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Luminescence. 2013 Nov-Dec;28(6):905-9. doi: 10.1002/bio.2455. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Study on the reaction mechanism and the static injection chemiluminescence method for detection of acetaminophen.

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  • 1College of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450001, China.


Acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, is found in Tylenol, Excedrin and other products as over-the-counter medicines. In this study, acetaminophen as a luminol signal enhancer was used in the chemiluminescence (CL) substrate solution of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) for the first time. The use of acetaminophen in the luminol-HRP-H2O2 system affected not only the intensity of the obtained signal, but also its kinetics. It was shown that acetaminophen was to be a potent enhancer of the luminol-HRP-H2O2 system. A putative enhancement mechanism for the luminol-H2O2-HRP-acetaminophen system is presented. The resonance of the nucleophilic amide group and the benzene ring of acetaminophen structure have a great effect on O-H bond dissociation energy of the phenol group and therefore on phenoxyl radical stabilization. These radicals act as mediators between HRP and luminol in an electron transfer reaction that generates luminol radicals and subsequently light emission, in which the intensity of CL is enhanced in the presence of acetaminophen. In addition, a simple method was developed to detect acetaminophen by static injection CL based on the enhanced CL system of luminol-H2O2-HRP by acetaminophen. Experimental conditions, such as pH and concentrations of substrates, have been examined and optimized. The proposed method exhibited good performance, the linear range was from 0.30 to 7.5 mM, the relative standard deviation was 1.86% (n = 10), limit of detection was 0.16 mM and recovery was 99 ± 4%.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


acetaminophen; horseradish peroxidase luminol enhancer; reaction mechanism

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