Sensitive electrochemical assay of acetaminophen based on 3D-hierarchical mesoporous carbon nanosheets

J Colloid Interface Sci. 2023 Mar 15;634:509-520. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2022.12.022. Epub 2022 Dec 9.


Acetaminophen plays a key role in first-line Covid-19 cure as a supportive therapy of fever and pain. However, overdose of acetaminophen may give rise to severe adverse events such as acute liver failure in individual. In this work, 3D-hierarchical mesoporous carbon nanosheet (hMCNS) microspheres with superior properties were fabricated using simple and quick strategy and applied for sensitive quantification of acetaminophen in pharmaceutical formulation and rat plasmas after administration. The hMCNS microspheres are prepared via chemical etching of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles from a zinc-gallic acid precursor composite (Zn-GA) synthesized by high-temperature anaerobic pyrolysis. The obtained hMCNS could enhance analytes accessibility and accelerate proton transfer in the interface, hence increasing the electrochemical performance. Under optimized experimental conditions, the proposed electrochemical sensor achieves a detection limit of 3.5 nM for acetaminophen. The prepared electrochemical sensor has been successfully applied for quantification of acetaminophen in pharmaceutical formulations and the rat plasma samples before and after administration. Meanwhile, this sensor is compared with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as a reference technology, showing an excellent accuracy. Such an electrochemical sensor has great potential and economic benefits for applications in the fields of pharmaceutical assay and therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM).

Keywords: 3D-hierarchical nanosheets; Acetaminophen; Electrochemical sensor; Mesoporous carbon microspheres.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen* / analysis
  • Animals
  • COVID-19*
  • Carbon / chemistry
  • Electrochemical Techniques / methods
  • Electrodes
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Rats
  • Zinc


  • Acetaminophen
  • Carbon
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Zinc