Electrochemical sensing of hydrogen peroxide using a glassy carbon electrode modified with multiwalled carbon nanotubes and zein nanoparticle composites: application to HepG2 cancer cell detection


A nanobiocomposite was prepared from multiwalled carbon nanotubes and zein nanoparticles. It was dispersed in water/ethanol and drop cast onto a glassy carbon electrode. The modified electrode can be used for electroreduction of H2O2 (typically at a working potential of −0.71 V vs. Ag/AgCl). The electrochemical properties of the electrode were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry, chronoamperometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Response to H2O2 is linear in the 0.049 to 22 μM concentration range, and the detection limit is 35 nM at pH 7.0. The sensor was successfully utilized for the measurement of H2O2 in a synthetic urine sample, and for monitoring the release of H2O2 from human dermal fibroblasts and human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Schematic representation of a novel metal- and enzyme-free electrochemical nanosensor. A glassy carbon electrode was modified with a nanocomposite prepared from multiwalled carbon nanotubes and zein nanoparticles. It was applied to the identification of liver cancer cells via sensing of H2O2 and has a very low detection limit.

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We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of this work by Shiraz University Research Council. Also, the authors wish to thank Mr. H. Argasi at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences for his invaluable assistance in editing this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ghodratollah Absalan.

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Tavakkoli, H., Akhond, M., Ghorbankhani, G.A. et al. Electrochemical sensing of hydrogen peroxide using a glassy carbon electrode modified with multiwalled carbon nanotubes and zein nanoparticle composites: application to HepG2 cancer cell detection. Microchim Acta 187, 105 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00604-019-4064-7

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  • Electrochemical sensor
  • Nanocomposite
  • Enzyme-free
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Protein based biopolymers
  • Cancer detection