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Biosens Bioelectron. 2017 Jan 15;87:396-403. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.08.085. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Recognition unit-free and self-cleaning photoelectrochemical sensing platform on TiO2 nanotube photonic crystals for sensitive and selective detection of dopamine release from mouse brain.

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School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200241 China.
Provincial Key Laboratory of Oil & Gas Chemical Technology, College of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Northeast Petroleum University, Daqing, 163318 China.
School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200241 China. Electronic address:


For implementing sensitive and selective detection of biological molecules, the biosensors are been designed more and more complicated. The exploration of detection platform in a simple way without loss their sensitivity and selectivity is always a big challenge. Herein, a prototype of recognition biomolecule unit-free photoelectrochemical (PEC) sensing platform with self-cleaning activity is proposed with TiO2 nanotube photonic crystal (TiO2 NTPCs) materials as photoelectrode, and dopamine (DA) molecule as both sensitizer and target analyte. The unique adsorption between DA and TiO2 NTPCs induces the formation of charge transfer complex, which not only expends the optical absorption of TiO2 into visible light region, thus significantly boosts the PEC performance under illumination of visible light, but also implements the selective detection of DA on TiO2 photoelectrode. This simple but efficient PEC analysis platform presents a low detection limit of 0.15nm for detection of DA, which allows to realize the sensitive and selective determination of DA release from the mouse brain for its practical application after coupled with a microdialysis probe. The DA functionalized TiO2 NTPCs PEC sensing platform opens up a new PEC detection model, without using extra-biomolecule auxiliary, just with target molecule naturally adsorbed on the electrode for sensitive and selective detection, and paves a new avenue for biosensors design with minimalism idea.


Dopamine; Photoelectrochemistry; Photonic crystals; TiO(2) nanotube

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