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Concept: Voltammetry


In an attempt to develop biodegradable, mechanically strong, biocompatible, and conductive nerve guidance conduits, pure magnesium (Mg) was used as the biodegradable substrate material to provide strength while the conductive polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) was used as a conductive coating material to control Mg degradation and improve cytocompatibility of Mg substrates. This study explored a series of electrochemical deposition conditions to produce a uniform, consistent PEDOT coating on large three-dimensional Mg samples. A concentration of 1 M 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene in ionic liquid was sufficient for coating Mg samples with a size of 5 × 5 × 0.25 mm. Both cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronoamperometry coating methods produced adequate coverage and uniform PEDOT coating. Low-cost stainless steel and copper electrodes can be used to deposit PEDOT coatings as effectively as platinum and silver/silver chloride electrodes. Five cycles of CV with the potential ranging from -0.5 to 2.0 V for 200 s per cycle were used to produce consistent coatings for further evaluation. Scanning electron micrographs showed the micro-porous structure of PEDOT coatings. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy showed the peaks of sulfur, carbon, and oxygen, indicating sufficient PEDOT coating. Adhesion strength of the coating was measured using the tape test following the ASTM-D 3359 standard. The adhesion strength of PEDOT coating was within the classifications of 3B to 4B. Tafel tests of the PEDOT coated Mg showed a corrosion current (I(CORR)) of 6.14 × 10(-5) A as compared with I(CORR) of 9.08 × 10(-4) A for non-coated Mg. The calculated corrosion rate for the PEDOT coated Mg was 2.64 mm/year, much slower than 38.98 mm/year for the non-coated Mg.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Magnesium, Aluminium, Coating, Scanning electron microscope, Voltammetry, Corrosion, Micrograph


A novel glucose biosensor, based on the modification of well-aligned polypyrrole nanowires array (PPyNWA) with Pt nanoparticles (PtNPs) and subsequent surface adsorption of glucose oxidase (GOx), is described. The distinct differences in the electrochemical properties of PPyNWA-GOx, PPyNWA-PtNPs, and PPyNWA-PtNPs-GOx electrodes were revealed by cyclic voltammetry. In particular, the results obtained for PPyNWA-PtNPs-GOx biosensor showed evidence of direct electron transfer due mainly to modification with PtNPs. Optimum fabrication of the PPyNWA-PtNPs-GOx biosensor for both potentiometric and amperometric detection of glucose were achieved with 0.2M pyrrole, applied current density of 0.1mAcm(-2), polymerization time of 600s, cyclic deposition of PtNPs from -200mV to 200mV, scan rate of 50mVs(-1), and 20 cycles. A sensitivity of 40.5mV/decade and a linear range of 10μM to 1000μM (R(2)=0.9936) were achieved for potentiometric detection, while for amperometric detection a sensitivity of 34.7μAcm(-2)mM(-1) at an applied potential of 700mV and a linear range of 0.1-9mM (R(2)=0.9977) were achieved. In terms of achievable detection limit, potentiometric detection achieved 5.6μM of glucose, while amperometric detection achieved 27.7μM.

Concepts: Electron, Electric current, Electrochemistry, Platinum, Glucose meter, Voltammetry, Biosensor, Glucose oxidase


A facile and green method was developed to synthesize the graphene-carbon nanotubes (Gr-CNTs) nanocomposite with a sandwich lamination structure. Pt nanoparticles were loaded on the as-synthesized Gr-CNTs nanocomposite to prepare an electrochemical sensor for determining bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal printing paper. The electrochemical behavior of BPA on the Pt/Gr-CNTs nanocomposite was investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronocoulometry (CC). The direct determination of BPA was accomplished by using differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) under optimized conditions. The oxidation peak current was proportional to the BPA concentration in the range from 6.0 × 10(-8) to 1.0 × 10(-5) M and 1.0 × 10(-5) to 8.0 × 10(-5) M with a correlation coefficient of 0.987 and 0.998, respectively. The detection limit was 4.2 × 10(-8) M (S/N = 3). The fabricated electrode showed good reproducibility, stability and selectivity. The proposed method was successfully applied to determine BPA in thermal printing papers samples and the results were satisfactory.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Bisphenol A, Analytical chemistry, Electrochemical cell, Paper, Endocrine disruptor, Voltammetry, Differential pulse voltammetry


