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Thiourea linked glycolipid-assisted synthesis of sub-micrometer sized polyaniline spheres for enzyme less sensing of dopamine


A simple methodology of synthesizing sub-micrometer sized polyaniline (PANI) spheres using gold electrodes with thiourea linked glycolipid self-assembly for the selective detection of dopamine (DA) is reported here. The synthesis was carried out using a potentiodynamic polymerization method. The self-assembled thiourea linked glycolipid on the gold electrodes and the same lipid acting as the surface directing agent for the formation of polyaniline microspheres is the highlighting factor in this work. The biocompatible sub-micrometer polyaniline spheres are characterized using scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy studies. Amperometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were employed to estimate the concentration of dopamine. The amperometric studies reveal a linear range of ~ 1 to 640 μM, sensitivity of 370 μA cm−2 μM−1, a very low detection limit of 10 nM, and a response time of ~ 5 s. The interference from l-Dopa, ascorbic acid and uric acid has been minimized on account of the Nafion (Nf) coating and selectivity of the electrode. Real sample analysis was carried out using standard addition method.

Graphic abstract

Schematic representation for the formation of sub-micrometer PANI spheres using thiourea linked glycolipid on Au electrodes for sensing of dopamine.

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This work was supported by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Government of India. The idea of employing glycolipid-assisted synthesis of conducting polymers was suggested to us by Prof Dr. D. Loganathan, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras who passed away during the preparation of this manuscript. Hence, this paper is dedicated to him.


This research received no external funding.

Author information

The idea was conceptualized by Prof. M.V.S and Prof. D.L, and all the research relating to methodology, software, validation, analysis, investigation, data curation and writing was done by R.R and M.M. The review and editing, visualization, resources, supervision, project administration were provided by Prof. M.V.S.

Correspondence to Ramya Ramkumar.

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Ramkumar, R., Mathiselvam, M. & Sangaranarayanan, M.V. Thiourea linked glycolipid-assisted synthesis of sub-micrometer sized polyaniline spheres for enzyme less sensing of dopamine. J Appl Electrochem (2020).

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  • Sub-micrometer polyaniline
  • Thiourea linked glycolipid
  • Amperometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy