Functionalized tungsten disulfide nanotubes for dopamine and catechol detection in a tyrosinase-based amperometric biosensor design
WS2 nanotubes functionalized with carboxylic acid functions (WS2-COOH) were used for improved immobilization of the enzyme tyrosinase in order to form an electrochemical biosensor towards catechol and dopamine. The nanotubes were deposited on glassy carbon electrodes using a dispersion-filtration-transfer procedure to assure the reproducibility of the deposits. After the electrochemical and morphological characterization of these WS2-COOH nanotube deposits, the formed biosensors showed very satisfying performance towards catechol detection with a linear range of 0.6–70 μmol L−1 and a sensitivity of 10.7 ± 0.2 mA L mol−1. The apparent Michaelis Menten constant of this system is slightly lower than the KM value of tyrosinase in solution, reflecting an excellent accessibility of the active site of the enzyme combined with a good mass transport of the target molecule through the deposit. For dopamine detection, we observed an accumulation of this substrate due to electrostatic interactions between the amine function of dopamine and the carboxylic acid groups of the nanotubes. This led to improved signal capture at low dopamine concentrations. With linear ranges of 0.5–10 μmol L−1 and 10–40 μmol L−1, and respective sensitivities of 6.2 ± 0.7 mA L mol−1 and 3.4 ± 0.4 mA L mol−1, the overall sensor performance is within the average of comparable results using carbon nanotubes. Nonetheless, the simplified handling of these nanotubes and their reduced environmental impact make these WS2-COOH nanotubes a promising nanomaterial for biosensing applications.