Melamine functionalized silver nanoparticles as the probe for electrochemical sensing of clenbuterol

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Jun 11;6(11):8667-72. doi: 10.1021/am501473m. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Clenbuterol, a member of β-agonist family, has now been a serious threat to human health due to its illegal usage in the livestock feeding. Herein, we describe the application of melamine functionalized silver nanoparticles (M-AgNPs) as the electrochemical probe for simple, fast, highly sensitive and selective detection of clenbuterol. Generally, AgNPs are prepared and functionalized by melamine. After interacting with melamine modified gold electrode in the presence of clenbuterol, M-AgNPs can be immobilized on the surface of the electrode via the hydrogen-bonding interactions between clenbuterol and melamine. This sandwich structure permits sensitive and selective detection of clenbuterol. Since M-AgNPs can provide a couple of well-defined sharp silver stripping peaks, which stands for a highly characteristic solid-state Ag/AgCl reaction, a rather low detection limit of 10 pM can be achieved. The detection range is from 10 pM to 100 nM, which is quite wide. This developed biosensor can potentially be used for clenbuterol detection in biological fluids in the presence of various interferences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clenbuterol / analysis*
  • Clenbuterol / urine
  • Limit of Detection
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Molecular Probes
  • Silver / chemistry*
  • Swine
  • Sympathomimetics / analysis*
  • Sympathomimetics / urine
  • Triazines / chemistry*


  • Molecular Probes
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Triazines
  • Silver
  • melamine
  • Clenbuterol