Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 408, Issue 26, pp 7299–7309 | Cite as

Screen-printed electrode modified with carbon black and chitosan: a novel platform for acetylcholinesterase biosensor development

  • Daria Talarico
  • Fabiana Arduini
  • Aziz Amine
  • Ilaria Cacciotti
  • Danila Moscone
  • Giuseppe Palleschi
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Chemical Sensing Systems


We report a screen-printed electrode (SPE) modified with a dispersion of carbon black (CB) and chitosan by drop casting. A cyclic voltammetry technique towards ferricyanide, caffeic acid, hydroquinone, and thiocholine was performed and an improvement of the electrochemical response with respect to bare SPE as well as SPE modified only with chitosan was observed. The possibility to detect thiocholine at a low applied potential with high sensitivity was exploited and an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) biosensor was developed. A dispersion of CB, chitosan, and AChE was used to fabricate this biosensor in one step by drop casting. The enzymatic activity of the immobilized AChE was determined measuring the enzymatic product thiocholine at +300 mV. Owing to the capability of organophosphorus pesticides to inhibit AChE, this biosensor was used to detect these pollutants, and paraoxon was taken as model compound. The enzyme inhibition was linearly related to the concentration of paraoxon up to 0.5 μg L–1, and a low detection limit equal to 0.05 μg L–1 (calculated as 10% of inhibition) was achieved. This biosensor was challenged for paraoxon detection in drinking waters with satisfactory recovery values. The use of AChE embedded in a dispersion of CB and chitosan allowed an easy and fast production of a sensitive biosensor suitable for paraoxon detection in drinking waters at legal limit levels.

Graphical Abstract

Biosensors based on screen-printed electrodes modified with Acetylcholinesterase, Carbon Black, and Chitosan for organophosphorus pesticide detection


Acetylcholinesterase biosensor Carbon black Chitosan Pesticides Amperometric detection Paraoxon 



G.P. thanks EU Ocean 2013 Project SMS FP7-OCEAN-2013 (grant number 613844), F.A. thanks the Minister of Defence, Aptamer BW project for financial support, D.T. thanks the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) grant under the Marie Curie Actions program Peptide Nanosensors (grant number N 29490).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2016_9604_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (147 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 147 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daria Talarico
    • 1
  • Fabiana Arduini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aziz Amine
    • 3
  • Ilaria Cacciotti
    • 4
    • 5
  • Danila Moscone
    • 1
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Palleschi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Science and TechnologiesUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Biostructures and Biosystems National InstituteRomeItaly
  3. 3.Faculté de Sciences et Techniques Laboratoire Génie des Procédés et EnvironnementUniversité Hassan II-Mohammedia de CasablancaMohammadiaMorocco
  4. 4.Engineering DepartmentUniversity of Rome “Niccolò Cusano”RomeItaly
  5. 5.Italian Interuniversity Consortium on Materials Science and Technology (INSTM)RomeItaly

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