A cathode is a critical factor that limits the practical application of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in terms of cost and power generation. To develop a cost-effective cathode, we investigate a cathode preparation technique using nickel foam as a current collector, activated carbon as a catalyst and PTFE as a binder. The effects of the type and loading of conductive carbon, the type and loading of activated carbon, and PTFE loading on cathode performance are systematically studied by linear sweep voltammetry (LSV). The nickel foam cathode MFC produces a power density of 1190±50 mW m(-2), comparable with 1320 mW m(-2) from a typical carbon cloth Pt cathode MFC. However, the cost of a nickel foam activated carbon cathode is 1/30 of that of carbon cloth Pt cathode. The results indicate that a nickel foam cathode could be used in scaling up the MFC system.

Concepts: Electron, Analytical chemistry, Battery, Electrolyte, Diode, Activated carbon, Voltammetry, Microbial fuel cell


Fibres from oil palm empty fruit bunches, generated in large quantities by palm oil mills, were processed into self-adhesive carbon grains (SACG). Untreated and KOH-treated SACG were converted without binder into green monolith prior to N-carbonisation and CO-activation to produce highly porous binderless carbon monolith electrodes for supercapacitor applications. Characterisation of the pore structure of the electrodes revealed a significant advantage from combining the chemical and physical activation processes. The electrochemical measurements of the supercapacitor cells fabricated using these electrodes, using cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and galvanostatic charge-discharge techniques consistently found that approximately 3h of activation time, achieved via a multi-step heating profile, produced electrodes with a high surface area of 1704mg and a total pore volume of 0.889cmg, corresponding to high values for the specific capacitance, specific energy and specific power of 150Fg, 4.297Whkg and 173Wkg, respectively.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Electrochemistry, Petroleum, Thermodynamics, Carbon, Activated carbon, Voltammetry, Oil palm


A sensitive amperometric sensor for norfloxacin (NF) was introduced. The receptor layer was prepared by molecularly imprinted photopolymerization of acrylamide and trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate on the surface of a gold electrode. The binding mechanism of the molecularly imprinted polymer was explored by ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) spectroscopy. The chemosensor was characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV), differential pulse voltammetry (DPV), electrochemical impedance (EI), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The electrode prepared by photopolymerization has a better recognition ability to template molecules than that of electropolymerization and NIP. Some parameters affecting sensor response were optimized. Norfloxacin was detected by measurements of an amperometric i-t curve. The linear relationships between current and logarithmic concentration are obtained from 1.0 × 10(-9) to 1.0 × 10(-3) mol L(-1). The detection limit of the sensor was 1.0 × 10(-10) mol L(-1). The proposed method is sensitive, simple, and cheap, and is applied to detect NF in human urine successfully.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetic radiation, Electrochemistry, Analytical chemistry, Scanning electron microscope, Infrared, Voltammetry, Differential pulse voltammetry


In this work, the ion transfer mechanism of anticancer drug daunorubicin (DNR) at a liquid/liquid interface has been studied for the first time. This study was carried out using electrochemical techniques namely cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). The lipophilicity of DNR was investigated at the water/1,6-dichlorohexane (DCH) interface and the results obtained were presented in the form of an ionic partition diagram. The partition coefficients of both neutral and ionic forms of the drug were determined. The analytical parameter for the detection of DNR was also investigated in this work. An electrochemical DNR sensor is proposed by means of simple ion transfer at the water/1,6-DCH interface, using DPV as quantification technique. Experimental conditions for the analytical determination of DNR were established and a detection limit of 0.80 µM was obtained.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Analytical chemistry, Theory of Forms, Partition coefficient, Voltammetry, Differential pulse voltammetry, Lipophilicity


