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Rapid electrochemical detection of levodopa using polyaniline-modified screen-printed electrodes for the improved management of Parkinson’s disease

Lookup NU author(s): Sarbjeet Kaur, Dr Pankaj Singla, Dr Jake McClementsORCiD, Dr Katarina Novakovic, Dr James DawsonORCiD, Professor Marloes PeetersORCiD



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


A portable test to rapidly determine levels of levodopa, the drug used to treat Parkinson's disease, can improve clinical management of the disease. In this study, screen-printed electrodes (SPEs) were modified with polymers to facilitate the electrochemical detection of levodopa. Cyclic voltammetry was used to deposit a thin layer of polyaniline on the electrode surface. Scanning electron microscopy revealed high surface coverage, which did not impact the electrode's conductivity. Differential pulse voltammetry measurements with the polyaniline-modified electrodes enabled the measurement of levodopa at physiologically relevant concentrations with discrimination between a common interferent (ascorbic acid) and a structurally similar compound (l-tyrosine). However, the use of the polymer layer did not permit differentiation between levodopa and dopamine; the only difference in these molecules is that levodopa has an amino acid moiety whereas dopamine has a free amine group. Density functional theory calculations demonstrated that aniline formed a hydrogen bond between the amino group of the monomer and the meta-hydroxyl group, which is present in both levodopa and dopamine, with similar binding energies (−53.36 vs −50.08 kJ mol−1). Thus, the polymer-functionalised SPEs are a valuable tool to measure compounds important in Parkinson's disease, but further refinement is needed to achieve selective detection.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Noguchi H, Kaur S, Krettli L, Singla P, McClements J, Snyder H, Crapnell R, Banks C, Novakovic K, Kaur I, Gruber J, Dawson J, Peeters M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physics in Medicine

Year: 2022

Volume: 14

Print publication date: 01/12/2022

Online publication date: 25/09/2022

Acceptance date: 02/09/2022

Date deposited: 28/09/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2352-4510

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.phmed.2022.100052


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Funder referenceFunder name
Newcastle Academic Track (NUAcT) Fellowship