Silver nanowire sensor for sensitive and quick detection of  H2O2 in the company of various interfering substances

Elżbieta A. Kurowska ,  Ewa Słomiana ,  Grzegorz D. Sulka ,  Marian Jaskuła 

Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Chemistry, Ingardena 3, Kraków 30-060, Poland


     In the recent times, considerable interest in a precise determination of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) traces has been observed. This compound is an essential intermediary in food, pharmaceutical, clinical and environmental analyses. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide is a final product of many enzymatic reactions, so its concentration may be used as a direct indicator of the reaction progress. Consequently, the detection of hydrogen peroxide has been recognized as a very important task in many fields of research [1]. For example, it has been found that reactive oxygen species (ROS) – also H2O2 – can be considered as the mediators of the biochemistry of cellular pathology and may be involved in etiology of several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease [2]. Therefore, sensitive and selective determination of H2O2 is of great practical importance and many scientific groups have been working on development of new methods for hydrogen peroxide determination. Conventional methods of detection of H2O2 are not able to meet many requirements posed to them, including speed, reliability and ease of implementation. The best alternatives seem to be the electrochemical methods which are characterized by good performance, high sensitivity and relatively low production costs [3]. In real samples, such as biological fluids, there are electroactive interfering substances such as ascorbic acid (AA), uric acid (UA) and acetaminophen (AP) that may generate electricity and thus interfere with the detection of hydrogen peroxide.

     A nanostructured electrochemical H2O2 sensor was prepared by cathodic electrodeposition of silver inside nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. AAOs were synthesized via a simple and cost-effective two-step anodization of aluminum. After a suitable treatment, free standing Ag nanowire arrays were obtained and investigated as amperometric sensors for the detection and determination of the hydrogen peroxide in the presence of interfering substances such as glucose and ascorbic acid. Typical electrochemical techniques, including cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronoamperometry were applied for examination of fabricated sensors. CV tests were used to select an appropriate potential for the reduction of hydrogen peroxide. The chronoamperometric measurements, carried out in a phosphate buffer solution (pH 7.4), were used to study the response of electrochemical sensors to different concentrations of the analyte.

     The results showed that interfering substances do not affect the sensor response (Fig. 1).


Figure 1. Amperometric response of the Ag nanowire-sensor to the addition of hydrogen peroxide and various interfering substances.


[1] W. Zhao, H. Wang, X. Qin, X. Wang, Z. Zhao, Z. Miao, L. Chen, M. Shan, Y. Fang, Q. Chen, Talanta, 2009, 80, 1029 – 1033[2] Y. Luo, H. Liu, Q. Rui, Y. Tian, Anal. Chem., 2009, 81, 3035–3041[3] X. Liu, Y. Xu, X. Ma, G. Li, Sens. Actuators B, 2005, 106, 284–288


The research was partially carried out with the equipment purchased thanks to the financial support of the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the Polish Innovation Economy Operational Program (contract no. POIG.02.01.00-12-023/08).

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Presentation: Poster at Nano-Biotechnologia PL, by Elżbieta A. Kurowska
See On-line Journal of Nano-Biotechnologia PL

Submitted: 2012-06-20 14:47
Revised:   2012-06-20 15:00
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