ascertaining mechanistic information at and within the modified electrodes used as biosensors. Redox probing using components of this enzymatic reaction are demonstrated on two oft-employed biosensing approaches and commonly used NMs for modified electrodes: gold nanoparticle doped films and carbon nanotube interfaces. In both situations, the XAN metabolism voltammetry allows for a greater understanding of the functionality of the semipermeable membranes, the role of the NMs, and how the interplay between the two components creates signal enhancement.

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