Characterization of a urea optical sensor based on polypyrrole

Research paper by Susana de Marcos, Rubén Hortigüela, Javier Gatbán, Juan R. Castillo, Otto S. Wolfbeis

Indexed on: 01 Dec '99Published on: 01 Dec '99Published in: Microchimica Acta


A new optical sensor for urea determination is presented. It is based on the enzymatic reaction with urease, which is first photoimmobilized with polyacrylamide onto a chemically polymerized polypyrrole (PPy) film. The main advantage of this sensor is that no indicator dye or pH indicator is needed, because PPy itself acts as the support and the indicator. These PPy films show an absorbance spectrum in the near IR range which is pH dependent. The variation of absorbance is thus directly related to the change of pH caused during the enzymatic reaction, which is also dependent on the urea concentration. The linear range of the sensor is from 0.06 to 1 M of urea, which is the common level of urea concentration found in blood and urine samples.