Mikrochim Acta 2019 Apr 13;186(5):283. Epub 2019 Apr 13.
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Jinan, Jinan, 250022, China.
Biofuel cells (BFCs) based on anodic oxidation and cathodic oxygen reduction represent an attractive alternative to self-powered devices. A glucose/oxygen BFC is described for monitoring glucose. It is making use of a piece of paper carrying a glucose oxidase (GOx) based bioanode, and a bilirubin oxidase (BilOx) based biocathode. The performance of the BFC is affected by the generation of HO, a byproduct of enzymatic glucose oxidation. Therefore, the removal of HO is a crucial step in terms of BFC performance and stability. In addition, direct, unambiguous visual read-out is an ideal way to provide quantitative information. The colorimetric readout system described here is based on the consumption of undesired HO and to convert the extent of energy generation into recognizable variations in color. As the HO travels along the hydrophilic channel by capillary action, the formation of red gold nanoparticles from AuCl leads to the appearance of a red bar that provides distance-based information that can be read visually. The multiply readable information (maximum power density of BFC or visible distance) provides further choices for quantification. It also enhances reliability. The self-powered system based on the BFC exhibits excellent performance. Glucose can be determined by this method in the 1 to 50 mM concentration range. Graphical abstract Schematic presentation of a paper-supported biofuel cell equipped with a visual distance readout to display the level of energy generation in biofuel cells, and its application in sensing of glucose.