Free Radical Biosensors
|Carbon Monoxide Sensors
Hydrogen Peroxide Sensors
Hydrogen Sulfide Sensors
Nitric Oxide Sensors
Electrochemical electrodes produce changes in current in response to changes in concentration. "Response" is most often specified in terms of the amount of current per concentration unit: nA/micromole or pA/nM, etc. The larger the current per unit the higher the sensitivity of the sensor.
The response of a given free radical sensor is meaningless without also specifying the detection limit. Detection limit is the minimum change in concentration that can be reliably seen. This specification is directly related to the noise of the sensor. A sensor with a 100nA/μM response but a 3μM detection limit is not as good as a 10nA/μM response sensor with a 1μM detection limit.
The best sensors have low detection limits and high sensitivity. In the graph above, the response to the addition of 50nM of nitric oxide is shown for the WPI flexible NO sensor and the comparable Brand Z electrodes. The measurements were made with the same meter simultaneously. As can be seen from the graphs response is similar but the noise level on the WPI electrode allows for a more precise estimate of the current.
A sensor can have a low detection limit and a good response, however, to be useful in long term studies it must be stable when temperature and concentration are constant. A drifting baseline, if monotonic, can be corrected, but wandering baselines limit the utility of sensors to short experiments.
It is a rare instance that the ion species of interest is the only ion in the medium to be measured. In a perfect world your sensor would respond ONLY to the ion of interest. In reality there is always some contribution from competing species. The lower the contribution the better. Graphs detailing the impact of competing species on electrode output are shown on the performance page of this brochure.
The first graph below shows the response of WPI's ISO-NOP007 nitric oxide microsensor following additions of: 50μM ascorbic acid (AA), 50μM nitrite, 100μM L-Arginine (L-Arg), 20 μM Dopamine (DA), 100 nM and 200nM NO. The graph indicates no interference to common reactive species, plus an enhanced response to NO. [Zhang, et al., 2000.]
The second graph below shows the response of typical Nafion-coated nitric oxide carbon microelectrode following additions of: 50μM ascorbic acid (AA), 50μM nitrite, 100μML-Arginine (L-Arg), 2μM Dopamine (DA), 100 nM and 200nM NO. [Zhang,et al., 2000.]
For an electrode to be useful and easy to calibrate the response must be "Linear" with changes in concentration over the range of interest. Non-linear behavior requires special curve fit software to calibrate the sensors. This approach is more time consuming and can be unreliable. "Good" linearity is expressed by a R² of 0.900 or higher. (1.00 is perfect.) All of the electrochemical sensors made by WPI are have a 0.9 or better.
If you have any questions about our biosensing electrodes, please give us a call at (866) 606-1974 (Toll Free in the USA, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.