Carbon nanohorn modified platinum electrodes for improved immobilisation of enzyme in the design of glutamate biosensors
Electrochemical enzymatic biosensors are the subject of research due to their potential for in vivo monitoring of glutamate, which is a key neurotransmitter whose concentration is related to healthy brain function. This study reports the use of biocompatible oxidised carbon nanohorns (o-CNH) with a high surface area, to enhance the immobilization of glutamate oxidase (GluOx) for improved biosensor performance. Two families of biosensors were designed to interact with the anionic GluOx. Family-1 consists of covalently functionalised o-CNH possessing hydrazide (HYZ) and amine (PEG-NH2) terminated surfaces and Family-2 comprised non-covalently functionalised o-CNH with different loadings of polyethyleneimine (PEI) to form a cationic hybrid. Amperometric detection of H2O2 formed by enzymatic oxidation of glutamate revealed a good performance from all designs with the most improved performance by the PEI hybrid systems. The best response was from a o-CNH : PEI ratio of 1 : 10 mg mL−1, which yielded a glutamate calibration plateau, JMAX, of 55 ± 9 μA cm−2 and sensitivity of 111 ± 34 μA mM−1 cm−2. The low KM of 0.31 ± 0.05 mM indicated the retention of the enzyme function, and a limit of detection of 0.02 ± 0.004 μM and a response time of 0.88 ± 0.13 s was determined. The results demonstrate the high sensitivity of these biosensors and their potential for future use for the detection of glutamate in vivo.