A novel brush-like electrode based on carbon nanotube (CNT) nano-yarn fiber has been designed for electrochemical biosensor applications and its efficacy as an enzymatic glucose biosensor demonstrated. The CNT nano-yarn fiber was spun directly from a chemical-vapor-deposition (CVD) gas flow reaction using a mixture of ethanol and acetone as the carbon source and an iron nano-catalyst. The fiber, 28 µm in diameter, was made of bundles of double walled CNTs (DWNTs) concentrically compacted into multiple layers forming a nano-porous network structure. Cyclic voltammetry study revealed a superior electrocatalytic activity for CNT fiber compared to the traditional Pt–Ir coil electrode. The electrode end tip of the CNT fiber was freeze-fractured to obtain a unique brush-like nano-structure resembling a scale-down electrical ‘flex’, where glucose oxidase (GOx) enzyme was immobilized using glutaraldehyde crosslinking in the presence of bovine serum albumin (BSA). An outer epoxy-polyurethane (EPU) layer was used as semi-permeable membrane. The sensor function was tested against a standard reference electrode. The sensitivities, linear detection range and linearity for detecting glucose for the miniature CNT fiber electrode were better than that reported for a Pt–Ir coil electrode. Thermal annealing of the CNT fiber at 250 °C for 30 min prior to fabrication of the sensor resulted in a 7.5 fold increase in glucose sensitivity. The as-spun CNT fiber based glucose biosensor was shown to be stable for up to 70 days. In addition, gold coating of the electrode connecting end of the CNT fiber resulted in extending the glucose detection limit to 25 µM. To conclude, superior efficiency of CNT fiber for glucose biosensing was demonstrated compared to a traditional Pt–Ir sensor.
Source – http://iopscience.iop.org/0957-4484/21/16/165501/