Applications of macrocyclic compounds for electrochemical sensors to improve selectivity and sensitivity

  • Huan Luo
  • Li-Xia Chen
  • Qing-Mei Ge
  • Mao LiuEmail author
  • Zhu Tao
  • Yu-Hui Zhou
  • Hang CongEmail author
Review Article


Electrochemical sensing is a promising analytic method with its advantages, such as low cost, fast response, simple operation, high accuracy, low detection limit and so on. With the rapid development of electroanalysis, various modified electrodes were synthesized for constructing different kinds of electrochemical sensors on purpose. Macrocyclic compounds with their superior supramolecular recognition properties have aroused the research interest, as they can be used as modifiers for enhancing the sensitivity and selectivity of electrodes. All five classic macrocyclic compounds, which are crown ethers, cyclodextrins, calixarenes, cucurbiturils, and pillararenes, have been employed as receptors for electrochemical sensors, and these macrocycles have led to a wilder detection range, a lower detection limit, and superior ability of anti-interferences against coexisting ions or molecules. The macrocycles modified electrodes have shown greater sensitivity and selectivity in detection. Therefore, this review focuses on the results of the studies published in recent 8 years on macrocycles improved electrochemical sensing.

Graphic abstract

In this review, the recent development of functionalization of macrocyclic compounds including crown ethers, cyclodextrins, calixarenes, cucurbiturils, pillararenes, on electrochemical sensors has been summarized.


Crown ethers Cyclodextrins Calixarenes Cucurbiturils Pillararenes Modification Electrochemical sensors 



We acknowledge the financial support of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21662007), Natural Science Foundation of Guizhou Province [Nos. (2016)1031, 2016(7443), (2017)1027], the Project for Outstanding Young Scientists and Technicians of Guizhou Province [No. (2017)5606], and the Project of Science and Technology of Guizhou Province [No. (2017)5788].


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry of Guizhou ProvinceGuizhou UniversityGuiyangChina

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