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The development of biomimetic affinity sensors, based on the molecular printing of polymers prepared by electrodeposition. Application to the detection of metabolites

16th national competition for scientific and technical research

Biomimetic models

Senior Researcher : Francisco Montilla Jiménez

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Research Centre or Institution : Instituto Universitario de Materiales de Alicante. Universidad de Alicante.


Electrochemical sensors are being developed using molecularly printed modified silicon electrodes to detect a range of metabolites of relevance for clinical diagnosis: glucose, bilirubin, creatinin, thyroxin, cortisol, testosterone and creatine. The proposed methodology avoids the use of biological elements such as enzymes and/or antibodies by designing biomimetic matrices tailored for the target molecule, as well as the manufacture of an electrochemical sensor for use in the detection of metabolites in physiological fluids.

To undertake this work electrodes were modified with molecularly printed silicon electrodes using electrochemical methods.

Microstructured layers based on silicon were synthesised using the sol-gel method based on a tetraalkylorthosilicate, preferentially tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS). A method was optimised to deposit thin layers of this material on several electrodes (ITO/glass, vitreous carbon, printed electrodes, etc.), preferentially using electrodeposition techniques.

The properties of the layers (hydrophilicity, ionic conductivity and porosity) may be modulated by producing silicon modified with organic elements (ormosil) using suitable precursors. Studies will take place with methyltrimethoxysiloxane, methyltriethoxysilane and 3-mercaptopropyl-triethoxysilane with the aim of increasing the selectivity and sensitivity of the matrices in synthetic mixtures.

The properties of the resulting silicon deposit will be determined using electrochemical techniques with redox probes or with fluorescent probes and microscopy. Partially positive results have been achieved in the detection of dopamine interfered by ascorbic acid.

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