Simultaneous electrochemical determination of DNA nucleobases using AgNPs embedded covalent organic framework

P. Arul, Sheng-Tung Huang, N. S. K. Gowthaman, Sekar Shankar

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An efficient electrochemical biosensor has been developed for the simultaneous evaluation of DNA bases using AgNPs-embedded covalent organic framework (COF). The COF (p-Phenylenediamine and terephthalaldehyde) was synthesized by reflux (DMF; 150 °C; 12 h) and the nanoparticles were embedded from the aqueous solutions of AgNO3 and NaBH4. The nanocomposite-modified COF was confirmed by spectral, microscopic, and electrochemical techniques. The nanocomposite material was deposited on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) and the redox behavior of AgNPs was confirmed by cyclic voltammetry. The electrocatalytic activities of DNA bases were analyzed by differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) in a physiological environment (PBS; pH = 7.0) based on simple and easy-to-use electrocatalyst. The AgNPs-COF/GCE showed well-defined anodic peak currents for the bases guanine (+ 0.63 V vs. Ag/AgCl), adenine (+ 0.89 V vs. Ag/AgCl), thymine (+ 1.10 V vs. Ag/AgCl), and cytosine (+ 1.26 V vs. Ag/AgCl) in a mixture as well as individuals with respect to the conventional, COF, and AgNPs/GCEs. The AgNPs-COF/GCE showed linear concentration range of DNA bases from 0.2–1000 µM (guanine; (G)), 0.1–500 µM (adenine (A)), 0.25–250 µM (thymine (T)) and 0.15–500 µM (cytosine (C)) and LOD of 0.043, 0.056, 0.062, and 0.051 µM (S/N = 3), respectively. The developed sensor showed reasonable selectivity, reproducibility (RSD = 1.53 ± 0.04%–2.58 ± 0.02% (n = 3)), and stability (RSD = 1.22 ± 0.06%–2.15 ± 0.04%; n = 3) over 5 days of storage) for DNA bases. Finally, AgNPs-COF/GCE was used for the determination of DNA bases in human blood serum, urine and saliva samples with good recoveries (98.60–99.11%, 97.80–99.21%, and 98.69–99.74%, respectively). 

Original languageEnglish
Article number358
Number of pages12
JournalMicrochimica Acta
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biological fluids
  • Covalent organic framework
  • Differential pulse voltammetry
  • DNA bases
  • Silver nanoparticles

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