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Acetylcholinesterase Biosensors for Electrochemical Detection of Organophosphorus Compounds: A Review

DOI: 10.1155/2013/731501

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Abstract:

The exponentially growing population, with limited resources, has exerted an intense pressure on the agriculture sector. In order to achieve high productivity the use of pesticide has increased up to many folds. These pesticides contain organophosphorus (OP) toxic compounds which interfere with the proper functioning of enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and finally affect the central nervous system (CNS). So, there is a need for routine, continuous, on spot detection of OP compounds which are the main limitations associated with conventional analytical methods. AChE based enzymatic biosensors have been reported by researchers as the most promising tool for analysis of pesticide level to control toxicity and for environment conservation. The present review summarises AChE based biosensors by discussing their characteristic features in terms of fabrication, detection limit, linearity range, time of incubation, and storage stability. Use of nanoparticles in recently reported fabrication strategies has improved the efficiency of biosensors to a great extent making them more reliable and robust. 1. Introduction At present pesticides play a major role in agriculture. Pesticides have the insecticidal property due to which they are in great use [1, 2]. But human health and the surroundings are affected by these pesticides as they contain the toxic compounds. These toxic compounds are hazardous as they can accumulate in grains, vegetables, fruits, and so forth, percolate in soil, and finally lead to water contamination [3, 4]. The concentration of these toxic compounds in the environment is increasing day by day with an exponential rate. Organophosphorus (OP) constitutes one of the important classes of toxic compounds which can cause headache, drowsiness, confusion, depression, irritability, disorientation, impaired memory and concentration, speech difficulties, eye pain, abdominal pain, convulsions, respiratory failure, and serious neurological disorders [5–10]. The EPA lists organophosphates as very highly toxic to bees, wildlife, and humans [1]. These OP pesticides inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE, EC 3.1.1.7) which is involved in the proper functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) of the humans. Due to this inhibition of the enzyme AChE, acetylcholine (ACh) neurotransmitter accumulates in the body which interferes with the muscular responses and finally leads to respiratory problems, myocardial malfunctioning, and even death [11, 12]. The toxicity of different pesticides depends upon the chemical structure of the pesticides [12, 13]. The

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