Label-free voltammetric aptasensor for the sensitive detection of microcystin-LR using graphene-modified electrodes

Shimaa Eissa, Andy Ng, Mohamed Siaj, Mohammed Zourob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


The development of successful biosensing platforms is highly dependent upon the biorecognition properties of the recognition receptor and the sensitivity of the transducer of the binding signal. The integration of the high affinity and specificity of DNA aptamers with the unique properties of the carbon nanomaterial graphene offers an excellent avenue for sensitive and selective biosensing architectures. In this work, a highly sensitive and selective aptasensor which utilizes an unlabeled DNA aptamer assembled on a graphene electrode for microcystin-LR detection was developed. A facile strategy was used for the aptasensor fabrication on the basis of the noncovalent assembly of DNA aptamer on graphene-modified screen printed carbon electrodes. Assembly of the DNA aptamer on the graphene-modified electrodes caused a marked drop in the square wave voltammetric reduction signal of the [Fe(CN)6] 4-/3- redox couple. The presence of microcystin-LR, on the other hand, caused a dose-responsive increase in peak current, allowing the quantification of microcystin-LR through the measurement of peak current change. Under optimal conditions, the detection limit of the developed aptasensor was 1.9 pM in buffer, a concentration much lower than those offered by previously reported biosensors for microcystin-LR. The developed aptasensor also exhibited excellent selectivity for microcystin-LR with no detectable cross-reactivity to okadaic acid, microcystin-LA, and microcystin-YR. Moreover, the proposed aptasensor has been applied for the analysis of spiked tap water and fish samples showing good recovery percentages. This novel, simple, high-performance, and low-cost detection platform would facilitate the routine monitoring of microcystin-LR in real samples.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)7551-7557
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2014


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