Fabrication of enzyme-based coatings on intact multi-walled carbon nanotubes as highly effective electrodes in biofuel cells

Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 5;7:40202. doi: 10.1038/srep40202.


CNTs need to be dispersed in aqueous solution for their successful use, and most methods to disperse CNTs rely on tedious and time-consuming acid-based oxidation. Here, we report the simple dispersion of intact multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by adding them directly into an aqueous solution of glucose oxidase (GOx), resulting in simultaneous CNT dispersion and facile enzyme immobilization through sequential enzyme adsorption, precipitation, and crosslinking (EAPC). The EAPC achieved high enzyme loading and stability because of crosslinked enzyme coatings on intact CNTs, while obviating the chemical pretreatment that can seriously damage the electron conductivity of CNTs. EAPC-driven GOx activity was 4.5- and 11-times higher than those of covalently-attached GOx (CA) on acid-treated CNTs and simply-adsorbed GOx (ADS) on intact CNTs, respectively. EAPC showed no decrease of GOx activity for 270 days. EAPC was employed to prepare the enzyme anodes for biofuel cells, and the EAPC anode produced 7.5-times higher power output than the CA anode. Even with a higher amount of bound non-conductive enzymes, the EAPC anode showed 1.7-fold higher electron transfer rate than the CA anode. The EAPC on intact CNTs can improve enzyme loading and stability with key routes of improved electron transfer in various biosensing and bioelectronics devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't