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The determination of indoor formaldehyde is of great importance to protect individuals against its well-known adverse impact on health. Here, we report on a design of a naked-eye readout self-powered electrochemical biosensor (SPEB) toward gaseous formaldehyde based on the efficient catalytic activity of the formaldehyde dehydrogenase/poly (methylene green)/buckypaper bioanode and the excellent electrochromic property of the Prussian blue (PB) cathode. The SPEB has a planar configuration and is covered with poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as gel electrolyte to provide an inner lateral resistance large enough to enable the progressive discoloration of the patterned PB at cathode, which in turn, making the determination of gaseous formaldehyde feasible by measuring the distance consumed after 10-min exposure. The use of PVA gel electrolyte can also facilitate the observation of the color change due to its excellent transparency. The SPEB shows obvious responses to gaseous formaldehyde in a broad concentration range of 80 and 3000 ppb, covering the important permissible limits of indoor formaldehyde related to human health. The SPEB also exhibits satisfactory results in sensing gaseous formaldehyde released from the real plywood that is one of the dominating sources of the gaseous indoor formaldehyde. The results shown here demonstrate the good potential of the naked-eye readout SPEB as a fast, reliable, and portable tool for on-site determination of gaseous formaldehyde, with the appealing characteristics such as ease of operation, simplicity of configuration, and no requirement of external power sources. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Xiaoxuan Sun, He Zhang, Liang Huang, Shuai Hao, Junfeng Zhai, Shaojun Dong. A naked-eye readout self-powered electrochemical biosensor toward indoor formaldehyde: On-site detection and exposure risk warning. Biosensors & bioelectronics. 2021 Apr 01;177:112975

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PMID: 33444898

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