Serious brain disorders, such as the Alzheimer's Disease (AD), are associated with a marked drop in the levels of important neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine (ACh). Real time monitoring of such biomarkers can therefore play a critical role in enhancing AD therapies by allowing timely diagnosis, verifications of treatment effectiveness, and developments of new medicines. In this study, we present the first acetylcholine/oxygen hybrid enzymatic fuel cell for the self-powered on site detection of ACh in plasma, which is based on the combination of an enzymatic anode with a Pt cathode. Firstly, an effective acetylcholinesterase immobilized electrode was developed and its electrochemical performance evaluated. Highly porous gold was used as the electrode material, and the enzyme was immobilized via a one step rapid and simple procedure that does not require the use of harsh chemicals or any electrode/enzyme pre-treatments. The resulting enzymatic electrode was subsequently used as the anode of a miniature flow-through membrane-less fuel cell and showed excellent response to varying concentrations of ACh. The peak power generated by the fuel cell was 4 nW at a voltage of 260 mV and with a current density of 9 μA cm−2. The limit of detection of the fuel cell sensor was 10 μM, with an average response time as short as 3 min. These exciting results open new horizons for point-of-care Alzheimer diagnosis and provide an attractive potential alternative to established methods that require laborious and time-consuming sample treatments and expensive instruments.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Biosensors and Bioelectronics|
|Early online date||9 Sept 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Jan 2017|
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Mirella Di Lorenzo
- Department of Chemical Engineering - Professor
- Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (CSCT)
- Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC)
- Faculty of Engineering and Design - Associate Dean (International)
- Institute for Sustainability
- Centre for Bioengineering & Biomedical Technologies (CBio)
Person: Research & Teaching, Core staff