Defined as an airway inflammation, asthma affects around 300 million people around the world. Current non-invasive methods for monitoring asthma are not only expensive, but are also limited by low sensitivity. One avenue of research around asthma monitoring is the use of biomarkers in exhaled breath condensate (EBC). The droplets of fluid which are exhaled during normal breathing include non-volatile compounds such as nitrate, nitrite and hydrogen peroxide as well as larger molecules such as proteins. There have been several research studies examining the use of EBC nitrite as a biomarker for measuring both inflammation and oxidative distress in the respiratory tract with promising results achieved.
A recent paper published in Microsystems & Nanoengineering looked at using reduced graphene oxide for electrochemical sensing of nitrite content in exhaled breath condensate. The sensors were made by adding a 3 µL aliquot of graphene oxide dispersion to a gold electrode before drying the surface at room temperature. A glass slide was used to ensure a thin, even GO layer across the surface was achieved. The graphene oxide was then reduced electrochemically. Through multiple experiments, the researchers were able to demonstrate high precision in quantifying nitrite in the samples tested in the clinically relevant µM range. The team validated the performance of their sensors on clinical EBC samples by comparing to results previously achieved by chemiluminescence.
If you are interested in using graphene oxide in your research, please get in touch. A member of the GOgraphene team will be happy to help answer your questions about which graphene oxide product might perform best and how we can support your research programme moving forward.
Microsystems & Nanoengineering, 2017, 3, 17022