Laser Scribed Graphene Biosensor for Detection of Biogenic Amines in Food Samples Using Locally Sourced Materials

Biosensors (Basel). 2018 Apr 24;8(2):42. doi: 10.3390/bios8020042.


In foods, high levels of biogenic amines (BA) are the result of microbial metabolism that could be affected by temperatures and storage conditions. Thus, the level of BA is commonly used as an indicator of food safety and quality. This manuscript outlines the development of laser scribed graphene electrodes, with locally sourced materials, for reagent-free food safety biosensing. To fabricate the biosensors, the graphene surface was functionalized with copper microparticles and diamine oxidase, purchased from a local supermarket; and then compared to biosensors fabricated with analytical grade materials. The amperometric biosensor exhibits good electrochemical performance, with an average histamine sensitivity of 23.3 µA/mM, a lower detection limit of 11.6 µM, and a response time of 7.3 s, showing similar performance to biosensors constructed from analytical grade materials. We demonstrated the application of the biosensor by testing total BA concentration in fish paste samples subjected to fermentation with lactic acid bacteria. Biogenic amines concentrations prior to lactic acid fermentation were below the detection limit of the biosensor, while concentration after fermentation was 19.24 ± 8.21 mg histamine/kg, confirming that the sensor was selective in a complex food matrix. The low-cost, rapid, and accurate device is a promising tool for biogenic amine estimation in food samples, particularly in situations where standard laboratory techniques are unavailable, or are cost prohibitive. This biosensor can be used for screening food samples, potentially limiting food waste, while reducing chances of foodborne outbreaks.

Keywords: biogenic amines; diamine oxidase; disposable sensor; food quality; laser scribed graphene; planetary health; risk assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing) / metabolism*
  • Biogenic Amines / metabolism*
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Graphite / metabolism*
  • Humans


  • Biogenic Amines
  • Graphite
  • Amine Oxidase (Copper-Containing)