Microchimica Acta

, 186:415 | Cite as

Voltammetric determination of the antimalarial drug chloroquine using a glassy carbon electrode modified with reduced graphene oxide on WS2 quantum dots

  • Monika SrivastavaEmail author
  • Preeti Tiwari
  • Vineet Kumar Mall
  • S. K. Srivastava
  • Rajiv PrakashEmail author
Original Paper


A voltammetric method is described for the determination of chloroquine (CQ) and validated simultaneously by two techniques and in three different conditions. The WS2 quantum dots (WS2 QDs) were synthesized by a hydrothermal method and then placed on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) sheets. The resulting composite material was then deposited on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) where it showed excellent electroactivity. The modified GCE responds to chloroquine at a typical potential maximum of 1.2 V (vs. AgCl/Ag). Techniques including cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry were tested. Features of merit include (a) a wide linear response (in the 0.5 μM to 82 μM CQ concentration range), (b) an electrochemical sensitivity of 0.143–0.90 μA·μM−1·cm−2), and a 40–120 nM limit of detection (at S/N = 3). The sensor has excellent selectivity even in the presence of potentially interfering biological compounds. Responses were tested in phosphate buffer, human serum and pharmaceutical formulations, and no cross reactivity or matrix effects were found. In all the three cases, quite satisfactory recoveries were obtained.

Graphical abstract

Schematic representation of the mechanism for electro-oxidation of chloroquine on a glassy carbon electrode modified with an rGO@WS2 quantum dot composite. The sensor displays enhanced electrocatalytic activity towards chloroquine. The method was validated in biological samples and pharmaceutical formulations.


Chloroquine phosphate Anti-malarial drug Reduced graphene oxide WS2 quantum dots Synergistic effect 



The first author (MS) is grateful to DST, New Delhi (SR/WOS-A/CS-52/2018) for fellowship. The authors are also thankful to Prof. D. Dash, Institute of Medical Science, BHU,Varanasi, for the help extended towards availing blood serum and CIF, IIT (BHU) Varanasi for providing various characterization facilities.

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests. Monika Srivastava and Preeti Tiwari with Vineet have carried out experiments and are responsible for raw data if required. Human blood serum was collected from blood donors of the institute using our institute hospital (Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Varanasi) facility following the methods in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. All experimental protocols were approved by the Biochemistry lab of the Institute of Medical Sciences, BHU, Varanasi and further, it is sanctioned by institutional committee (Institute Ethical Committee) and consent was obtained from all subjects.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3525_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1 mb)
ESM 1 It includes FT-IR Spectroscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, Energy dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy of WS2 QDs, rGO and rGO@WS2 QDs. It further covers CV responses of rGO@WS2 QDs modified GCE towards electro-oxidation of CQ in buffer, blood serum and in pharmaceutical formulation. (DOC 1030 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and Technology, Indian Institute of TechnologyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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