Electrochemical detection of dopamine with negligible interference from ascorbic and uric acid by means of reduced graphene oxide and metals-NPs based electrodes

Bernardo Patella, Giuseppe Aiello, Rosalinda Inguanta, Giuseppe Drago, Francesca Mazzara, Claudia Torino, Antonio Vilasi, Alan O'Riordan

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter involved in many human biological processes as well as in different neurodegenerative diseases. Monitoring the concentration of dopamine in biological fluids, i.e., blood and urine is an effective way of accelerating the early diagnosis of these types of diseases. Electrochemical sensors are an ideal choice for real-time screening of dopamine as they can achieve fast, portable inexpensive and accurate measurements. In this work, we present electrochemical dopamine sensors based on reduced graphene oxide coupled with Au or Pt nanoparticles. Sensors were developed by co-electrodeposition onto a flexible substrate, and a systematic investigation concerning the electrodeposition parameters (concentration of precursors, deposition time and potential) was carried out to maximize the sensitivity of the dopamine detection. Square wave voltammetry was used as an electrochemical technique that ensured a high sensitive detection in the nM range. The sensors were challenged against synthetic urine in order to simulate a real sample detection scenario where dopamine concentrations are usually lower than 600 nM. Our sensors show a negligible interference from uric and ascorbic acids which did not affect sensor performance. A wide linear range (0.1–20 μm for gold nanoparticles, 0.1–10 μm for platinum nanoparticles) with high sensitivity (6.02 and 7.19 μA μM-1 cm-2 for gold and platinum, respectively) and a low limit of detection (75 and 62 nM for Au and Pt, respectively) were achieved. Real urine samples were also assayed, where the concentrations of dopamine detected aligned very closely to measurements undertaken using conventional laboratory techniques. Sensor fabrication employed a cost-effective production process with the possibility of also being integrated into flexible substrates, thus allowing for the possible development of wearable sensing devices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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