A simple electrochemical sensor based on a molecularly imprinted polymer film as the recognition element was developed for ractopamine (RAC) detection. This is the first report of a RAC-imprinted film on a gold electrode surface, synthesized through an electrochemical method using o-aminothiophenol as the functional monomer. The imprinting mechanism and experimental parameters affecting the capability of the imprinted film are discussed here. The sensor was successfully applied with constant potential amperometry for RAC detection in an indirect process with potassium ferricyanide as an electrochemical probe. The sensor had a rapid equilibrium time (120 s), high binding affinity and selectivity towards RAC, and with good reproducibility and stability. Under the experimental conditions applied, a linear relationship between the relative amperometric response and RAC ranged from 2.0 × 10−7 to 1.4 × 10−6 mol L−1, with a lower limit of detection (LOD) of 2.38 × 10−8 mol L−1 (signal to noise ratio = 3). The sensor was tested with feed samples spiked with trace amounts of RAC, with good recoveries between 87.4 and 90.5 %.
Electrochemical sensor Molecularly imprinted electropolymerization film Ractopamine o-Aminothiophenol
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 31171683) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Project No. 2011AA100806) and Tianjin Natural Science Foundation (Project No. 10JCZDJC18300) and the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (Project No. IRT1166).