Ultrasensitive environmental assessment of xeno-estrogens in water samples using label-free graphene immunosensors

Huw Barton, Waldir M. Berbel-Filho, Sofia Consuegra, Lewis Francis, Chedly Tizaoui, R. Steven Conlan, Sofia Rodrigues Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


There is a growing interest in the possible environmental health impact posed by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). A challenge to the field of endocrine disruption is that these substances are diverse and may not appear to share any structural similarity other than usually being low molecular mass (<1000 Da) compounds. Here we demonstrate the effectiveness of sensor device for the detection of low molecular weight, poorly water soluble, estrogenic compounds E1, E2 and EE2, fabricated by electropolymerization over graphene screen printed electrode (SPE). The PANI/Gr-SPE-devices displayed linear responses to estrogenic substances, in EIS assays, from 0.0975 ng/L to 200 ng/L in water samples, with a detection limit of 0.043 pg/L for E1, 0.19 ng/L for E2 and 0.070 pg/L for EE2 which is lower than other current biosensing techniques. This portable, disposable immunosensor offers a solution for immediate measurement at sample collection sites, due to its excellent sensitivity and selectivity when testing water samples obtained directly from rivers and waste water treatment facilities. The simple screen printing production method will enable the low cost, high volume production required for this type of environmental analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • Environmental estrogens
  • Graphene
  • Immunosensor
  • Screen-printed electrode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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