Isatin Detection using an All Boron-doped Diamond 3-in-1 Sensing Platform

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Analytical Chemistry


Boron-doped diamond (BDD) is a promising electrochemical tool that exhibits excellent chemical sensitivity and stability. These intrinsic advantages coupled with the material’s vast microfabrication flexibility make BDD an attractive sensing device. In this study, two different 3-in-1 BDD electrode sensors were fabricated, characterized, and investigated for their capability to detect isatin, an anxiogenic indole that possesses anticonvulsant activity. Each device was comprised of a working, reference, and auxiliary electrode, all made of BDD. Two different working electrode geometries were studied, a 2 mm diameter macroelectrode (MAC) and a microelectrode array (MEA). The BDD quasi-reference electrode was studied by measuring its potential against a traditional Ag/AgCl reference electrode. While the potential shifted as a function of solution pH, a miniscule potential drift was observed when holding the solution pH constant. Specifically, the BDD quasi-reference electrode had a potential of −0.2 V (vs Ag/AgCl) in a pH 7 solution, and this remained stable for a 30-h time period. For the detection of isatin, solutions were analyzed using both sensors in pH 7.4 phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Using the MEA sensor, the limit of detection (LOD, (3σ)/m) for isatin was found to be 0.04 μM; an increase to 0.22 μM was observed with the MAC sensor. These results were compared to those obtained from UV–vis spectrophotometry, where a 0.57 μM LOD was observed. The feasibility for use in a complex sample matrix was also examined by completing measurements in urine simulant. The results presented herein indicate that both 3-in-1 BDD sensors are applicable at low limits of detection with potential application as an electrochemical detector for chromatographic methods.



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