Microchimica Acta

, 185:496 | Cite as

Colorimetric determination of dopamine by exploiting the enhanced oxidase mimicking activity of hierarchical NiCo2S4-rGO composites

  • Yanying Wang
  • Li Yang
  • Yaqin Liu
  • Qingbiao Zhao
  • Fang Ding
  • Ping Zou
  • Hanbing RaoEmail author
  • Xianxiang WangEmail author
Original Paper


A composite consisting of NiCo2S4 and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was prepared via a hydrothermal process. Compared to individual NiCo2S4 nanomaterials or reduced graphene oxide, the composite exhibits enhanced oxidase-like activity. It is found that dopamine (DA) inhibits the ability of NiCo2S4-rGO to oxidize the substrate 3,3′,5′,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) to form blue colored ox-TMB. Based on these findings, a colorimetric method for determination of DA was worked out. The absorption, best measured at 652 nm, increases linearly in the 0.5–100 μM DA concentration range, and the limit of detection is 0.42 μM. This method was successfully applied to the detection of DA in spiked human serum samples.

Graphical abstract

A hierarchical NiCo2S4-rGO composite was prepared through two-step hydrothermal process. It exhibits enhanced oxidase-like activity which, however, is inhibited by dopamine (DA). Hence, less blue colored ox-TMB is formed by oxidation of 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine in the presence of dopamine.


Hybrid nanostructure Oxidase mimetic Synergistic effect Colorimetric assay Human serum sample 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21305097) and the 2016 undergraduate innovation training program of Sichuan Agricultural University (04054674).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3035_MOESM1_ESM.doc (7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 7182 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of ScienceSichuan Agricultural UniversityYa’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Nanshan District Key Lab for Biopolymers and Safety Evaluation, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Polymer Science and Technology, Guangdong Research Center for Interfacial Engineering of Functional Materials, College of Materials Science and EngineeringShenzhen UniversityShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Polar Materials and Devices, Ministry of Education, Department of Electronic EngineeringEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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