An electrochemically reduced graphene oxide (ERGO) modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was used as a new voltammetric sensor for the determination of ferulic acid (FA). The morphology and microstructure of the modified electrodes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy analysis, and the electrochemical effective surface areas of the modified electrodes were also calculated by chronocoulometry method. Sensing properties of the electrochemical sensor were investigated by means of cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). It was found that ERGO was electrodeposited on the surface of GCE by using potentiostatic method. The proposed electrode exhibited electrocatalytic activity to the redox of FA because of excellent electrochemical properties of ERGO. The transfer electron number (n), electrode reaction rate constant (ks) and electron-transfer coefficient (α) were calculated as 1.12, 1.24s(-1), and 0.40, respectively. Under the optimized conditions, the oxidation peak current was proportional to FA concentration at 8.49×10(-8)molL(-1) to 3.89×10(-5)molL(-1) with detection limit of 2.06×10(-8)molL(-1). This fabricated sensor also displayed acceptable reproducibility, long-term stability, and high selectivity with negligible interferences from common interfering species. The voltammetric sensor was successfully applied to detect FA in A. sinensis and biological samples with recovery values in the range of 99.91%-101.91%.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Redox, Electrochemistry, Carbon, Electrochemical cell, Electrolysis, Scanning electron microscope, Voltammetry


A dual signal amplification immunosensing strategy that offers high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of low-abundance biomarkers was designed on a 3D origami electrochemical device. High sensitivity was achieved by using novel Au nanorods modified paper working electrode (AuNRs-PWE) as sensor platform and metal ion-coated Au/bovine serum albumin (Au/BSA) nanospheres as tracing tags. High specificity was further obtained by the simultaneous measurement of two cancer markers on AuNRs-PWE surface using different metal ion-coated Au/BSA tracers. The metal ions could be detected directly through differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) without metal preconcentration, and the distinct voltammetric peaks had a close relationship with each sandwich-type immunoreaction. The position and size of the peaks reflected the identity and level of the corresponding antigen. Integrating the dual-signal amplification strategy, a novel 3D origami electrochemical immunodevice for simultaneous detecting carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cancer antigen 125 (CA125) with linear ranges of over 4 orders of magnitude with detection limits down to 0.08pgmL(-1) and 0.06mUmL(-1) was successfully developed. This strategy exhibits high sensitivity and specificity with excellent performance in real human serum assay. The AuNRs-PWE and the designed tracer on this immunodevice provided a new platform for low-cost, high-throughput and multiplex immunoassay and point-of-care testing in remote regions, developing or developed countries.

Concepts: Sensitivity and specificity, Voltammetry


Smartphone-based electrochemical devices have such advantages as the low price, miniaturization, and obtaining the real-time data. As a popular electrochemical method, cyclic voltammetry (CV) has shown its great practicability for quantitative detection and electrodes modification. In this study, a smartphone-based CV system with a simple method of electrode modification was constructed to perform electrochemical detections. The system was composed of these main portions: modified electrodes, portable electrochemical detector and smartphone. Among them, the detector was comprised of an energy transformation module applying the stimuli signals, and a low-cost potentiostat module for CV measurements with a Bluetooth module for transmitting data and commands. With an Application (App), the smartphone was used as the controller and displayer of the system. Through controlling of different scan rates, the smartphone-based system could perform CV detections for redox couples with test errors less than 3.8% compared to that of commercial electrochemical workstation. Also, the reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and sensitive substance could be modified by the system on the screen printed electrodes for detections. As a demonstration, 3-amino phenylboronic acid (APBA) was used as the sensitive substance to fabricate a glucose sensor. Finally, the experimental data of the system were shown the linear, sensitive, and specific responses to glucose at different doses, even in blood serum as low as about 0.026mM with 3δ/slope calculation. Thus, the system could show great potentials of detection and modification of electrodes in various fields, such as public health, water monitoring, and food quality.

Concepts: Redox, Electrochemistry, Electrolyte, Electrode, Electrochemical cell, Electrolysis, Diode, Voltammetry