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Publication Detail

Title: pH Sensing Properties of Flexible, Bias-Free Graphene Microelectrodes in Complex Fluids: From Phosphate Buffer Solution to Human Serum.

Authors: Ping, Jinglei; Blum, Jacquelyn E; Vishnubhotla, Ramya; Vrudhula, Amey; Naylor, Carl H; Gao, Zhaoli; Saven, Jeffery G; Johnson, Alan T Charlie

Published In Small, (2017 Aug)

Abstract: Advances in techniques for monitoring pH in complex fluids can have a significant impact on analytical and biomedical applications. This study develops flexible graphene microelectrodes (GEs) for rapid (<5 s), very-low-power (femtowatt) detection of the pH of complex biofluids by measuring real-time Faradaic charge transfer between the GE and a solution at zero electrical bias. For an idealized sample of phosphate buffer solution (PBS), the Faradaic current is varied monotonically and systematically with the pH, with a resolution of ≈0.2 pH unit. The current-pH dependence is well described by a hybrid analytical-computational model, where the electric double layer derives from an intrinsic, pH-independent (positive) charge associated with the graphene-water interface and ionizable (negative) charged groups. For ferritin solution, the relative Faradaic current, defined as the difference between the measured current response and a baseline response due to PBS, shows a strong signal associated with ferritin disassembly and the release of ferric ions at pH ≈2.0. For samples of human serum, the Faradaic current shows a reproducible rapid (<20 s) response to pH. By combining the Faradaic current and real-time current variation, the methodology is potentially suitable for use to detect tumor-induced changes in extracellular pH.

PubMed ID: 28612484 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Graphite/chemistry*; Humans; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Microelectrodes; Phosphates/chemistry*; Serum/chemistry*

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