Simultaneous Detection of Morphine and Codeine in the Presence of Ascorbic Acid and Uric Acid and in Human Plasma at Nafion Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Thin-Film Electrode

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research units

  • University of Helsinki
  • Helsinki University Central Hospital


In clinical settings, the dosing and differential diagnosis of the poisoning of morphine (MO) and codeine (CO) is challenging due to interindividual variations in metabolism. However, direct electrochemical detection of these analytes from biological matrices is inherently challenging due to interference from large concentrations of anions, such as ascorbic acid (AA) and uric acid (UA), as well as fouling of the electrode by proteins. In this work, a disposable Nafion-coated single-walled carbon nanotube network (SWCNT) electrode was developed. We show facile electron transfer and efficient charge separation between the interfering anions and positively charged MO and CO, as well as significantly reduced matrix effect in human plasma. The Nafion coating alters the voltammetric response of MO and CO, enabling simultaneous detection. With this SWCNT/Nafion electrode, two linear ranges of 0.05-1 and 1-10 μM were found for MO and one linear range of 0.1-50 μM for CO. Moreover, the selective and simultaneous detection of MO and CO was achieved in large excess of AA and UA, as well as, for the first time, in unprocessed human plasma. The favorable properties of this electrode enabled measurements in plasma with only mild dilution and without the precipitation of proteins.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17726-17734
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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