Microchimica Acta

, Volume 181, Issue 13–14, pp 1471–1484

Electrochemical in-vivo sensors using nanomaterials made from carbon species, noble metals, or semiconductors

Review Article


Electrochemical analytical methods have the advantages of simplicity, direct measurements, and ease of miniaturization which pave the way for real time detection and sensing. However, the complexity of living systems usually requires electrochemical sensors to display high selectivity, sensitivity, accuracy, biocompatibility and stability over time. Nanomaterials possess attractive properties in terms of surface modification, catalysis, and functionality. These open new avenues with respect to electrochemical enzymatic determination of neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and ascorbate, biological small molecules such as H2O2 and metal ions such as copper(II) in-vivo. Three properties of nanomaterials make their use particularly attractive, namely the larger surface-to-volume ratio area, their unique surface, and the ease of electron transfer between enzymes and electrodes. These properties make them more sensitive, selective and stable. The article is subdivided into sections that cover applications of the following materials: carbonaceous materials (mainly carbon nanotube), noble metal particles (mainly gold and platinum particles), and semiconductor (mainly metal oxide) nanomaterials. A conclusion and outlook section addresses current chances and limitations. The review contains 99 references.


Three attractive properties of nanomaterials: the larger surface-to-volume ratio area, unique surface, and facilitating the electron transfer between enzyme and electrode, can improve the analytical performance of electrode, fulfilling the requirements in sensitivity, selectivity and stability for in vivo electrochemistry.


Nanomaterials In vivo Electrochemical biosensors Carbon nanomaterials Noble metal nanoparticles Semiconductor nanostructures 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryTongji UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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