Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 409, Issue 27, pp 6371–6377 | Cite as

Label-free peptide aptamer based impedimetric biosensor for highly sensitive detection of TNT with a ternary assembly layer

  • Yanyan Li
  • Manru Zhao
  • Haiyan WangEmail author
Research Paper


We report a label-free peptide aptamer based biosensor for highly sensitive detection of TNT which was designed with a ternary assembly layer consisting of anti-TNT peptide aptamer (peptamer), dithiothreitol (DTT), and 6-mercaptohexanol (MCH), forming Au/peptamer–DTT/MCH. A linear relationship between the change in electron transfer resistance and the logarithm of the TNT concentration from 0.44 to 18.92 pM, with a detection limit of 0.15 pM, was obtained. In comparison, the detection limit of the aptasensor with a common binary assembly layer (Au/peptamer/MCH) was 0.15 nM. The remarkable improvement in the detection limit could be ascribed to the crucial role of the ternary assembly layer, providing an OH-richer hydrophilic environment and a highly compact surface layer with minimal surface defects, reducing the non-covalent binding (physisorption) of the peptamer and non-specific adsorption of TNT onto the electrode surface, leading to high sensitivity, and which can serve as a general sensing platform for the fabrication of other biosensors.


Label-free Peptide aptamer TNT Ternary assembly layer 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 21345004), the Foundation for Innovation Team of Bioanalytical Chemistry of Anhui Normal University, and the project sponsored by the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry.

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 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anhui Key Laboratory of Chemobiosensing, College of Chemistry and Materials ScienceAnhui Normal UniversityWuhuChina

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