Microchimica Acta

, 186:134 | Cite as

Electrochemical dopamine sensor based on the use of a thermosensitive polymer and an nanocomposite prepared from multiwalled carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide

  • Pengcheng Zhao
  • Chao Chen
  • Meijun Ni
  • Longqi Peng
  • Chunyan Li
  • Yixi XieEmail author
  • Junjie FeiEmail author
Original Paper


An electrochemical dopamine sensor with a temperature-controlled switch was constructed by using a mixture of thermo-sensitive block copolymers (type tBA-PDEA-tBA), graphene oxide (GO) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). If the temperature is below 26 °C, the polymer on the glassy carbon electrode (GCE) is stretched, the distance between the MWCNTs is large, and the charge transfer resistance (Rct) of the composite also is large. In the presence of dopamine, the electron transfer at the electrode is strongly retarded and in the “off” state. At above 38 °C, the polymer is shrunk and the Rct is much smaller. The presence of dopamine results in a rapid electron transfer at the GCE, and this is referred to as the “on” state. At temperatures between 26 and 38 °C, the polymer shrinks slightly and has a “spring-like” state. There is a linear relationship between the response current (typically measured at a potential as low as 0.16 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and temperature. The response to dopamine is linear in the 0.06 to 4.2 μM and 4.2 to 18.2 μM concentration range, and the detection limit is 42 nM. Conceivably, this approach provides a novel approach towards the design of electrochemical sensors based on the use of thermo-sensitive polymers.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of reversible and temperature-controlled electrochemical response of dopamine on the thermo-sensitive block copolymers (tBA-PDEA-tBA) / multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) / graphene oxide (GO) / glassy carbon electrode (GCE).


N,N-Diethylacrylamide Tert-butyl acrylate Electrochemical “on/off” detection Stimulus-responsive polymer Spring-like sensor Carbon nanomaterials 



This research was financially supported by the NSF of China (Grants No. 21874114, 21475114, 21775133 and 31701613), the project of innovation team of the ministry of education (IRT_17R90), the Project of Science and Technology Plan of Hunan Province (2017XK2055), Hunan Provincial Innovation Foundation for Postgraduate (CX2018B364).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3238_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2.24 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Environmentally Friendly Chemistry and Applications of Ministry of Education, College of ChemistryXiangtan UniversityXiangtanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Green Organic Synthesis and Application of Hunan Province, College of ChemistryXiangtan UniversityXiangtanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Hunan Institute of Advanced Sensing and Information TechnologyXiangtan UniversityXiangtanPeople’s Republic of China

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