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Biosens Bioelectron. 2003 Mar;18(2-3):111-8.

Optical biosensor for urea with improved response time.

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  • 1Department for General and Physical Chemistry, University of Pécs, 7624 Pécs, Ifjúság u. 6, Hungary.


An optical biosensor for urea measurements was developed. The operation of the sensor is based on the well-known urease enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis of urea. The ammonium ions liberated in the reaction are detected with an ion selective optode membrane containing nonactin as ion selective ionophore and ETH 5294 chromoionophore in a thin (1 microm) plasticized poly(vinylchloride) film. The basic sensing element was home made of a microscope glass slide, a HeNe laser light source, photodiode light detector and light in coupling, de-coupling elements. The transducer membrane and the enzyme containing reaction layer were sandwich-cast with spin coating onto the surface of the sensing slide. The attenuation of the laser light propagating inside the glass wave-guide was used as signal for urea measurements. With this arrangement membranes provided good sensitivity (0.05 absorption unit when going from 0.1 to 1 mM urea) and short (16-20 s) response time. Taking advantage on the improved response time, flow injection urea measurements were made in the 0.01-2 mM concentration range. Thirty sample/hour analysis-rate, good peak-to-peak reproducibility (RSD=0.02) and recovery (95-104%) was achieved with buffer diluted urea solutions. Applications for the analysis of real samples are planned to do in the future.

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