Research Highlight

Thyroxine sensor

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.150 Published online 29 October 2010

Researchers have designed a sensor that could be used to measure levels of thyroxine, an essential hormone found in humans. The sensor could be useful for patients suffering from thyroxine-related disorders.

Thyroxine is produced in the thyroid gland, and exists in two forms. It is used for the treatment of thyroid gland-related disorders and sustains the functions of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Existing thyroxine sensors require tedious preparation and lack long-term stability. To devise a suitable alternative, the researchers designed a molecularly imprinted polymer sensor by assembling polymeric films layer-by-layer on a functionalized silver surface.

They tested the sensor's efficacy on water, human blood serum and pharmaceuticals. When a current was passed through each sample, the sensor was able to detect extremely small amounts of thyroxine.

The researchers found that a single electrode could be used for as many as 120 consecutive runs, with quantitative recoveries, after regeneration through template retrieval. The binding between analyte and the sensor was found to typically involve hydrogen bonding interactions.

The proposed technique can be used for clinical assay in the serum of patients suffering from different thyroid diseases, say the researchers.


  1. Prasad, B. B. et al. Layer-by-layer assembled molecularly imprinted polymer modified silver electrode for enantioselective detection of d- and l-thyroxine. Anal. Chim. Acta. 681, 16-26 (2010) | Article