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New Electrochemical Analysis Tools

An analysis is only as precise as the tool used to make the measurement. Our group is interested understanding a variety of system through electrochemistry. To probe the different types of environments, we design and fabricate new tools such as bipolar reference electrodesdual barrel electrodesnanoelectrodesenzyme-based sensors, and aptamer-based sensors

Bipolar Reference Electrodes

Reference electrodes must maintain a well-defined potential for long periods of time to be useful. The silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) reference electrode is arguably the most widely used reference electrode, but it leaks silver and chloride ions into the sample solution through the porous frit over time. We developed the efficacy of the leakless, bipolar reference electrode (BPRE) and miniaturize it to the microscale (μ-leakless BPRE).

enzyme sensor OCP

Open Circut Potentiometry for Enzymatic Sensing The reaction that occurs on the surface of the chitosan-mediator-FADGDH carbon electrode to alter the surface potential. Glucose is oxidized to gluconolactone in the presence of the oxidant, which gets reduced to the reductant as a byproduct. The changed [CO]/[CR] ratio in the hydrogel then alters the measured open circuit potential.


Micro-aptamer Sensors Aptamer sensor technology can be miniaturized to the micro scale using gold deposition. Dendritic morphology on an electrode surface can artificially increase the surface area and allow for a greater immobilization of aptamer probes and give a better signal.


Simple colorimetric testing is still the most common in-field detection technique for illicit substances. These tests lack specificity and require first-responders to carry reagents to the scene. We are designing electrochemical sensors toward the in-field detection of the five most-commonly trafficked drugs in the United States. We are developing new detection methods and building affordable potentiostats (controlled by Bluetooth and a downloadable smartphone application).

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