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Electrochemical detection of non-esterified fatty acid by layer-by-layer assembled enzyme electrodes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jing Kang, Anisah Hussain, Professor Mike TrenellORCiD, Professor Eileen Yu



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


In this study, detection and measurement of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) concentration has been achieved by electrochemical method in one operation step. Multilayer films of poly(dimethyldiallyammonium chloride) (PDA) wrapped multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and two enzymes acyl-CoA synthetase (ACS) and acyl-CoA oxidase (ACOD) were assembled on a carbon screen printed electrode by the Layer-by-Layer (LbL) immobilization. The fine polymer-enzyme layers produced by the LbL method, allowed mass transport from the reactant cascading down the layers to accomplish the two-step enzyme reactions. The polymer-CNTs and enzyme modified electrode exhibited good electrocatalytical property retaining enzyme activity. Linear increase of anodic current from H2O2 produced from NEFA oxidation was observed with the increasing concentrations of oleic acid. These results indicate a promising technique for a simple, rapid one-step determination of NEFA for diabetes management.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kang J, Hussain AT, Catt M, Trenell M, Haggett B, Yu EH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sensors & Actuators B: Chemical

Year: 2014

Volume: 190

Pages: 535-541

Print publication date: 01/01/2014

Online publication date: 12/09/2013

Acceptance date: 03/09/2013

Date deposited: 12/06/2014

ISSN (print): 0925-4005

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3077

Publisher: Elsevier SA


DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2013.09.011

Notes: This study presented the first electrochemical biosensor to measure non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) concentrations in blood samples for diabetes management. It provides further energy metabolic information in addition to current blood glucose measurement. Compared to the existing commercial assay kits that use optical method, this study provides a low cost, one-step and fast method for NEFA detection. It was developed with an EPSRC KTA project in collaboration with clinicians studying diabetes (Prof. Michael Trenell,, and University of Bedfordshire, Dr. Barry Haggett, This work has already attracted interests from industry. Currently, Philips and Powerhouse biologics have expressed interests to develop this sensor further.


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