June 2023: High-performance electrochemical biosensor based on an engineered oxidoreductase enzyme

In a joint effort between our group, the Heterogeneous Catalysis group and the Analytical Chemistry group at the HIMS-UvA, we have developed a novel biosensor based on the use of an engineered oxidoreductase enzyme. As a model system, the sensor employs urate oxidase for the detection of uric acid which is a biomarker for gout. In a recent paper in the RSC journal ChemComm, we show the exquisite selectivity, sensitivity and stability of the engineered oxidoreductase enzyme within the electrochemical device.

Image: HIMS-Biocat


The ChemComm paper by our PhD student, Zheng Wei, et al. describes the design and development of a biosensing platform for the highly sensitive and reliable detection of uric acid within a wide linear range of concentrations. The work shows how the performance of electrochemical biosensors can be improved by implementing engineered enzymes. It also reiterates the effectiveness of biochemical techniques in advancing the biosensing field and provides a robust strategy for the evolution of similar sensors.

Abstract of the paper

We constructed a high-performance biosensor for detecting uric acid by immobilizing an engineered urate oxidase on gold nanoparticles deposited on a carbon-glass electrode and using thioglycolic acid as a linker. Critical for a high sensing performance was the further derivatization of the electrode with glutathione (GSH) and the use of bovine serum albumin (BSA) as impedance probe. This biosensor showed a low limit-of-detection (9.16 nM), a high sensitivity (14 μA/μM), a wide range of linearity (50 nM–1 mM), and more than 28 days lifetime.

The bioelectrode was characterized and the fabrication procedure was monitored by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and FT-IR spectroscopy.

Publication details

Zheng Wei, Tanja Knaus, Yuxin Liu, Ziran Zhai, Andrea F. G. Gargano, Gadi Rothenberg, Ning Yan and Francesco G. Mutti: A high-performance electrochemical biosensor using an engineered urate oxidase. Chem. Commun., 2023, Advance Article published 30 May 2023. DOI: 10.1039/D3CC01869E