Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 5, pp 1453–1462 | Cite as

An aptamer-based biosensor for detection of doxorubicin by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

  • Nicole BahnerEmail author
  • Peggy Reich
  • Dieter Frense
  • Marcus Menger
  • Katharina Schieke
  • Dieter Beckmann
Research Paper


An aptamer-based biosensor was developed for the detection of doxorubicin using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Doxorubicin and its 14-dehydroxylated version daunorubicin are anthracyclines often used in cancer treatment. Due to their mutagenic and cardiotoxic effects, detection in groundwater is desirable. We developed a biosensor using the daunorubicin-binding aptamer as biological recognition element. The aptamer was successfully co-immobilized with mercaptohexanol on gold and a density of 1.3*1013 ± 2.4*1012 aptamer molecules per cm2 was achieved. The binding of doxorubicin to the immobilized aptamer was detected by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The principle is based on the inhibition of electron transfer between electrode and ferro-/ferricyanide in solution caused by the binding of doxorubicin to the immobilized aptamer. A linear relationship between the charge transfer resistance (R ct ) and the doxorubicin concentration was obtained over the range of 31 nM to 125 nM doxorubicin, with an apparent binding constant of 64 nM and a detection limit of 28 nM. With the advantages of high sensitivity, selectivity, and simple sensor construction, this method shows a high potential of impedimetric aptasensors in environmental monitoring.

Graphical abstract

Measurement chamber and immobilization principle for the detection of doxorubicin by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.


Aptasensor Faradaic EIS Electroanalytical methods Water pollution Self-assembly 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy within the framework of the AiF-ZIM-program for supporting this project under grant nos. ZF4019603MD6 and ZF4086507MD6.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole Bahner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peggy Reich
    • 1
  • Dieter Frense
    • 1
  • Marcus Menger
    • 2
  • Katharina Schieke
    • 1
  • Dieter Beckmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Bioprocess and Analytical Measurement Technology e.V. RosenhofHeilbad HeiligenstadtGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Branch Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses (IZI-BB)PotsdamGermany

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