A novel, nitroreductase (NTR) containing a sequence of six cysteine amino acids, enabling strong thiolate bonds to form on a gold electrode surface without the loss of enzyme activity, was genetically engineered. The enzyme was directly immobilised at a gold electrode without the need for pre-treatment of the surface with a self-assembled monolayer or a conducting polymer. The ensemble was used to develop an amperometric biosensor for the detection of explosives containing nitroaromatic compounds. Preliminary results demonstrate detection levels down to 100 parts per trillion, signifying tremendous promise towards an in situ sensor for the detection of explosives.
- Amperometric biosensor
- Escherichia coli K12