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Real time detection of trace pharmaceuticals under a flow using flexible screen printed electrodes

Description

Acetaminophen, commonly found in Tylenol and other over the counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals, was electrochemically characterized on custom made, flexible, screen printed electrodes (SPEs) to serve as a model target pharmaceutical

Acetaminophen, commonly found in Tylenol and other over the counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals, was electrochemically characterized on custom made, flexible, screen printed electrodes (SPEs) to serve as a model target pharmaceutical found in flowing water lines. Carbon, silver/silver chloride, and insulator paste inks were printed onto polyethylene naphthalateolyester (PEN) using custom made stencils for a 4x1 array of 3-electrode electrochemical cells. Cyclic voltammetry was performed to find the electrical potential corresponding to the greatest current response and the experiments were conducted using amperometric current-time mode (AMP*i-t). The physical limitations of SPEs as well as the detection limitations of the target, such as pH and temperature were tested. A concentration gradient of the target was fitted with a linear curve (R2 0.99), and a lower limit of detection of 14.5 μM. It was also found that both pH and temperature affect the current produced by acetaminophen at a fixed concentration, and that the sensors can detect target in a continuous flow. A flow apparatus consisting of an inlet and effluent pipe served as the flow model into which a rolled up flexible electrode array was inserted. The broader goal of this research is to develop a highly sensitive electrode array on flexible substrates which can detect multiple targets simultaneously. Acetaminophen was chosen due to its electro-active properties and its presence in most public water lines in the United States.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05