Possibilities and limitations in miniaturized sensor design for uric acid
Uric acid (UA) has been under intensive investigation by electrochemists owing to its important role as a metabolite in biological fluids. One of the major problems in biological determinations of uric acid comes from electrochemical interferences such as ascorbic acid (AA), which has a similar oxidation potential, E1/2 ≈ 200 mV versus SCE, at graphite electrodes, and is present at high concentrations in biological systems. UA undergoes a 2 H+, 2 e– oxidation in aqueous buffers. The oxidation product, a diimine, is an unstable intermediate with a half-life of less than 22 ms. A follow-up hydration reaction converts the diimine to an imine alcohol. Results of previous work show that UA weakly adsorbs and undergoes a fast electron transfer reaction, ks = 54 s–1, at carbon fiber electrodes. These characteristics make UA an excellent candidate for fast scan voltammetric (FSV) determinations. This paper presents the results of FSV at bare carbon fiber electrodes. The results show good selectivity and sensitivity in the determination of low concentrations of UA in the presence of high concentrations of AA. By increasing the scan rate above 500 V s–1, voltammograms of UA in the presence of AA can be resolved because of the kinetic differences in the response of the two anions, without the need for a permselective film on the electrode. Results are also presented that demonstrate an effective way to reach a stable background current at bare carbon fiber electrodes, which is required in FSV because the signal from the analyte is smaller than the electrochemical signal from the background current. Signal-to-noise ratios at bare carbon fiber electrodes in FSV are improved, because the high temporal resolution in fast scan methods allows the acquisition of a large number of scans that can be signal averaged in a short period of time. In addition, large signals can be measured because the voltammetric peak current increases with increase in scan rate.