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Design of a highly sensitive electrochemical biosensor for methyl mercaptan detection

Zhanhong Li 1,2Houssemeddine Guedri 1Bruno Viguier 1Shigang Sun 2Jean-Louis Marty 1

1. Perpingnan University, Perpingam Cedex, Perpignan 66860, France
2. Xiamen University, Xiamen 36100, China


Methyl mercaptan (MM) is mostly known because it is the predominant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) involved in halitosis (bad breath). Detection of MM in breath can also evaluate liver damage and hepatic coma.

In this work, a highly sensitive electrochemical biosensor for MM detection was developed. This biosensor is based on the enzymatic reaction between the MM and the oxygen (O2) to form hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) (Fig. 1). This reaction is catalyzed by alcohol oxidase (AOX). The immobilization of enzyme was cross-linked by BSA and glutaraldehyde on carbon screen-printed electrode (SPE). Working electrode was first modified by osmium wired HRP (Os-HRP) and electrochemical measurements were performed in phosphate buffer at a working potential of -100mV versus Ag/AgCl. The AOX biosensor showed a low detection limit of 0.5 mM compared to other work [1].

In future work, the biosensor will be applied to detect gaseous MM as a bio-sniffer with a reaction unit having liquid–gaseous compartments separated by a hydrophobic porous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) diaphragm membrane.

Financial support from MEDISEN project is gratefully acknowledged.


Fig. 1:  Principle of methyl mercaptan measurement using AOX enzymatic reaction and Os-HRP


1.         Minamide, T., K. Mitsubayashi, and H. Saito, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 2005. 108(1-2): p. 639-645.


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Presentation: Short communication at SMCBS'2011 International Workshop, by Zhanhong Li
See On-line Journal of SMCBS'2011 International Workshop

Submitted: 2011-08-31 19:20
Revised:   2011-10-27 11:25