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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 3053019, 8 pages
Research Article

Development and Characterization of an Electroless Plated Silver/Cysteine Sensor Platform for the Electrochemical Determination of Aflatoxin B1

1Microbiology and Biotechnology Centre, Department of Product Development, Uganda Industrial Research Institute, P.O. Box 7086, Kampala, Uganda
2Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science, School of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7082, Kampala, Uganda
3Instrumentation Unit, Technology Development Centre, Uganda Industrial Research Institute, P.O. Box 7086, Kampala, Uganda

Received 25 March 2015; Revised 25 September 2015; Accepted 27 September 2015

Academic Editor: Banshi D. Gupta

Copyright © 2016 Alex Paul Wacoo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An electroless plated silver/cysteine sensor platform [Glass|silver|cysteine|aflatoxin B1|horseradish peroxidase] for the Electrochemical detection of aflatoxin B1 was developed and characterized. This involved four major steps: (1) an electroless deposition of silver (plating) onto a glass slide, (2) immobilization of cysteine; (3) conjugation of aflatoxin B1 to cysteine groups; and (4) blocking of free cysteine groups with horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The binding of cysteine to the silver was demonstrated by the disappearance of thiol (S-H) groups at 2500 cm−1 using Fourier transmittance infrared spectra (FT-IR), while the subsequent steps in the assembly of sensor platform were monitored using both FT-IR and cyclic voltammetry, respectively. The sensor platform exhibited a broadened nonsymmetrical redox couple as indicated by cyclic voltammetry. The platform was further characterized for sensitivity and limit of detection. The indirect competitive immunoassay format, whereby free and immobilized aflatoxin B1 on the sensor competed for the binding site of free anti-aflatoxin B1 antibody, was used at various concentrations of aflatoxin B1. The sensor generated differential staircase voltammogram that was inversely proportional to the concentration of aflatoxin B1 and aflatoxin B1 in the range of 0.06–1.1 ng/mL with a detection limit of 0.08 ng/mL could be detected.