Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 10, pp 2647–2655 | Cite as

Sensitive colorimetric assay for uric acid and glucose detection based on multilayer-modified paper with smartphone as signal readout

  • Xu Wang
  • Fang LiEmail author
  • Ziqi Cai
  • Kaifan Liu
  • Jing Li
  • Boyang Zhang
  • Jianbo He
Research Paper


In this work, a multilayer-modified paper-based colorimetric sensing platform with improved color uniformity and intensity was developed for the sensitive and selective determination of uric acid and glucose with smartphone as signal readout. In detail, chitosan, different kinds of chromogenic reagents, and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) combined with a specific oxidase, e.g., uricase or glucose oxidase (GOD), were immoblized onto the paper substrate to form a multilayer-modified test paper. Hydrogen peroxide produced by the oxidases (uricase or GOD) reacts with the substrates (uric acid or glucose), and could oxidize the co-immoblized chromogenic reagents to form colored products with HRP as catalyst. A simple strategy by placing the test paper on top of a light-emitting diode lamp was adopted to efficiently prevent influence from the external light. The color images were recorded by the smartphone camera, and then the gray values of the color images were calculated for quantitative analysis. The developed method provided a wide linear response from 0.01 to 1.0 mM for uric acid detection and from 0.02 to 4.0 mM for glucose detection, with a limit of detection (LOD) as low as 0.003 and 0.014 mM, respectively, which was much lower than for previously reported paper-based colorimetric assays. The proposed assays were successfully applied to uric acid and glucose detection in real serum samples. Furthermore, the enhanced analytical performance of the proposed method allowed the non-invasive detection of glucose levels in tear samples, which holds great potential for point-of-care analysis.

Graphical abstract


Paper-based Colorimetric assay Uric acid Glucose Smartphone 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of PR China (No. 21605032) and the Undergraduate Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program (No. 2017CXCYS083).

Compliance with ethical standards

The experimental protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Hefei University of Technology, China. All participants provided written informed consent.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2018_939_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (486 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 486 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Advanced Catalytic Materials and Reaction Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringHefei University of TechnologyHefeiChina

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