Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 3, pp 659–667 | Cite as

Development of a low-cost electrochemical sensor based on babassu mesocarp (Orbignya phalerata) immobilized on a flexible gold electrode for applications in sensors for 5-fluorouracil chemotherapeutics

  • Paulo Ronaldo Sousa Teixeira
  • Ana Siqueira do Nascimento Marreiro Teixeira
  • Emanuel Airton de Oliveira Farias
  • Edson Cavalcanti da Silva Filho
  • Helder Nunes da Cunha
  • José Ribeiro dos Santos Júnior
  • Lívio César Cunha Nunes
  • Handerson Rodrigues Silva Lima
  • Carla EirasEmail author
Research Paper


There are increasing concerns regarding the risks arising from the contamination of manipulators of antineoplastic drugs promoted by occupational exposure or even in the dosage of drugs. The present work proposes the use of an electrochemical sensor based on a biopolymer extracted from the babassu coconut (Orbignya phalerata) for the determination of an antineoplastic 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) drug as an alternative for the monitoring of these drugs. In order to reduce the cost of this sensor, a flexible gold electrode (FEAu) is proposed. The surface modification of FEAu was performed with the deposition of a casting film of the biopolymer extracted from the babassu mesocarp (BM) and modified with phthalic anhydride (BMPA). The electrochemical activity of the modified electrode was characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV), and its morphology was observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The FEAu/BMPA showed a high sensitivity (8.8 μA/μmol/L) and low limit of detection (0.34 μmol/L) for the 5-FU drug in an acid medium. Electrochemical sensors developed from the babassu mesocarp may be a viable alternative for the monitoring of the 5-FU antineoplastic in pharmaceutical formulations, because in addition to being sensitive to this drug, they are constructed of a natural polymer, renewable, and abundant in nature.

Graphical abstract


Babassu mesocarp Flexible gold electrode Sensor 5-Fluorouracil Electrochemistry 



The authors would like to thank the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI) and Federal Institute of Piauí (IFPI) for providing the research and work facilities.

Funding information

This study received financial supports from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel CAPES (Financing Code 001), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), and Foundation for Research Support of Piauí (FAPEPI).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Ronaldo Sousa Teixeira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Siqueira do Nascimento Marreiro Teixeira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emanuel Airton de Oliveira Farias
    • 3
  • Edson Cavalcanti da Silva Filho
    • 1
  • Helder Nunes da Cunha
    • 1
  • José Ribeiro dos Santos Júnior
    • 1
  • Lívio César Cunha Nunes
    • 1
    • 4
  • Handerson Rodrigues Silva Lima
    • 1
    • 4
  • Carla Eiras
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório Interdisciplinar de Materiais Avançados – LIMAVCT, UFPITeresinaBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Federal de Educação Ciência e Tecnologia do Piauí – IFPITeresinaBrazil
  3. 3.Núcleo de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade e BiotecnologiaBIOTECParnaíbaBrazil
  4. 4.Núcleo de Tecnologia FarmacêuticaUniversidade Federal do PiauíTeresinaBrazil

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