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Electrochemical Characterization of Layer-By-Layer Assembled Ferrocene-Modified Linear Poly(ethylenimine)/Enzyme Bioanodes for Glucose Sensor and Biofuel Cell Applications

Godman, Nicholas P., DeLuca, Jared L., McCollum, Sean R., Schmidtke, David W., Glatzhofer, Daniel T.
Langmuir 2016 v.32 no.14 pp. 3541-3551
bioanodes, cathodes, crosslinking, diagnostic techniques, electrochemistry, glucose, glucose oxidase, gold, microbial fuel cells, pH, platinum, surface area
Ferrocenylhexyl- and ferrocenylpropyl-modified linear poly(ethylenimine) (Fc-C₆-LPEI, Fc-C₃-LPEI) were used with periodate-modified glucose oxidase (p-GOX) in the layer-by-layer assembly of enzymatic bioanodes on gold. Fc-C₆-LPEI/p-GOX and Fc-C₃-LPEI/p-GOX films of 16 bilayers were capable of generating up to 381 ± 3 and 1417 ± 63 μA cm–², respectively, in response to glucose. These responses are greater than those of analogous bioanodes fabricated using conventional cross-linking techniques and are extremely high for planar, low surface area, single-enzyme electrodes. (Fc-C₃-LPEI/p-GOX)₈ films generated 86 ± 3 μW cm–² at pH 7.0 and 149 ± 7 μW cm–² at pH 5.0, when poised against an air-breathing platinum cathode in a compartment-less biofuel cell. An increase in power output with decreasing pH was shown to be a result of increases in the platinum cathode performance, indicating it is the rate-limiting electrode in the biofuel cells. The effect of fabrication wash time on the buildup of material at the electrode’s surface was probed using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and constant potential amperometry. The use of electrochemical techniques as a diagnostic tool for studying the material deposition process is discussed. CV peak separation (ΔE), surface coverage of the electroactive ferrocene (ΓFc), and amperometric sensitivity of the enzyme to glucose (Jₘₐₓ), studied as a function of numbers of bilayers, showed that physisorption of materials onto the surface results from initial patchy deposition, rather than in distinctly uniform layers.